By: Pat Sloan
Way back when… before I was a quilter.. yes THAT long ago… I fused fabric to fabric. I started out by fusing fabric images to the front of sweatshirts. This is when I really learned about the properties of fusibles. Like home dec fabric is sprayed with a Scotch Guard so it repeals dirt.. it also repels fusibles and paint…. who knew!
I have become really good at fusing cotton to cotton and stitching it down for appliqué. Most fusible products work in a similar fashion:
- Trace your design onto the paper side (some have 2 papers)
- cut away some of the fusible.. or use if across the whole shape (see my tutorial HERE)
- iron the glue side onto the BACK of your appliqué shape
- cut ON the line to create your final appliqué shape
- peel off the paper
- place the glue side down onto your background fabric
- Iron again to adhere the shape
Today at the Learning Center I want to share a list of the different products available to you. You may want to explore several of them to see what works for you!
Therm O Web
I work with the Therm O Web company on their design team. I’ve used Heat n bond lite for over 15 years and love it… really love it! When they asked me to join their design team years ago I was thrilled as I truly believe in this product. I invited the Director of Marketing, Candace Kos, to do a little intro of their products. She is very talented right now as she is usually “one armed” since her other arm is always holding her brand new baby girl!
From Candace Kos…
“There are many ways to do appliqué and ways to speed up the quilting process. Our favorite way is to use adhesive to minimize the need for pinning or to finish a project all together.”
- HeatnBond® Iron-On Adhesive is frequently referred to as “Fusible Web” but it actually isn’t a web, it’s a solid sheet of adhesive. This means that you get edge to edge coverage on your appliqué shapes, no matter the size of appliqué. This eliminates puckering, bunching and also allows for Pat’s favorite technique of cutting away the inside of an appliqué leaving a soft interior and less adhesive used.
- HeatnBond® is available in three styles. HeatnBond® Ultrahold is a no-sew permanent adhesive! It’s great for adding embellishments, accents and details to quilts, wall hangings, home décor and costumes when you don’t want to sew or can’t sew. In addition to all kinds of fabric, it can also be used on wood and canvas for other creative home décor projects!
- HeatnBond Lite is a sewable permanent adhesive! Use this when you need to sew the project, but you don’t want to spend your time pinning! Iron your appliqués, edges and embellishments in place and then sew at your leisure! No more accidentally pinning yourself while handling the project! Iron your pieces into place and then sew as you normally would, the fabric remains flexible and the adhesive won’t gum up your needles. (Tip: if you are finding any resistance while sewing or are trying to sew through many layers, you can use a product called “Sewer’s Aid” to wet your thread and have an easier time stitching thru adhesive.) Use it to create costumes, table runners, placemats, quilts and tons of other projects! You can also seal the edges with fabric paint, so it can also be used on sweatshirts, canvases and wall hangings!
- HeatnBond® FeatherLite is a new sewable permanent adhesive that is even lighter than Lite. This adhesive is perfect for baby quilts, thin summer quilts, wearables and especially for multi-layered projects such as landscape quilts. It gets buttery soft after washing and doesn’t even feel as if adhesive is part of the project.
All of the HeatnBond® products can be washed and dried after properly adhered (for Ultrahold that’s just ironing for Lite and FeatherLite that’s sewing the edges after ironing pieces on.)
There are a few other great features of HeatnBond® products is due to the paper-backed nature of the product. First, HeatnBond® adhesive sheets can be run through your INKJET printer! Simply trim the sheet to an appropriate size to fit through your printer (typically 8.5 x 11). Place the sheet in so the ink will print on the paper side. Set your printer to draft, transparency or acetate settings (which puts out less ink) and print your design! (Just remember to print alphabet letters in reverse since the HeatnBond will be ironed to the back of your fabric. Do NOT use in a laser printer!! The heat from the laser printer will melt the adhesive inside your printer.)
Also, HeatnBond adhesive sheets can be run through your manual or computerized die-cut systems, such as AccuQuilt®, Cricut®, Silhouette®, Sizzix Eclipse® and more! Iron the adhesive onto the back of your fabric, trim the fabric to a size that will fit in your die-cut system and automatically cut out shapes, letters and other appliqué drawings! You may have to adjust the depth of your blade depending on the thickness of the fabric you are using. Be sure to test it on a scrap piece of fabric before running your real fabric thru. And be sure to change your blade often, a sharp blade will yield the best results. Then simply peel off the back liner and iron it to your project! How easy is that!
Therm O Web also makes a few other adhesive products that are great for quilting! The SuperStik Glue Stick is permanent on paper, but has a temporary bond on fabric! It allows you to place appliqués, sew them on your project and then the adhesive dissolves out of the fabric during laundering. This makes it a great option for baby quilts and outfits, summer quilts and all kinds of wearables. Simply apply glue to the back of your appliqué and stick onto your project. Allow the glue to dry and then sew as you normally would! It doesn’t gum up needles and stays flexible for easy stitching.
The last form of adhesive Therm O Web manufactures is SpraynBond®. These are spray adhesives that come in two forms. SpraynBond Fusible Adhesive acts like Ultrahold. Simply spray it on the back of your applique and iron it down. There is no need to sew after it has been ironed. This heat-activated spray is permanent, machine washable, dryable and dry cleanable.
The other form is SpraynBond Basting Adhesive. This is a spray with a temporary bond. This feature means it is perfect for placement, design consultations, wearables, pattern placement and keeping batting in its place while stitching. This adhesive must be sewn to make it permanent as it washes out while laundering.
Experiment with all these types of adhesives to make your project come together quickly! Therm O Web Adhesives & Interfacings are “Behind Every Great Project”!
Therm O Web Adhesives is a family-owned and operated business with over 35 years of experience in adhesive manufacturing. Therm O Web is proud to have a successful history manufacturing adhesives for multiple craft disciplines including: fabric crafts, quilting, tailoring, scrapbooking, paper crafts and art with the majority proudly made in the USA. Their family of adhesives holds such famed product lines as: HeatnBond® Iron-on Adhesive, StitchnSew®, Zots® Adhesive Dots, SuperTape™, PeelnStick™, PeelnStick™ Fabric Fuse and Iron-on Vinyl.
Why I use Steam-A-Seam 2
I asked Sewing expert Lorine Mason to give her top reasons she loves to use the Steam-A-Seam line of fusing products.
I am a huge fan of Steam-A-Seam 2 by The Warm® Company and this is why.
The double sided paper liner:
- Prevents tacky fusible web from becoming attached to items not meant for the project at hand.
- Paper liner is perfect for tracing patterns whether using pen or pencil. I have even run it through my printer with success.
- Paper liner is a built in pressing sheet and is reusable if kept clean.
- Paper liner makes a great tear away stabilizer.
- Trace applique designs onto paper liner, remove opposite side of liner, press onto fabric. Perfect for storing for use in later design work. Note: one side of paper liner is designed to come away very easily. Trace on the liner paper that stays with the web.
Lorine Mason is a licensed product designer, an accomplished project designer and the author of ten ‘how to’ sewing books. An eye for detail, innovative project design, trend awareness and hard work are the corner stones of her business; Lorine Mason Designs. It’s Sew Lorine©, is a brand, a blog and a lifestyle. As an avid sewer herself, she loves to inspire others to create unique home sewn items with a twist. Lorine in the editor of the Sewing Savvy e-newsletter which can be accessed at
Wonder-Under by Pellon has been on the market a long time. This is the first fusible product that I purchased and used when making sweatshirts. It is readily available and many people love it. See the Pellon web site for more information on how to use their product.
The Misty fuse product has no paper on it. It is thinner and I’d love to know what you think about it. I have yet to try this one.
Stacy Michell markets a fusible she loves to use under the product name “Shades Soft Fuse”. Stacy started selling this fusible 5 years ago and she works with it as a full fusible product.
Vliesofix is mostly sold outside of North America. I had a chance to try it and it works very similar to Wonder Under. I found this blog write up on it.
We also found this write up about fusibles and interfacings.
Our friends at Therm O Web have a HUGE box of goodies… no wait … TWO huge boxes of goodies to give-away. You have two opportunities to win. First, leave a comment below answering: Do you have a favorite fusible product? Which one?. If it isn’t included above, please provide a link too so others can give it a try.
Winners will be selected randomly next Wednesday, May 9th.
Second, head over to the Therm O Web blog and enter the give-away there too. P.S. they have tutorials or info posts every day of the week.. lots of good stuff!
Congratulations to #59 Karrie S. on winning this gift box of fusible goodies. Check your email for a message from me.
Pat Sloan is owner and founder of the quilting design and publishing company Pat Sloan & Co. She has published over 25 books, more than 100 patterns, nearly 10 fabric lines, and has had her work featured in all the major Quilt magazines. In January 2010, Pat started hosting her weekly Internet Radio show called Creative Talk Radio.
Find Pat here: