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The Glue That Binds Us

by Claudia on May 25, 2014

I use this tool all the time and just love it!


As a child, my sister trimmed my bangs and the outcome was typical for an eight-year-old…very short and very angled!  My six-year-old solution was to glue my hair back on!  That started my love affair with glue and it continues today.  Sharon Schamber was the first national educator that told me it was okay to use glue while sewing.  The doors became open and I found lots of uses for glue since then.


The two types of glue used on fabric are permanent and water soluble.  I do not usually use permanent adhesives a lot, but Dritz makes Liquid Stitch.  The most common use is to repair a zipper or hem and it also works well for applying applique’s or patches.  I sell this to non-sewers who need that Boy or Girl Scout patch on now.


The kind of glue I use all the time is water soluble.  It comes in different forms and they are:

1)      Glue Sticks.  There are several brands of glue sticks, but my favorite is Collins.  I use it for preparing my applique’ pieces.  I can then hand stitch them on to the background, or I can machine stitch them on.  I get smooth curves and sharp points.  We also carry a fairly new brand called Lapel Stick.  This glue stick is handy in your purse or sewing kit because it is designed to hold collars flat or a quick fix on a hem.  I would be amiss if I did not mention Elmer’s SCHOOL glue stick.  Make sure it is school because this is water soluble.  The other Elmer’s glue sticks are not.  HINT:  Glue sticks will dry out and work best fresh!  I have heard it is best to store them in the refrigerator.

2)      Basting Glue.  There are many brands of basting glue, but Patches sells only two.  First is simple Elmer’s SCHOOL glue.  Again, be sure it is the water soluble school glue.  The problem with this glue is that it does not come with a top dispenser that can produce a tiny, light line of glue.  More is definitely not better with glue.  Patchwork Quilts is one of the exclusive suppliers of Aunt Maggie’s Glue Applicator.  Be sure to check out our instructional video to see how cool this works!  I was recently introduced to Quilter’s Choice Basting Glue.   Kim Diehl said it was her favorite and I can see why.  The application is easier (a small dot is great) and it washes out with only warm water.  I loved it for applying my applique’ pieces to my background before stitching.  Another great use for glue is matching a point.  We have all been in the situation of ripping stitches out because the points did not match up.  It can sometimes just get worse each time the seam is torn out because the fabric distorts.  A solution for this is to repress the seam with some steam to relax the threads, then realign the points and use a drop of glue to hold the seam together, “heat-set” it with your iron (this dries the glue quickly), and sew the seam again.  Presto…perfect point!

I hope that this blog gives you the permission to use glue and be proud of it.  It never really worked to fix my bangs, but it is still a great product.  Be sure to share some of your own uses for glue with us.

Happy Sewing