Fusing is probably the most important part of stitching with GlitterFlex. If you don’t fuse at all or don’t fuse properly, your project will fall short of expectations.
What happens when you don’t fuse GlitterFlex? This. This is what happens. While making the Thank You for Giving Me Wings project using Bonnie’s adorable Butterfly Buddies, I inadvertently forgot to fuse the GlitterFlex before embroidery. The face shows major bubbling and puckering. Your GlitterFlex can even get perforated and pull away from the stitching if not fused. Not a "look" any of us are going for.
This is most definitely operator malfunction, not a fault of the digitizer. Bonnie’s fusing instructions are not difficult to follow.
Once fused, GlitterFlex can be stitched. You will notice that Bonnie’s sample (right) has no ripples or bubbles. If the GlitterFlex surface is a bit bubbly after embroidery, the GlitterFlex was not fused properly before it was embroidered.
In my case, it was not fused at all. I just got too excited about stitching the project, that I totally forgot this ever so important step.
If you haven’t used GlitterFlex lately, review Bonnie’s blog on fusing. The combination of heat and time determine whether or not you get a good fuse. Every iron is different and should be tested on a sample of fabric equivalent to that which you are going to embroider.
As a starting point, heat your dry iron or heat press to a cotton setting (350 degrees, no steam). Press (do not iron) a scrap of GlitterFlex on a scrap of cotton fabric for 17 to 20 seconds.
After the GlitterFlex cools, make sure the edges stick well to the fabric and do not peel back. If GlitterFlex is not properly fused, you may need to increase your iron's temperature or fuse for a longer period of time.
Let the GlitterFlex cool completely, then run your fingernail across the surface. GlitterFlex should be completely flat with no ripple running ahead of your fingernail. If it is not flat, re-fuse and test again.
If you are not having success, Bonnie’s troubleshooting tips may be helpful. For those of us who forget, add a sticky note to your machine, “Don’t forget to fuse!”
Sew Inspired by Bonnie