A Box of Rocks: The Kiss Principle in Practice Made Better with a New Fusible

634 Wind over Water 2If you do nature quilts, at some point you’ll want to do rocks.  Rocks do a lot of a quilt. They give a hard edge to a quilt. They give weight to the bottom of the piece. They make an uneven edge that makes for a more natural work. Over the years I’ve embroidered rocks, painted rocks, crumpled fabric to make rocks, used dyed cheesecloth, organza and sheers. Rocks are a case of the kiss principle. They seem to be best if you keep it simple, Sweetie.

hand dyed fabricThe best rocks I’ve ever made have been simple hand dyed fabric. The shading and variation of hand dye is perfect. And it’s the perfect task when you have the brains left of a somewhat tired out ardvark. I can cut rocks when I’ve got no brains at all left.Of course if you stitch around a rock with a solid color it looks like it came from OZ. I use a soft edge applique technique, minimal zigzag stitching around the rock with monofilament nylon, for the best effect.

But, it does help to have a good way to apply them.

Lately we’ve had some problems with available fusibles. So a new product on the market is a special rare treat. I have several things I ask of my fusibles.


  • They need to be paper backed. I’m not accurate enough to cut an unbacked fusible and not make an unholy mess. They gush glue out the edges when you iron them.
  • They need to tack on. I hate ironing on anything twice. 
  • They need to fuse cleanly and thoroughly. No popping up like a jack in a box.


I was over the moon to hear about Inn Fuse, the new tacking fusible from Innovative Crafts. Even more so  after I tested it out. And there’s no better test for that than cutting a box of rocks. It exceeded my expectations. I was working with the 9″ x 12″  sheets.

First off, the film has no texture of it’s own. It’s a slick simple film. That means it doesn’t show through sheers as a texture. The film sticks thoroughly to the fabric before you iron it. It fuses cleanly and quite tightly. I’m thinking I have a brand new favorite fusible. And a good size box of rocks.

fabric rocks

I’ll be very excited to work more with this and will report on it. But I’m bringing it into class next week at the Ann Arbor Quilt in, and I am confident to bring it to students.

You’ll find Inn Fuse on their web site at Innovative Crafts. They’ve got a number of other stabilizer/batt products that are just that, innovative. You’ll also find it at most Bernina stores, and wholesale at Brewer Sewing. And in my studio where I intend to make a whole lot more than rocks.

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5 Responses to “A Box of Rocks: The Kiss Principle in Practice Made Better with a New Fusible”

  1. annie! says:

    Ohhhh..you’ll be close to my grandson. Lucky you. 🙂

    I can’t wait to try out this fusible…but being the frugal person that I am…it’ll have to wait until I use up what I have on hand!

    Beautiful rocks Ellen….and I have to say it…

    ROCK ON!!!

  2. carol ann sinnreich says:

    Hi, Ellen Anne,
    Thanks for writing about the Inn Fuse. Like others I was surprised by the demise of Steam a Seam 2. Keep us posted about your observations of Inn Fuse’s long term results.

    As always I enjoyed reading your comments.I like your new layout. But the business of the left sidebar having all the facebook, twitter et al icons that slide down as one scrolls is a annoying distraction. I’m sure you’re not aware of the downward motion which draws the eye away from your photos and comments you so graciously share with everyone.
    Enjoy the summer follies, Carol

  3. Deanna says:

    How stiff is the fabric after fusing? How does it compare to other fusibles for stiffness. Thanks. Great idea on the rocks.

  4. […] estatic to find a product with both those properties. I talked about this in an erlier post called A Box full of Rocks. Inn Fuse has  those  properties and some very fine virtues all it’s […]

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