Doesn’t time just fly? I mean zoom by? It seems just like yesterday that my niece called to tell me she was expecting her first child. I hung up the phone thinking what wonderful news. I really need to make a quilt for that baby. Well, that was four months ago, and now the shower is in two weeks. My niece’s nursery theme is a beach/surf scene and she’s going old school! What’s old school? She and her husband don’t want to know the sex of the baby before delivery. Almost unheard of today, wouldn’t you agree? So I don’t want to make a quilt that screams girl or boy. Hmm… there are so many things at the beach that just charm children, where do I start? How about simple circles? They could be bubbles, beach umbrellas or buckets. But time is of the essence so I’ll turn to Stipple! And I’m going back to a favorite – Stipple! Geometrics.
I had so much fun picking out the bright, fresh fabrics for the circles. I started with about a dozen fabrics and chose a simple white background for the strips. White just seemed like the right background for all the luscious brights. And the parents-to-be both hold doctorates in Chemistry; they ought to be able to get anything out of white cotton!
I grabbed fusible web to apply to all of the appliqué fabrics because this quilt will get used and washed, hopefully, on a regular basis.
I devoted some precious time to apply the fusible web to all of the appliqué fabrics. This is not my favorite chore. If you know me, then you’ll understand that I like to jump in and get started. Prep work bores me to tears. And apparently, tears were in my immediate future.
I always seem to struggle with fusible web. I apply the heat, let it cool (well, almost let it cool) then disaster strikes. It doesn’t release properly – oh no, part of the paper peels off with a good bit of the adhesive still stuck on it. In fact, it now looks like a hot mess – adhesive is no longer a smooth sheet – nah, it’s a jumbled mess. I hate this! I curse the manufacturer of the fusible web, (how can they put their name on this product!). I blame the store where I bought it (surely they’ve had this bolt in inventory for a century).
I stalk out of the sewing room and hit the chocolate stash. After a few moments, I realize I’m still in love with the fabrics. I still need a quilt. I still have to get this figured out NOW!
So I walk back into the sewing room and assess the damage. Hmm. Maybe it wasn’t the fusible web. Maybe it was the iron. Oh yes…hmmm….I was supposed to apply DRY heat. Not steam. And let it cool – completely cool – before removing the protective paper.
But my iron is full of water. And when I switch it to no steam, steam still escapes, apparently too much for this task! Then it dawns on me, I need two irons in my sewing room!
I can hear you laughing as you read this, “Really? It took you 20+ years to figure this out?” I now have two irons on my board. Yep, one full of water set for steam and the other one – DRY – forever!
Embarrassingly, I actually had two irons in the sewing room. The second one was deposited by one of my college students who didn’t need it any longer. And it just sat on a shelf. Not anymore – it’s hobnobbing with its steamy partner on the ironing board – a lasting marriage.
Here’s what I learned from this sticky situation: read and follow the manufacturer’s directions. They really do know best.
Investing in duplicate tools makes sense – it saves you time and sanity!
Finally, start early – don’t wait until the last minute. Hmmm, wonder how long that will stick!