Archive for the ‘One Crafty Bitch’ Category

I actually was able to finish this up the other day and give it to Nancy when the office reopened after Christmas.

I am SO HAPPY with how it turned out, but I’m going to make you wait a few minutes while I drop some in-progress pictures. Sorry!

First, I was able to get all the fabric colors I needed (and didn’t already have on-hand from years of collecting scraps) at Jo-Ann, AND I happened to get them at a great sale price — 2 for $3 versus $2.50 each. Score!!

I backed each piece with Heat’n Bond adhesive, just like I did with the felt. First I removed the paper backing from one side of the adhesive and ironed it to the fabric scraps. After it cooled, I removed the paper backing and applied it to my Curio cutting mat — the plastic-to-plastic helped keep the fabric from slipping while cutting. I cut with my Fabric Blade and these settings:

  • Depth: 4
  • Platform: 6
  • Speed: 4
  • Thickness: 25

Here is the pre-assemblage assemblage. I just lined up the cut pieces to get an idea of how boss this project would look, and… Keep reading »

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/sigh

Ok, so I got all my bits cut out and assembled. Here’s what it looks like (without the intended blanket stitch around the edges):

 

Not sure if it’s quite what I was hoping for. Now I’m thinking using just regular cotton cloth instead of felt. I wanted it to be more supple and thinner, which is what I thought I could do with felt, but after the stiffening and the adhesive backing, each layer is about 2mm thick, making the whole thing 8mm at its thickest:

The quest continues! Stick around!

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I *THINK* I’ve got this felt crap figured out, finally.

My recommendations so far are:

  1. Use stiffened felt.
    • The Mod Podge formula I used the other day seems to work well. The felt is stiff enough to cut pretty well, and it still feels like felt.
    • I let the felt dry for at least 24 hours, flipping it over once to make sure it’s thoroughly dry before ironing it flat. If you feel any areas that are cooler to the touch or softer than other parts of the felt, let those puppies dry some more.
    • Iron on a heat setting appropriate for your material. Check the sticker or your felt’s packaging if you’re not sure what it’s made of. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and use a lower heat setting.
  2. Back that shit up!
    • I got some Heat’n Bond Ultra Hold iron-on adhesive and applied it to the back of the felt. Then I stuck the felt paper side down on the cutting mat (which will hopefully spare me some felt fuzz accumulation). It gives the felt a nice firm base, and the back sides of the cuts I’ve made are nice and crisp.
  3. Fiddle with your Curio cut settings.
    • I finally settled on these parameters:
      • Deep Cut blade, max depth (20)
      • Platform: 6 (2x #2 platform, 1x #1 platform, 1x cutting mat)
      • Speed: 1
      • Thickness: 25
      • Double Cut: Off*
        • I have been testing the cuts before removing the platform and manually applying a double cut if the pieces weren’t easily lifted out of the material. Denser felt needed one pass, while fluffier felt needed two.
        • DON’T REMOVE YOUR PLATFORM OR MATERIAL UNTIL YOU’RE SURE OF YOUR CUTS. If you need to run a second cut, removing your platform or pulling the felt up will pretty much guarantee your repeat cuts won’t line up with the first ones.

Whew!

I’ve successfully cut out most of the fiddly bits (enough for 3 ornaments), and this method has worked pretty well so far:

Though you’d think the opposite would be true, I think my biggest worry now is how the Curio will handle the bigger cuts. I’ve had some platform gear slippage on earlier tests, but I hadn’t refined my process at that point. We’ll find out tomorrow!

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I got an idea from Pinterest. It’s pretty ambitious, but when I get something in my head, I have to go for it.

I decided to make felt Lola ornaments for our tree (and one for Lola’s BFF Nancy in the leasing office, which I know will make her bawl like a baby).

I used an actual photo of her to make the design, and I’m planning to make it out of basic craft felt — if I can get the damn stuff to cooperate! — using my Silhouette Curio to cut the shapes out.

So, Attempt 1: I tried just putting the felt right on the adhesive cutting mat and doing a straightforward cut. That resulted in a whole lot of nothing. The felt got pulled around by the blade and didn’t cut so much as floof.

Attempt 2: I have some fusible interfacing I bought for just such a purpose. I got my iron fired up and did just a few pieces to test.* Felt on interfacing on mat, same result: nada.

*Pro tip: Don’t get your iron too hot. It will obliterate your interfacing and deform or outright melt your acrylic felt. Trust me on this. I used the polyester setting (medium heat) on my iron, with no steam.

Attempt 3: I read you can use freezer paper in the same way, so I tried felt on freezer paper on the mat AND freezer paper on felt on the mat. Nope on both counts.

Attempt 4: Put the felt on vinyl (I used adhesive contact paper) on the mat and cut. The cuts partially went through the vinyl (which was on the bottom, wut??) and just floofed the felt a bit more. There was maybe a tiny little cut made when the blade first started, but again, no result.

Attempt 5: Felt on vinyl on the mat, but with clear packing tape on top of the felt to make the surface more steady (similar to the freezer paper on felt on the mat in Attempt 3). That really just meant that the blade pulled the partially-cut tape around with the felt, and still no dice.

So.

Damn.

Frustrating.

My next attempt will be with stiffened felt. I’ve seen recommendations from flour-and-water to specialty fabric stiffening products. I’ve seen people lauding a 1:1 mixture of white glue and water, but since I seem to have every single type of adhesive OTHER than white glue, I’m using matte Mod Podge. I measured a few tablespoons of Mod Podge and added 3 to 4 cups of water, mixing it well.

I submerged the felt in the mixture, squeezing it to make sure it was saturated. Then I squeezed again to get the excess moisture out without stretching the felt and laid it out to dry. I just ironed the first piece (again, polyester setting) to get it nice and flat. Heating it with the iron felt like it removed some of the stiffness, and it freaked me out because I’m just so ready to get on with this project, but as the felt cooled it stiffened again.

Tomorrow I’ll try cutting again (since today has been horribly exhausting and the bed needs me). Updates then!

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I know, I know…it’s been way too long. I thought it was way past time I update you on the fun stuff from the last several months, plus make a promise to be better about posting as events unfold.

 

April 28: I started a noodle binder! I knit little i-cords for all of the yarns I had and filled out pages for each brand.

Update: I have sooo muuuch yaaarn. The noodle binder is so far behind. I look at it every time I walk by, fully intending to get everything caught up but… /sigh Keep reading »

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