Some excellent suggestions and why they haven’t worked for me

I mentioned yesterday that I was trying out a felt glue. As it turns out, I probably won’t need it.

Shirley commented that I could try heavy gel medium or a heat activated adhesive. I have tried a few fusibles, and they just don’t work for me. They create  a layer of plastic between the paper and the felt. Some of these layers are thicker than others: MistyFuse is very thin and probably my favorite of those I’ve tried.  However, I like the fact that there is only paper and felt on the top layer (sometimes a thin fabric layer, as well) of my pieces, and that the many holes that my machine needle makes become conduits for the paint, gesso and liquid medium that I apply on top. They seep in and bond with the felt.

When there is a layer of gel medium or fusible glue under the paper and on top of the felt, it is basically the paper that is absorbing  most of the paint and medium. I apply a LOT of paint and medium. Nothing significant happens for me until I have a few layers to play with.

I do not want to be closed minded, however. I’d love to see a few samples from Shirley’s work. She is an enthusiastic Cracked Paper Quilt maker, at this point, and I respect what she has learned and experimented with. She has, of course, the prerogative  to use whatever methods work for her.

Luckily for me, I don’t need those products between the paper and the felt. I enjoy the free-motion sewing, and because I do it so closely, it provides a bond that will not let go, even with a lot of wet work, is flexible, and easy to sew through by hand later, if I so choose. It is much harder to add hand work if there is a fusible layer between the paper and the felt.

OK, Shirley ~ there’s my rationale. I’d love to hear how that sits with you. (Or anyone else, for that matter.)

Back of another stitched piece in progress, with a little atmosphere thrown in.


About CarolWiebe

Art entices, inspires, and delights me. Art is a vehicle for laughter, tears, wonder, enlightenment--taking me on a constant path of discovery. You can't say that about housework (except, perhaps, for the crying part).
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4 Responses to Some excellent suggestions and why they haven’t worked for me

  1. Beverley says:

    Re to glue or not to glue…. well my stitching on paper isn’t quite like yours, and doesn’t have paint applied on top – well not yet!
    Lots of projects I simply layer up the sandwich, a heavyweight Lutradur on the bottom, felt, a fine lutradur and then the paper, and I start stitching. I use the fine lutradur on top of the felt because sometimes the felt fibres will transfer through if not, and if not being painted over, this matters. This all makes quite a solid sandwich without any glues.
    But it depends on the paper, if its flimsy, like something from an old book, then I glue onto the fine lutradur, this may be using acrylic matte medium, or 404 Spray whcih is great because its not sticky on the needle. And I use enough to hold in place, not to weld it fast!!
    But I have one technique which is stitch, cut, stitch multiple times, and I do this on the paper and fine lutradur only, until I get to the last assemblage, then I add in the felt layer. Because of the method the cut/stitch I have blocks of small pieces and they are very flexible, even if stitching with felt backing to start with – so I prefer one whole piece of felt to add the last assembled set of pieces, to make it more solid. And because of flexibility, possible movement when stitching, then I will lightly spray 404 to hold.
    As with everything art, there isn’t one answer to fit all work processes.

    • Carol Wiebe says:

      Yes, Beverley, it is crucial to do all that stitching, cutting and re-stitching before adding the felt as a whole piece. I do the same. By using only paper, I can rip away any double layers underneath, which keeps my top “even” in thickness.

      I use 505 spray, and think it is a great product. I’ll have to try the 404, although I haven’t seen it at the stores I frequent here.

      It is a spray, and the can cautions you to use it in a well ventilated area. so I try to do it outside. However, I used a bit of ordinary gluestick the other day because I thought that if I didn’t have to use an aerosol, that was a good thing.

      It would be a lot harder to do that with a bigger piece.

      Thank you for your detailed answer, Beverley! And I agree that there is never one answer. I admit that I was being a bit of a devil’s advocate: because I love discussion of working methods!

  2. Shirley Bartell says:

    Yes, Carol. I’m right here on the same page with you. I hadn’t quite internalized the interaction of the paint with all of the layers, but with your patient explanation, I totally get that now. I only did a couple of layers of paint on my first sample, and was way too timid. I can see from the coloration on the piece displayed above that you do use a lot of paint. Mine didn’t even begin to soak all the way through.

    I also agree that, of the available fusibles, Misty Fuse is my first choice for any project that might receive hand sewing. In looking more closely at the work you’ve posted and the work I have in progress, I can clearly see that most of my pieces appear flatter, have less depth. I’m guessing that’s because the paper couldn’t stretch and travel as freely….next piece I’ll start stitching from the center out and see how that works.

    Gotta go sew………..

  3. Carol Wiebe says:

    Please do, Shirley, because I want to see what you come up with next!

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