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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
    before you speak T.H.I.N.K.
    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?


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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
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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)]

    http://sewextremeseams.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
    Super Member Psychomomquilter's Avatar
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    I have got to try this!!
    we don't meet people by accident.Everyone is meant to cross our path for a reason.

  11. #11
    Super Member SherriB's Avatar
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    MaryAnn,

    What kind of floor do you have? The only room I have with open floor space is our family room and it has the laminate wood floor. I am sure DH would have a fit if I ironed on it. I wonder if laying down a thick fleece blanket would help protect the floor? Any suggestions will be appreciated.
    Sherri

  12. #12
    Super Member nannyrick's Avatar
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    Thanks so much. for the tute on this. Very interesting!!! Have to try it.
    so many quilts to make, so little time.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SherriB View Post
    MaryAnn,

    What kind of floor do you have? The only room I have with open floor space is our family room and it has the laminate wood floor. I am sure DH would have a fit if I ironed on it. I wonder if laying down a thick fleece blanket would help protect the floor? Any suggestions will be appreciated.
    I used the glue on my most recent quilt sandwich. Works like a charm! And it came off my laminated floor...I just used a damp mop.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the great tute. Glue basting....I'm a believer!

  15. #15
    Super Member MaryAnnMc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SherriB View Post
    MaryAnn,

    What kind of floor do you have? The only room I have with open floor space is our family room and it has the laminate wood floor. I am sure DH would have a fit if I ironed on it. I wonder if laying down a thick fleece blanket would help protect the floor? Any suggestions will be appreciated.
    Sherri, my floors are ceramic tile, but I have a large area rug in the living room I can pin to. If I had laminate floor, I think I would tape to the floor (use the blue painter's tape) and rather than ironing, let it dry. I'm not sure how long it would take, but unless it's very humid, I would think a few hours would do it. I'm sure if we all put our "thinking caps" on we'll find a solution for you.
    aka Chicken McLittle

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

  16. #16
    Super Member coastienest's Avatar
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    MaryAnn thank you so much. You have convinced me and I will b trying it with my next quilt, early next week.

    Thanks again
    Debbie
    Everything in life happens for a reason.

  17. #17
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    With 2 or 3 layers of fabric approx. how long to iron the glue dry.
    Have a great day sewing and remember to "not sweat the small stuff"!!



  18. #18
    Senior Member SittingPretty's Avatar
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    I was really intrigued with the glue method, so I tried it on a table runner I was making. Rather than applying the glue in a line, I dotted the glue all over the batting about 4" apart. Then I layed the backing on it and ironed. Flipped it over and did the same thing with the top. Worked like a charm. No shifting, nice and neat when quilted, no puckers, etc. I just LOVE this method!
    SittingPretty

  19. #19
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SherriB View Post
    MaryAnn,

    What kind of floor do you have? The only room I have with open floor space is our family room and it has the laminate wood floor. I am sure DH would have a fit if I ironed on it. I wonder if laying down a thick fleece blanket would help protect the floor? Any suggestions will be appreciated.
    Could you build a large ironing board and put it on two workhorses? I have one and
    find it very handy for ironing (of course) and now for glue basting.

  20. #20
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    Thank You for all the tips.

  21. #21
    Super Member BuzzinBumble's Avatar
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    MaryAnn, you are not a Chicken McLittle and your good instructions have made me feel brave enough to try these tips! Thanks!

  22. #22
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    I have used Elmer's on my last 3 bindings as seen in the Binding Angel on Youtube... and love it.

  23. #23
    Super Member jeaninmaine's Avatar
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    Thanks MaryAnn, I'm glad to see the way to do written out. Usually all I see is that someone used the school glue but not how it was done. Thanks a lot.

  24. #24
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    I have glued two quilts and did a table runner and placemats and love the method. I am about to do a queen size quilt that I have in three sections. The sections are full length of the quilt. I plan to glue the three sandwiches withing two or three inches of the edges, do the quilting and then join. Then, I will finish any quilting I need to do in the areas of joining. I appreciate the tip about using a damp paintbrush to smooth out the glue so it doesn't glob up. Iappreciated the lighter weight of the quilt compared to pins. In my quilting life, pins are a thing of the past!

  25. #25
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    If you are going to use the glue method, don't use a polyester batt. It will just go flat if you iron it and it won't recover when you wash it. If you aren't sure make a sample piece with scrap fabric, batting and backing and iron it to be sure this will work for youl.

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