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  • Writer's pictureBonnie Langenfeld from Landscapes in Fabric

So, it's three weeks later......

How time flies when you get stuck on a project. I have assembled the hydrangea piece, but it's not finished yet. As explained in the last blog, I was trying to emulate Amanda Richardson by only fusing the flowers, stems and leaves in place. The thing is, I used a light fusible and found out later that she uses a heavy one, WonderUnder. So I've been concerned that the light fusible won't hold up. I tried stitching but didn't like the look of it on the leaves, so I wanted to avoid stitching. I put my picture and the dilemma on Art Quilts, a Facebook group. Many wonderful suggestions emerged including cover it with tulle, frame it under glass, spray it with a light mixture of Elmer's and water, spray with other sealants, stitch it with monofilament thread.

I tried black tulle, as many suggested, but it darkened the piece too much. I rather like the light blue tulle, but I'd still need to stitch it in place somehow. In this picture, you can easily see the black tulle on the left, but the light blue on the right is almost invisible. Upon very close inspection, I do see a light hazy look on the right. It detracts a bit from the details of the image.

On to the next suggestion: stitching the pieces down with monofilament thread. Here are the results: The right side of each shape below was stitched with clear monofilament. The needle holes were big and it looked like black bobbin thread was showing. I changed to a much smaller needle and smokey monofilament thread. Way too visible, still.Those results are on the left.

You can see that where the stitching was close to the edges the fabric split. Didn't like any of these results. (BTW I was not about to change top thread for every color in the picture.)

Next I tested the spray sealer which was the only one I found which was really recommended for fabric. I sprayed the scrap fabrics according to the directions on the can, but was disappointed to find a haze over all of the fabrics. (If you zoom in you can really see it.)

One woman reported that her friend had done a raw edge piece years ago. She sprayed a mixture of Elmer's Glue and water on her piece to protect it. It has a slight sheen but has held up very well. I didn't try that one.

Some people shared that since it will just hang on the wall and won't be washed, the edges will be fine.

I still have the option of framing this piece under glass but I avoid that because it detracts from the texture and look of the fabrics. Someone said never to use non reflective glass but I forgot why!

My niece, Fran Apland, was one of the people who said she had good luck with WonderUnder. I've stayed away from it because I felt it was too stiff. But if Fran and Amanda (Richardson) like it, then I guess I do too. I did a little experiment:

The top fabric was fused with Lite Steam-a-Seam 2 and the bottom was fused with WonderUnder. I tried to use the same amount of scraping with my thumb nail on the edge of both pieces. You can see that the LSAS2 readily came up but the WU didn't budge. I hope whoever gets my finished piece will not be scraping at the fabric edges, because they won't be stitched, or sprayed with sealer, or put under glass.

Since my experimenting is done I need to get this piece done, mounted onto a stretched canvas and framed. Have fun sewing today!

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