Curious about GlitterFlex and how it might be used? Here's a quick and easy step-by-step tutorial to get you started.
GlitterFlex can be used for applique just like any other cotton quilting fabric. It's very, very thin so it's perfect for garments or quilts, anywhere that you want high impact without a lot of bulk.
It is a super sparkly material that comes with a clear protective cover that is removed prior to embroidery. We sell more than 55 various colors of GlitterFlex at SewInspiredByBonnie.com. Color types are Ultra, Hologram, Neon Opaque, and Rainbow. All the various colors are applied in the same exact fashion; the only difference between them is the mixture of glitter and their sparkle affect.
Once the clear protective carrier is removed, the sparkle is very intense. Something that I do a little differently with GlitterFlex than I do with ordinary applique is to use a high-contrast thread for my placement stitch and my appliqué tack-down stitch. Otherwise, the thread tends to get lost in all of the sparkle and my mature eyes can't see where those tack-down stitches are. Having a bigger contrast between the thread and GlitterFlex makes life so much easier!
With standard cotton applique, you don't have that issue and it's really easy to see where to trim along your tack-down stitching. However, with GlitterFlex, I like to use a thread color that is either a lot lighter or a lot darker so that I can easily see my stitch lines when trimming the applique.
The first step is to hoop your background fabric and load a Merry Mermaid design onto the embroidery machine. Just like any other applique design, you're going to start out with your placement stitch. In this example, I have two applique areas that will hold the same GlitterFlex color.
Lay the GlitterFlex on top of the placement stitches to determine the size needed and cut a square accordingly. Once cut to size, remove the clear carrier.
Add a little bit of school glue stick inside the placement stitches and position the GlitterFlex in place. (My dealer told me about school glue years ago. It is quite reasonable in cost and very safe for your machine.)
Stitch out your tack down stitch.
Because GlitterFlex is a tearaway, you can tear around the applique stitching instead of cutting it away. Remove the hoop from the machine and place it on a flat surface. Press inside the applique shape with one hand while tearing the excess GlitterFlex away, close to the stitch lines, with the other. (Be sure to save your scraps because you can use those in future projects!)
If you see any areas that need a little touch-up, trim them with scissors. After all of the GlitterFlex is trimmed, I like to fuse it down, or pre-fuse it, while it's still in the hoop.
Move the hoop over to an ironing surface and use a Teflon pressing sheet or the clear carrier that you removed from your GlitterFlex.
Heat your dry iron to a cotton setting (350) (no steam). Place the pressing sheet, or clear carrier you peeled off earlier, right on top of the GlitterFlex and press each section for 15 to 20 seconds. It does take some time, but the results are well worth it!
Let the GlitterFlex applique cool so that it is well fused to the background fabric before continuing to stitch the embroidery. (Note: While the picture below is of a different Merry Mermaid, the step is still the same and the thread contrast is a good example of what I mentioned earlier.) Your GlitterFlex should lay nice and flat. If you see a bubble, fuse that area again as you may have missed a spot.
Any time you have detail stitching on top of the GlitterFlex, I highly recommend that you use a higher contrast thread then you might ordinarily use with just standard fabric. The design will stand out more, otherwise the stitches get lost in all that wonderful sparkle.
Continue embroidery as you normally would to completion. Aside from the final pressing, my design is finished!
See the full video on this tutorial.