Applique with Fusible Thread

The idea of using fusible thread for appliqué has intrigued me for quite some time. I had purchased a spool of Charlotte’s Fusible Web thread (cute name, huh?) from Superior Threads and watched the video on how to use it. So, when Lesson 104 from Superior University arrived featuring this same fusible thread, I knew it was time to give it a try.

Lesson 104 included an appliqué pattern to use, but I wanted to work with one of my own designs. Using the motif that appears on the horizontal borders of my quilt Flourish on the Vine, I thought four motifs together might make a nice wall quilt.

Horizontal Border Motif

The first step for this technique is to wind a bobbin with fusible thread. Charlotte’s Fusible Web thread looks like really thick dental floss but you can see at the ends that it is actually comprised of many finer strands. The instructions suggested using Superior’s MonoPoly monofilament thread in the needle, but I just couldn’t get this to work. Regardless of the tension setting, the thread would snag and tangle. I had much better results when I switched to cotton thread in the needle.

Mark the design on the right side of the appliqué fabric.

Stitch just inside the marked line on the single layer of fabric. This step is also somewhat problematic, as stitching on a single layer of fabric tends to pull and pucker. I tried to hold the fabric as taut as possible but a hoop might have helped. The cotton thread is on top and the fusible thread is on the back. I left a short tail of cotton thread on top.

Cut out the motif on the marked line.

Position the motif on the background fabric and fuse in place. As the fusible thread “melts”, the top thread will be released. Gently pull on the thread tail to remove the top thread. (Sorry the photo is blurry.)

The appliqué is held firmly in place by the fusible thread. The raw edges can be finished with a satin stitch, blanket stitch, or other decorative stitch.

While I still think this technique has potential, it was not ideal with the motif I had chosen. Stitching on the single layer of appliqué fabric distorted the motifs such that they didn’t properly align and overlap as they should have.

To make this wall quilt “Four Hearts A-Flourish”, cut a 16-1/2″ square of background fabric. I pieced my background from four triangles to take advantage of the ombre effect in the batik fabric. Using the Horizontal Motif template patterns on pattern pullout page P8 of the Flourish on the Vine Pattern Pack, trace patches H.1 to H.9 four times according to your desired appliqué method. Position the motifs so that they are centered along each side and meet at the tips of patch H.6.

To order the Flourish on the Vine Pattern Pack, please visit my web store or C&T Publishing. The pattern is $17.95 and will be available 12/10/12.

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