Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Product Testing - New and Improved Steam-a-Seam 2
It's BACK.... I am so happy that Steam-a-Seam 2 is back in production and arriving in stores everywhere. This brand was my 'fusible of choice' for over 15 years. When production ceased due to an issue with the backing paper I tried a lot of other brands. But nothing had all the qualities I was looking for in a paper-backed fusible web: stability of the fusible sheet (protected by an extra layer of paper), ability to trace on the paper with a pencil or permanent marker, and the best part - sticky backed fused shapes to allow me to place and re-place my appliques as I designed on my vertical design wall.
So both Steam-a-Seam 2 and Lite Steam-a-Seam 2 are back - and even better than ever!
There are still 2 papers so my fusible is protected and won't separate from the paper. The only change - one paper has a grid printed on it. I now don't have to explain to students which side to trace on - it's always on the paper with the grid.
And the package said - "Printer Friendly".....that was a hint to me that I should test it out. They definitely mean an INKJET printer - not a laser.
The package of sheets I got at Quilt Market has 5 sheets, 9" x 12". I trimmed one sheet to measure 8-1/2" x 11" - to fit my printer.
I have an inkjet printer/copier/scanner. I printed the block design from my Fandango pattern on the side with the grid. I thought it might take a bit of time to dry.....I gently touched the printing as soon as it was printed. And it was DRY - immediately dry. Amazing!
My printer is an Epson WP-4540 with DuraBrite ink. I'm not sure if other types of inkjet ink will dry as quickly so I suggest you test your inkjet printer. Also, you will want to know which side of the paper your printer will print on - check that before you print too. Here is how to do that:
Write 'FRONT' on a piece of paper, load it into your machine (into the paper try or the back feed) and print a document - anything will do.
If the printing is on the side with 'FRONT' written on it, you load your fusible with the grid just as you loaded your paper. If it prints on the other side, you need to turn the fusible sheet over so your printer will print on the side with the grid.
My testing continued....
I cut out my printed square, fused it to the wrong side of a square of dark fabric the same size as my block design. I used a Teflon sheet to protect my ironing board and the iron...but I did run the iron over the printed side just to see if the grid or printed lines would transfer to my iron. (I KNEW you would ask....) No problem....nothing on the iron!
Then I cut exactly on the design lines with my small rotary cutter.
And here are my test blocks. This is a Give & Take Applique design. I used all the shapes and got 2 blocks. The fabric is the new Artisan Spirit Sandscapes from Northcott. It will be in stores in January.
Come back next week and I'll give you my TOP TIPS for machine applique!
Intrigued by Give & Take? Buy the Fandango pattern here.
And see all my Give & Take Applique patterns here.