Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Fusible Review

A little late, but now that we are back on a straight road, even though we still have some bumps and curves ahead, I did get into the Creative Space to play with a new product.

 I have been playing with a new product. Not just new to me, but really new to the sewing/quilting world. I haven't heard much chatter about it... and thought I would give it a try because sometimes you just need a paper backing!!!! A really lightwieght paperbacked fusible.

New Product Review:  Barely There lightweight fusible from the Swirly Girls
(from the web page)
This new, ultra-sheer, iron-on adhesive comes in pre-cut 8.5" x 11" sheets to print or copy on your inkjet printer. Features quick, easy release paper liner - no more picking at the edges of your applique! Barely There is permanent, machine washable and acid free. Perfect for layered applique!

I use lots and lots of fusible, in the last 10 years or so... some where in the neighborhood of 70 yards. I have used Wonder Under (Pellon), Steam a Seam Lite 2 (Warm Company), Misty Fuse (attached inc), Soft Fuse (Shades Textiles) and many others that didn't make the grade to use again.  I saw this product and while I like Misty Fuse, it can be problematic when you want to make precise pieces or do not want to pre-fuse lots of fabrics for a project. Fusibles can cause some real stitching issues when you start stacking many layers, so I am always on the lookout for a fusible that is lightweight and does not stiffen after fusing leaving the quilt flexible and soft.

Free Spirit project
I have 3 projects currently under way with this product. The first one 'Birdies' are two that were not working for the 'Free Spirit' project was waiting for the right inspiration or idea to finish it off. I'm not sure it is ready for fusing yet.... still seems a bit dull. And I have a block to make for a friend, and thought I would try it for that as well. So the projects.

The Free Spirit project... not much more than the motifs cut from the Barely There fusible and I am not sure if I need to tweak the colors a bit more or not.... Not In Love with it as it is....


Gecko
The Gecko, is a block for a friend. I used the donut method, where you cut the center of  the larger parts of the motif out of the center of the fusible, so I could compare how it felt... in the fused and not fused areas.  I could detect the fusible, but barely. I had a bit of difficulty with the eyes and toes, and resorted to an old standby for fusing those. Not sure if the difficulty was me or not , but I was out of time and needed to get this completed. The block is a little over sized at 11", but I wanted to leave a bit extra for trimming.

The last project is one just for trying out the Barely There fusible. Birdies, or the formal title.... "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" was fun and planned on the go... as in we started with birds and designed on the fly. It will get picture heavy... but I know you want to see. (You can click on any picture to see it bigger!)
The birds fused, the yellow one is stitched.

A detail of the notes, these are about a half inch tall, and you can see how well the fusible keeps the fabric edges sharp.
And finished.

I like Barely There product.... however, I used too hot of an iron on one item and... I learned too much heat will fry the glue. It left the fusible glue (diamonds) pattern visible on the front. So, MEDIUM heat is the setting for fusing!!! Once I reviewed the instructions, iIt worked a charm. I have now fused both plain quilting cottons and Batiks, and none were prewashed and got a good tight fuse in most cases, Gecko eyes and toes the the one issue.

The fusible claims to be lightweight, not as thick or heavy as some of the more well known brands, and I found that to be mostly true after fusing the 2 layers together. Not sure I would say it is lighter than Misty Fuse, but pretty close!


Another Feature and as far as I am concerned the most beneficial was the ability to send it through an INKJET printer, (not advisable for laser printers due to the heat require for lasers to print. I drew up a pattern for the Birdies and sent one sheet through the printer on a copy and print and I also sent a print job from the computer on a mirror to get the reverse... for the birds. All printouts came through perfectly! If what you are making requires you to make many bits, this is the way to go, no wasted time tracing or copying to the paper side the same shapes over and over and over... The folded corner is to show the fusible on the back side of the paper. You can see the little diamonds I referenced above.

So yes it is great fusible for projects and I will be adding to my arsenal of fusibles. I have also added it to store, www.ihaveanotion.com!!!

Do you have a favorite fusible? Tell me what and why in the comments. We all like to learn...

More Later! Beth

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Sometimes... life makes a LEFT turn

I started to write this post on Tuesday morning, but my heart was just too broken. Every line made me want to start crying all over again. So I erased what I had written leaving just the title.

I am back, not to normal quite yet, but there is a little brighter future and more work, but it will be joyful.

The Heartbreak: We had to give Bandit back to the breeder over the weekend. It was a very difficult decision for us. It was a first for me to abandon a pet. But it is what needed to be done. We had been working with the breeder to bring some of his escalating behaviours under control since late summer. While some things were getting better, the one thing that caused us the most difficulty was not. He wanted to be the dominate figure in the house and was starting to use his size (90 pounds at 10 months) and teeth to push back, we had been trying to work through this. The last straw was when he nearly got me in the face, (his teeth grazed the flesh and left welts) and he did get my hand, I have a few healing holes. 

Monday and Tuesday were difficult and after crying and agonizing I sent the breeder a note, asking how Bandit was doing. If he was adjusting (to living outdoors in a kennel after being a house dog and the new rules). We missed his presence (chaos and all) just like a year or so ago when we had to say goodbye to Axel his predecessor. We do have Lini, and she tries, but her temperament is very laid back and pretty easy going, (unless you are a rabbit or a squirrel in the yard). The breeder called last night to reassure me  us, that Bandit is adjusting, although in some cases not willingly, but he will continue to work with him. 
Bandit with Jeff, the breeder, you can see how big Bandit is!

The joyful part? He offered us another puppy. I don't think that would have been the case if we had not worked so hard to try and bring Bandit around. We drove 5-6 hours round trip to spend an hour or two each week with the breeder and we did all the homework and training he suggested and Bandit was happy to comply -but the Dominant Aggression just would not stop. So we go this weekend to view them and make a selection. I don't know if it will be released or if they plan to keep them a little longer, but I am making preparations! I know a new puppy will not be the same, but it will be close and that will have to be good enough. 

There will still be sadness, as we adjust. Bandit did have a sweet side that he showed us most of the time, but the times he wanted to be boss were scarey and becoming more frequent, not less. We knew he needed more that we could physically give him in terms of control and that was the best thing FOR him.

Stay tuned! Lots more later- Beth






Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Tuesday Tool

Before I get into the next tool, I want to say that I am pretty straight forward and of course my opinions are my own. I am not paid or endorsed by any company (and if I was it would start with that information right up front). So, when I share, I am sharing from my perspective... and what I found to be true or not. I also think that you do not need the latest and greatest of everything to be creative or create. We do need to eat, right? But sometimes we need to consider changing our tools especially if it makes creating and playing easier or more comfortable or in some cases, even possible! So with that said, on with the show.

I have recently discovered (for myself) some new scissors!!! I have been a dyed in the wool Ginger and Fiskars user. Why? Well I have several pairs of Ginger scissors in 3 different sizes that I bought way back when, (in the latter half of the 80's) and I rarely every use them. I have a pair of 8 inch dressmaking shears, a pair of 5 inch scissors and a pair of embroidery scissors.  I let a local sharpener sharpen them. Big MISTAKE!!! They are sharp, but the points are now too pointy so they catch on everything. I haven’t really missed any them... except on the 2 or 3 occasions I needed to actually cut out a pattern.

I also have a bevy of Fiskars and Fiskar-like (colored handle) scissors. Many I inherited and several I purchased. I use them about as often as I use the Gingers these days. I have discovered some new ones.

In April while at the Spring Paducah Show I picked up 2 new, to me, scissors.

The first one is for cutting batting. I find them very useful when cutting batting from a roll at the longarm. But don't let that fool you, they are great for cutting batting to size for smaller projects as well as regular fabric cutting scissors. So what is the advantage of these over say a pair of Fiskars (what I was using before). The Batting scissor has a blunted end so it does not grab or catch the batting as you advance you scissors to the next cut. And the blades are much longer so you are not advancing as often and that helps create a much smoother cut.

The other pair I picked up are for hand cutting. I often find myself cutting many motifs and bits from fabric for applique and most times I find the traditional shaped scissors bother my hands when I am making lots of careful repetitious cuts. In many of my older model scissors the small openings for my fingers and/or thumb tend to cause discomfort and depressions in the skin from holding and cutting carefully. I found these large handle scissors that are not particular about which side is fingers or thumb and are very comfortable to use for hours at a time. The serrated blade really helps hold and cut at the fabric at the same time is a great help. I think it is a huge asset to be comfortable while creating!!!

I was talked into one other cutting implement. A scalpel for the longarm. Long thin tool at the top in the next photograph. WOW! It really makes unstitching a breeze. Of course it is very sharp... and could cause some additional problems if you are not paying close attention. The longarm I have allows me to lift the roller the top is attached to, to get under the top above the batting. So I can do what is being called "skin the quilt", by breaking the stitches between the batting and the top. Goes really fast!

At the 'new' Fall Paducah Show in September, I decided to check out one more cutting item. I have seen them used by many Machine Embroiderers and since I do so much thread... stuff I thought they might be handy for me too. And guess what, they are! Prior to these I was using a very sharp pointed pair of small Fiskars, (bottom left in the photograph above) and once or twice cut something unintentionally (not a good thing!). With these very sharp, but curved blades and again no holes to stick my fingers in, snipping my project free of the machine is a quick snip away. I also found them very useful at the longarm, when snipping threads, again the curved blade helps to keep from cutting the fabric, when snipping the threads. In addition they are extremely lightweight.


So WHAT are these great scissors? Famore Brand- said Fa-mor-ray. You can find them at Famore.com. I Have A Notion™ Shop has one or two pair and I hope someday to carry the 4 pieces I have mentioned above, especially if there is interest. But if you think you might prefer ... another brand, say for instance Karen K Buckley... I have a couple of those in the shop too. I haven’t used them myself so I can’t tell you which is better.

I hope you day is full of treats, no tricks...and as always More Later! Beth


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