Lila Tueller’s Tips for Using Laminated Fabrics

This is a list that Lila Tueller recently discussed and shared with us at a seminar at International Quilt Market. She has come up with some great new patterns and is releasing a line of laminated cottons herself through Riley Blake.

1. You may have heard that pins are a problem. It’s true that pinholes are slightly more noticeable than with regular cottons. But I have found that they are quite minimal, and not worth the trouble of using fancy tapes and such. Test it for yourself on a scrap and see what you think! If you do notice pinholes, use double-faced sewing tape such as “Collins(TM)” or just use ordinary paper clips to hold things together in place of pins.

2. Ironing is traditionaly a huge “no-no” where vinyl-coated fabrics are concerned. But with these new laminate I have found that you really can iron them and apply fusible material to them, provided you yuse a press cloth to protect the laminated surface from your hot iron. It also protects you iron fron getting gummed up and messy. You can iron on the front or back side using the press cloth. I just use about a 20″ square of plain white cotton or muslin for this.

3. When sewing on the right side of the laminate, sometimes the machine foot will stick to the surface, creating an undesirable drag. I’ve heard that putting masking tape on the bottom of the machine foot helps with this. But then you have a sticky foot when you take off the tape. (It’s true.) Instead I recommend wiping the bottom of the machine foot with just a little bit of machine oil using your finger. It works like a charm! And just a little goes a long way. The beauty of the Laminate is that it doesn’t absorb the oil. There is also a lubricant on the market called “Sew-Ease,” that works as well. Or, you may want to invest in a walking foot for super easy sewing.

4. Rather than machine washing or drying, just use a damp cloth with a little soapy water to wipe away any smudges you may encounter. It makes for a worry-free finished project you can really use and enjoy!

So that’s it! I hope you will use these amazing laminates as much as I have!


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