Tips for using Fusible Batting?

meldy_nvaFebruary 6, 2013

I finished GS's queen-size quilt last fall, after a 25-year hiatus from quilting. Among the things I (re)learned is that if you can't bend your knee enough to get down and move around on the floor (and don't have any other space large enough), trying to baste a queen-size is both difficult and frustrating. DD wants a new bedspread-size quilt for her California-king so soon I will be looking at an even larger area that will need to be basted...

Which has brought my attention to this new-fangled [grin] fusible batting. It comes in cotton-poly blends which all seem to note 5% or more shrinkage (huh?) or all-poly which doesn't note shrinkage; I'll go with the all-poly stuff but there doesn't seem to be much info on it. While I will order a small piece to practice on before doing the king-size, I'm hoping y'all can give me some hints and tips to make using it easier.

-remember- no floor-crawling!


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Never tried the batting, but am finishing a quilt with spray baste. This one is no larger than 80 inches even with the unfinished edge. I had to do it on multiple tables pushed together on the garage floor since it needs to be done with lots of air circulation. I also didn't want it on the dirty garage floor.

Spray baste is very forgiving once you've started. I had a few wrinkles due to the table situation, but you can still move the fabric to repair any problems before stitching. I really love the outcome. No trouble with it gumming up my machine and no pins to remove as I free motion quilted, which really did make it "free" motion. When I got to the edge where I had pinned as they suggested, I remembered just how annoying pins are! Next time I'll try what they said and machine baste the edge.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 2:04PM
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I took a quilting class a few years ago and to make it easier for beginners, we used the Hobbs cotton fusible batting. One of the other ladies said she had used a different brand and didn't like the results. She really liked the Hobbs. We were only making a crib size qult. When I made my own quilt...a queensized, I used the Hobbs again and it was more tricky to iron the larger sized fabric, but it quilted up really nice. The batting is thin though, so I did use flannel for the backing so it would be warmer. Was easy to reposition and also re-iron. I guess my only real tip is to lay out the batting on a bed or across a sofa a few days before you are going to use it so it has time to "relax" and has less kinks and crinkles and take your don't have to iron it all at the same time if you want to take breaks.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 6:25PM
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Yes,I've used it and appreciate some of its qualities and don't like others. It works well enough on small areas, like a crib quilt. The bonding doesn't hold up well to handling and looses its fusing ability. Not a big issue, because pressing it again with a hot iron will renew it. I was using it on a45X60 crib quilt I did not have on a frame, but a hoop. That necessitated moving the material around in the hoop and the taughtness of the material relaxing as I hand stitched. All of which caused the bonding to fail and I'd have to re-press it. If you don't pick up on this, and the sandwich shifts, you could end up with puckers. The other thing I didn't like is the fusing sometimes 'melts' into globs.......hard lumps in the batting. It washes out, but it can interfere with the needle. That little quilt turned out quite well regardless and even though sometimes sections of bonding let loose, it held the entire pattern well enough, the backing nor the batting re-oriented itself so it had to be pinned or basted.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 6:32PM
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I have only used it for a lap size quilt and it was okay, but still had to spread it out to sandwich well. I think it would work better for small projects.


    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 12:54AM
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Thanks for your comments.

A spray-baste is what I used on GS's quilt, it held fine during the actual quilting; but phew! it smelled awful during the spraying process even though I did it outdoors (had the cleanest driveway in the neighborhood while DH helped spread the layers). DH got a bad headache even though he stayed upwind -there wasn't enough breeze to move the overspray away from the area. I've used other fusible products without any problem, so I'm hoping the fusible batting is also comparatively scent-free.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 1:28PM
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I've read all thru these tips in Handling fusable batting ,BUT no one states, how to iron it for a bond of any stregth to take place.I'm using it on a crib size quilt.Doesn' t the iron melt it???Please help me!!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 8:49AM
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You'd want to read the manufacturer's instructions to see what's best. Maybe a search on the manufacturer's website can help with that. Fusible batting works differently than basting spray.

I personally don't trust either one of them. I have used them in small projects and still don't feel that they remain secure enough for the man-handling of quilting. I always pin in addition...which defeats the purpose to begin with.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 9:01AM
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My only experience with a fusible batting makes me laugh every time I think of it. I had a large batt which I bought who knows why. I was planning to sandwich a quilt but didn't want to use the fusible, so I decided to put it in the washer for a "soak" and I would be there to rescue it before the spin cycle. Wouldn't you know that that was the exact time, my son dropped in for a visit.
When I realized that I had better get to the machine, too late! A mass of bits and pieces and lumps and clumps!!!
Never bought fusible again.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 11:56AM
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My experience with spray basting was terrible. And I am not eager to try the fusible stuff. I would probably use either of those on a small quilt, like a wall hanging, but am simply too afraid of bunching to do it on a larger quilt. It's worth it to me to find a place (church, library, fabric store, etc) where they would let me use a big table to pin my quilt sandwich.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 1:19PM
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I like fusible batting for small quilts and place mats. But you do have to follow the instructions and have a nice big area to spread out on. There's one out called fusiboo (bamboo). It's nice for wallhangings but it's a low loft--too low for quilts.
Like Linda, I'm a fan of spray basting especially for bigger quilts. Not a fan of pins--I've never had any luck with them.
Fusible or spray--it seems that my quilting bottleneck begins with making the quilt sandwich.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 9:31PM
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