Avalon Fix is Awesome!
October 28, 2008
I first became acquainted with Avalon Fix about a year ago when I took a class with Jan Beaney. Jan is a fiber artist from the U.K. and you should check out her wonderfully textural embroidery if you get a chance.
Avalon Fix is a water-soluble stabilizer. In case you don’t know what stabilizers are, here’s a great article from Threads Magazine. Essentially, a water-soluble stabilizer allows you to stitch into it like fabric and then it disappears or melts away in water. It’s an easy way to make your own lace or free standing embroidered embellishments.
Avalon Fix has two unique characteristics that I love:
1. You don’t need a hoop.
Most of the water-soluble stabilizers I’ve worked with resemble a thin plastic film. In order to work with them, you need to stretch them in a hoop. Avalon Fix is more like a woven fabric. You don’t need to use a hoop. This opens up many issues of size and shape. And, there’s less waste. (Always an important consideration for the budget minded.) Further, it’s still thin enough to see through, so you can place a pattern underneath your Avalon Fix.
2. It’s adhesive backed.
A popular lace technique is to sandwich loose fibers between two layers of water-soluble stabilizers and stitch a grid. When you melt away the stabilizer, you are left with a wonderful lacy fabric. The downside is that you can’t really control where the fibers end up all that accurately. Because Avalon Fix is sticky, you can accurately place whatever material you want onto the stabilizer. Love that!
I like to use Avalon Fix to make these bracelets:
Here’s a step-by-step demonstration of how I use Avalon Fix:
1. Adhere it to your work surface (I’m working on a piece of glass) over your pattern, with the sticky side up.
2. Begin placing your fiber where you want it.
3. Continue to fill your shape – you can see that I used felt to create some circles.
4. Place another water-soluble stabilizer (I used Sulky Solvy) over your creation so that your needle doesn’t get caught. It will stick to the adhesive of the Avalon Fix.
5. Machine stitch to secure all the disparate items together.
6. Place the stitched item into a bowl of water – warm or cold it doesn’t matter.
The stabilizer will melt away and you will be left with your finished shape. You can now embellish and use it as you wish. You can see that I used it as the centerpiece of my necklace. I also made a matching pair of earrings.
I couldn’t find either prices or product info on the manufacturer’s website, however a web search revealed that you can purchase Avalon Fix for as low as $15 a roll. I buy mine at my local quilt shop for $20.
I haven't found another water-soluble stabilizer that performs in quite the way that Avalon Fix does. I highly recommend it.