Best Fusible Transfer Options For Quilting

Fusible webbing used in applique adheres one piece of fabric to another, but it has other benefits, too. Fusible webbing opens up a couple of ways you can transfer your patterns onto the fabric…when you use the fusible product correctly.

If you have never used a fusible product, you may not be sure what to buy. Sometimes it is sold by bolt, like other fabrics. Some manufacturers sell their fusible produced in small rolls. Ask the store clerk for their fusible webbing options. Rolls are sold in a variety of sizes. Keep in mind that even if it is sold from the bolt, most fusible webbing is not doubled and folded on the bolt like fabric. So, instead of having a piece that is 44 or 45 inches wide, the fusible product will likely be 20 to 22 inches in width. Buy a weight that is similar to the weight of the fabrics you are using – light, medium, or heavy weights are available. If your product is too light, it might not adhere properly. If it is too heavy, it will make your applique pieces appear bulky.

When you are using the product for applique, it is best to use the kind that has a paper backing. This backing is what will afford you several pattern transfer options. Be sure to read the instructions carefully. They will tell you what heat setting to use on your iron and how long the transfer should take.

Don’t make the mistake of cutting your fabric pieces first, then trying to cut the fusible product to match it. There’s a much easier way!

  1. Once you understand your pattern and the pieces you need from each fabric, cut a piece of fusible web.
  2. Trace your applique patterns onto the paper. Since the product has not yet been heated, you can easily lay the fusible webbing directly on top of the pattern and trace it.
  3. Then, iron the product onto the back side of the fabric. Cut out your shapes by following your traced outlines.

If your appliques require some fussy cutting, you can trace the pieces onto the fusible webbing paper, then cut them out and iron them on the fabric as needed. If you have a light table (or a sunny window), you can easily place the fusible pieces in place exactly where you want them.

If you forget to trace the designs before ironing the fusible product to the fabric, don’t panic. You can still transfer the designs to fabric. Just trace the designs onto it using carbon paper.

Another benefit of using a fusible product is that it securely holds your fabric pieces in place while you are stitching or moving the quilt around. Especially if you have several layers of applique, the stability of adhesive is a big relief.Fusible webbing also helps keep your fabric edges clean and free from frays. It makes your quilting go faster because you do not have to worry with turning under the edges. If you want to turn the edges under, but want the help of the adhesive, cut small pieces of fusible webbing and place one in the middle of your applique piece. Iron it in place just to secure the fabric. You will still be able to turn the edges of your fabric under for a traditional applique appearance. If you decide to do this, you might want to consider buying a role of fusible tape. It’s just like it sounds – about the width of regular invisible tape and in a roll about the same size. It does not have a fabric backing, though. You will just have to slip it between your applique piece and fabric backing, then iron in place! 

By Penny Halgren of

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