fabric collage removed from design wall
Creative Chrysalis

133- Sewing Begins!

December 6, 2021 By

Thanks for your patience in awaiting an update on how the big Fear quilt is going. I switched gears from collaging fabric pieces together to work on sewing. What does that even mean when the quilt is nowhere near finished?

I use both dots of glue or fusing to hold the many bits of fabric together. If I am going to be adding a lot of stitch work, I may minimally attach the pieces, figuring that the stitches will hold it all together. Using a dot of glue (Roxann’s Glue-Baste-It) allows me to take the pieces apart by dabbing at the bond with a wet q-tip, so I might use this method if I’m unsure. Fusing creates a permanent bond and makes me more confident that all the edges will stay attached – but it is more time-consuming to do.

Anyways, the photo above shows me taking a collaged section off the design wall. I lay the section on top of a removable stabilizer – one that I will rip off or dissolve off in a water bath. The stabilizer extends beyond the collage, so I have room for my hands as I move the piece under my machine, and is a smooth surface that will slide without getting impeded by the unevenness of the backside of the collage. I like Pellon 360 EZ Stitch for the tear away and HTC 3150 H2O Gone. I don’t attach the collaged piece to the stabilizer (I just smooth it down and maybe use a few pins to hold it in place.)

Handi-Quilter Sweet Sixteen sewing machine
An absolutely clean studio with my mid-arm machine

I use my Handi-Quilter Sweet Sixteen mid-arm machine for this stage of work. I will go over all the edges and add details with threadwork, changing thread colors often. I’ve become very good at re-threading my machine! I use the same bobbin thread all the time – usually an unnoticeable mid-tone gray. I don’t knot or backstitch to secure threads. After stitching a bit, I use a self-threading needle to bring the top loose threads down to the backside, then flip the work over to cut the hanging threads to 1-2.” Later in the process, I might trim the threads more. All of the loose threads are going to be secured when I put fusible on the back when all the stitching is done.

ugly backside of stitched fabric collage
On the left, sewing done and stabilizer removed. On the right, threads trimmed and tucked under the fusible web.