Reported by Susie Ziegler
At a quilt show recently, my daughter and I were introduced to a very cool quilting product: fusible interfacing with grid lines. Did we ever have fun with this stuff! With this product, even beginning quilters can make beautiful watercolor quilts, fun pixel quilts, or simple blocks of squares without worrying about perfect 1/4 inch seams and corners that line up exactly.
At my local quilt shop, they had two different kinds with a 2-inch-grid. At my big fabric store, they had some with a 1-inch grid. All the types I found were about 45 inches wide, so they are as wide as cotton fabric comes off the bolt. This is very convenient for quilters!
What you do is cut up a whole bunch of little squares. Mine are 2-inch because that is the kind of gridded interfacing I have. If the interfacing you find is 1-inch, you can still use 2-inch squares because it’ll all still line up. Remember that you will be sewing in 1/4 inch seam allowances so the squares will become 1.5 inches when finished. If you use 1-inch squares, they’ll be really small stitched up: only 1/2 inch!
At the quilt show, they had tons of cut squares and they encouraged us to build our 5 by 5 blocks however we liked. I could not tear my child away from the table! We were making blocks for Project Linus quilts.
I’ve been interested in making a quilt as an homage to Super Mario, the best video game ever. Pixelated video game images are known as “sprites” so that is the term I found most helpful when google searching images I wanted to sew.
Just lay out your pattern and iron the squares down. My project was quite large so I ironed it in sections. You want to be neat when laying the squares but perfection isn’t that important.
Now you just turn it over and fold along the grid and sew with 1/4 inch seam allowances on all the seams going in one direction.
There are several methods for ironing the seams on the back. Click HERE to see one that achieves butted seams. In some smaller blocks, I trimmed off the folded over part and pressed them open like this:
Later, I consulted the instructions on the packaging and it said to simply press all the seams in one direction. So I tried that too. It is faster, but it seems really bulky to do it that way, so I recommend taking the time to trim and press the seams open or in opposite directions to cut down on the bulk.
- Makes a formerly difficult quilt pattern easy
- Seams and corners all line up, even when seam allowances aren’t accurate
- Forgiving and easy to use
- Laying out colored fabric squares is addictive
- Interfacing makes the fabric bulkier so finished blocks are stiff
- Dealing with trimming and ironing the seams this way and that way is really not fun.
- Sometimes the fusible adhesive sticks to your iron. Be careful!
I hope you’ll try this product! It was really fun to use!