A Weekend Burning

I decided to treat myself to a private weekend workshop of one by following some of the exercises in Margaret Beal’s book “Fusing Fabric”

The first sample is layers of organza on acrylic felt, just getting used to my soldering iron. My soldering iron doesn’t have an ideal tip – its meant for stencil cutting and I need a very light hand if I don’t burn all the way through to the glass cutting mat I made from a cheap clip frame.
This sample was done with an ordinary electrical soldering iron – which has a regular, slightly chunky chisel edged tip. In some ways I prefer it because it is easy to control – it seams to melt the layers together more readily before burning through the felt. The only downside is the tip is not so fine.



More layers of organza over a felt background, experimenting with the soldering iron to burn through to create eyelets of different shapes. The funny shape of the stencil cutting tip was especially good at creating tear shaped holes.

Fine lines

Layers of felt, organza, organza offcuts and another layer of organza. Fine lines burnt together to blend the colour areas together. In some areas the burning cut through the felt – not desired. A very light hand was required.


Two layers of organza – experimenting freehand with squiggles and swirls.

Cut outs

Using metal cookie cutters I cut out some shapes from a layered organza which had snippets of fabric sandwiched in between. I then applied the cut out shapes to a double layer of organza.

Applying cut outs to new layers


Scrunchy texture surfaces

Not so happy with this bit – I shouldn’t have layered onto white felt. All these techniques are better on a dark felt. Wasn’t really quite sure what to do from description in the book I was following and the photos in this section showed samples that were more advanced .

Scoring patterns with a metal template

Using crafters metal embossing stencil, I traced part of the edge to create patterns onto 3 layers of organza and felt. For this I changed to the regular soldering iron – with pleasing results. I have nice crusty burnt patterns.

Fancy borders

Two layers of organza and some metal templates. The bottom border was a freehand squiggle. I then sealed them onto a background of white felt using a metal ruler and the soldering iron.

3D shapes

I created a tube with a rectangle of organza and seal the ends – for the triangular one I gave it an extra twist before sealing the last edge.

Combining techniques

This sampler combines some of the techniques I have learnt. I decided use some of the opaque gold lame that I had in my stash – it melts beautifully. I had to switch to my stencil cutter for the cut outs.


I created a patchwork by laying two strips of organza on top of one another. I then place a metal ruler about 1/4 in down from the edges and ran the soldering iron along the edge. This “glued” the cut edges of the strips together and the excess edge was removed and reserved.

I continued cutting and attaching strips together to make one stripy piece of fabric. I then rotated the stripy piece so that the stripes were vertical and cut strips across the fabric creating strips of attached squares. I then attached/cut the strips together (rotating and offsetting them) to create the patchwork above.  The offcuts were then used to create the next piece of patchwork.


Offcut Patchwork

Laid offcuts vertically over a piece of organza. Took my metal ruler and cut strips horizontally. Then cut/attached strips of plain organza to the patterned strips. Both patchwork samples required a lot of finger pressing to get them to even think of lying flat.