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Old 03-06-2017, 02:03 AM   #1
Mama Alanna
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I can't take claim for most of the quilting designs that I use -- they are the work of a very talented artist named Judy Lyon. I have a LOT of her stuff; she specializes in complex non-repeating pictorial designs, but has lots of other designs as well. What I do is trace her patterns onto a transparent water-soluble embroidery stabilizer (looks kind of like plastic food wrap)with a sharpie. That gets pinned to the quilt, and then secured every 6 inches or so by a water-soluble basting thread. I take out the pins and then I can free-motion quilt without having to worry about maneuvering around the blasted pins (or take the chance that the needle will hit one!) When I'm done, I bind it and toss the whole thing in the washing machine. The pattern plastic and basting thread go away and it's nice and clean and soft for the recipient.

I used to use tissue paper, and that worked OK, but it sometimes took hours to pick it off when I was done -- little bits had to come off with tweezers. After DH helped me with a few last year, I told him "There's this product (and described it as above) but it's not cheap, about $50 for a 110 yard roll." And he said "BUY IT!"
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Last edited by Mama Alanna; 03-06-2017 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 03-06-2017, 03:09 AM   #2
rb.
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Do you have a link or two (or a manufacturer name) for the water-soluble plastic and thread MA? I will have a sewing room in about a month.

Is this it?

http://www.superiorthreads.com/shop/...wide-x-20-yds/
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Old 03-06-2017, 11:14 AM   #3
Mama Alanna
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https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009BGNE8O...sp_detail_page

It's primarily for machine embroidery as a stabilizer. He also has it in other widths, but the 12-inch is what I primarily use. It doesn't tear like tissue paper around either the pins or the basting stitches.

The thread you might be able to get locally at your quilt shop. It's made by Superior Threads and Google tells me that YLI also makes it. https://tinyurl.com/jaqueqz. I use it both as top thread and bobbin, but if the patttern is open enough you might be able to get away with using ordinary thread for the bobbin that matches your backing. You would have to pull/cut the bobbin basting thread away after your project is done. I did that once and found that in too many places the quilting thread had pierced the basting thread, and you know what a pain THAT is to pull loose! So I decided to use the water-soluble for both. The bobbins are marked with bright red sharpie so that they don't get mixed up with ordinary threads.

One thing that you have to be aware of is that the stabilizer is very reactive to humidity. If it's very humid, it can stretch, and if it's very dry, it can shrink and turn brittle. Quilt it as soon as possible after you baste it. I didn't know to do that with this last batch of quilts and had some really annoying problems with it shrinking and wrinkling the quilts, and on the last quilts I had to be very careful because it had been almost 2 months since I basted them and the plastic had gone brittle. It helped that the weather was cool and rainy, so I could "rehumidify" them a bit by putting them in the car overnight with the windows cracked open.
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Old 03-06-2017, 12:29 PM   #4
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Thank you! Now when the kids ask me what I want for Mother's Day, I have an answer.

I so understand the humidity issue. I lost markings from a water-soluble pen on DD's quilt over a summer. It gets very humid here. Is there a best type of pen to use on the stabilizer, that won't stain the fabric when washing?
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Old 03-06-2017, 04:12 PM   #5
Mama Alanna
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I always use Sharpies. They're cheap and easy to find almost anywhere. Since they're an alcohol-based ink, they won't run in the washing machine and bleed onto the quilt top. I suspect that water-based markers like Crayola would cut holes through the stabilizer.
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