Glorious Glue

How many times have you been pinning something together and felt that really, the pins were in the way? Or perhaps distorting the fabric more than you’d like? Glue to the rescue!

There are quilters who prefer to use no adhesive of any kind on their work, and I totally understand that. However, if you plan to wash your quilt, washable glue can be a real time-saver. The glue I recommend is plain old Elmer’s Washable School Glue as I know it will come out. As for glue sticks, I love that today they come in a smaller diameter than the kinds that kids use for school, and are also specifically made for fabric. I’m sure your local quilting or fabric store carries several varieties.

Remember, just a little bit goes a long way! For liquid glue try using a narrow tip that can replace the cap that comes with the glue, like the one shown below. Purple Daisies has an even newer version that can be found here.

To use Elmer’s glue for basting, apply a very thin line, or a series of small dots. Place the fabrics together, then iron the two pieces together with a hot, dry iron. This dries your glue quickly, and you can get to the stitching right away.

Here are just a few of the ways that washable glue products can be used for quilting:

  • Tacking down appliqué shapes to the background
  • Turning the edges on appliqué
  • Turning the edges on English paper piecing
Turning the edges on these hexagons is even faster with glue than if hand basted.
  • Holding facings or bindings in place for hand stitching (instead of pins or clips)
  • Keeping labels or hanging sleeves in place for hand stitching
  • Put a thin line of glue in seam allowances for difficult to match patchwork pieces. By not using a pin you prevent any last second shifting of the fabrics.
  • Some folks are even brave enough to baste their quilts using glue sparingly!

If you’re a garment sewer you might also find glue handy when sewing zippers or attaching trim. Next time that pins don’t seem to be doing the trick for you, try glue and see if it helps.

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