Just about anything I can do with embroidery floss is so totally my thing right now. Cross-stitch and embroidery are keeping my hands so busy that it’s just about crazy! Truth be told I’ve been embroidering since I was just a little bit of a thing but I never used to keep my stitches. After I finished a piece I’d put it somewhere and wind up throwing it away after a few months.
After realizing that some of these things I embroider take, literally, 40+ hours I decided that was just ridiculous. Thinking about all of the things that I have stitched up and tossed out, well, that just irritates the heck out of me! So I’ve decided to change my behavior and now I’m going to start hanging my embroidered whatnots up in my office as a part of the decor. Now isn’t that a nifty idea?
While I love embroidering I HATE getting the pattern transferred over to fabric. Here are the problems I tend to encounter, either because I’m a total dingaling or just because it’s a crappy thing to do…
- I don’t press hard enough with that stupid red pencil so only a portion of my transfer works.
- I somehow smudge up store-bought transfers, even when I pin the stupid things down.
- I make my lines way too think with transfer markers/pens and you can see my guidelines on either side of my stitches.
- My hands get so tired with those stupid red pencils that I wind up abandoning the project.
- I forget to flip the image and when I get a perfect transfer, all of my text is backward.
Now I do tend to like using a light-box or a window to transfer stuff but I don’t always have time for that. And for more complicated patterns, like that crazy bear up there, I knew that I was going to get worn out with transferring the image before I actually finished it up. So I searched around and found the solution over at Wild Olive.
Now this is all about Sulky sheets. and it is super genius. I LOVE this stuff and have already started up my THIRD project and, according to my order history at Amazon, I only bought this 3 weeks ago :) It is around 11 for 12 sheets and I think that isn’t bad at all. It’s self adhesive, but I have to tell you that the sticky kind of sucks. Except on your needles. Then it’s stupid sticky :)
But let’s go by the step by step:
Print your embroidery pattern, without flipping it, onto your Sulky sheets.
Now I wanted a pattern with an animal with lots of designs inside of it to stitch but I didn’t want to have to draw something up myself. Instead I found this free Kindle coloring book. You can also purchase the paper copy if you prefer it and essentially make a copy onto the Sulky sheets.
Now I had the hardest time choosing the floss for my project. I knew that I wanted a variegated floss in a pink scheme for the inner details and I wound up going with the darker of the two, there on the left.
YOUR EMBROIDERY IS GOING TO COME INTO CONTACT WITH WATER SO BE POSITIVE YOUR COLOR CHOICES WILL NOT BLEED!!!
And it started to stitch up beautifully! To get started it’s really pretty simple. Hoop your fabric and get it taut, but not overly so. Peel the backing off of your iron on transfer and then stick it right, smack-dab onto the fabric in the hoop. Boom!
Now I’ve found that if you start stitching right away you’re going to have a super gummy/sticky needle while you work. If you wait a few days the glue bonds, or something, and it doesn’t do that to you needle anymore.
I will say that the sticky doesn’t always really stick very well. Now on this one it stayed no problem-o. But on my third go that thing is peeling up so that I tried to go around the perimeter with a basting stitch and the paper is folded up in some places. It might have something to do with the fact that the humidity was super high when I put it on (I live super close to the Gulf of Mexico) or it might have just been a less than awesome sheet, I suppose. In the end it’s still working so I’m not going to complain a ton.
After stitching all of the inner business for around 24 hours (seriously! Maybe I’m just stupid slow!) I doubled up and used 4 threads of black to surround all of the nifty little shapes, as well as the shape of the bear, itself.
Now to remove the sheets once stitching is complete just run warm water in a bowl and toss your embroidery in. Now I hope you checked that your colors wouldn’t bleed, but if you didn’t it’s time to cross those pretty little fingers!
Move the fabric around a bit and the paper will dissolve and come away. Rinse off in the sink to finish up and lay flat to dry.
Now since my black was so heavy I really wish I would have placed another piece of fabric in my hoop to keep the backside from showing through the front of the piece.
But to be honest I’m pretty happy with it when all is said and done. I’m going to find a better hoop for it, and when I do, I’ll have it hung up forevah! So what do you think? Is this not the EASIEST way you’ve ever seen to transfer embroidery patterns? ‘Cause I gotta tell you, now that I’ve found this stuff (and thanks so much to Wild Olive!) I am stitching up some really amazing little patterns!