Saturday, May 9, 2009

Fusing Rickrack Tutorial

Hi Everyone!

As most of you know, I put rickrack on almost EVERYTHING and really needed a faster and more accurate way to do it. Here's what I came up with and I want to share with you a tutorial on my technique of fusing it..

First of all, let's talk about fusible web. I have found that the best fusible web for any project is Vilene, now known as Soft Fuse. It's a Japanese product and not easy to find. I am planning to carry it in my web store soon. It is so light weight that you cannot even tell it's there.

You really need to use a teflon applique sheet for this. I cut my fusible in 1/4" pieces by the length I need. If I need a long piece of rickrack, as in a border, I still cut the fusible pieces fairly short (10"-12") and place them next to each other. It's much easier to handle and won't matter if you leave a little gap. Then I press the fusible web strip to the rickrack as shown in the picture below.
Then I peel off the paper strip and place the rickrack on my block where needed. This is where you really need the Soft Fuse. You'll notice in the picture above that you can see the fusible in the dips on the rickrack. When you iron on the rickrack with Soft Fuse, it simply melts into the fabric and disappears. I have tried it with Heat n Bond light and other brands and you can actually see the fusible sitting on top of the fabric. This is so much nicer!
Here's a picture of longer pieces for a border. One thing I really like to do is change colors under a flower!

I have to stress that fusing is simply a basting technique for me. It allows me to be more accurate than I can be with pins and is less of a hassle. It is not permanent and the rickrack still needs to be sewn down. I have 2 techniques that I especially like for doing this. I NEVER sew down the middle of the rickrack. That just leaves the edges to curl. Yuk! My most preferred method is to tack the rickrack at the inner and outer points by hand with a matching thread. I'm not talking fine hand applique here! I'm talking tacking! It really makes the rickrack smooth and has a fine finished look. I tend to use this method when I am hand finishing my applique pieces. This is how it looks:

The other technique I like is to sew it by machine following the curves of the rickrack. This elimates the curling that you get by sewing it down the middle. I tend to use this method when I'm finishing my applique by machine. I should tell you that this is particularly why I bought my new Pfaff! It has a way of automatically lifting the presser foot when you stop sewing so I can have both hands free to turn the fabric. If you had to do it by hand or knee lift, you'd be goofy by the time you're done on a long piece!! It's kind of hard to see here,but I think you get the idea.
So that's it for fusing rickrack! If you have any questions, just put them in the comment section or email me. Let me know how it works for you!
Have a great weekend! Blessings~


Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

Thanks Glenna, I do it the same way and Steam-a-Seam 2 comes in 1/4inch roll and then I stitch it down. BTW the Rick Rack arrived, LOVE IT Thank you!

Red Geranium Cottage said...

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY Glenna. I love rick rack!!!!

Elaine said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I had never given "hand tacking" a thought! Might be a challenge on the super-narrow rick rack! lol

Elaine/Muddling Through said...

Thanks for the info on rick rack. I need to start using it again. Your info will make it a little easier, for sure!

Nanette Merrill said...

Nice job. I did see how to do this in your book. I have been using an applique glue in dots and basing mine then hand stitching. Yours looks easier. thanks glenna, hope all is well at your house and with your mom.

Elaine said...

Hi Glenna!
I'm taking two workshops this week - with Kaye England. I'm using your Sugar and Spice Fabrics! I used the same fabric at a workshop by Sally Schneider a couple of years ago - and everyone went NUTS for the fabric! I'll send them your way! BTW - I love the rick rack - can't wait to use it! Piece!

Barbara Sindlinger said...

I would have never thought of fusing rick rack. Thanks for the tutorial.
Found you thru

Anonymous said...
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connieJ said...

I love your new Ric Rac Quilt. Will there a be a pattern?


Mamen said...

Thanks for sharing your techniques.
Happy Valentine's Day
Stop by my blog and leave a comment
Kisses from Spain. Mamen