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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