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Quilting: What is Fusing and How to Do It

Updated on May 3, 2016

Make a Beautiful Fused Art Quilt

If you don't have the patience to applique with one thousands and one tiny stitches, fusing is the solution! Fusing makes your work go faster, so you can enjoy fun part, which is always creating.

In fact, you don't have to have any sewing experience to create a fused masterpiece. When you fuse, you use your iron instead of your sewing machine, so creating is faster and more fun.

Many artists use improvisational techniques, including free-hand cutting and placing to create works of art on the fly. However, i prefer using a simple pattern that I draw myself. The possibilities are endless.

Fusing: Tools and Materials

To make an awesome fused art quilt, you will need some pretty fabric, maybe batiks or hand-dyed fabrics that have great marbled patterns and are dyed all the way through. You'll also need some basic sewing supplies, including:

  • Scissors
  • A rotary cutter. I like Olfa products and use their 45mm cutter for large cuts and the 18mm blade for fine work
  • A cutting mat, again Olfa is my favorite brand.
  • Fusible interfacing (Pellon Wonder Under is my favorite see my recommendations below)
  • A hot iron
  • Ironing board
  • Marking tools, such as self-fading ink, graphite pencils and tailors chalk.

These other options accessories can make your fused projects easier.

  • A special mini iron with a long handle is great for fusing tiny pieces
  • A Teflon pressing mat. Bo-Nash makes a semi-transparent fiberglass mat with a non-stick coating that is perfect for fusing

You can find all of these tools and supplies through Amazon.com. If you need to purchase a rotary cutter and a cutting mat, these are available together in a nice package for a nice price.

Pellon Wonder Under is really a superb product. It has some many great features.

Materials for Fusing

Here are a few of the so-called fusibles that make fusing what it is! These materials are made from synthetic web and resins that melt and bond under heat. Try it! You'll like it!

fused-art-quilt-aceo
fused-art-quilt-aceo

What is Fusible Interfacing?

Similar to stabilizer, fusible interfacing is a sheer material that adds extra body to fabric. In sewing, fusible interfacing is used to create collars and cuffs with stability and a slight stiffness. In quilting, it's a fast way to connect two or more pieces of fabric without glue to stitches.

Fusible interfacing is made from long nylon fibers (polyamide) that is woven into a think mesh that looks similar to dryer sheets. Once heated with an iron, these nylon fibers melt slightly and provide a solid bond between multiple pieces of fabric.

In addition to bonding fabric, fusible interfacing can be painted and attached to the surface of an ethereal effect like the ACEO pictured.

Fusing 1-2-3

Fusing is a simple three-step process.

★ First, place you interfacing on the back of your fabric. The rough side should be in contact with the fabric and the paper should be facing out.

★ With your iron on medium or the wool setting, gently glide across the paper making sure the interfacing attaches without bubbles.

★ Carefully, pull back a corner of the release paper to ensure the interfacing is adhered.

★ Cut out the desired shape and press onto your background.

★ Use a damp pressing cloth over your pieces to ensure the final fusing is complete.

Tips and Tricks:

Solid color fabric and hand dyed fabric works best because color goes all the way through the fiber. Printed fabrics and printed batiks are only printed on on side, which can make uncolored fabric fray and stick out of the edges.

I like to cut my pieces with the paper backing still on. However, many people like to pull it off first. Experiment to see what works for you.

My Fused Creations

My Fusible Art Quilt Patterns

Here is a collage of my fused creations from approximately 2009-2010. Creating your own designs like I did is such a fun way to get creative and make personalized gifts for someone special.

If you like these designs, you can find several of these fusible art quilt patterns for sale in my Craftsy pattern store.

* Please note, I am a Craftsy affiliate. I may receive compensation if you create an account or make purchase. You will not pay extra for making a purchase through my links. I promote this site because I believe in their products and services.

Learn Fusing From the Best

Laura Wasilowski is one of my favorite quilt artists. She has a very unique, whimsical style and a perfect teaching personality. Fortunately, we can learn from the best while staying right at home. Laura now has a hand-stitched collage quilt class on Craftsy! Check it out here. Plus, you can find patterns for her unique art quilts there too.

Learn fusing tips from the best. Laura Wasilowski is the queen of fused art quilts. She's a great person to learn from and has a wonderfully funny personality.

My Fused Art Quilts - Click to View Full-size Pop Out

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sleepy Hollow TreeDesert DazeHay is For HorsesFarmscape close-uoCinque Terre and the Italian RivieraTour Eiffel inspired by DeLaunayFab Pink GuitarGuitara RojoPurple Iris Garden
Sleepy Hollow Tree
Sleepy Hollow Tree
Desert Daze
Desert Daze
Hay is For Horses
Hay is For Horses
Farmscape close-uo
Farmscape close-uo
Cinque Terre and the Italian Riviera
Cinque Terre and the Italian Riviera
Tour Eiffel inspired by DeLaunay
Tour Eiffel inspired by DeLaunay
Fab Pink Guitar
Fab Pink Guitar
Guitara Rojo
Guitara Rojo
Purple Iris Garden
Purple Iris Garden

Great Books About Fusing From Amazon

Fusing Fun! Fast Fearless Art Quilts
Fusing Fun! Fast Fearless Art Quilts

Laura's book "Fusing Fun! Fast Fearless Art Quilts" covers all the techniques you need to make awesome art quilts! This is just one of her many great books on the subject. You might also like to check out titles by Frieda Anderson, Karen Eckmeier and Rose Hughes.

 

How About You!

Have You Fused?

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© 2011 QuiltFinger

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    • QuiltFinger profile image
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      QuiltFinger 3 years ago from Tennessee

      @marsha32: That's a good question. It would definitely prevent the edges from fraying, but I don't know if the fusible would peel up after washing. I typically use the raw-edge technique for items that aren't meant to be washed. It would be worth testing out to see what results to expect and if one fusible works better than another.

    • profile image

      marsha32 3 years ago

      I love the heat n bond lite.

      I've never used it without also stitching around the edges.....will it stay on through washings?

    • Charmcrazey profile image

      Wanda Fitzgerald 6 years ago from Central Florida

      Great detailed instructions on fusing. Your fused creations are inspiring. Added to the quiltiing neighborhood squidoo angel lens.