Monday, October 17, 2011

Freezer Paper Printing Tutorial

How do you print on fabric??  I assumed that as soon as I posted this picture of my name tag for the Sewing Summit that I would get people writing me that exact question.  And since I figured that question would come up, I actually remembered to take pictures of the process while I was making this name tag :)  Yippee Skippee!!  So without further ado . . . I give you the Freezer Paper Printing Tutorial.

Start by cutting an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of freezer paper and a  8 1/2" x 11" piece of fabric that you want to print on.  (It is probably best to use light colors here as I don't know how well the printing would show up on dark colors ;)  

Lay the freezer paper onto the fabric with the shiny side down (you know, the side that feels more slippery and less like paper.)      Press your little freezer paper sandwich.  It only takes a few seconds to adhere the freezer paper to the fabric.

Now just leave the freezer paper adhered to the fabric.  See how it is stiff now.  You can now feed it into the paper tray of your printer and it is ready to be printed on.  It just feeds through as one sheet :)

So get your desired design that you want to print all ready on your computer.  I like to put a box around whatever I am printing as it makes it easier to cut it out :)

When your design is all done you are ready to print.  In your printing advanced options you should be able to change the intensity of your printing.  I like to make the intensity darker since the printing on the material is not normally as dark as paper.

Once the design has printed give it a few seconds to make sure it is dry so it doesn't smear.  Then just peel the fabric away from the freezer paper.  (It will just come right off :)

Cut out your design.  Now just heat set your printed piece.  (note . . heat setting will help to prevent the ink from running in the case that it gets wet, however, this is not a perfect water-proof process.  Certain ink colors and inks can still run even after being heat set.  So if you are wanting to do this in something that will need to be washed I would suggest experimenting with the colors first before sewing it into something :)

Now just take your printed design and sew it into your project!!  Wha-La!!  Easy and affordable Printing on Fabric :)  Enjoy!!!

*** EDIT***  There were some wonderful tips left in the comments so I wanted to add them to make sure everyone saw them.  Thanks to Jessica Jo and NancyinSTL for their wonderful helps!!

1 - The freezer paper can be used many many many times over!
2 - This is a good way to transfer embroidery designs, as long as they are small enough to fit through your machine.
3 - Choose fabric with a high thread count to ensure better printing.
4 - Treat the fabric first with Bubble Jet to make it colorfast.
5 - Cut fabric and paper slightly larger than 8.5" x 11" just before ironing the fabric to the freezer paper, then cut the fabric stuck to the freezer paper to 8.5" x 11". This will help prevent the fabric from peeling back and jamming up in the printer.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Fat Quarter Shop Sponsored Giveaway!!!

So the Fat Quarter Shop, in a word, AMAZING!!!!  Whatever you are looking for, you have a pretty good chance at finding it here.  They have pre-cuts, yardage, patterns, quilt kits, block of the month, bloggers choice bundles, ect. ect. ect.  Their selection is enormous!!  So you can imagine, it was difficult to pick a few of my current favorite offerings.  

But of course, after some major enjoyable surfing, I was able to narrow down some of my particular favorites.  Here they are, my current wish basket at the Fat Quarter Shop

Talk about the ultimate Stash Builder.  Oh how I would love to find this Primatex Basics Bounty of Basics Fat Quarter Box under my Christmas Tree this year.

And it is totally time to start stocking up the Christmas Fabrics and I am so in love with Countdown to Christmas by Sweetwater.  Fat Quarter Shop has an entire Christmas Shop within the shop.  So Awesome!!!!

I love these Designer Select Fat Quarter Bundles.  They are so much fun!!!  And I am so in love with Ruby so this particular designer Fat Quarter just jumps out at me!!

And maybe you are in love with Ruby as well and would like a chance to win some :)  Up for grabs today are 4 Ruby Charm Packs!!!  There will be 2 winners that will each receive 2 charm packs.  (Which just might coincide perfectly with my new Moda Bake Shop tutorial that will be released on the 27th of this month, Yippee Skippee :)  

You have three chance to win, and please, leave a separate comment for each (for a total of 3 comments max :) If you leave one saying I did it all, Mr. Random.Org will only count it for one. 
  1. Do any one of the following at Happy Quilting and leave one comment that you did at least one of the following.  Be a follower of Happy Quilting and/or follow Happy Quilting on Facebook and/or Follow Happy Quilting on Twitter and/or list Happy Quilting on your Blogroll :)
  2. Do any one of the following at The Fat Quarter Shop and leave one comment that you did at least one of the following.  Follow The Jolly Jabber Blog, which is the Fat Quarter Shops Blog  (which always has amazing giveaways) and/or Sign up for the Fat Quarter Shop Newsletter (go to link and then enter email at the top of the page) and/or visit the Fat Quarter Shop and leave me a link of what you totally can't live without :)
  3. Alert the Media - Post on facebook, twitter, or your blog about this giveaway.  Leave a comment saying where you wrote and a link :)  Like above, you can do more than one post but it will only get you one entry :)  
And that sums it up.  Thank you so much to the Fat Quarter Shop and Kimberly for sponsoring this giveaway.   You folks are so amazing!!!  You will have until Oct 20th to enter and I will announce a winner on the morning of the 21st :)  Happy Quilting to you all and good luck!!!
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

100 Quilts for Kids!!!

Today is the second link up for the 100 Quilts for kids.  I have been wanting to participate in this wonderful charity function since I first heard about it.  I figured I had the two strip quilts completed over a year ago and the blocks of the last quilt done earlier this year (poor abandoned projects) that would work perfect for "Kid Quilts", as they are so bright and cheery.  I figured with having a good portion of the work done and only needing to assemble the one quilt and then quilt and bind them all that I would finish in plenty of time.    

But of course, as life gets busy,  I was still adding the bindings on in the Sewing Room at the Sewing Summit in between classes.  (Which is why the pictures are horrible, as I took them on the hotel floor).   But now worries, they got done and delivered to Kate.  (And I have to say, handing them over in person had the huge added bonus to get to meet Kate, she is every bit as wonderful as you would expect from reading her blog, so sweet!!!!)   Yippee Skippee for Quilting for Kids!!  Isn't it just amazing how you do these types of things to bless others but you feel so great afterwards that you are practically blessing yourself at the same time!!  I just love that feeling :)

So here they are :)  A cute stripped boy quilt.  I just love all of the bright colors and the cute patterns :)  It is totally all boy!!!

I quilted some stars and loops on the large stripes, meandering on the medium stripes, and loopies on the small stripes.  I had so much fun quilting these!!!  (even though I was going so fast last minute that I did turn my backing under and didn't realize it until I was attaching the binding,  oops :)

And this is the girl version of the stripes.  My daughter just loves this quilt so I am hoping it will make another little girl equally happy.

And a huge accomplishment for me, I finally got over my fear of feathers and gave them a whirl.  I think they turned out pretty decent for my first attempt :)

And last, but not least, my abandoned Block-A-Palooza blocks.  I love the way this turned out, which is funny, because I was not digging the individual blocks.  It is just so fun and bright and I love the stripey border print I found to go with it.  It just ties it all in so well :)

And here it is all together :)  And if this makes you feel all warm and maybe you get the sudden urge to go donate some quilts you have finished for children in your community, then wonderful!!!  You have 2 more days to link up :)

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Sewing Summit Report

So the Sewing Summit was amazing!!!  I already plan on registering for next year just as soon as they announce the dates.  It was so wonderful to get to meet people that I feel like I already knew from online but know I can say I really know them.  It was wonderful to get to meet so many new friends.  (Seriously, this is such an amazing, happy, embracing community of people).    The classes were excellent and so inspiring.  And the general atmosphere was just fun, fun, fun!!!  I can't say how nice it was to get to chat fabric and quilts for hours on end and not feel guilty for boring that person to death!!  Ya for quilting peeps all in one place!!!

So I did remember to take a few pictures.   However, before I go to a little picture montage I wanted to bring up a little something and get everyone's opinion on it.  I think the most important thing I took away from the Sewing Summit that really hit me was to break out and try new things.  I know it is easy to get stuck doing what we are comfortable with but in each class I learned new things and found I loved each of them.  And you never know until you try :)

****  NEED YOUR OPINION**** So  . . . With that in mind . . . I am thinking about starting up a Linky Day for "Trying New Things".  (The name needs some work :)  Anyhow, it would just be a day (probably Thursday) where you can link up your post on what you tried new that week.  It doesn't have to be anything big.  Trying a new pattern, trying a new technique for piecing, trying a new free motion design, trying to add a widget to your blog.  I mean, the sky is the limit.  The idea is just to keep us all focused on moving forward.  And I thought maybe it would be fun to bring in some guest bloggers occasionally to do some tutorials on things they excel at.  So what do you think??  Sounds like something you might be interested in?? If so, just let me know in the comments and thanks in advance :)

Okay, so now onto a few of the photos that turned out from the Sewing Summit.  I took lots more but sadly  my camera continues to struggle after it's little excursion into emerald pool at Zion :)  (Let's just say my camera had some major camera envy at the summit, I so want to upgrade :)

The Sewing Room full of Baby Lock's.  This room made the hand on classes just awesome.  It is so nice to try something right after you have been taught it :)

 My improve piecing end result.  I think this would be adorable to stitch my little girls name on it and then turn it into a little pillow to go in the crib.  And I learned something new in this class, curved seams!!  They were so much fun!!!

So I wish I would have taken more pictures with all of the amazing people I met.  But most of the time I was so busy talking I never stopped to take photos.  I did get these few though on the last morning.

Me and Amy.  This lady is one of the sweetest people ever!!!

Lee, AnneMarie, and Me.  (Isn't that cute how it rhymes :)  

I took pictures in every class I was in by only these 2 classes turned out.  Le Sigh!!  The classes were so amazing.  I learned so many great things and can't wait to apply them in my quilting.

Allison teaching her class on free motion quilting.  I leaned some handy tidbits here for sure :)

Natalia teaching her class on her method of applique.  This was a great technique to have!!

Erin and Amy!!  What can I say!!  You two ladies are amazing for putting this whole thing together!!  Thank you a million times over!!!!

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Whirly Gig Tutorial!!! (A Lil Twister Tool Tutorial)

Good Morning, Good Morning, Good Morning! 

 I just got back from The Sewing Summit last night and it was fabulous!!! I had so much fun, and I promise to post about it soon. But until then, I have another little surprise for today.  Remember when I promised a tutorial on how to make this???   We'll today is the day!!!  (You can also find this tutorial guest blogged at Sew We Quilt :)  

I have always wanted to make a "Whirly Gig" quilt (is that the technical
 name??) but always figured I would do it "someday" because cutting
 individual pieces with templates and then sewing on lots of angles just
 sounded like a project to put off.  And it continued to get put off.  That
 is until a few weeks ago when I was at my Local Quilt Shop and found
 the greatest little tool that in two days changed my  "Whirly Gig" quilt
 from the "someday" back shelf to the Display Shelf.  

And since I know there are many of you out there that probably would
 love to have your own "Whirly Gig" quilt that is fast and fun to put 
together, I decided to do a tutorial along the way :)  So let's get to it!!

2 Charm Packs or 80 5" Squares
1/3 Yard Print for the Whirly Gig Border cut into four 3" x WOF strips
1 Yard Print for Backing
1/3 Yard Print for for Binding  
A Lil' Twister Cutting Tool by CS Designs


Ironically enough, you start to make this quilt by making a basic 8 x 8 square
 quilt.  Now since this is the Wantobe Quilters campaign, I will be going
 through the individual steps of making a basic 8 x 8 square quilt.  If you are
already familiar with how to do this, please feel free to skip down to Step 2.

Choose 64 of your 5" squares and lay them out in an 8 rows by 8 columns
 grid, as shown below.  Go ahead and play around with the placement until
 you get a layout that is pleasing to the eye.  This won't be the final layout
 but it will help to keep good color separation   

Once you have the prints in the placement you like stack the rows up
 individually making sure to keep the first block in the row at the top of the
 stack. (see below)  Now label each row with a number 1 through 8.  I just
 use a scrap piece a paper with a pin stuck in it for this :)

And now you are ready to start sewing your top together.  Start with your row
 1 stack and the first two squares in the stack.

Lay your first square onto your second square in the stack with right sides
 together.  You can pin these if you like but it is not necessary.  Sew a 
1/4" seam along the edge of your two squares.  There is no need to get
 up and run to the iron just yet, we will get to that.

Open your now pieced together squares 1 and 2.  Lay square three onto 
square 1 with right sides together.  Once again pin if you like.  Sew a 
1/4" seam along the edge of squares 2 and 3.  Just keep repeating this 
process until you have sewn all 8 squares in the row.

Your row should look like this.  Now go ahead and repeat the process for
 all 8 rows.

Now you are ready to head to the ironing board.  You want to press your
 rows in opposite directions so it makes it easier to match seams in the next
 step.  So go ahead and press all of the seams in your odd numbered rows
 to the left and all of your seams in the even numbered rows to the right.
  (or vice versa, just keep the odd rows and even rows going in opposite
 directions :)

Now you are ready to start sewing the completed rows together.  Find your
 Row 1 and Row 2 from your pressed pile. You will know the start square
 in each row because it will have the label in it. (hence, why the labels are
 important :)

Lay your Row 1 onto your Row 2 with right sides together.  Now it is very
 important to pin and to pin properly. Start by matching the seams in your
 two pieces.  Remember, they are pressed in opposite directions so they
 should lay perfectly next to each other.  When you have "nested" (the term
 for having the seams lie next to each other" a seam put a pin in it.  Do this will
 all of your seams and then pin the edges of the rows.  It is okay if you have
 a little bubble here or there, that will work itself out.  It is far more important
 to make sure your seams are lined up then it is to make sure it lays perfectly flat.

When it is all pinned sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge, remembering
 to remove the pins as you sew.  It is a bad habit to sew over pins (I say
 this because I am still working on breaking it).  Once you have finished
 sewing go ahead and press your seam.  (I like to press this one open but
 you do what feels comfortable :)

Now Row 1 and 2 are sewn together and you are ready to move onto
 Row 3.  This is the same process as before.  Just lay Row 3 onto
 Row 2 with right sides together, pin your seams, sew your 1/4" and press.

And continue repeating that process until you have sewn all 8 rows 
together.  Yippee Skippee!!!  Your 8 x 8 Quilt Grid is now done and
 now you just have to add a border.


Grab two of your "Whirly Gig" Border strips that you have already pre-cut.
  Lay them along the sides of the quilt with right sides together and the excess
 overhanging the edge.  Once again, it isn't necessary to pin, you can just align
 as you go, but if you prefer to go right ahead.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the
 edge of the two sides and then trim the excess.

Now grab your remaining 2 strips and repeat the same process, this time 
adding the borders to the top and bottom of the quilt.   Give the entire quilt
 top a good pressing.

And your top is done and you are ready to cut it all up!!  Yup, that's right,
 you sewed this quilt together just to cut it up.  But trust me, it is a lot of
 fun to cut it up!!!


 Get out your Lil' Twister Cutting tool.  These can be found at just about 
every local quilt shop or on-line at just about any on-line quilt store.  They
 are super popular right now so it shouldn't be hard to track one down :)

Start up in the top corner of your 8 x 8 square grid quilt.  Lay your 
Lil Twister cutting tool so that the cross bars on the tool match up with the
 intersecting seams of your quilt top.  (as seen below)  Now using your 
rotary cutter, simply cut around the tool.  (you have a little leway around 
each seam so it is okay if you go over each edge 1/4" but not much
 more than that)

Lay your square just above your cutting area.  It is important to keep them in
 the same order that you are cutting them out :)  Now align your cutting tool
 onto the next intersection and once again, cut around the tool.

Continue this process across the entire first row.  You will have 9 squares 
when you are finished.  Now you can move onto cutting out a second row.
  Once again, align the cross bars on the tool with the intersecting seams
 on your quilt and cut out around the tool.

Continue until you have cut all 9 squares out of the second intersection row.
   You can trim off the little remaining center squares and toss them or scrap
 them. (Depending on how small of scraps you like to keep.)  Now go ahead
 and set your grid quilt aside for a minute.  (I found it best not to get to far
 ahead in the cutting so as not to create confusion on aligning my blocks.)

And you are ready to align your rows.  Simply twist each square about
 45 degrees so that your whirly-gig's line up and the color prints all match.
  Super easy and oh so super cute!!!!

Once you have your first two rows lined up it is just like quilting our square
 grid from before.  Start with Row 1 and lay square 1 onto square 2 with
 right sides together. Pin if you like, and then sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.

Continue adding square by square until all 9 blocks are sewn together 
creating your New Row 1.  Now just repeat with the other 9 squares to
 create your New Row 2.  And now you are ready to sew the two rows

Lay your Row 1 onto your Row 2.  Once again, make sure to align each 
of the seam sets and pin them so they "nest".  Once all the seams are pinned,
 sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge removing pins as you go.  And
 lastly press.

 Now you can just continue to repeat the process over and over.  Cut a
 row, Sew a row together, and then sew it on your "Whirly Gig" top.

And when you no longer have any of your 8 x 8 Quilt Grid top left you 
should have a top that looks similar to this!!  Yippee Skippee!!!  Wasn't
 that just so fun, and so very easy!!


Just about all done.  Personally, I like to use up most of my charms in a 
charm pack so I added one more border.  So . . . grab 15 more charm
 or 5" squares and cut them in half so they are 2 1/2" x 5".

Now we are simply going to sew them into a long line.  Just start with two
 pieces laid with right sides together and sew a 1/4" seam along the short
 edge.  Just keep adding pieces on to the end until all the rectangles are 
sewn into 1 long line.

Now, lay your border strip along the edge of the quilt.  (It doesn't matter 
which side you start with, just pick any old one :)  Measure the length 
needed to be equal to the length of the top and trim at the edge.

Now, lay the border along the edge of the quilt with right sides together.  
Pin along the edge and then sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.  Go
 ahead and press your new seam.

Now grab  your border strip once again and this time you are going to align
 it up along the next side of your quilt.  So it will start aligning up along the 
border you just sewed on.  Once again, measure the length you need for
 that side of the quilt and trim the excess.  Then lay your border with right
 sides together along the edge of the quilt, pin, sew 1/4" seam, and press.
  You get the idea right.  Repeat for the final 2 sides.

And TaDa!!!  Your Whirly-Gig Top is complete!!!  Now just finish it up,
 whether you like to tie it, free motion quilt it, or sent it off to be done.  
Wasn't that just so much fun!!  Seriously, I had a blast making mine and I
 hope that you have an equally wonderful time putting your own
 "Whirly-Gig" quilt together :)

This completed top measures 30" x 30" and works perfect for a wall 
hanging or a quilt for a new little wee-one.  And the great thing about the 
Lil' Twister is you can make any size you want, just start with a smaller or
 larger Quilt Grid :)  Oh, and one last thing . . . If you want larger 
Whirly-Gig's you can use the big brother of the Lil'Twister called the 
Twister.  It uses the exact same method it just starts with 10" squares
 instead of 5" squares.

So that is is from Me :)  I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and it inspires
 you to make your own Whirly-Gig Masterpiece.  If it does, I would love
 for you to add it to my Flickr Tutorial group.  Have a Happy Quilting Day!!!
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