Embellish Fusibles with Color and Texture – Quilting Daily

An art quilt by Susan Purney Mark that shows layering of surface designed fusible
interfacing and webs.

Fusibles aren’t just for appliqué! Stop hiding your fusible interfacing and web between your fabrics. Let your fusibles take center stage by learning to create complex and unique fabric embellishments for your fiber art with tips and tricks from Susan Purney Mark.

My contact with fusibles has been admittedly limited–like many quilters, I use it most commonly as a stabilizer, for appliqué, and to attach my quilt labels. After learning a few techniques from Susan in her latest video workshop about adding color and layering surface design techniques onto fusible interfacing, I think it’s time to break out of my comfort zone when it comes to fusibles.

Adding color is a great first step to learning how to embellish fusible web and interfacing. You can have the added bonus of experimenting with how various fusibles absorb color by layering a couple different types of them together and then painting on diluted textile paint. Let’s start there.

Check the bottom layer of interfacing to see how it's absorbing color periodically as you paint.
Check the bottom layer of interfacing to see how it’s absorbing color periodically as you paint.

On a printing board covered with plastic, lay down a non-woven interfacing as the bottom layer with the fusible side down. Next, add a woven interfacing, similar to an inexpensive cotton with a fusible on the back, over the top. Dilute a few fabric paints with water so you can create washes of color on the interfacing and web.

Use a spray bottle to dampen your layers of fusible interfacing with water before you start painting. This will allow your fabric paints to move and mix as you lay down color. Experiment by changing the amount of water on your interfacing because it will change the way your colors interact and absorb.

You may want to pause your painting from time to time to see how the underlayer of interfacing is taking the color. You don’t need to worry too much about having white spaces as you are painting. Once you’ve colored the majority of your top layer, you can add one more layer into the mix.

Tablet cover created by Susan out of a variety  of embellished interfacing that was woven  together, fused, and quilted.
Tablet cover created by Susan out of a variety of embellished interfacing that was woven together, fused, and quilted.

Grab a piece of cheese cloth and lay it over the top of your painted interfacing. Press and work the cheese cloth into the paint until it starts picking up color. It’s important to add the cheese cloth in when you’re finished painting because its fibers will grab your brush as you paint causing you nothing but heartache and frustration. If you’re having a difficult time picking up color, you can spritz some more water over your layers or you can pour more diluted paint over your cheese cloth. Let these layers dry for three to four hours before you separate them and then allow each to dry completely.

Take this process a step further by stenciling, stamping, and screen printing. Susan shares a ton of information that will teach you how use these techniques and more to add texture and dimension to your fusible web and interfacing. Plus, she shares some great project ideas for layering these freshly embellished fusibles to create projects ranging from art quilts to small sewing projects. To discover the ins and outs of using fusible inerfacing and web in surface design from Susan, order or download your copy of Fabric Embellishment with Color, Surface Design, and More today!

Brenna's Signature

P.S. Have used surface design techniques on fusible web and interfacing? What’s your favorite technique or project? Leave a comment on the blog to share your tips.

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