February 27, 2013

Put to good use

I enjoyed the stabilizer I reviewed in my last post so much I wanted to try it on something without batting. This time I photocopied some ginkgo leaves and embroidered some kitchen towels*. Love!

I did one denser than the other. I like the denser one better.

When I do free motion stitching on something that doesn't have batting, I find I need something on the backside so the stitches won't make the fabric pucker. I use a wash away stabilizer called Paper Solvy. I just cut the size I need from a sheet of paper, so one pack goes a long way.

Now the towels are being used in a happy new home. I love to see something I've made getting used. So much better than waiting in a drawer or on a shelf until it goes out of style. 

*photocopied in the fall when leaves were around, but not stitched until the new year. That's the sort of timeline I'm on right now! You understand.

February 13, 2013


Objective: To quantify frustrations encountered with using a commercially available, sticky backed wash away stabilizer.

Background: The author's previous experience with a similar sticky backed product resulted in skipped stitches and grumbling. The author hypothesized that all sticky backed stabilizers were a terrible idea for free motion stitching and were for those people with embroidery machines.

Methods: Using a home printer, leaves were photocopied onto one sheet of the stabilizer. Leaf shapes were cut out and removed from the paper backing, then affixed to a quilt sandwich. The author stitched along the outlines and veins of the leaves, going over each line twice or more in a loose, sketchy manner. Skipped stitches and grumbling events were recorded.

Outcomes: Much to the author's surprise, no skipped stitches were encountered. The only grumbling happened when the author's child began her own experiment involving a paper bag and some water. The author's child eventually enjoyed matching the stitched versions of the leaves with their originals.

Discussion: This Wash Away Stitch Stabilizer* can be used without skipped stitches. The author sincerely recommends this product to sewists who like to finish things in a good mood. This study should be repeated using better fabric now that the author knows it won't be a disaster.

*C&T sent me the sample, but they didn't ask me to review it. I just wanted to share my good experience because who knows when you'll need something like this?