Saturday, February 6, 2010

A novice tries to transfer an embroidery pattern

Well, last Saturday, I found the embroidery kit that I had so cleverly hidden from myself in plain sight. And, excitedly, I got started! The first thing was to trace the pattern with my new iron-on transfer pencil and iron the image onto all the pieces of felt for cutting out and stitching.

I have a light box, but I thought the window would be more fun.

I used to chuckle when Lucy at Attic24 would make fun of how her hands looked in her crafty posts. She's several years younger than I, and thinks her hands look old and wrinkly. She should see mine!

Here's the ironing part. You can see the steam condensed in the water tank, but I was using a dry iron, really. Here's what I learned. You have to cover the printed pattern piece before you iron. The ink melts and smudges. It would have been better for me to trace the pattern on tracing paper (which I don't have, but will get before I do this again).Here is the paper I put over the pattern before I ironed. See all the ink that transferred to the paper!
I believe that this pencil was intended for and works best with woven cotton and linen. It transferred just enough to be seen on the cream-colored felt.
So I went ahead and cut the cream parts out.

However, I couldn't see the transferred pencil adequately on the other colors I tried. So, I've done a little research.
And I think my next craft purchase will be a Sulky iron-on transfer pen in yellow or white. Has anyone had any experience with this product? Particularly onto wool felt?
The other issue I had with using the pencil was that it was hard to get a good heavy line. I would push down good and hard, and all I managed to do was break the lead three times. I think it didn't help that I was using a cold window. I wonder if it would transfer better onto a warmer surface. And be a little less brittle. My hands got a little crampy pushing down so hard and going over and over the lines.
I must admit that the whole experience took a long time and wasn't a whole lot of fun, and clearly did not leave me prepped to stitch. It's been a bit of a learning curve.
But I'm determined to keep trying and figure out how to make this work. I looked on Alicia's website. She has a link to a flickr photostream of these ornaments that folks have completed. Sooo inspiring. Some have bought the pattern only and used their own materials, and it's great to see the variety of color combinations that others have put together. So, if they can do it, so can I! Back to the craft store, fire up the iron, I'll try another transfer method.


Lucy Locket-Pocket said...

I bought a sulky transfer pen and I absolutely love it - it's fabulous! I've used red and brown but I haven't tried the pale colours. I'm really curious to see what you are sewing - it looks lovely! Lucy x

Can do mom said...

New projects always have a learning curve, don't they? Some steeper than others, I might add. You are so talented in so many crafting techniques. I am positively in awe! My girls have much more crafting skill than I. Both knit, quilt, have their own sewing machines. I was such a tomboy, sewing never was my thing. I guess I'm still kind of a tomboy. A little reformed, but a tomboy at heart!

I hope you find a pencil that works. Sounds like Lucy had success with her sulky transfer pen, maybe that's the ticket.
I can't wait to see what the finished project looks like.

Now I must begin a project that is not beautiful or fun at all. It's our taxes. Dh wants me to get all the personal information together for our accountant. Trust me, I'd rather be doing anything than that!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Thimbleanna said...

Wow -- I'm surprised you can even transfer to felt at all. I've never tried any transfer pens -- I always just use the window method. Good Luck!

Jacque said...

Wow..all I can say is good luck! Looks like it is going to be cute when it is all finished!

Thanks for sharing...

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Oh I cannot WAIT to see the finished project. Love the skates.

I also copied the Scottish Valentine image from The Graphic Fairy.
The Gunn clan wears its tartan proudly.

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

Wow! This looks like an ambitious project! I am looking forward to seeing how yours turns out.

Anonymous said...

A novice?! I sit here reading through your blog and am in awe of all your talents. I am watching your progress and look forward to seeing the finished project!

- Deborah

Anonymous said...


the voice of melody said...

This is a wonderful hobby, at least it certainly looks like a lot of fun. Enjoy your weekend!

Rosy Inspiration said...

Wow! Sounds like you were having fun anyway. I'm afraid I can't help you in this, I would love to hear how you go with another method though. Thanks for your encouraging comment on my blog, I'm glad you like roses, I guess our climate does help, we have the Mediterranean type climate and apparently it's like the south of France.