Saturday, July 9, 2016

Focus on Fusing

Wow! What a response! You make me feel so great. Over 50 of you signed up for this class, so gulp, it's a GO!
There were a lot of questions and I promised to address them here today.
Since this is a free class, with no fees, hotel, meals, or travel expenses, I feel better about insisting that you put your money toward good hand dyed fabrics, and plenty of Wonder-Under, or for you overseas, Bondaweb. Some have asked how much will I need?

Fabric: Variety in color and value. Lights, mediums and darks and some neutrals, white and black. Textured or solid, but at the early stages, nothing fancy like shibori, or tie dye. Minimum of fat quarters of each. This is an investment I know, but now quilting fabric is nearly the same price as hand dyed, and so I don't think this is too much. You will be a committed fuser when you have collected and fused a wide array of color and value.
Why hand dyed? Because it has no commercial finish, like perma-press, which CANNOT be washed out (hence the name perma-press). That commercial finish prevents permanent bonding. You could substitute commercial solids or batiks in the early phases of this class, but you will notice that the weave can more easily fray and the smaller bits we fuse may peel off or just fall off by themselves.

Are you a dyer already? Can you recommend a good source of hand dyed cottons/silks? Let me know in a separate email. I found that my two favorite dyers have ceased production, so I searched for a new source and found two. Hand Dyed Fabric by Lori and Vicki Welsh.

Fusible: Wonder Under PLEASE. And you will need a lot. Bolts. It is currently on sale for $2.09 at Joann's. How convenient. Get as much as you can afford. Buy 805.
Pellon® 805 Wonder-Under® White: Why Wonder-Under? See these reasons.

How long will the class last?
My goal is to have a group of committed fusers who will continue to make art along with me for a long time. Eventually you will all be famous and I will say I knew you when...ha!
This class will attempt to loosen the bonds of the quilt police and help you to see yourselves as fiber artists. At first you may meet with resistance from your quilting friends, but repeat this mantra;
I am an artist and my medium is fabric. I make art for the wall. I will be treating you like artists, not just workshop students, using art terms (explained) and referencing  the work of other fine artists.

Of course you may still make regular quilts, but we will be doing really different things that just cannot be created in any other way. And FASTER too.

What will we make? In the beginning we will not be making finished quilts. We'll be learning techniques and making sample parts. Everything will be used in future work so it is not like other classes. Because we have longer than one day together, the work can grow and mature. And with fusing, even the tiny bits can be used to make decorative surfaces, so you'll want a storage container for these pieces.

Space to work. You will need a workstation which has a cutting area and a pressing area. You will be cutting and pressing continually. If you have an applique sheet or teflon pressing sheet, you will find them to be very helpful. If not, the paper that is removed from the Wonder-Under will also work as a fusing foundation. Either side of that paper works.

Tools: Rotary cutter and mat, sharp scissors, and long nosed tweezers, the kind that come with sergers, or surgical types. For marking, slivers of soap, any kind, or white pencils. 

The Class Website. I have decided to post the classes on a separate site. Focus On Fusing. All the classes will post on Friday, and you can refer back to them (and share them) whenever you like. There will be a link on this blog so you can easily keep me in your feeds and then jump to the class site. On the class site I will take questions in the comment section and answer them there for the sake of everyone participating.
I think that about covers all the questions you asked. I am very excited to be working with you and I hope you will enjoy the experience too.


  1. I was lucky enough to win some of Vicki Welsh's snow dyed fabrics a few years ago. Her fabric is really nice! So I highly recommend Vicki for hand dyed fabric. I have lots of hand dyed fabric that I have dyed and so this is a good time for me to use it. Thanks Melody!

  2. People have trouble with "art quilt". Once someone asked me if one of my small art quilts was washable. I said it was an art quilt. And they said but is it washable? They admitted that they didn't expect to wash their other art.

  3. Woo hoo!! I only have heat 'n bond so girls ( my 2 Bichons) and I are off to JoAnn's!!

  4. Melody, this is incredibly generous of you. For now, I will enjoy following along. Eventually, the fusing bug might bite me :)

  5. 50% coupon at JoAnn's is good until the 11th! I got 20 yd bolt of 805 for price of 10!!!!

  6. 50% coupon at JoAnn's is good until the 11th! I got 20 yd bolt of 805 for price of 10!!!!

  7. This is very generous of you Mel, I think we are going to have some fun and I'm excited to get started.

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  9. lists a 35 yard bolt of Wonder Under 805 at $27.86

    1. Wow . . . great find! I just ordered a bolt -- it's now $28.30 for the 35 yards. Even with the shipping cost, it's much better than JoAnn's price with a coupon!

  10. Melody, thanks for offering this wonderful opportunity. I am anxious to give it a try!

    Melody, I am "anonymous" because I don't know how which tab to select. I tried 2 different ones, and neither one worked. I don't have URL, don't know what Wordpress is, etc. Anyways, if you tell me how to select it, I will know for next time. Donna

  11. Thank you so much for the referral!

  12. Thank you so much for the referral!

  13. Just read the post after sending an email - thanks for the information above.

  14. How I wish I could participate, but I can't, not for a year :( Will we be able to 'follow' and see what you are all doing?

  15. I absolutely love the way you describe this course and the way you intend to present it. I wish I could join in but I already have far too many projects on the go! But I will follow with interest if your 'Focus on Fusing' blog is going to be open to non-students - completely understand if not.

  16. I know I'm late to this as my summers are never my own but come next week, I plan to start working through the class. I just wanted to say thank you for posting this on a website where everyone can have access. Your blog is so inspirational. You get me wanting to make more art AND make more of my own clothing. Thank You!!!