Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tool Time with Marlene on her topic of It's A Sticky Situation!

Hi y'all...I'm Marlene from Stitchinbythelake and I'm here to tell you about my favorite tool in the sewing room.  I had a hard time deciding between two favorites but finally landed on this:  glue/adhesive!  It's about the handiest thing since sliced bread.  I love all kinds...in fact I love it so much I have a basket full of several different kinds with the bigger ones spilling out onto the shelf beside the basket.

I don’t have a favorite favorite….I just use it all and use different glues/adhesives for different things.  One of my current favorites is this one:

They didn’t pay me to say that.  But they can if they want to.  

I use this one for “pinning” my binding before I do the machine stitching.  Here’s how that works.
First I put dots of adhesive along the outside edge of the quilt.  So that you could see it I put way more glue on this than I normally would.

The pink is my ironing board cover - I make my own so I figure why have white or gray when you can have pink...right?  I put dots of glue on the quilt top, lay the binding on it and press long enough to let the heat dry the glue.  I glue one side, take it to the sewing machine and stitch it down, then go back to the ironing board to glue the next side.  And when I'm sewing it looks like this:

Look Ma…no pins!  Glue the next side and go again.
Once all the stitching is done I press the binding to the other side and glue it down so that I don’t have to have clips or pins in my way when I do the hand stitching.  It’s very important that you just dot the glue along the top to hold it in place.  If you get too much glue close to where you’re stitching it’s very hard to stitch through.  I’ve put extra glue here so you can see it.

Don’t put that much – but if you accidentally do, just wet a washcloth and wipe it away.  You can stitch it while it’s damp.  And please remember this method is only for those pieces that you plan to launder right after finishing.  Bugs like glue too so you don’t want to use this on something that you’re not going to wash.  Sharon Schamber has an excellent video demonstrating this on YouTube and I recommend watching it here.  It's a great tutorial.  She only uses Elmer’s School Glue on her binding – I’ve used it and it’s wonderful.  With this method the binding ends up laying smooth and even so you can just stitch away.  This binding is all glued and ready for my needle.

Here’s another great use for glue.  Because I have arthritis in my hands, when I sandwich quilts I need to use a method that minimizes using them, which lets out hand basting.  So I either use fusible batting or spray adhesive.  Sometimes fusible batting doesn’t hold well at the corners so I get out my trusty glue, put a few dots there and press it to dry.  You can use the kind in the picture above, Elmer's or even a glue stick.

My second favorite use for glue is really spray adhesive used to baste a quilt.  I learned this technique from a video by Patsy Thompson on YouTube.  If you haven't explored YouTube for help on any and every quilting technique you're missing a great resource!  Her video about spray basting is here.  Patsy covers her design wall with newspaper….I use a sheet instead.  I first pin the backing fabric, right side down, to the design wall.  Then I spray it with this wonderful stuff:
They don’t pay me either.  Darn! 

Now I'm apologizing before you even see this picture because I'm a terrible photographer...just ask Madame Samm.  But my sheet was white and the back of my quilt backing was a very pale blue and it hardly shows at all.  :(  I pinned my quilt backing onto the design wall on top of the sheet, then sprayed it with the adhesive above.  Starting at the top just smooth your batting on the backing.  Gravity helps pull the wrinkles out as you smooth.  

Then spray the batting and smooth on your quilt top.
Mine ended up like this:

When I take it down I trim it a bit and let it sit for a while until I’m sure the adhesive is dry before I quilt it.  It can stay like that for a really long time without getting unsticky.  A really long time.  I know that because sometimes you get sidetracked and don’t get back to that particular quilt for a while…or maybe that’s just me.  Again you only need to do this with quilts you’ll be washing.  (I do know this is sideways but that’s the way I basted it because it fit best like that)

If you don't have glue in your sewing room you're missing out on a great tool....try it, you'll like it!

Oh, for those of you who are wondering about the tool that lost out being chosen as my very favorite....

I love these pin cushion/thread catchers!  I have three of them and wish I had a fourth.  One is on my sewing machine, not for catching threads, but for holding my leaders/enders.  I have a trash can right underneath for the threads.  One is on my ironing table, not for catching threads but for holding my scissors, small ruler, and seam ripper, and one is on my chair in the sunroom where I do my hand stitching.  
It's not for catching threads either...it's for holding chocolate.  :)  Now you know why I need a fourth one - I need one to catch my threads!


  1. I love having some glue handy in the sewing room as well and I am a spray baster for sure! Great tips!

  2. Super fun post! I have a few glues - and spray baste. But I have to really applaud the thread catcher use - candy!

  3. Thanks so much Marlene...I currently use Roxanne but I am always looking for something a little easier or that works just as well....Have a good day.

  4. I use glue for just about everything!

  5. Great ideas, haven't used glue for anything in years. Need to give it another try.

    Using the thread catcher for leaders/enders is a super concept mine get pushed out of my way and I forget to use them. This would keeps them really handy.

  6. I love all the info on glues for quilting. Since I'm new at this I really appreciate all the helpful tips.

    Love the thread catcher....is there a tut on making one?

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Hi Marlene! Great tutorial! Never thought of spraying a "vertical" quilt sandwich! I usually do in laying on my BIG table! I like your idea a lot better! Thanks for sharing!

  8. LOL Completely understand the need for the fourth thread catcher! Wonderful post, Marlene...I have only one question - on the spray basting, does your needle need cleaning? Does it get kind of gummy? That is why I've been scared to try it! Thanks again for a super post!

  9. Thanks for some great ideas for using glue and the thread catcher/cushion - I only used mine for threads until today! - Jeanne

  10. Good Morning Marlene...what a sticky topic lol And glue did you know you can add color to it and make it to match your fabric...oh yes...and thread catchers...I have to admit I have more than 1 too...less than 3...
    love your ideas

  11. Love your post, Marlene! I will have to give the glue a try for my binding. I've always used pins and I end up getting stabbed to death! Why is it the simplest ideas are the best ideas? I have looked at the glue product you used and wondered if it was worth my money. I do Love the spray basting but had not thought to use my design wall??!! Great idea! I use the back of a vinyl tablecloth which makes most every kind of fabric adhere quite well without pinning unless it's a heavy fabric or large quilt top.
    Now, about that thread catcher. I have wanted one and have seen tutorials so I need to get busy and make one. I may buy one just to make sure I have a good one as well as a pattern to look at.

  12. I haven't seen that glue before but I have used that same technique.
    I have also put my small quilts on the wall to use the basting spray. Works great.

  13. Glad to see someone has used the basting spray.I was wondering how it would work.

  14. After taking a class at a local quilt store where they pooh paad the idea of spray basting-finally-I can spray guilt free! No more guilty little secret! Love the thread catchers! Now to go shopping-more basting spray, glue for binding, chocolate-

  15. Thank you for the great post. I also use light hairspray in place of basting spray for larger jobs!
    Now, to run out and find some of this awesomeness!

  16. I love the spray basting for my runners and wall quilts ... that is if I do FMQ myself, which I tend to avoid at all costs. I had not tried it on the design wall, so definitely on my list. Thanks, Marlene for a wonderful posting. Judy C

  17. Wonderful post, Marlene! Thank you!
    I use the Elmers School Glue too! Love it for a quick 'no-pin' baste... but I'm tempted to try the Tombo Aqua - two tips! yes!

    I only have two of those pin/thread catchers - I need TWO more!!! I use one to hold crochet hooks in my 'yarn chair' and the one on my sewing table catches entire SPOOLS of thread...
    ...and I love that 505 spray, too - I use it in lots of smaller projects, esp. great for holding practice pieces together!

  18. Neat trick! I've been using 1/4" steam-a-seam to date, thinking I'm the bomb. Your method is even quicker so I'll give it a whirl!

  19. Thanks for the ideas for adhesive/glues. I still use pin basting but maybe I will try some adhesives.

  20. Great tips! I love that glue too! Good stuff. Never thought of using the thread catcher for chocolate. Smart.

  21. I love the spray adhesive.
    I wanted to ask if you were one who sent the patriotic pillowcases to the lady in Georgia. My club wants to do it again and I don't have my information from last year.
    Mama Bear

  22. Thanks for the informative post - think I need to try some glue!

  23. Glue. Hmmmm....now that's interesting. I just might have to try that the next time I put on binding! Thanks!

  24. Thanks for sharing all your uses for glue. Great ideas. I've used glue on applique before and now I'll have to try it out on my binding. Thanks for the ideas on where and how to use the thread catchers. I have a pattern to make one so now I know I'll need at least two. hehe.

  25. Thanks for the informative post - think I need to try some glue!

  26. I use the spray baste and love it. I havent used it on anything larger than 60 x80. I use Elmers School Glue to glue applique pieces together. I found some bottles to put the glue in at Michaels with small tips that give me a lot of control. Sharon Schamber uses it on bindings and applique.

  27. What a great idea to use the design wall for spry basting. Can't wait to try thAt one. thanks for sharing.

  28. All the while i was reading this and marveling over the revelations, I could hear my pins shouting."Stop, stop! don't read any more!" Well, they are safe because my washing machine is too small to hold a quilt.

  29. I'm going to try the binding trick with Ellie's quilt!! GREAT share -- thank you!! :)

  30. Gluing, fusing...love it all! Great post girlfriend!


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