5 practical reasons why you should use HeatnBond Soft Stretch

Today is going to be so much fun adding the applique to yesterday’s checkerboard background pieces. Although the checkerboard could easily stand on its own I love adding applique and thread to a project creating just a little bit of pizzazz. Onward to applique and the 5 awesome reasons to use HeatnBond Soft Stretch to create a fabulous applique design.

Applique supplies

My flower template is all drawn out and ready to be traced onto the fusible web. Half the flower will be on each background piece. I could have made the background as one large piece and put the flower on as a whole rather than splitting it down the middle. Why didn’t I? Well, my brain was thinking that it had to be 2 pieces, sewn together to create the sleeve. Easily I could have folded it in half – oh well, next time.

Quilted laptop sleeve 11×17” template, click on the picture to download PDF

Template pieces drawn on Soft Stretch

The pieces have been placed on the wrong side of the fabric – notice there is about a ¼″ of white space around each piece. Once fused into place they can be cut out on the line. Waiting to cut them out on the line means that the glue goes right up to the edge of the fabric allowing them to fuse completely to the background fabric.

Pieces ready for fusing to flower fabric

What is Soft Stretch?

Soft Stretch is a new fusible web from HeatnBond designed with a polyester adhesive which will move with your stretch fabrics while keeping a strong hold. A perfect choice for stretch fabrics such as knits, spandex, jersey fabric, fleece and flannel to name a few.

Soft Stretch comes in Ultra and Light. Ultra isn’t sewable while Lite is sewable. I’ll be using the Lite version for this project as I’ll be doing lots of stitching on the flower.

Soft Stretch needs high heat for the glue to activate and adhere to the fabric it is being fused to. This is because of the special polyester adhesive it’s made with. No steam is required to activate the adhesive.

The adhesive is heat set twice – once when the fusible is fused to the applique fabric with the paper in place and then again when it’s fused to the background piece with no paper.

With paper high heat should be applied for 5 – 10 seconds and with no paper for 15 – 20 seconds.

Soft Stretch comes in a tape, a roll or on the bolt!

Rolls of Soft Stretch

5 awesome reasons

Reason 1: Paper backed on one side making template tracing easy. For even further ease of tracing, place the template on a window or light box.

Reason 2: Paper peels away easily from glue and fabric leaving a shiny coating on the applique piece.

Reason 3: No gumming up of needle with glue when stitching the applique piece to the background fabric.

Reason 4:Very pliable – the applique fabric remains soft and you can’t even tell there’s a fusible in place once it’s stitched down.

Reason 5: Washable on delicate in cold water and tumble dry on low heat as well as dry cleanable. It’s very resilient through washing so perfect for anything that’s going to be laundered often.

The Soft Stretched worked beautifully on the flannel I chose for my flower. I do suggest building the flower at your pressing station as the pieces are not tacky and will not stick temporarily to the background. If you can’t build at your pressing station then I suggest pinning the pieces in place for transport over to the pressing station. This will prevent petal pieces flying through your studio when you don’t want them to.

Flower fused to background pieces

Remember to use an applique pressing sheet when fusing the pieces in place as you don’t want to accidentally get any glue on your iron or ironing board.

The flower is in place and ready for some thread. Tomorrow I’ll talk about thread and how to stitch the applique in place. For now I’ll leave you with the 5 awesome reasons to use HeatnBond Soft Stretch.

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: 5 easy steps to quilting a checkerboard background

Go to part 4: 4 essential tips for success with metallic thread

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