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Thread: How to use Elmer's Washable School Glue (because y'all asked)

  1. #1
    Super Member MaryAnnMc's Avatar
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    How to use Elmer's Washable School Glue (because y'all asked)

    When I posted my latest quilt last week, I mentioned my new Best Friend Forever, Elmer's Washable School Glue. I discovered this pinless method of quilting right here on The Board. What an amazing place this is! Many of my commenters asked about how to use the glue. So, all in one place, I'm inviting all you gluers to post your tips. Here is how I use it:

    Be sure you are using WASHABLE school glue. It's really a thick starch, and washes out beautifully. If you don't leave globs, it won't be hard to stitch through even by hand, it won't gum your needle, and you will be a very happy camper.

    1. Instead of pinning pieces, I add a thin line of glue, lay the second piece on top, and hit it with a hot iron to set. Once I'm sure it's lined up properly, it goes in a pile to stitch.

    2. To match seams, I line up the edges, and line up the seams. Again, glue and press. Here's the best part: I can check to see if the seam (or points, whatever) are lined up and meet BEFORE I stitch the seam. If not, just pull them apart and try again. You will need to add more glue. Once it's pressed dry, it won't budge.

    3. Same thing for blocks: line 'em up, glue, press, check, stitch. DONE!! On my first quilt, a nine-patch, I could not get the seams to line up and I was so frustrated. About a third of the way through, I read about the glue method. Of course I had to go back and rip those blocks apart, and after gluing they were all matched and I was very happy.

    4. When it comes to glueing the sandwich, I'm still working on the perfect way to do this. This last time I pinned my backing to the floor, drizzled glue and then spread it with a damp paintbrush, and set the batting on top. I ironed it right there on the floor. It's important to take a damp paintbrush and swipe the glue so there aren't any globs. I was not happy, as there back seemed very puckery to me, but once I'd ironed the glue, I couldn't get it apart without tearing the batting. So I stitched it up and hoped for the best. Happily, it stitched up just fine, and looks great.

    Next time, I'm going to lay the batting down and put the backing on top and iron. I'm sure this will give me a nice smooth back since I'll be able to see it. Then I'll flip and do the top.

    As long as you didn't leave any globs, you'll have no trouble quilting, and the top won't slide. No pins to work around!! No broken needles!!

    5. Binding: here's the best part of all! Once I stitch the binding to the front (you could glue here, I don't bother), I fold & glue the binding to the back of the quilt. No more tangling my thread around pins, and no more pricking myself and bleeding on the quilt! I packed an unfinished quilt and traveled with it, and all I needed was a needle to stitch with, and no worries about losing pins.

    Wash the quilt to remove the glue, and you're done!

    If you have any tips, please share!
    aka Chicken McLittle

    If it's true we learn from our mistakes, I'm going to be a genius!

  2. #2
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    thanks for the wonderful tutorial!
    Nancy in western NY

  3. #3
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    I've been wondering about the best way to use glue. Your good instructions may give me the courage to try it.
    Cheryl, hiding away in my quilting studio

  4. #4
    Power Poster
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    ​I am going to try it on my next lap quilt, thanks.

  5. #5
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    I have read the post about using Elmer's school glue; but was to "chicken" to try it. You've convinced me. I'll try it. Thanks!

  6. #6
    Super Member Sierra's Avatar
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    I think, perhaps, those who have trouble with their needles or puckering are using too thick a line of glue. The more times I used this Elmer's School Glue system, the less I used until I ended up with a very thin line. You don't have to worry about making a mess that shows, just wash it when you are done with the entire quilt and ALL the glue, visible or not, is gone. Ironing is important, although I "iron" with my hands, from the center out, as I go along.

    My first time I used it I was doing a pictorial with thin (about 1-2") lines and I got glue all over. It washed out when the completed quilt was laundered. I'll never use that toxic stuff again!!!!

  7. #7
    Super Member Emma S's Avatar
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    Thank you MaryAnn. So many of the Board members are believers and now with this great tut I am going to try this method. Appreciate your time and generousity in sharing.

  8. #8
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    When you use the glue to sandwich your quilt, do you find that it gums up the needle at all?

  9. #9
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katier825 View Post
    When you use the glue to sandwich your quilt, do you find that it gums up the needle at all?
    The glue does not gum up your needle (hand or sewing machine) because it is dried. When you iron the glued area it dries the glue or if you just let it dry over night. You might want to try it on a pot holder size project to see if you like it. You will be happy.

    MaryAnn, your tutorial is just right!

    Linda

    Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see.
    [John Newton (1725-1807)]

  10. #10
    Super Member Psychomomquilter's Avatar
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    I have got to try this!!
    The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want..... for anything

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