Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Glue Sticks

I know there are lots of fancy glue and adhesives out there on the quilting market, but I have learned that there is a lot you can do with a simple glue stick, the same type my first grader uses at home and at school.  My favorite glue stick is the Elmer's Glue disappearing purple.

Now, I feel like I should warn you right off the bat that the purple goes on *really* purple.  The first one I used, I admit I swiped from my son's desk.  That one was either older and faded or a lighter batch, and using it didn't faze me much.  I liked the disappearing purple so much I bought more when school supplies went on sale.  And I used it on an upcoming Island Batik project to attach some Dresden units to a background and for a moment, I thought I ruined my project!  That purple is dark!  But true to it's name, it really does disappear!  I could not see it through my light background fabric at all.

In working on my recent By Annie bag challenge, one of my ambassador friends mentioned to me that spray baste did not work on Annie's Soft and Stable.  Taking her word for it, I didn't even try.  I reached for my disappearing purple.  (The one above is from my Call Me bag.) I ran the glue all over my Soft and Stable on side and smoothed the fabric over it.  I waited about 20 minutes and did the other side.  I again waited about 20 minutes before quilting.  Worked great!

One thing I really like about these glue sticks is that they are not wet at all.  I've started using them to adhere applique shapes to a background before stitching down.  I've so far not have a problem with the purple showing up after the glue dries, and that project I was worried I'd ruined has a light background and some other pretty light fabrics.  Once dried, I've also been able to remove it fairly easily by gently tugging, though I admit I've only done that once.  

I'm linking up with Kathleen McMusing's Tips and Tutorials on the 22nd.  Yes, I'm a day or two late.  But she keeps the links up permanently so you can see the tips she & other quilters have submitted any time.


  1. I use spray starch on my Soft & Stable, and it works okay. Doesn't hold as well as with a batting, but it works for me.

  2. "GLUE STCKS" say it soft and it's almost like praying

  3. Great idea, but does it make a difference when stitching? Does it gum up the needle or make it sticky?

  4. Hi Emily,
    I used the purple glue stick on my latest project! Thank you for the heads up! And there was no gumming up my needle - it stayed perfectly clean!
    Happy Quilting! :-)

  5. Love this! And of course, thanks so much for sharing the party and your fabulous tip!

  6. You know, I wonder whether they use the same chemical in the purple air erasable quilt marking pens that Elmer's puts in their glue sticks? I think a disappearing colored glue stick is a great idea anyway because otherwise it's so hard to know if you got the glue everywhere it needed to go. We have SO MANY of these glue sticks squirreled away in drawers and cupboards in this house. It seems like they were on every teacher's supply list every year all throughout elementary and middle school, and for some reason we kept buying more every year even though we still had them left from the year before...

  7. I second the purple glue sticks! It is great to be able to see where (and how much) you are using. I was nervous too about how purple it was, but it really does disappear.