A Father's Day Card and a Fabric Printing Tip

Sunday, June 19, 2016

I'm still quilting away, and was seriously starting to think about giving up cards completely. Then, I needed a Father's Day card and just couldn't bring myself to buy one from a store, so I cleared a small space in my craft room and went to work. 

Ok, not exactly. It's been so long since I've made a card, I probably spent 30 minutes just looking around the room, trying to remember how to make a card and where I kept my tape gun and glue. Then, I drew a blank on what to make. But, a Mojo Monday sketch got me going pretty quick. And, here's what I ended up with:

And, here's the inside:
I honestly was not looking forward to making a card today, but it turned out to be as fun as it used to be! I guess I'll be keeping all my papercrafting supplies after all.

As for the fabric printing tip I mentioned, I have spent quite awhile trying to make a quilt label for my daughter's first quilt. I designed it in Word, which was a piece of cake. And, I printed it onto muslin by first ironing the fabric to an 8-1/2" x 11" piece of freezer paper. No problem. But, since I knew the quilt would eventually be washed, I had to make sure the label could survive washing, too. And, that's where the problems came in. (Sorry for the poor pics--I used my phone for these.)
These are just a few of the failed labels I made, starting with the ink almost completely washing out, to lots of bleeding, and even a blue-tinged muslin background. I read about something called Bubble Jet Set 2000, which I don't have, and couldn't get right now, so I found a DIY for it. The first two labels were on untreated muslin, with the first one heat set with an iron and rinsed with plain water. The second one was heat set, then got a vinegar bath, before being rinsed with plain water. The third one, which is incredibly color-rich, was printed on muslin pre-treated with the DIY Bubble Jet. It was gorgeous right out of the printer, as were the rest of my attempts on the treated muslin. But, the fabric softener rinses ruined all of them because the ink bled into the muslin so bad. The one with the blue-tinge was rinsed in a bath of regular blue Downey, rather than Downey Free--oops! I was about to give up completely, but decided to give it one more try and finally found the solution:
This one looks much better than the others! And, it was so easy! I found out that all the ink bleed on the previous tries was because I had my printer set on the "best" printing setting. Almost all the people who wrote about doing this said to print on the highest quality setting. I found, for my printer at least, that using the highest setting put too much ink into the muslin. The image was really vibrant after printing, but couldn't stand up to even a drop of water. For this final label, I set my printer to a standard quality setting, printed onto untreated muslin, heat set it with a hot, dry iron, gave it a 100% vinegar bath, swishing for 10-15 seconds, then immediately put it in a quick bath of cool water mixed with about one teaspoon of Downey free (the clear kind), swishing it continuously for another 10-15 seconds. I did NOT wring it afterward. Instead, I laid it between two clean towels and pressed the water out as much as possible. (Ink was still coming out of the label--my white towels now have gray stains. Be sure to use old towels!) Finally, I heat set the label with my iron. I tested washing it again (without vinegar) and it held up great!

A lot of people recommend vinegar to set ink in fabric, but just as many say that vinegar won't set ink, especially into cotton fabric. I don't know what finally caused the ink to set, but what I found was that, while water caused most of the ink to immediately lift and/or bleed--every single time, with vinegar, only a small amount of ink lifted, and there was no bleed. Any time I had gotten bleed, it was during the water bath, not in the vinegar.

I did like the way the DIY Bubble Jet worked by giving me a much more vivid and crisp image on the muslin, so I am going to using it again, but printing with a standard quality setting onto treated muslin, when I make a label for my quilt. If it works better, I'll let you know.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a Happy Father's Day!

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:
Mojo Monday #452
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge: Animal Magic
613 Avenue Create #181: Anything Goes

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Quilting Like Qrazy!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Hi Friends! It's been almost 4 months since I posted anything here, so I just wanted to pop in and say hello and show you what I've been up to. No paper crafting, but crafting, nonetheless.

Back in February, I mentioned that I was teaching my daughter to sew. She picked up the basics fast (she's a crafter, like her mama!), and now she is taking a quilting class. Being around all that fabric got me interested in sewing again, and I made a few bags (sorry about the poor quality--these were made at night with my cell phone):

These bags were fun to make. I used a pattern called Mini Bow Tucks. I think it must be a popular one. I've seen this style bag all over the internet.

After the simple bags, I wanted something a little more challenging, so when I saw the free 2016 Block of the Month Quilt Class by Lynette Jensen over at Craftsy, I signed up. Several people I showed it to thought it was really too difficult for a first quilt, but having a video tutorial for every step helped a lot. I finished the quilt top yesterday:

It's a queen size quilt, so had a hard time getting a pic of it on a bed and it looks a little wonky here, so I used my photo program to give you a better look at it.

I laid it on the floor, got on a tall step ladder, and took a photo of the left side and then the right side of the quilt, then, in the computer, I merged the two pics. So, if you look closely, you can see a couple of places where it didn't line up perfectly, but, you get the gist. Now I just have to learn to quilt it. I wanted to hand quilt it, but it's so large, I'm thinking I'd better learn to machine quilt instead. Hopefully, I can finish it completely by the end of the summer. In the meantime, I'm working on 2 European shams and two standard shams, as well as appliqued pillowcases to match. I can't wait to redecorate my guest room when I'm finished!

With the previous quilt project being a block of the month project, I had some down time between pattern postings, so I started a lap sized Starburst Mystery Quilt over at the Quilters Club of America site. We don't get the final reveal for a little over a week still, but using the pieces of the pattern we've been given so far, this is my guess as to what it is going to look like, minus the borders:

I chose the fabrics having no idea what the quilt would look like, and, so far, I'm liking it. Of course, you can't hardly go wrong with batiks. Oh, and get this--I've always loved the vintage look in my papercrafting, so when I saw a fabric that looked like old newspaper postings, I chose it for my background fabric. After I got home, I saw the designer name in the selvage, and it is none other than Tim Holtz!!! Cool, right?

Finally, facing more downtime as I wait for the final reveal of the mystery quilt, I signed up for yet another FREE Block of the Month called Maggie's First Dance. (I seriously like FREE stuff!) If you are interested, there is still time to sign up. The pattern won't be posted on Jacquelynne's blog--you can only get it via email by signing up. She had a kit for it, but it's sold out, however, she gives you fabric requirements so you can buy whatever fabric you'd like for it. I decided to go with fall colors. Here is my first month's block, all finished:

Isn't the block pattern adorable! Seriously, if you enjoy sewing at all, you should go check out this BOM. The entire quilt is gorgeous, and Jacquelynne's instructions are crystal clear, even for a newbie, like me.

Well, off to help my daughter cut backing fabric and batting for her first quilt. I'll post pics of her finished quilt in a few weeks.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you are enjoying a lovely summer, wherever you are!

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Love is Patient

Saturday, February 13, 2016

I used the Viva la Verve February Sketch, turned sideways, for this masculine Valentine card.
The colors are a little unconventional for Valentine's Day, but I love how it turned out--especially with the heat embossed text on acetate over the heart. I had some trouble with the acetate softening, then warping after it cooled, when I heated the embossing powder, but I found that if I left it lying on the table while heating it, rather than holding it in my hand, it didn't warp nearly as much.
I thought about using the same leather print paper for the inside of the card, too, then heat embossing the Valentine sentiment in white, and, later, personalizing it with a white gel pen, but it didn't seem very interesting or creative, so I went with the white heart, instead.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful weekend!

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:
VLV February Week 1 Sketch Challenge

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Sew Sweet, Valentine

Friday, February 12, 2016

I saw this Tim Holtz sewing machine stamp at a convention last weekend and thought it would be perfect for a card for my daughter sometime. I had totally forgotten that Valentine's Day was just a week away, but turns out, it makes for a cute Valentine's card. She will especially like that I colored it pink!

I stamped the sentiment with a Paper Sweeties Alpha Set, and the zigzag stamps are from an old Tim Holtz set. Those cute little tags are from the YNS Bookmark/Tag Die Set-Large.

On the inside I used a mix of stamps--Tim Holtz, Hero Arts, and Flourishes. 

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:

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Fabric, Paper & a Bundle of Fur

Hi Friends! I have slowed down in the craft room quite a bit over the past few months, but I haven't been completely dormant. Between sewing, making books, and training our new puppy, I've been busy. I've sewn my entire life, and my daughter is interested in learning now, so I'm teaching her with the help of a fantastic book called "School of Sewing," by Shea Henderson. It was written for adults who want to learn to sew, but my 11-year old hasn't had a problem with it at all, and the projects in it are super cute and fun to make! If you've wanted to learn to sew, but thought it was too difficult, I highly recommend the School of Sewing! Here are the projects we've worked on, so far:

pic name pic name pic name

I can't be around sewing without wanting to sew myself, so I pulled out an old book of handbag patterns and made this one:
It's called a Versatile Handle Handbag because you can easily adjust the length of the handles. This is the short length.

And, this is the long shoulder strap length. The pattern in the book ends up being more of a tote bag because the inside of the bag is just a big empty sack, so when the handle is adjusted for a shoulder strap, and there is any weight inside the bag (my bags always weigh a ton because of my iPad), the bag draws up like a drawstring bag would, and everything inside the bag just falls into a pile in the bottom of the bag, which I hated. To try to fix that, I created an unattached hard bottom with a lined zippered pouch divider sewn to it.

Still not exactly what I would like, but because of the design of the sides of the bag, I couldn't figure out a way to attach the pouch to the sides of the bag. As long as I have all my stuff in there, though, it works fine. As for the electric colors, I'm not sure how much I like them on this bag, but being my first handbag, it was fun to make and I learned a few new techniques in the process. Maybe it will work better as a summer bag.

I haven't made a card in awhile, but I have had a chance to work with paper. I needed to make a book to donate as a door prize for my daughter's bowling league, so I made one that I thought would be simple...and it would have been, if it hadn't been so long since I'd made a book. Getting the back cover on gave me fits, but I finally got it figured out. I definitely need to make a few more, real quick, before I forget how to do it again!

The book is 4.75" x 7", with 176 blank white pages, and a taupe elastic closure.
It is stitched in a rose-colored waxed linen thread, using Coptic Stitch and Gathered Long Stitch.

The inside of the journal is blank, but on the first page I stamped this great quote from a retired MFT Stamps set called "Own Your Story." 

Finally, I mentioned, back in November that we lost our Silky Terrier after 16 years. I was so sad, I said I'd never get another dog, but then, this guy showed up in my Facebook feed, looking for a forever home. I just couldn't resist...
Dexter is about 18 months old, and the vet thinks he's a PBGV/Terrier mix. (We'll know for sure once the DNA test results come in). He's just about the sweetest dog ever, but he is twice as big as Ozzy was, and he's still got some of that puppy hyperness at times. He is very short, but has figured out how to jump from a chair in our den onto the kitchen counters, he can open the doors in our house, he busted a lamp--twice, and just this week, he chewed up our tv remote control. But, he has the most expressive eyes, and can "talk" his way out of just about anything with them. He's also a snuggly lap dog, and loves getting scratched behind his big, floppy ears. All in all, the good outweighs the bad, and we are marathon-watching every Cesar Milan rerun we can to get this stubborn boy trained as quickly as possible. Wish me luck with that!!!

That's it, for now! Have a wonderful weekend, and a Happy Valentine's Day!

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