Crafting: February 2011 Archives
Part of my usual call of duty each month is to surf the Fabric.com website looking for interesting products to feature on the blog. This is a thankless task that I am loath to perform but alas it must be done and done by me. Upon my perusal for February's Blog calendar I stumbled upon PLAID Simply Screen- an at home silk screen craft that looked like tons of fun. It was! I am now a fully fledged silk screen fanatic. I could not wait to get started on this project and if you will notice from one of my pictures that I rose early and held off my excitement long enough (just!) to brew a pot of coffee. Silk screening with Simply Screen was easy and really fun but some tips are needed.
1) Wash and iron your item first. I just washed mine and didn't think to iron because I pulled said items (1 women's t-shirt, 1 toddler onesie, 1 cotton pillowcase) fresh from the dryer. However, ironing is needed. You want your item to be perfectly flat and wrinkle free. Paint can gather in the wrinkles or areas can be missing due to small wrinkles. You also will want a nice flat surface to lay your screen.
2) Use painter's tape. The directions call for it but I wanted to stress this. This is an important step. You don't want your screen to jump in the midst of your work. The tape also can serve as a guide for your paint line. Put your tape just outside the screen area and then don't go over the tape with your paint line.
3) Apply a good bit of paint. My first shot I just applied the paint nice and slow but you want to allow the paint to build up so your line is really think. Think: apply paint allow the drop to build up and then move your paint bottle a little and repeat.
4) Use pressure. When you are using the paint applicator use a good bit of pressure. You really want to push your paint through the screen. It is not enough to just glide the applicator over the screen; you need to use some pressure. Otherwise you will get light spots or parts of the design will have no paint. You can see this in some of my pictures as I was learning a good technique.
5) If you want to layer your designs, wait at least 12 hours before overlapping. I wanted to do a row of one design across the edge of a pillowcase. I did every other tile and then waited 12 hours to fill in the rest.
We've all watched the Cricut infomercial. Whether it was one of those sleepless nights, rocking a new baby back to sleep or too much Diet Coke at Trivia Night (these are all autobiographical in case you didn't guess), it is eye candy to the craft minded. Though I have never been particularly inclined towards scrapbooking what really drew me to the Cricut was that it cut fabric. What sewer doesn't wish there was less cutting and much more sewing and wearing! Once I had my Cricut I was experimenting with cutting fabric with a quickness. I am still experimenting but most of my predilections for the Cricut have been satisfied. Here's the deal.
You can cut quilting cotton and cut it into any shape that you can cut out of paper with your Cricut. That is the awesome part and it is pretty awesome. Any shape or font that you can contrive out of your Cricut can be an appliqué of some kind. By first ironing on a fusible web to the wrong side of your fabric, you can cut any shape or letter of any size out of your fabric with perfect results. Make sure your DO NOT remove the paper backing or if there is no paper backing, iron on freezer paper to the right side of your fabric (the Cricut is made to cut paper so having a top layer of paper ensures a good cut). It is also important to have a new or fresh blade just like having sharp fabric shears are important to cut your patterns perfectly. Many online tutorials and guidelines I found recommend that you test your cuts on paper first to make sure the size and shape is just right for your project. It is easier to adjust and cut paper than to prep fabric and waste it on the wrong size.
I call upon my Cricut for many of my appliqué needs and it makes it a breeze. After a recent invite to a 2yr old's birthday party this past weekend, I wanted to make something personalized. After deciding on a cape, I prepped my fabric with some Steam A Seam and hand pressed it to the cutting board. I chose a lower case "n" from one of my Cricut font cartridges 3 in. tall and 20 sec later I was satin stitching around the edges and wrapping up the cape to give. As busy as my own 2 yr old is the Cricut makes it possible for us to still give handmade gifts no matter how limited time seems to be these days.
P.s. My next project is to use my Cricut to finish populating my magnetic tree mural in the nursery.
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