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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Re: Satin Stitch on: March 08, 2009 10:06:02 PM
Perhaps you're referring to a laying tool or a trolley needle. I've seen 'em in needlepoint shops. This page and this one show several different types on a single page.

Best tip I got before I started on a satin stitch piece recently was to just use a single ply of thread. Previously I'd tried 2 threads, and was really unhappy with my stitching. But as soon as I went to a single ply I got a much smoother line that covered a lot better. Even though I had to rip things out more than once, I'm pretty satisfied with the results. (You can see it here if you want.)

One more thing: I noticed there was a huge difference between my stitches during bright daylight and at night, no matter how much light I had. I ended up just doing the satin stitching during the day.

I use one of those tools that help to keep the threads flat. 
I can't remember the name of it.  sorry
2  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Re: What material do you buy for embroidery? on: February 21, 2009 01:22:06 AM
Personally I'd probably start with something with a tighter rather than looser weave. Dishtowels are a great place to start. You don't have to cut 'em up – just pick one or more motifs and stitch away. Or you can start on a shirt (well-washed denim shirts are good), pillowcase or other finished item. When you get to t-shirts, be sure to stabilize the fabric before stitching or you're likely to get wobbly stitching… have fun!
3  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Re: Huge thread of Shared Patterns! on: February 21, 2009 12:59:00 AM
ooh ooh! thanks for these samples and to Listessa for the link.

Here are a couple for Dover Clip art.
4  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Re: The big thread of transfer pen/pencil questions (Sulky Solvy tips) on: February 09, 2009 03:11:30 PM
I noticed several people commented that their Solvy slips around when stitching. A couple of tips.

Temporary fabric spray adhesives are designed to hold fabric and stabilizer together for stiching. Sulky KK2000 is a good product. It's safe to use, won't gum up your needles, and disappears by evaporation within days or weeks (depends on the humidity.) It's not cheap, but I usually wait for it to go on sale or use a coupon. It's worth the investment. To use it: lightly spray it on your fabric, then lay your sulky film or other stabilizer on it. Pat it down and then hoop your new fabric-stabilizer sandwich as usual. Here's a link to the product site: http://www.sulky.com/adhesives/index_adhesives.php

A second option is to hoop your Solvy and fabric sandwich, then tack the solvy and fabric together with basting stitches prior to stitching. Long running stitches with a couple strands of floss around major parts of the design are all you need.
5  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Re: Huge thread of Shared Patterns! on: February 09, 2009 11:13:28 AM
Thanks for the tattoo links. I was looking for tattoo patterns online just the other day – I'm actually looking for the iconic "mom" pattern. My nephew is turning 2, and I thought it'd be fun embroidered on a shirt. Any suggestions? In the meantime, I'll check out your links. Thanks!

Don't overlook tattoo flash.  This is a whole world of line drawings with infinite options.
Check out these examples
6  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Re: Supplies. Articles, Deals on: February 09, 2009 11:00:11 AM
Has anyone else ever had this experience? You need another skein of a particular floss color, and every store you go to happens to be out of it! aaargh! I drove all over last weekend looking for a 35¢ skein of floss!!! My local quilt & needlework shops were closed b/c it was Saturday afternoon, so I ended up trying Hancock Fabrics, Hobby Lobby and Michael's, all of whom were out (even the Michael's where I bought a skein of it a week ago.) I don't like to buy floss at Joann's because their floss bins are usually such a wreck, but I can see desperate measures are needed! Sadly, during my search I found plenty of other must-haves, some of which ended up coming home with me. sigh

Anywho, while I was at a Hancock Fabrics I noticed they're switching from DMC to Sullivan's floss. Anyone ever use Sullivan's? They didn't have a close enough color match to my DMC floss color to use in an existing project, so I passed on it.

Upcoming sales at Hancock Fabrics:
Feb 12-13 — 50% off thread, including Mettler Metrosene and Coats & Clark, 99¢ Butterick patterns, and 5 for $5 on Simplicity patterns (pattern sale continues through 2/16). There's also a coupon for 50% off any one red fabric Feb 12-13 in their current flyer (www.hancockfabrics. com)
Feb 14-16 — batiks, batting, fleece, dress trims on sale (40-50% off); Butterick and Simplicity patterns still on sale.
Feb 19-22 — 50% off all notions; Vogue patterns $3.88 each.
7  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Re: The big thread of transfer pen/pencil questions on: February 09, 2009 02:05:12 AM
Hope this isn't too long. I've been experimenting over the last week or two with various transfer methods for dark fabrics. I've tried lots of different pens, pencils, chalk, crayons etc. I buy most of my art supplies at Texas Art Supply — if you're not in Houston they're online at http://texasart.com/. Great prices and a good independent business, not a big box store.

For transfer paper I use Saral brand. You can buy it at hobby or art supply shops. It comes in a variety pack of letter-sized sheets, or in small rolls. I've had various other non-waxed dressmaker's carbons that worked fine, but I like the Saral the best. I have some of the Chacopy and Marks-B-Gone transfer papers. Maybe either the store or I have had them too long, because both became kind of sticky and neither worked. Darn.

The colored Sulky transfer pens use sublimation ink – because of this they're permanent on poly, but lots of people have commented that they wash out of cotton. They aren't opaque, so they won't work on dark fabrics, though. For dark fabrics you should try the white Sulky transfer pen which is an opaque ink that sits on the surface rather than sublimating into the fabric. These pens really are great. Tip I got from Sulky: store them on their side, and be sure to close the cap tightly and you'll get many transfers from each pen.

Believe it or not, china markers are great! If you trace a design onto tracing paper, you can rub it or iron it onto fabric. I got two rubbings (using a tongue depressor, nothing fancy) onto fabric. You can get really fine lines  (even straight ones if you use a straight edge.) I tried a blue and a yellow one. Both worked, and both washed out of cotton, which kind of surprised me. Haven't tried to wash it out when heat transferred yet.

I tried the kids wash away ink pads with a stamp. Washed out of fabric fine. Comes in lots of colors, and refill ink is available, so you could use it in a pen. I tried it with a stamp, but you could make a stencil and maybe use a dauber to apply the ink.

Just tonight I heat transferred a laser-printed image (not ink jet) onto dark brown fabric. Worked like a champ! I was surprised how well you could see the lines. Since I used super fine lines they're visible but if I'm not 100% on the line while stitching you won't notice it. Woo hoo!

To help my eyes while stitching, I traced over it with a white Fons & Porter mechanical pencil. It really is a nice fabric marking pencil (the problem I have with most pencils is how quickly they lose their sharp edge.)

On the subject of pencils… any water soluble art pencil works great.
General's chalk pencils are great. They even make a set of 4 pencils just for fabric. I also noticed last weekend that General's now have classic red heat transfer pencils. Bought 'em but haven't tried 'em yet. I assume they're like any other red heat transfer pencils (has anyone ever noticed a difference between brands?)

With graphite pencils, erasability seems to be all about the polymer and the eraser. I have a dollar-store push up pencil whose blue eraser worked like magic getting pencil marks and china marker out. My drafting pencil worked great at putting down precise lines, and was erasable with a good eraser. I'm not an artist, so I don't know all the different types of erasers — I make a trial mark on scrap fabric and try erasing it with different erasers till I find one that works.

Clover's transfer pencil in blue is also good.

I tried the old turn of the century method of pricking holes in paper and rubbing with chalk. I couldn't believe how well it worked!!! Instead of parchment paper I used regular old tracing paper (man, that stuff is strong!), pricked holes using an old sewing needle. Instead of washing bluing I rubbed some chalk from a chalk wheel that's never worked right over the holes. Didn't pull out a brush or dauber or anything, just used my finger. Talk about low tech! But it worked like a champ, gave me a super crisp image, and I sealed it so I wouldn't rub the image out before it got stitched with a quick shot of an alcohol based hairspray. the image lasted through my ham-fisted stitching, and of course the chalk washed right out. Just for fun I also tried various colored chalks from a regular pack of kids chalk, and it worked great. You could get all fancy by using a pricking tool, different paper, and that "miracle chalk" stuff (which as far as I can tell is powdered tailors chalk, the kind that steams away.) You could get really fancy and use something other than a finger as an application device, I guess.

I'd like to try this with bluing — powdered or with a few drops of water added to form a liquid. I think the only brand of powdered bluing available in the US is called "Reckitt's". I noticed there are a couple of Etsy sellers who sell the little squares. There are a couple of european powdered brands as well that can be ordered from overseas if one were so inclined.

Sharpie pens work great — they're carbon-based, so they'll transfer with heat. Only problem is that they're permanent.

Water soluble crayons worked well, too. You can either rub them on or use heat. They don't soak into the fabric because they're a non-soluble pigment that's in a water-soluble base.

I used Solvy in the fall and it worked great. It had the added advantage of stabilizing the fabric. Turned out great! I stitched with it onto a dark brown cotton knit skirt.

Over Christmas I tacked down tissue paper and stitched through that. The paper did pull away nicely when finished, no problems there. The only problem I had was that it seems as if stitches aren't placed quite where you think they are. I think the tissue slips around a bit. Guess you could use one of those temporary spray adhesives to hold it more securely. I'm not a super precise stitcher, so I can't really afford to have stitches going even more astray! Still, results were okay.

8  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: "did a four year old attack your prom dress or is it supposed to be like that?" on: January 11, 2009 07:31:45 PM
Looks great. The double strap is a nice feature. Obviously you're not shy about mixing media! You go, girl!
9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: 50s housewife dress on: January 11, 2009 07:26:42 PM
It's charming just as it is. I don't think I'd tea-dye it. Then again, I'm a nervous Nellie.  Smiley
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