basting with glue sticks

20161212_135954.jpgI had a couple of questions from my last post regarding the glue stick for basting so I thought I’d make a post out of it.  The first question was “Does it wash out or are you left with glue in the quilt forever?” and the second was “Does it gunk up your machine needle?

I was working on a different block today that was paper pieced so I thought I’d show you how much glue I put on normally – and how much I don’t put on.

20161212_140324.jpgActually, to answer the first question – the Elmer’s glue sticks I use are washable and I always wash a finished quilt before I give it away or put it on a bed, etc. so there is no glue left behind at all.  I also do that to wash out any dye residue because our son has a lot of allergies and can only tolerate one specific type of detergent so I got in the habit of washing it for anyone else as well.

In the picture on the left in the first picture – that’s too much glue.  I use the tip of the glue stick and put just a dab on. It won’t hurt if you put too much on but it does make it harder to iron open the seams if you glue any farther in than 1/4″.  The purple dot of glue on the right side of the top photo is about how much I use.  After I’ve dabbed a bit of glue, I’ll put a pin in through both sides and I check to make sure that the seams line up.  Then I press the fabric firmly between my thumb and middle finger to get the glue to stick.  I’ve found that if I glue several pieces in a row, that gives them time to dry a bit which helps hold it in place.  I apply glue just at the seams – not entirely across the length of the fabric for that block.

I haven’t noticed any issues at all with it gunking up my needle.  I finished the entire purple quilt and didn’t have any issues but it’s a very tiny amount of glue I’m using, and it’s not wet.  Oh – and there are glue sticks made specifically for quilters but I’ve never used them because I’ve found these work fine, especially if I hold the stick at an angle.  I buy a package of them when I’m getting groceries or something so I always have some on hand.


10 Comments Add yours

  1. Such a great tip! The pictures make it so much easier to understand how much glue to use. I’ll have to give this a try.

  2. Very useful – thanks! I have been using gluestick with EPP but I was not sure about using it which my machine. 🙂

    1. I think the main thing is I give it a minute or so to dry so that it isn’t sticky. I started glue basting with EPP also and then one day thought “hey that would work on those 6″ blocks I bet” and the rest is history!

  3. Thank you for the tips on using glue! I am going to get a glue stick and try it. I wash my quilts before I give them away as well! I like to soft, scrunchy look and they smell nice and fresh!

    1. I totally agree! That’s one of the best parts is when it comes out of the dryer!

  4. admcmasters says:

    Thank you for clarifying the glue questions. I’ve wondered a few times about it but never tried it, perhaps I shall now.

  5. Very helpful information!

  6. I’m putting glue stick on my shopping list! I will definitely give this a try! Thank you:)!

  7. Thank you for doing this post! That was very helpful. I’m going to try this (just a tiny bit of glue and used sparingly). Should make some things a lot easier.

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