Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Vine

Christine asked how I made the vine on the heart piece. I'm glad she asked! It is cut from black fabric and fused and I figured out a pretty neat way to do it, so I thought I'd show you with another little piece I was working on today

I started out by sketching my vine design on a piece of freezer paper. You know about freezer paper, right? Yes, the stuff you wrap hamburger in to go in the freezer. It has been used by quilters for years now because of its very handy ability to adhere to fabric temporarily. It has a shiny side and a dull side. The shiny side is coated with plastic. When you lay a piece of freezer paper, shiny side down on a piece of fabric and iron with a hot iron the plastic melts just enough to stick to the fabric, but not enough to permanently adhere. When you want to remove it, the paper peels easily and cleanly from the fabric, leaving no residue. Very handy stuff!
So, here's my design, drawn on the dull side of a piece of freezer paper. You can probably see that I first sketched it with pencil and then used a black marker to outline it. The drawing doesn't have to be very polished or even perfect. You can see that I changed my mind about the tiny leaf about halfway down the stem and turned it into a curled tendril.

Once I had my design I ironed the freezer paper onto a piece of dark brown cotton fabric.

Then I put the piece, face down on my light box. You can see that the design shows through to the back side of the fabric. I outlined the design with Liquid Thread fusing liquid that I diluted slightly with a little water. Then I took the piece to my ironing board, covered it, Liquid Thread side up, with a teflon ironing sheet and pressed it with a hot iron until the fusing adhesive melted into the fabric. I let it cool for a few seconds, then peeled the ironing sheet off. You can see the shiny adhesive left on the fabric.
Now, I must tell you at this point, that instead of using the Liquid Thread you could, instead, use a fusible web, like Wonder Under, on the back of the fabric instead. I prefer the fusing liquid because it really melts into the fabric and seals the woven threads, so there is no fraying of the edges. I think it does this better than other fusibles. Just my opinion.

The next step was to cut out the design, leaving the freezer paper attached to the fabric. The freezer paper keeps the cut out vine somewhat stiff and stabilizes it until you can get it fused down.

I then fused my cut out vine to my background by laying it on the background fabric and ironing it. That remelts the line of fusing material and bonds the two fabrics together. I carefully peeled the paper off and then pressed the vine again good to fuse it tightly to the background. If you peel the paper off carefully you can use the design again, which I did to make several duplicates.
And finally, the finished piece. This will be a sample for one of the techniques that I will be demonstrating for the TV taping. Finished size is about 10.5" x 8.5".


  1. pretty nifty Terry....thanks for the great pics and detailed instructions


  2. Great tutorial, very clear and concise. You are ready for prime time TV.

  3. Excellent technique. I will have to bookmark that to go with your Liquifuse & edge finish tutorials. I go back to them for reference every so often.

  4. I've never tried the liquid fusing, and I do end up with frayed edges sometimes, so I'm going to have to check it out.

  5. Wow, not even finished with my first cup of coffee today and I've already learned something! Thank you for sharing, this is very cool!

  6. I think I could do this! Did you use a similar technique for the green leaves? How did you achieve the 3-D feeling, even with a shadow (or am I imagining that?)

  7. A book of your own is in your future. Your work is great and your directions the very best. We will all benefit from your sharing. Thank you. Del

  8. Great little tipperoo! I will be giving this a try very soon- it sure keeps a neat edge! Thanks!