Monday, July 02, 2007

Misty-fuse Test Run

I'm slowly working through some technical issues on the angel quilt. I took a deep breath today and fused the angel onto a golden fabric with metallic highlights. I'm hoping to create a narrow glow around it similar to what I did with piping around the arch of the "arbor" but piping was out of the question. I left plenty of this fabric exposed beyond the edge of the angel, unsure just how I'd attach the whole piece to the quilt top. Fusing, of course, was my first thought. Ok, my ONLY thought. But since I was not cutting away this new layer from under the angel, fusing the entire piece struck me as being too much of a good thing. I could cut the fusible to just a thin outline like I did with the angel (see here.) But there would still be areas of double fusing which might be problematic.

This led me to considering a fusible product I've yet had a chance to try - Misty-fuse by Esterita Austin. I've heard rave revues of this sheer paperless fusible and had a pack of it on hand. It's supposed to work particularly well with such non-traditional fabrics as organza so I thought perhaps it would be lightweight enough to use under the entire angel. Then I could trim back my gold fabric outlining the angel and fuse the whole thing in place. For once, I heeded the instructions to test it out first.

Do you remember Stitch Witchery? This may have been the first fusible on the market and had no paper backing like we are so used to now with WonderUnder and Steam-A-Seam II. I ran across some the other day, hidden deep in a drawer for many many years. When I pulled the Misty-fuse from the package, I thought - hey, looks just like Stitch Witchery. Well, it does up to a point. When I compared the two side by side, Misty-fuse is indeed much finer, sheerer, less stiff. However, when I fused up a sample, there was more body or stiffness than I expected. In fairness to the scientific method, I realized I should fuse up identical samples of the other two fusibles, not rely on my faulty memory as to how they worked up. I knew WonderUnder would be stiffer, but I thought my Lite Steam-A-Seam II would be less stiff. My apologies to Misty-fuse. It indeed is slightly less stiff. Still, I felt it was more body than I wanted behind my angel, so I will save it for something else.

The good news is that while I was handling the angel, pondering how to finish off those edges in attaching it to the quilt top, I rolled the edge back to test the effect of just a little of the gold showing. And in that one simple move, it dawned on me how easy it would be to needleturn applique that edge. Eureka! Another option might be to baste it under along the edge of the angel, then machine stitch it to the quilt top also close to the angel, leaving the rolled-under edge free like the piping. What a relief to know how I will handle this now. It frees my mind up to consider those side borders and additional design details.


Rosie said...

The angel is just beautiful! Lovely!
I thought your comparison of fusibles was interesting and right on. I found that Esterita's Misty-fuse is much lighter than all the others. And also I found it doesn't get brittle and weaken over time. I used it in a quilt for my daughter its still soft and its been washed many times. Any stiffness you felt was probably the 2 different kinds of fabric holding each other and not the fuse. I'm a real convert to Misty-fuse!

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thanks, Rosie, for your input. Of all the rave reviews I've read, none have addressed the issue of longevity. It was definitely on my mind and good to know the Misty-fuse holds up so well.

My fusing samples were pretty small, and I did find myself trying to decide if the body I was feeling was due to the fusible or just the two fabrics together.

And thanks for your thumbs up on the angel. Let's hope it remains beautiful in the next few steps!