I 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.
Actually, 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.