AWARD

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

THROWING IN THE TOWEL




                             THE LAUNDRY BASKET THAT INSPIRED 
                                        THIS TUTORIAL

In the  preceding post, which was dedicated to Janine's Birthday Celebration, I showed this laundry basket that made up part of her birthday gift from me.  All the interior items are loose so that Janine could place them where she liked and separate them as needed.  However, when putting the basket together, I wanted it to look like a cohesive set.  I included a variety of items which you can see in the following post, FRIENDS FOREVER.

Sab has asked me what I used to make the towels and so I thought that I should take the opportunity to not only answer that question but also to show how I made them.   It is not rocket science but there may be some novice miniaturists that may also be curious and perhaps this is a new technique for the old timers too.
(And I mean that in the mini way)
hee hee
*****

The towels

a package of baby washcloths

As I told Sab, I have been using baby wash cloths for many years and I think that they  provide the most authentic terry cloth for miniature towels that I have seen.  But I have also used infant terry Onesies, you know the kind with the feet built in to the pants?  They are good too if you are looking for a particular color that is not usually found in washcloths and yet the ones that I have sold the most of in towel sets are WHITE AND PINK.  Always.
This is a 4 pack of baby wash cloths and I bought them at the dollar store for
ONE DOLLAR
I emphasize this because that does not often happen anymore
The glue
I can't say that this has ever been my glue of choice for gluing fabric.  It always seems way too wet!
My preference would be something I haven't been able to locate for a long time....
VELVERETTE
This glue was a whole lot thicker and didn't seem to bleed through the fabric like this one does but this is what I have to use because I haven't found anything better
YET
(BUT I AM LOOKING)

(Well, what was I thinking?  White on white!!!!?)
(Too late, I'll just have to squint along with you.)

Lay out the square of the washcloth and trim away the sewn edge.  You want the fabric to fold without the additional bulk.  Then you will fold the top down to make the depth of the towel.
Mine measure anywhere from an inch and a quarter to an inch and a half.  Or 3 cm to 4 cm.
It can also depend on if you are storing them in a container like a basket or putting them on a shelf.  Make the towels fit the destination.  I fold my towels in Real life according to how patient I am at the time so they are not always uniform.

So you can see that there is a lot of glue on the fabric.  I am chiefly concerned with the edges as that is what will be the ugly parts of this.  I am not trying to saturate the towel but I want the edges to stay put.  So I glue the shape of the towel, I glue the leading edge and the fold line and the two outside edges and then I fold the top down and press.

Then I do the same thing all over again, by running the glue the entire shape of the fabric, forming a glue rectangle.

Once again I fold the towel over onto itself.  The tail that is extended is cut off just under the folded edge.

This is what it looks like on the back side of the towel.  Not so pretty but again the importance is to make certain that the edges are glued down securely. 

Now we fold in the other direction.
In order to get the stack, take the edge and fold it in towards the center .  Glue under the cut edge and then apply glue to the top of the towel as you see in the photo above.

This is what you should have by now.  If you looked at the opposite end the towel will also be folded so that both ends are nice to look at.


cut and glue down the cut edges
Press down with your hand to make sure that the glue is adhering to the cloth,  as it will reduce the bulk and also give the towel some "weight"

This is what it should look like 


The stack

What do you do with the left over?
Make a rolled towel

again
Same method as above but instead of folding it inward, roll it inward.  Use enough glue to secure it as you go. cut and press so that the glue adheres

This does not have to be a big roll but make it to suit the space.

Then add it to your pile.

WASTE NOT, WANT NOT
I'm going to use the last little bit up!

For this little skinny strip, fold the 2 longest ends in to meet in the middle.  

First one length and then the other and press down to make the glue grab the fabric.


Then starting from one end, fold inward towards the centre so that it  looks like the photo above.


cut off the tail and do the next one

And add it to your pile of folded towels.  These are a good size for hand towels and add a little more variety to the collection.
The stack of towels 

Now let's make them special

I am adding a little bit of glue to the the underside of the top towel in the stack so that it will remain secure.  You do not have to do this but I am making this stack a twosome so they will not be separated.

I am using silk ribbon to bind the two towels together visually. If you are going to add a bow, then you can put the glue join on the top surface of the towel but if you are just wanting the plain ribbon, secure the ribbon with glue on the bottom of the stack.

(I tried to figure out how to turn this photo around but I can't .)
So anyway, wrap the silk ribbon around the towel and cut with some very sharp scissors and then use just a DOT of glue to keep the end down.  This glue will bleed through the silk so do not use a lot or you will be mad.
OKAY
THAT IS IT!
******

And here are some variations on the theme using a variety of different trims to make them more decorative and also adding linen labels.




And so we have reached the end of the journey once again.
I hope all of you enjoyed folding the  towels with me.
Now please excuse me while I RELUCTANTLY go and tend to the pile- up in the laundry basket.

 Not the mini one, the real life one!
(sigh)
I HATE DOING LAUNDRY!

elizabeth

49 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this tutorial, Elizabeth. The towels are so pretty. I just want to add that Casey had a blog post on August 21, 2010, in which she mentions that Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky Glue is the closest to the Velverette glue you mentioned above. I'm not familiar with Velverette. Why do good products always get discontinued? Anyways, the other day I used a fabric glue to glue fabric and it seeped through and left some spots. It was a quilt and I had worked so hard on it. I was so disappointed. At first, I had wanted to try Aleene's Fast Grab and I wish I had because I don't think it would have stained my quilt.

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  2. Thank you for that valuable bit of information, Lucille! I shall most certainly investigate it as soon as possible. Velverette was a jar of glue that had a rather thick but fluid texture that Did Not bleed through fabrics and seemed to be especially effective with silks which are so thin to begin with and easy to destroy. I can imagine your dismay when your quilt was spotted with the glue product that you used. What a frustration that must have been! I know that not all glues are created equal and that some are more suited to certain jobs than others. This glue is okay for something like this because the fabric is thick and takes up the moisture without compromising the fabric but on silk it is dangerous! I thank you Lucille and how did you ever remember it from a 2010 blog? You are just a fount of information!
    And I'm so happy that you are! I hope that you were able to save the quilt! Was that being made for that lovely Edwardian bed, by any chance?

    elizabeth

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    1. Elizabeth, I must give the credit to Google. I simply googled Velverette glue and the info on Casey's blog post was there. It's the third one down. Actually, your blog is mentioned right under this entry. Now, I'm going to drag myself to bed. It's 11:20 in Ottawa to your 8:20 in Vancouver. I usually go to bed much later but I'm fighting a lung infection and I feel weak and exhausted.

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    2. Thank you again Luciille! I hope that you will take very good care of yourself! My daughter has been fighting a sinus infection for the past week that developed into a major cold with fever and other flu symptom. She was miserable and so I know what you must be fighting so please take care and get plenty of rest and fluids. A lung infection is nothing to sneeze at!
      (bad pun/ sorry Lucille)

      elizabeth

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  3. Thanks for the tutorial the towels look great and of course baby towels would be the ideal fabric to use, although I probably wouldn't have thought of it myself. I remember using Velverette when I did miniatures many years ago. It was a great glue. Your comment took me down memory lane. I now use Aleene's Tacky Glue.

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  4. Hi Sharee! I glad that you liked the tutorial. It is like fabric origami as it is mostly about folding and folding, etc. I also now use Aileen's Tacky glue and I go through bottles of it regularly! I use it on just about everything with the exception of fabric! That is why I miss the Velverette! It is nice to meet a fellow fan of that glue and as Lucille said, it is always the good products that get discontinued. BUT... if the Aileen's Fast Grab is good enough for Casey to give it a thumbs up, then perhaps I won't miss the Velverette and I will be just as happy in the end! Yay!

    elizabeth

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    1. Yes, I hadn't heard of the quick grab glue. I will have to source it and give it a try. Hopefully you can get it here in New Zealand.

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  5. Thanks for showing how. Yor laundry look like a million. Unfortunately, we do not have these rags in Danmrak, but I got a really good sense of the substance I needed, now I have to go on hunting. I know only the thin fabric glue which just floats through the fabric, I must also go on hunting for something thicker.
    Hugs
    Wyrna

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    1. Hi Wyrna and a belated Happy Birthday to you! I was just visiting Anna's blog where she is getting ready to turn 30 and I read your comment about just having enjoyed YOURS recently. So all the best in the coming year!
      I hope that you will be able to find a glue that is suitable and I will be trying out the Aileen's Fast Grab that Lucille mentioned in the comments above. If it is good enough for Casey, it is good enough for me! I have great respect for Caseyr and her endless talent. Isn't this is Networking in action! ? As to not being able to find the baby wash cloths, try a light weight flannel and sometimes even a thick paper towel can work just as effectively if the items are going to be used just as a filler. I would also advise checking out the thirft, charity, and second hand stores because often infant wear is cast off( being outgrown )and the fabric is lighter weight and usually pastel and or with tiny prints.
      Good luck with your search; keep your eyes open and your solution will appear when you least expect it to!

      elizabeth

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  6. Fabuloso tutorial, muchas gracias!
    :D
    Un abrazo

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    1. Hola Rosamargarita! Thank you for your comment, you are always so nice! I am so Surprised that people are this interested in this tutorial!? I am so pleased that you have enjoyed it though and I hope that the materials that I have used, will be available to you where you live. If they are not, refer to the outlets that I mentioned to Wyrna as possible alternate sources to find materials. Thanks again and have fun!

      elizabeth

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  7. Elizabeth, your basket full of goodies is lovely, everything in it so true to life, I just love what you do!!! The towels are extra special with trims and labels.

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    1. Hello Susan! Thank you for the compliment, I really appreciate it. I have to say that I love what you do too! Every time I see you little tiny bear being held between your fingers, I inwardly long to be able to do the kind of needlework that you and other artist like you are able to do! Gluing is not a skill, embroidery, knitting, crocheting and sewing; NOW, THOSE ARE SKILLS! Anyway, lets call it MUTUAL ADMIRATION!
      I like the towels with the linen labels too! I just scaled them down from labels that I found in a magazine. The print became illegible in the process so that only the outline remained,but they served there intended purpose! It is so funny how a tiny piece of paper can transform something so magically and take it to the next level. It never ceases to amaze me!

      elizabeth

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  8. Elizabeth, thank you much for this tutorial. To use baby towel is a good idea because it is so thin. --- Have very nice Easter time. Hugs Kati

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    1. Hello Kartina! Thank you for your comment and Yes the baby towels are the Perfect scale for the bath towels that they are representing! I think that I discovered this when my son was born and I had some that I decided to confiscate or re-direct to my miniature projects and I have been using them ever since! I love the fact that I found them at the dollar store for an $1! They are sold in department stores and stores like Wal-Mart for quite a bit more and they are usually patterned and/or there is only ONE usable cloth out of a package of 4. That is Most Aggravating!
      So try the cheaper outlets first! White is the most versatile but pink is usually always pretty but I have made some in mint green, aqua, orange and peach! It is amazing the colors you can find!
      Have fun and make enough for any future swaps or to fill up a linen cupboard, because 4 cloths will give you lots and lots of linen!

      elizabeth

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  9. Thank you so much for this tutorial I need all the help I can get - off to hunt out some baby washcloths I tink I have somewhere.I will try some towels this weekend ( even though my house has no bathroom !) Can you explain the bottle if you have time please - maybe I have missed this somewhere else?

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    1. HEllO Gladys! So nice to hear from you! I think that is funny, Gladys, but do think of me as a "DEAR ABBY" of Blog Land! " Yes, How can I help you, today?" hahah All kidding aside, I am so happy that you have decided to try the towels,Gladys. They couldn't be simpler and is a great way to get your feet wet, as they do not require a lot of precision or fiddling around with. You can see by my photos that I was not being particularly tidy with the application of the fabric glue and I did this on purpose to show that this was a basic tutorial that could give you quick and pretty results without having to have a degree in anything that involved math. I am not too good with math or numbers or counting or budgets.... ooops, I digress. I use the old 'eyeball' method to calculate and these eyeballs are getting older and older! hhahah So do not worry about needing help Gladys. I try to make the tutorials easy and fun and I keep them simple and available so that everyone can do them and have a successful product after giving them a go. Let me explain the bottle a little later. They are easy too. But I promise I will get to it soon. Meanwhile try the towels and tell me later how you made out. I am ALWAYS INTERESTED. Just ask Alice, Anna, Katrina etc. It makes me happy.

      elizabeth

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  10. Hello Elizabeth,
    Thank you! those are wonderful towels and it's great to know what artists are using to make things. The sets you made are just perfec tion and the baskets you have assembled are great. You always give us so many great ideas and hot-tos.
    Big hug
    Giac

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    Replies
    1. Hello Giac! Thank you for those kind word, my friend! I had fun making them and it is all due to Sab asking me how. You know that sometimes when you do something over and over, you can tend to think or assume that everyone else is just as familiar and informed about what you are doing and that is not always the case at all, as I've just found out. I thought that this was nothing new because I have done it so often for so long. I am glad that the towels are received as well as they have been. I am glad that you like the sets of towels and when you are making your bathroom accessories for the Manor, think of this tutorial, Giac. I think that with a house as extensive as yours you should have several bathrooms!
      Big Hug back!

      elizabeth

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  11. thank you very much for this wondrful tutorial! Im going to look for those at the dollar store :)

    Hugs
    Marisa :)

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    1. Hello Marisa! You are so welcome and I hope that you are able to find them there as I did. I have recently discovered the DOLLARAMA which I am now a big fan of as the items are usually about 99 cents to $1.50 average price. These ones I have in the photos came from a local dollar store and I will look for them again and see if they are still there. Things come and go without warning these days. I hope that you make a collection for yourself and others. I made some for Fatima and Janine and Janine has the majority of them on display in her bird bedroom in the linen cupboard where I made sheets and hand towel etc. using the glue and fold method on fine linen hankies that incorporated the lovely edging of the fabric into the finished item. See the MINWORKS blog on the Birdroom of a week ago to see examples.
      Have fun Marisa!

      elizabeth

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  12. I want to make some now....quick trip to $$$ store! Ah wait! I said no more $$$ store for 6 months. Have enough to start my own store. I'm just going to have to wait until that time. Seriously Elizabeth, you are so very generous with your tutorials. Thank you.
    fats

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    1. Hi Fats! That is what it is all about! I think of it as passing the torch, kinda, although I do want to hold onto the torch awhile yet! hahaha
      I learn from others and I hope that others will learn something from me too. What would happen if we all held tightly and kept everything for ourselves? This hobby would not be nearly as much fun or as interesting, in my opinion. Besides, no 2 people will do things exactly the same even given the same materials. We have discussed this before and as each will have their own skills and materials to contribute, each project will evolve accordingly. That my dearest Fats, is the beauty of this hobby as we, the Miniteers, have had the pleasure of discovering!


      elizabeth

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  13. The basket is beautifully arranged! :D You are so right - baby terry makes the best spa quality towels in mini.

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    1. Hello Brae and a heart-felt CONGRATULATIONS READER'S CHOICE WINNER! Well deserved, well earned. Thank you for the compliment, it was fun and Janine enjoyed it which made me happy. I have discovered that not all baby wash cloths are created equal. I was fishing through the stash of them that I have been collection through out the years before I put this hobby on hold, and I found that some are just a tight weave and not SPA-LIKE at all! Hopefully, everyone will make sure that they look at the nap of the cloths as they are usually in a cello package or stapled onto a card, hung onto a display rack. They are not nearly as interesting if they are not the plush, fluffy kind.
      Thanks for the input, Brae, and looking forward to the artist's loft completion, soon and my favorite; the Haunted Heritage. LOVE IT!

      elizabeth

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  14. I've been wanting to know how to do this...thanks so much for sharing your methods, Elizabeth! I've seen packagesof baby washcloths at my local dollar store, will have to pick up some next time I'm in there. I really enjoy your blog...and you're really going to town on Pinterest too! I have a lot of mini tutorials on there too...more than I could make in a lifetime I think! I'm hoping that heaven will include some mini-making...you never know♥ Mini blessings from Kate

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    1. What a chuckle your comment gave me Kate! I too, have often thought what will heaven be like and what will I be doing while I am up there? Minis? I have come to the conclusion that God who made everything that I have ever seen or will see, and who has made this world so incredibly, and constantly interesting to me and everyone else, will make sure that HEAVEN will hold me even MORE fascinated than ANYTHING I think of as interesting to me now. Even me with my short attention span!
      That being said, I thought exactly like you as I was pinning away tutorials that I liked and wanted to file... How on earth would I ever be able to get even a small fraction of them done, and still be able to have a Real life? Not possible but it is certainly fun to see and imagine and what is more, it is wonderful to see how people make SILK purses, out of a Sow's ears! The creativity is jaw-dropping. Thank you for the collection of tutorials that you have been amassing Kate. I am often in your folders. It is so inspiring and it gets the juices flowing even if all you can do is just look and pin and dream.

      elizabeth

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  15. THANK YOU ELIZABETH:))))) for sharring and taking the afford to show it in a tutorial! I have to go and find baby washcloths here in Holland. I tell you if I have....no, I will show you it to you when I have found and made the towels:)

    Hugs,Sab

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    1. Hello Sab! You are so welcome! I am so amazed about the response to this tutorial and I have YOU to thank for it! I certainly never imagined that towels would ignite such a fire. I thought it wouldn't be very interesting to the world at large. You just never know, do you? With the way that you make things Sab, I am now on pins and needles to see what you come up with as I am sure that it will be MORE than WONDERFUL!
      This is not the original tutorial that I had been planning at this time. That one is still on the drawing boards and so this one was timely as I needed something in the in-term until the other one was ready. THANK YOU SAB!!! Your inquiry was a BLESSING in disguise!

      elizabeth

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  16. That rocks, Elizabeth :). Super sweet of you to post this tutorial! Thanks :)

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    1. You are sooo Welcome Sans! I am all about showing how-to and this tutorial has taught me a valuable lesson as well. Never assume that others aren't interested. I was so afraid that this was too simple and not sophisticated enough to be paid attention to, because it was so familiar to me. How could glue and fold and glue and fold.... hold anyones attention? I am sorry that I belittled it and I am happy that everyone is enjoying it as much as they have expressed to me. I guess it is the little things in life that count, after all. I know that, but how easily it is to forget.

      elizabeth

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  17. Te han quedado genial, gracias por la información, besos:)

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    1. Hola Rosa Maria! Thank you for taking the time to comment! I am happy that you enjoyed the tutorial and I hope that you will be able to find the materials that you need to make some for yourself. They fast, easy and fun and they would make excellent birthday gifts, such as what I made for Janine, or swap or Christmas gifts. I hope that you will try them out and let me know if you do as I am sure that you will make them totally pretty and special!

      elizabeth

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  18. A beautiful collection. I like the arrangement in basket.
    Greetings, Faby

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    1. Hello Fabiola! thank you for your comment and for the compliment! I enjoyed the making of the basket and Janine did too!

      elizabeth

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  19. The filled basket is a great idea. I love to see "things" inside things and I enjoyed your informative description on creating the bundle. I definitely need to get some baby cloths added to my stash!

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  20. Hello Irene! I like "things" inside of things too! It's kind of like buried treasure when you can dig down into something and find other things waiting to be discovered. Thanks for the nice review of this tutorial, it is always appreciated. I think there is going to be a "Run" on baby wash cloths so better get yours soon! hahah

    elizabeth

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  21. I love using baby towels/washcloths from the dollar store for dollhouse towels! You get the texture but they are the perfect thickness. Love the details you added to make them more realistic. :)

    toddlindsey.com

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    1. Hi Lindsey! "YES'! to everything you said. They are cheap, they look just like full-sized towels with the nap to scale and they are the perfect thickness! The perfect combination! Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment; I am due to do a return visit to Toddlindsey very soon!

      elizabeth

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  22. Replies
    1. Thank you Chris! I am so glad that you do! It is such a simple and easy thing to do and yet it seems to be greatly appreciated as a tutorial! I hope that you and your mini group of regulars will make some and stock your doll house cupboards to the max!!!!
      By the way, did you get all of your resin dolls painted yet? I hope they turned out well. Let me know.


      elizabeth

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  23. отличная идея с полотенцами !!!!!! Спасибо
    Ksandra

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    1. Hi Ksandra! Sorry for not seeing you here until now! I am glad that you have enjoyed this tutorial and hope that you have an opportunity to get some made for your own mini projects, they are lots of fun! :))

      elizabeth

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  24. Hi Elizabeth,
    Now it is showing up on my followers list so we're A-Ok,
    Hugs,
    Ruth

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  25. Thanks for sharing your skills and ideas! The glue discussion that ensued was just great as well. Probably not the best choice with silk, but if you're ever gluing leather, fabritac is the absolute best I have found.

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  26. Hi HepzibethClare! I Have heard of Fabrictac and will give it some further investigation. I know everyone has their favorite " Go- To " glue and often it will be dependent on where you live ( humidity etc.) and what is available in your area. I have an arsenal of different types of glues but I am always on the prowl for new ones, looking to replace the much loved and discontinued Velverette. I shall now have to add Fabrictac to my list! Thanks HepzibethClare! :))

    elizabeth

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  27. Thanks for sharing your skills and ideas! The glue discussion that ensued was just great as well. Probably not the best choice with silk, but if you're ever gluing leather, fabritac is the absolute best I have found.
    gclub

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  28. Thank You Very Much for your compliment and for your comment Manho Valentine! :D
    I will see if I can fine Fabrictac glue since it has been suggested before.
    The 2 fabric glues which I now use are Aileens's Flexible Stretchable and Unique's NO-SEW which is the one I use the most often since it is thicker, yet even so it still bleeds through silk. I greatly appreciate any new recommendations which are always welcomed, now I've just gotta see if I can find the Fabrictac. :D

    elizabeth

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