Thursday, March 10, 2011

Down the home stretch

Two months ago I began this painting for a quilt, unfortunately it got put on hold because several writing projects came up. I have been very quiet the last two weeks because I had to get back to work on it full time to make the deadline for it this week.

When I prepare a whole cloth painting for quilting my secret weapon is Mistyfuse. I am not fond of basting and when I discovered Mistyfuse could replace hours of tedious basting with fantastic results, I never looked back. I love this product and never make a quilt without it anymore.

I place my painted fabric face down on a surface I can iron on. For that I have a large plywood board wrapped with batting and muslin that I put on top of my work table. Then I cover the back of the fabric with a layer of Mistyfuse.

That roll is a bolt of mistyfuse.

Mistyfuse is as light as a spider web with delicate little strands of fusible adhesive, which will not change the hand of the fabric at all.

I lay a large silicon pressing sheet or parchment paper over the top and iron at the hottest setting.

After the whole back is covered with Mistyfuse, I put a bed sheet on the floor and spread the wool batting out on top. Next, I put the quilt top on with the Mistyfuse side down on the batting. Starting in the center of the fabric and working my way concentrically outward, I iron it on the hottest setting, fusing the top to the batting.

Then I turn the whole thing over, with the painted fabric face down on the sheet. I cut one to two inch squares of Mistyfuse and place them in a loose grid approximately 6 to 8 inches apart across the batting. I carefully lay the backing fabric over the top and iron the surface, which effectively spot fuses the back fabric to the batting.

And then I begin quilting.

When the quilting is finished, I block the quilt by pinning it to the carpet and steaming it. This smooths it out, puffs up the batting and makes the quilt lay flat.

Next it's important to make sure the quilt is square by using large straight edges and triangles to check all the corners.

I use a Bohin chalk pencil to mark the finished size of the quilt for cutting.

Then I trim the excess quilted fabric away leaving an extra 1/4 inch seam allowance all the way around to sew the binding to.

I prefer a faced binding which is not visible from the front the quilt, giving it a nice clean finished edge.
Black and Bloom All Over

Finished size 36" x 48".  Lastly I have to stitch the binding down in back, then sew on a sleeve and label, but that can wait while I get back to other tasks, like cutting fabric for my classes next week. 


  1. oh's gorgeous, judy!

  2. This is beautiful.

  3. wow, this is really very beautiful.
    gr. Marjolijn

  4.! I am speechless. Judy, this is the most beautiful piece of art. I thought your Moon Garden was my favorite, but it just got moved down the list. Thank you so much for sharing your process and your beautiful quilt. Wow!

  5. It is lovely - a great quilt with lovely colours :-)
    Do you use mistyfuse instead of adhesive or safety pin? It seams like an good idè.
    Have a great week end

  6. AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. What a lovely piece...and thank you for sharing the no-basting process...I'm picking up some misty fuse today!

  8. Take what Jeannie said and post it here! So gorgeous and I love that you showed the process. I'm so envious of your talent!

  9. Your quilting is FABULOUS!

  10. Your work is absolutely marvelous! Thanks for sharing your techniques!

  11. Thanks so much!

    @2ne I use the mistyfuse as my way of basting a quilt, no more pins or stitched basting! It holds beautifully through all the manipulation while free motion machine quilting.

  12. one word......SPECTACULAR!!!!

  13. Beyond beautiful!!!

  14. gorgeous. simply beautiful. and I stand in awe of your meticulous workmanship. (oh yea, and talent). wow.

  15. Beautiful! I love seeing how different people baste their quilts. I can see why the mistyfuse way would be especially good with a painted whole quilt - no pin marks in your paint! Great idea!

  16. incredible as usual, can we see the back...i like the mistyfuse idea. i must try this. i am having a hard time trying to decide who to quilt my wheels of mystry (wheels of wonder). need to get on one of them at least.
    again, superb work!

  17. thanks Susan, I'll try to upload a photo of the back in the next day or two.

  18. absolutely gorgeous...your colors, shapes and quilting are all splendid. I will have to try Mistyfuse too. Great step by step.

  19. Beautiful colors, gorgeous quilt. Thanks for sharing your finishing technique. I really like hearing the different techniques that people use.

  20. So very,very lovely. Thanks for sharing. As to the "mistyfuse" technique, will it work for cotton batting as well? Am thinking just 100% cotton - not 80/20 due to heat needed for fusing. Sounds wonderful. Basting the sandwich is just not fun.

  21. Mistyfuse will work for cotton batting but you will need to figure out which side of the cotton batting has the scrim on it and make sure to put the mistyfuse on the opposite side. Fusible web fused to the scrim side of the batting can cause rippling.

  22. Red Horse9:15 PM

    You mentioned 'steaming' your quilt - how do you do that?

    And facing binding? Does that mean the binding is actually made from the edges of quilt the top?

    I figure if I keep asking questions one day I might be able to make a quilt even half as beautiful as yours. Thank you so much for sharing it with us all.

  23. Hi Red Horse,

    As we stumble upon new things that work and share those tips, it does improve the quality of all future quilts :-)

    We happen to have a garment steamer that I use, like this one
    but you could also just pin out your quilt face down and spritz it with water and let it dry.

    A faced binding is where a 2" wide binding is stitched onto the front of the quilt with a 1/4" seam allowance, then folded and pressed to the back and stitched down, so there is no visible binding.

  24. As always, you are such an inspiration. I love following your work. May I make a small suggestion on the blog? I have trouble seeing the type since it is so light against the white background. How about a darker or bold text so us "squinty eyes" can read you better? Just a thought...

    1. Thanks Liz. About the type its possible to adjust that on your browser. Here's a link to a post about how to do it in a variety of browsers


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