If you're mostly a quilter, such as myself, stabilizers may not be on your radar. For garment sewists, bag makers and other crafters, stabilizing papers and adhesives are just another tool lining the shelves of their studios. So, my quilters, before hopping into a review on Terial Magic, and before giving you some free and cuuuuute quilt labels designed by yours truly, let's quickly review Stabilizers 101.
And don't miss the FREE Terial Magic giveaway at the bottom of this post!
What is Fabric Stabilizer?
Not to get sassy with you, but it’s exactly what it sounds like! It’s something you use to stiffen-up your fabric to make it easier to work with, especially when you’re quilting or embroidering tricky designs. Technically, stabilizer is different than interfacing. While interfacing is meant to be permanently added to your fabric project, stabilizers are meant to be removed after sewing.
4 Types of Stabilizer:
- Cut-Away. This stabilizer keeps fabric stable while you're sewing, until it becomes of age and you kick it out against its will… with scissors. AKA – you cut it out. Uncle Joey style.
- Tear-Away. A little less clingy than its cut-away sister, tear-away stabilizers can be carefully yanked from their post. Carefully. Some tear-away stabilizers are more cooperative than others.
- Heat-Away. If you’re working with delicate fabric and you want to do as little yanking and cutting and washing as possible, you might have tried heat-away. Put this baby in a steam room and watch it crumble under the heat.
- Wash-Away. If you’re working with washable fabrics and you’re not a big pyro (some can be flammable), wash-away stabilizers melt when they hit water (similar to the Wicked Witch of the West… I’ll get you my pretty!)
Speaking of washable stabilizers...have you met my new friend Terial Magic? It's a unique liquid stabilizer that transforms any kind of fabric into stable, paper-like material. Wait, let me stop you right there before you ask, "Can I use it on [insert every type of fabric ever made]?"
Cause honestly I'm not sure. I can personally tell you that it works great on cotton, jersey, linen, denim, and chambray. Does it work on silk? I haven't tried it. My guess is yes, but like I always say – test, test, TEST!
My Terial Magic MAGIC!
I have so many different ideas for using this spray (and you'll be seeing them pop up around here in the next couple months), but right away I wanted to make some custom quilt labels. You see, the week before I needed to ship two quilts to QuiltCon for exhibit, I got my first bottle of Terial Magic. (Read more about creative quilt labels here, including instructions on how to use freezer paper...which I am never going to use again...read below to see why.)
My typical routine before sending quilts to a show is:
- Always wait until the very last minute to print my quilt labels.
- Spend 10 minutes creating a perfect 8 1/2" x 11 freezer-paper-fabric situation.
- Run around the house yelling at my printer for eating up the freezer-paper-fabric situation I have been cramming into it for 30 minutes.
- Open a bottle of wine.
- Make at least two more fabric-freezer-paper-fabric situations so I can try once again to print my labels after the first one was ground into a pulp. First by my printer and then by my fist.
- Force my husband to sweet talk our printer into printing JUST ONE, PLEASE LITTLE PRINTER, JUST ONE label.
- Crawl into bed clutching my hard earned printed bits of fabric two hours later.
Guys, you wanna know my routine now that I own some T-Magic??
- Always wait until the very last minute to print my labels.
- Spray T-Magic on some scrap fabric.
- Wait 10 minutes for it to dry a bit.
- Iron it.
- Trim it.
- Send it through my printer.
- Celebrate my amazing success at printing a custom label.
- Open a bottle of wine.
I can't believe I'm actually going to put this in writing, but printing quilt labels just got FUN!
EDIT: After originally posting this I got a lot of questions about whether or not the ink from your printer will fade. I personally haven't washed any of my labels yet, so I can't tell you for sure. My guess is that it has a lot to do with the kind of ink in your printer. If you don't want to risk fading, there is a chemical you can buy that will set the ink into your fabric to prevent fading. Again, I haven't tried this, but it sounds like a great solution.
I've also just gotten another tip from a reader – if you soak your fabric in vinegar, then rinse with water, and finish with ironing, the ink sets really well.
I think you should test a few different things and report back with what works for you!
7 Fun FREE Sewing Labels
Now that printing and making your own sewing labels is mega easy and oh so fun, I made 7 different labels for your fabric stabilizing enjoyment! To print these, use Terial Magic and:
- Spray your fabric until it is soaked through.
- Dry it until it's damp.
- Iron it flat.
- Trim it to 8 1/2" x 11 (standard for printers in the USA).
- Treat this stabilized fabric like card stock. For my printer, I needed to load it in the back tray.
You can use these labels on your quilts, as patches on a jean jacket, as cute additions to a collared shirt, fabric cards for friends, or maybe even as bunting to hang in your sewing room! Whatever makes you happy!
One quick note about using these as labels – once you wash them, the fabric looses its magic – meaning it's soft and can fray again. I kinda forgot about this little fact when I sewed the "Handmade for you with love" label. In retrospect, I should have hemmed the sides so that it won't fray once it's washed. Second solution – never wash your quilt! 😉
You could also do some needle-turn appliqué and sew one like a patch on your next quilt!
Terial Magic Giveaway!
10 lucky winners are getting a bottle of Terial Magic! To enter the giveaway:
- Go to the Terial Magic blog.
- Find an interesting project you'd like to make or that has inspired you.
- Tell me about it in the comments!
The 10 winners will be announced 1 week from now on April 5.