Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mess Up

Yes, friends, I messed up. We all do it and it never ceases to be really frustrating when it happens. Remember how last post I mentioned for my next block I was going to try glue basting? Well, I used the wrong glue and now the block is ruined.

The book I have been basing my entire applique experience from, Simply Successful Applique, recommends Elmer's glue. You just put  a dot or two on the back of your piece to hold it to the background while you stitch it down. There is less distortion and shifting than you get when you use pins.

Well, I didn't have any Elmer's glue available and I didn't feel like making a special trip to the store.

Here is what I did have: Mod podge.

Now it says on the front that it is water-based, so I just crossed my fingers and figured it would work. And it did work! The glue was so much better than pins at holding the pieces together, and made the 40+ pieces in this block come together quite quickly.

However, as I am sure you have guessed, it does not actually wash out. And when it dries it is as solid as a rock. So now my block is stiff as a board and has some glue exposed in a few spots where I was a bit sloppy.
Those shadows are glue stains

I went through a couple of stages on this (suspiciously like the stages of grief...)

Denial: I wet the entire thing twice because I figured "maybe I didn't get it wet enough the first time."

Anger: What the hell mod podge??? Also I am pretty mad at myself because I should have known better. Or at least done a  little more research on whether it would wash out. Or been less lazy and just picked up some Elmer's glue at Walgreens.

See the glue stains on the light green leaf?

Bargaining: I debated for a while just including the darn thing, or thinking of other ways to salvage it. I think it's beyond repair though, it's seriously really stiff.

Depression: Yes, I am really bummed. As I mentioned, this block has 40+ pieces in it so it's not like I can whip out a replacement overnight. I'm also bummed because I loved using the glue so much! It was such a great technique!

Acceptance: I am not quite here yet. The plus sides of this are: 1) I used the wrong greens in the leaves so the block didn't look that great anyways, 2) I've been thinking of dumping a vegetable and switching in lettuce, so maybe cauliflower is the one to go.

So, we all make mistakes. This could have been averted with a little more time up front on a test block or just doing a simple google search, but let's be real.  I hate practicing on test blocks and I won't change my ways from this. So maybe the acceptance part is accepting that I am not perfect and I will definitely make mistakes like this in the future and that's okay.

In other news, I'm taking a little break from this project and tackling a few other UFO's for a few days, potentially even my evil, EVIL jacket project.


  1. Since you'll have to make a new one anyway why not just turn this one into a pot holder (not the smaller ones to actually take things out of the oven but more a piece for the table to put a hot casserole dish on). That way it doesn't matter if it is stiff or not :) Just a suggestion! Think the block looks cute regardless of the glue issue, sorry you have to repeat it for your project.

  2. One of the greatest products I have found for "glue basting" is the SewLine glue pen. It is the size and shape of of a mechanical pencil with a thin, twist-up glue stick. It dries clear, is water-soluable, and washes out completely. It remains soft and pliable and can be pulled up easily if you need to move something. When I first saw these I couldn't imagine how it would be any different than the school glue I was using, but it was a required supply for a class I took. It was life changing for my applique and paper piecing. I will never go back!