2/10/14

Dimwit Ahead

Okay, so here's what happened. As you know, I recently discovered the Sticky Fabri-Solvy method of transferring embroidery designs onto fabric. It's been working okay, but I have a few complaints about it. For one thing, it's hard to needle through since it adds yet another layer to the fabric and the stabilizer. For another, it is a little messy and difficult to rinse out once you've finished stitching. Last time I rinsed it out in the washing machine after first checking with the resident engineer to see if he felt it would be diluted enough to avoid damaging the washer and/or the plumbing. That actually worked very well, but I've had a problem with that particular stitchery wanting to crinkle up more than the others. I'm figuring that putting it in the washer, even with cold water, led to a little bit of shrinkage.

So recently I got this brilliant (I thought) idea to use t-shirt transfers to do the embroidery transfer. Again, I checked with the resident engineer...he, being the only one in this household ever to actually accomplish a t-shirt transfer...and asked him if he thought that was a viable idea. He did. Then, I went to my old friend Google and asked where I could purchase the materials for this new venture of mine. I found just what I wanted on Amazon at a fairly reasonable price. I didn't need the best t-shirt transfers money could buy because I just wanted to get the lines from pattern to fabric. I didn't need it to last beyond even a single washing. Eventually the transfers came.



So I've been stitching away on my current Vintage Tin stitchery, seen here before I started on it:


I've made my way all around the outside and most of the way through the "4" now. Today I was going to start piecing the next section of the Gardener's Journal quilt:


and I say to myself, "Self, as long as you're going to drag out the Gardener's Journal bin, you might as well try out those t-shirt transfers by making the next stitcheries for said quilt." And I answer, "Hey, Self! Good idea! You are so danged smart sometimes!" Giving myself a congratulatory pat on the back for the time I'll be saving, I set about doing the transfer. And as long as I'm learning something new, I figure I'll make up a tutorial for any other folks out there like me who have never done this before. (And if you already know how this process ends with me as the "dimwit," I just have one thing to say: Shut up.)

So here I go explaining all about scanning the designs and turning them into jpegs, and I even take some cool screenshots to show you how extra smart I am. The designs are small, and so they both fit on an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet.


and then I explain ever so intelligently that you'll need to reverse the design so that it doesn't end up as a mirror image of what you want, and I show you how to do it:


And then I print out said reversed design.


And then I print it onto the t-shirt transfer. Here, I didn't bother with any pictures. However, I did burn off three t-shirt transfer sheets before I figured out that my printer will very smartly reverse the design for me if I just tell it I'm printing on t-shirt transfer paper. This, I find so cool that I have to call Mike at work and tell him about it. So, if you have a Canon MX922 ink jet printer, forget everything I said up there. Anyway...eventually I'm satisfied that I have my cool t-shirt transfer/embroidery design ready to iron onto my fabric.

And then, I go to my ironing board and proceed. (Insert Trisha Yearwood's version of Heaven, Heartache here and sing out loud.) Can you see the problem here? 


If you think about what a t-shirt transfer feels like once it's transferred to the t-shirt, it has a kind of plastic or rubbery feel, right?


And that's what transferred to my fabric. The design transferred, yes, along with that plastic rubbery backing. Oy. That isn't going to work at all. Even if I was okay with that tactile gook, I'm not sure I can even poke a needle through it.

Okay, so that equals an epic FAIL. Back to Plan A. Actually, I haven't given up on the idea of a different way to transfer designs short of tracing with my light box or using the Sticky Fabri-Solvy. I have another plan up my sleeve, but that will have to wait for another day. My friend, Google and I have been talking again. Do you think Google could be a bad influence on me? 

So I spent a couple of hours on that wasted effort. Appropriately deflated, I set about doing some housework, and then returned to the sewing room to piece together Section "F" of the Gardener's Journal quilt. I needed to first trim the four embroidery designs, and so this is where I started.


And I spent the remainer of the day piecing together this section.


Now all of the stitcheries I have completed are pieced into the quilt. There are still three more sections, which include about six more stitcheries. This is what I have so far:


And that brings you up to date on my day. 

We are still pretty much snowed in here, although Mike got off the hill to go to work today. The warming temperatures and rain didn't really materialize...at least not at the top of the hill where we are. We had some freezing rain yesterday that only resulted in a layer of ice over the accumulated snow. When I checked this afternoon we were at 34°F., and so I'm assuming some melting occurred, but you wouldn't know it to look outside.

Tomorrow is a swimming day if I can get off the hill, and then I need to do some grocery shopping. After that my plan is to start my February NewFO project which consists of this Duluth Trees wallhanging pattern by Frieda Anderson.

I spent some time looking at it this afternoon, and it can be cut sort of free-form. We'll see how it goes. It'll be a good warm up for my free-form rose wall-hanging.

How did your day go? I hope you used your time more wisely than I did.

28 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Thru your conversation, I was thinking that the T-shirt transfer would have a plastic finish - never done those, but have those plastic covered Ts (that I hate). I don't like the Solvy (tested it some time ago when first out) So my old light box is my resource.

Kate said...

Frustrating starts to your day are never good for morale. Hope things were looking up by the time you knocked off for the day. The Gardener's Journal quilt is looking great!

Teresa in Music City said...

Love how your Gardener's Journal quilt is looking! Sorry your epic idea didn't work :*) I still trace my stitcheries with a light box and a Frixion pen. I have a friend who used the Solvy stuff and it made an awful mess. She ended up having to throw it away. However, I will say that I'm not sure all the problems were the Solvy's fault *grin*

Tami C said...

Sorry you had a frustrating start to your day. Your Gardener's Journal quilt is looking good!

WoolenSails said...

I know that feeling, do it all the time, lol. I bought some transfer paper thinking it was fabric and it was the rubbery kind, so I use it to make pillows. Fun to do antique designs and then make things you can decorate with, and there are lots of free vintage designs on the web you can use.

Debbie

Sher S. said...

It wasn't a complete loss. You learned a few new things of what not to do or use. That is a plus in my column. You saved some of us from making that mistake. Thank you :) I'm glad you day ended on a positive note. I managed to make the backing for my dd turning twenty quilt top. I sandwiched my Feb. doll quilt and started quilting it. then my honey and I made Cantonese Orange chicken for dinner. Now watching Olympics till bedtime at 10 pm.
Hope you have a better day tomorrow.

Junebug613 said...

That stinks about the transfers. I have done the iron on transfer on to t-shirts before, and it didn't even occur to me that it would leave all that extra shiny stuff, so don't feel bad. We all do stuff to frustrate ourselves from time to time. I ironed the fusible interface to the wrong side of the fabric, when I was working on Hello Moon. It was after I had already made up 3 other blocks in the same day.

Brown Family said...

Never having done a tee shirt, I would not have expected that either!

Dasha said...

Having used the transfer paper countless times, I was reading your post and thinking "where the heck is this going?". My only suggestion is a Frixion pen - it looks like a ball point, acts like a ball point, and completely vanishes when you put a hot iron on it. It would take you 1/10 the time to draw the design with that than it took you to go through all the steps you went through to get all that transferred into an image.

Shanna said...

Oh dear! I was trying to think if perhaps you could print very lightly right onto fabric itself, perhaps changing the color to a very light color, first ironing the fabric onto freezer paper to get it to stiffen up a bit. I am not sure how this would play out, but I am remembering my attempts with inklingo and the computer ink washed out so I am curious if it might work for you...

But still, you poor dear. I know it can be frustrating when they have these products that are supposed to make everything fantastic but cause more work than you have time for! I hope you are able to come up with something.

quiltzyx said...

Oy! My brain was yelling at me while I was trying to read about the tshirt transfers: "Isn't that stuff rubbery?!!!" At least you did learn a cool trick with your printer, right?

Last morning housesitting for me, then to Auntie's Ceramics again. More sorting crochet patterns & putting them into plastic sleeves, which Mary Ann then put into her notebooks. Still haven't turned on the new machine. Tomorrow I'm answering the phone at my friend's print shop as she's taking her mom to the Dr. for cataract surgery. Maybe Wednesday I'll do some sewing. Or sleeping. We'll see.

Sherry said...

Gee, I thought the transfer idea sounded good but I am for anything that takes me away from the light box and pen for transferring. You and Google keep conversing and I know you will come up with something brilliant

Dana Gaffney said...

It sounded like a good idea to me too, but now you can make T-shirts with cats on them, yea!

Pat Ferguson said...

You are too funny! I guess that's why I've bought those things and they still sit in my closet. I tried one for a label once and didn't like it. So much for time saving devices!
:)

Nancy in IN said...

I was told to add some fabric softener to water when you are doing the wash away. Also trim as much of the transfer paper away before you soak. I have only laser printer and have success with Florani Wet n Gone tacky. I am not to print more than 10 copies at a time as the laser gets too hot.

Doris Rice said...

Oh Barbara, I had to laugh... a lot! I would have tried this had I thought of it. So glad you saved me from hours of frustration! I'll keep using my trusty Frixtion (sp?) pen and light box. You keep working on this and you'll be the genius who's making all the money when you figure this out.

Quiltsmiles said...

Your in great company Barb. I too thought I was so smart but had the same problem when I did a snowman stitchery around 2 years ago. Figured it would dissolve after all the stitching was done. Nope it didn't dissolve becasue it was a transfer medium for t shirts, DUH!! I had to use tweezers to pull all that toxic plastic layer out, what a mess and how tedious. Sometimes the best techniques are the tried and true ones. But with each venture taken, wisdom is learned. lol

Denise :) said...

What was it Edison said? "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that don't work." Hey -- you're smarter than Edison -- it didn't take you *near* as many tries, right?! Your vintage sign is darling! Have a fun day! :)

Denise :) said...

PS...I had a conversation with Google to find Edison's quote. Google typically does me right. ;)

Jacque said...

Aww, so sorry it didn't work out, but like Dana said, now you can make kitty tees! LOL Your gardeners quilt is looking awesome!

Diane Wild said...

I've had no problem with the Solvy. I trim as much away as I can then let the block soak in cool water for an hour or so. Then I rinse it a couple more times in fresh water each time. Gosh, sorry you had a bad day. Very frustrating, I know.

Pieces to Love said...

I agree with Shanna and Iron on freezer paper to the back side of your fabric and print directly on the fabric. As long as you don't iron the ink it will usually wash right out. :)

crazy quilter said...

With all your trials and tribulations on this embroidery I wonder if you have ever tried a product called transfer eze? I understand that it is made for transferring embroidery to fabric and I think you can run it thru your printer to get the design on it before adhearing to your fabric. I personally have not tried it but when I worked part time at a Quilt shop the owner showed us this product that she found at quilt Market. I think your friend Google could help you find it ... I found a tutorial on it on the Bird Brain designs blog. I just searched Transfer EZE and it was one of the selections. Looks like she did this tutorial in 2010... so this is not new stuff! Give it a try... what can it hurt?

LynCC said...

Oh, no! bad transfer plastic, bad! But your fabrics for your Garderner's Journal are so nice - it looks like the perfect summer coverlet. :)

Carla said...

Love your gardener's journal quilt.
At least your tried something new, even if it didn't work out. It was a great try. Now you have saved a lot of people from an Amazon shopping trip.

Muv said...

Too much faff Barbara!

Trace the design onto tracing paper, stitch over it with a sewing machine (no thread, naturellemnt)to give a perforated line, lay it over the fabric and draw over the line of holes with tailor's chalk or fabric marker, and Bob's your uncle. You have a line of dots. You can put the paper down either way up, depending which way round you want your design.

Love from your favourite low-tech cheapskate,
Muv

Muv said...

Can't spell naturellement. Pardon my French.

Michele said...

So sorry that you wasted all that time and effort but at least you did learn something along the way.