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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Here I am!

Has it really be that long since I was here? No excuses, I have been a bad blogger. I really have missed blogging, but then on the other hand, I've been so caught up in life, that Blogger was the last thing on my mind.

After I moved the stewdio all back into place, my computer just wasn't where it was convenient to get to. I use my Ipad and my Smartphone all the time for my mail and short posts - I rarely use the main computer anymore for anything except spreadsheets and stuff like that. Now, that I've moved the computer (yet again) into my sewing area, I think that I will be more frequent for blogging. It is near impossible to blog on the Ipad.

So without further adieu, here we go!

Do you hate to pin baste like I do? I will avoid it like that plaque. I've even done the Huckleberry Finn thing and asked people to help me do it, then once they get started, I have to do something else. LOL! Well, apparently this little trick was on Fons and Porter last fall sometime, and my co-chair for the Outreach Quilts showed it to me. Now, I am hooked!

**WARNING** Before we start, I must tell you I wouldn't try this on a full size quilt, and I wouldn't use polyester batting to do this procedure:

First, you have to go to the store and get some Steam a Seam Lite or II on a roll. I found mine at the local JoAnn's store in the notions section. I know that Steam a Seam has quit making Steam a Seam, but I think Pellon is making something similar. Mine is 1/4" wide on a roll. For those of you who are not familiar with Steam a Seam - it is an iron on fusible product that has paper on both sides. Until you use a hot iron, or a steam iron, it is re-positionable. The Steam a Seam Lite is very lightweight and you cannot see it or feel it once it is adhered to your fabric. I like it for fusible applique work, too. 

Prep the quilt top, and the backing, making sure they are pressed nice and flat. I worked on a "big board" so the weight of the fabric pulls the tucks and pleats out. That way I am also working only a small section at a time. If you don't have a "big board", the wide end of an ironing board works, too.  Net step: with the backing face down, and flat, slowly unroll a strip of the Steam a Steam across the backing, patting it down as you go. Leave the paper backing on it until you have all your rows completed.
Quilt backing, face down, with strips adhered
Next, pull the backing paper off, patting the fusible all down again as you go. Then place the batting on top of this, patting it all smooth from the top moving down. (I rolled mine up, and only worked a section at a time, moving from top to bottom.) When the batting is all smoothed on, press with steam. You can either lay the batting down first, the put the backing on, or place the backing down and then the batting, and press the batting. Either way works. Then take it off the work surface, and set it aside. Do the same thing with the quit top, working on the back side of it adding rows of the fusible.
(I have a ton of seams on my quilt top, and my fabric has not been washed, so the strips didn't want to stick easily. But I MADE them behave! )

When it is all smoothed out, press and steam that sucker it well Then CAREFULLY, turn the quilt top over on top on the exposed batting surface that has your backing adhered on the other side. Now, smooth the quilt top out CAREFULLY. All your fusible strips will probably will stay in place while you are working. 
NOTE: My friend just used small pieces of the fusible, but I found it too fussy quicker to use the strips. Whatever floats your boat works. I also used wool batting because it presses well without melting. Cotton batting works too without melting. Remember, polyester melts! I put the strips horizontally on the first piece; on the second piece, I placed them horizontally. That way, when I press all the pieces together, I will have a grid work of fusible holding them all together.
Steam a Seam !! on the back side of the quilt top, paper on.

I won't show you the picture of it stuck together, but believe me it is STUCK! Now, I am ready to quilt. Try it! You might like it and be able to lose the safety pins. BTW, you can sure quilt a lot faster without having to remove those safety pins as you go, too.

When I went to the Des Moines, IA quilt show last fall, I was a sucker I bought this fabulous iron for mega bucks. Well, mega bucks for just an iron, anyway. I hadn't had time to really give it a whirl until the last few months, and let me tell you I LOVE IT!!!! It is a EuroSteam, 1000 watt iron. Heats nicely, but you press a button and get steady steam if you want it. Because it is lower wattage than most irons, you don't blow fuses either. Oh yes, if you ever need to steam drapes or clothes (Who does that?) it works vertically and goes through 6 layers easily. No affiliation, I just love this iron.
No affiliation with the new love of my stewdio
Ok, enough of this babble.  You've seen my new iron, my new basting technique (and my new clock).  GO SEW!
It's time to stitch, folks!

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