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Have you tried the sticky water soluble stabilizer?

by Karen

I often use this type of stabilizer for machine embroidery--I don't have to hoop fabric, just the stabilizer. I wondered if you could use this stabilizer for your templates and eliminate the need for a glue stick?


Good question, Karen, I've wondered the same thing myself. It's on my list of things to test.

I've used the sticky stabilizers for machine embroidery and they work great. I have not used sticky water soluble stabilizers...yet.

My biggest questions about them for this technique are:

  • Cost: They are significantly more expensive than Rinsaway. If you can get them at the big box stores like Joann's and then use your 40-50% off coupon, then that helps a lot on price. But I do go through A LOT of stabilizer when I'm working on a project. In fact, I buy the Rinsaway by the bolt.

  • Stability of the edge: The edge of the cut shape of the stabilizer must stand up to my manipulations as I turn the seam allowance over it.

    Straight edges are, well, pretty straight forward. Curves, especially on smaller pieces, are more touchy and take more 'working' to get nice smooth curvy edges.

    When you add the glue stick to the Rinsaway to attach the cut shape to the fabric and then heat set to dry the glue, that dried glue really adds some ummph, some extra stiffness, to the shape and makes turning the seam allowance so much easier. You have something to push against.

    I'm not sure if the sticky water soluble stabilizer, on its own, is firm enough for the job. It very well could be that it works well for all but the smallest or curviest of pieces.
Again, excellent question, Karen, one that I hope to be able to answer based on actual results from testing.

Readers, if you've tried stabilizers other than Rinsaway for this technique, please do share your experience and results using the 'comments' link found just below.

Thank you!


Julie Baird

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New idea
by: Karen

I practiced your method this weekend--fabulous!!!! But, I tried something a little different. Instead of gluing the applique template to the back of the fabric:
1) I drew the applique shape onto the water soluble stabilizer (wws)
2) put the wws on the right side of my fabric
3) sewed completely around the line with a shorter stitch length
4) trimmed my piece to 1/8" of the stitching line
5) cut a slit in the wws and turned the fabric to the right side
6) smoothed edges of the applique
7) pressed with a dry iron
8) used the washable glue stick to stick the applique pieces together (dried the glue by ironing the way you do)
9) used the washable glue stick to adhere the completed applique to the background fabric
10) stitched as you suggest--and it looks almost as good as hand stitching!!!

The best part of this method is less mess and fiddling to have to turn the raw edge over the template. I can hardly wait to try this on an appliqued top for a pillow. I think I'll start with a small project before I tackle a quilt!

Thank you for your website!!!

From the Editor: THIS IS THE BEST PART OF QUILTING--the sharing that happens!

I love that you took an idea and then used what you know and what you learned and decided what works best for YOU! Excellent job, Karen! You made my day! ~ Julie

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