Tuesday, March 30, 2010

transfer technique talk time

Okay so, I finished the embroidery for one of my calendar samples - yea! Does anyone recognize this children's book illustration? Anyone? It's from a book called Seven Simeons. It's a Russian folktale and this particular edition was written and illustrated by Boris Artzybasheff. It's also a Caldecott Honor book. I picked it up at a used bookstore and immediately fell in love. The illustrations are so intricate and detailed - all line work in just three colors. You know what it reminded me of so much? The US postage stamps that came out a couple of years ago with the king and queen on them. The style is very similar but with much more decorative detail - absolutely gorgeous. Of course I am dying to embroider some of this but can't figure out where until I start thinking about my calendar examples. As a side note: I am not selling this one - it's mine, all mine folks. I would NEVER use a book illustration for an item I was selling! So this little illustration from the beginning of the story fit perfectly and I could not wait to start stitching.
These are tiny lines here and I was a little bit stumped on how to transfer the image. A fabric pen was never going to work and my usual iron-on tear-off stabilizer was looking doubtful. (picking off bits of stabilizer between those itty bitty lines - I don't think so). So - I tried something new. I picked up some washway foundation paper made by Dritz from the quilting section of my fabric store. Have you all tried this? You can print your design right onto it from your computer - this was very appealing to me - no tracing! When you are done stitching the paper dissolves in water - no picking!
Here are the parts that made me nervous: The paper seems a little on the brittle side so I felt like I had to be very careful with it. The more I stitched the more comfortable I became with it and it really wasn't bad. I have a feeling that if I had had to take out stitches and re-stitch an area I would have been in trouble. I just don't think the paper would have held up. I also wasn't crazy about basting the paper on but again, the more I stitched, the more secure it became.
So, now comes the fun part - removing it. This part made me so nervous! I just wasn't sure what would happen. The instructions that came with the paper say to put your item (they are referring to a quilt - since this is a quilting product) in the washing machine and all the paper will be removed. I tried to avoid that but in the end I did end up putting this in the wash on a gentle cycle. After soaking it for a bit I could still see some of the paper left in some of those really tight stitches so I figured that maybe a trip through the washer could get those.

So, here is is all done - no foundation paper. Would I use this transfer method again? Yes but it's not without a few setbacks. Personally I feel like there are still some teeny tiny bits of that paper in some of those teeny tiny stitches although Vince says he can't even see it. If this has been stitched on a darker fabric I fear that those bits would show.
Has anyone else tried this product for hand embroidery? What are your thoughts?
I still have some work to do on this calendar but hope to finish it up and share later this week. See you then!


Anonymous said...

This piece is extraordinary!! Love it! From here it looks great!!

june at noon said...

I'm very interested in that transfer method, as I sell a pattern that's got lots of teeny, tiny lines in it, and I'm always looking for good methods to recommend to customers. Thanks for sharing!

Two-ish years ago I embroidered a Frank Lloyd Wright elevation and blueprint for a family member and transferred all those small lines by printing the image on photo paper with an inkjet printer, placing it onto damp fabric, and rubbing until it had all transferred. Wasn't perfect but worked well enough. :)

Danielle said...

It looks beautiful and I think it's fantastic that you would make such a great piece for you and your family to keep/enjoy.

Glenda said...

That's really gorgeous, Corinne!!

No, I've never heard of that book -- I'm so out of the loop on kids' books nowadays, but I really do miss looking at the illustrations.

Very interesting stabilizer. I hate stabilizers, so the phrase "when pigs fly" comes to mind about when I might try this, but I'm logging it away just in case, you know, pigs fly (cuz they invariably do!).

Boyknitter said...

This piece makes me want to learn to embroider! Fab work - well done!

JennyC said...

It's coming along beautifully - great job! I personally haven't used this product so thanks for posting about it! It stinks that it still may be stuck in some tiny stitched parts ... can you try running it through the washer again?

Marie said...

Beautiful work. Just tumbled on your blog. FYI, there are several wash away stabilizers for machine embroidery. I have used them for hand work. Never tried using the printer since the stabilizer is more fabric-like than paper-like. It has a very nice hand and drapes and behaves like fabric. No brittleness.