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Quilting: What Is Fusing and How to Do It

QuiltFinger creates her own patterns to make beautiful fused creations.

My fused creations.

My fused creations.

Make a Beautiful Fused Art Quilt

If you don't have the patience to applique with a thousand 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.

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

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 tailor's 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.

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!

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 are woven into a thick 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 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.

Resources and Notable Art Quilters Who Fuse

Great Books About Fusing From Amazon

How About You?

© 2011 QuiltFinger

Have You Fused Anything Lately?

nanashouse 202 on December 23, 2019:

i was wondering about the fraying in the washer too. does anyone answer this?

QuiltFinger (author) from Tennessee on May 27, 2014:

@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.

marsha32 on April 10, 2014:

I love the heat n bond lite.

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

Wanda Fitzgerald from Central Florida on May 21, 2011:

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