Reported by Heather Strenzwilk
Silicone Release Paper from C & T Publishing was inspired by fusible applique artist Laura Wasilowski. The double-sided, coated paper comes in a package of ten- 8.5″ x 11″ inch sheets plus two- 17″ x 22″ inch sheets for larger projects. This versatile paper can be used for transfers, appliques and as a non-stick work surface for craft projects.
Because I am not a very accomplished sewer (I still refer to the instruction book to thread my sewing machine properly) I decided to make a very simple applique pouch. I began by ironing some Steam-A-Seam2 double-stick fusible webbing onto the back of the fabric and then removing the backing to expose the adhesive. I used a black Sharpie marker to trace the heart shape onto the silicone release paper. Then I put the design (Sharpie side down) onto the fusible web and I ironed the silicone release paper to transfer the Sharpie ink to the fabric.
I could tell when the transfer had occurred because the silicone release paper is nearly transparent. After removing the silicone release paper I was able to cut out my applique and adhere it to the pouch using my iron. This was a pretty easy process and it worked for me the first time. Although some of the Sharpie ink remained on the silicone release sheet, I think you could re-use it if you were careful.
After the success with my pouch, I decided to test some other craft media. I used my hot glue gun to create some embellishments. When the glue cooled, they easily popped off the silicone release paper. The paper could definitely be re-used, which was a plus. Later I wrote the word “Elmer” with some white school glue. Because school glue is very wet, the paper warped and curled badly as it dried but the letters popped right off the release paper.
Next, I decided to make some acrylic paint skins, which I had never heard of before researching this article. For one set, I used Anita’s acrylic paint which is very liquidy. The paper warped as it dried but the dried acrylic pieces (which are very flexible) came off the page easily. For the second batch, I used some old Lumiere paint which had definitely thickened with age, with a touch of blue Anita acrylic paint. This batch had more body and didn’t warp the paper as badly, but the paper is definitely “single use” for this type of project.
Finally, I decided to make some encaustic art with Crayola Crayons. I sprinkled fine crayon shavings on a piece of cardboard sandwiched between two pieces of silicone release paper. After briefly ironing to melt the crayon, I pulled off the top paper. The wax didn’t stick to the release paper but it did sort of bead up and leave a waxy residue. I put the sheet, residue side down on some white matte cardstock to try to remove the residue but some of it remained. I could use the sheet again but I would be concerned about muddying the next batch of wax.
My impression of the product is that it is a thinner, disposable version of a non-stick craft mat, a product I use constantly in my craft room. The texture of the paper reminds me of a cross between parchment paper and the release paper used to iron Perler Beads. Silicone release paper would be good to take to a crop or for kids to use because there is no messy clean up. I was a little disappointed by how much the silicone release paper warped when it got wet, but it is more of a one-time use product. The larger 17″ x 22″ inch size sheets are great for larger projects or for enlarging patterns. Since the sheets are nearly transparent, it is easy to trace and there is no need to reverse your letters because you’ll flip the sheet to do the transfer onto the fabric.
- Package has ten regular size plus two 17″ x 22″ sheets for large projects
- Nothing sticks to it
- Versatile- can be used with multiple media
- Silicone release paper warps if it gets very wet
- Not as durable as a standard, reusable non-stick craft mat
Have you tried Silicone Release Paper? What products do you use to create appliques? Please share your thoughts with our readers.
Reported by Julie Tiu
Just when I thought my metal crafting ruler, trusty transparent quilter’s ruler, and tape measure were enough, I was sent some peel-off paper rulers called Inchie Ruler Tape by C&T Publishing. Inspired by Charlotte Warr Andersen’s book “One Line at a Time”, this tape is touted as “easy, accurate guides for quilting, crafting, painting and more”.
One package contains 80 sheets of ruler tape. That is plenty to last through many projects, especially since they are re-positionable. Peel an entire column (11 inches), or cut what you need; it’s easy to take off the backing.
Seriously, Inchie Tape couldn’t have come at a better time. I tested it as a guide on my t-shirt quilt project. No need to mark masking tape by hand! I really like how flexible it is, how it stays adhered to fabric, yet doesn’t leave a residue.
- Ten 8″ x 11″ sheets with 8 stickers each… you do the math. Generous amount!
- Re-positionable adhesive has just enough tack to use over and over on fabric.
- Flexible with fabric.
- 1/4″ guidelines are helpful. Easy to cut with backing.
- Might damage paper surfaces, so test first or cut with backing and leave backing in place.
Inchie Ruler Tape can be found online at the C&T Publishing website for $10.95 plus shipping and handling. Check on availability at your local fabric store.
How would you use peel-off paper rulers in your crafting projects? Share your ideas with us in the comments!
Reported by Erika Martin
I then stitched an olive green chain stitch along the white line. (I like to use three strands of embroidery floss for most of my stitching.)
I added chain stitches for the blossoms an light purple french knots for the little flower buds.
As you can see, my stitching very closely resembles the stitch combination shown in the book.
Next, I started going through the stitch index to pick out some stitches I either hadn’t done in a while or that I had never done before. I chose to go with the Lazy Daisy Double stitch. While I’ve done lazy daisies before, I never thought to do a double.
I stitched my row of light purple lazy daisies to create flowers along the top of the soon-to-be purse.
Then, I stitched a dark purple lazy daisy around each to finish off the double stitch look.
Because I do a lot of my stitching free-hand (without drawing out guide lines to stitch along), I realized that my flowers were open in the middle. I filled in with some bright yellow french knots to create some really cool textured flower centers.
My next step was to create some leaves and vines so I used a back stitch for the vines. Then, I looked at the book’s stitch index and picked out a leaf stitch for the vine. I chose the Fishbone stitch (one that I haven’t done in ages). I used my white marking pencil to draw out the leaf outlines.
The outline made stitching well-balanced leaves a breeze.
Along the bottom of the purse, I did another of the stitch combinations, but tweaked it up a bit to include a Colonial Knot, and used back stitching instead of the curved buttonhole stitch that it called for.
Two of the ribbon flowers that I liked creating the most were the Freeform Flowers and the Five-Petal Gathered Flowers. The diagrams were very clear and I loved the way they came out. I can see myself making more of these for other projects and not just on fabric projects. I will definitely be making more using a lot of the different width ribbons that I have and putting them on scrapbook pages, shadow box art and mixed-media creations.
I added some small faux pearls that I found in my grandmother’s old button tin for the centers of my small flowers.
After I added a bunch of Japanese Ribbon Stitch leaves, I used a ball point pen to very lightly write out the words I wanted to stitch on my project. I used a back stitch to embroider the words.
- Convenient size to carry on-the-go
- Wire bound for easy flipping and flat-laying of pages
- Easel feature so that the book stands up for easy use
- Very exhaustive collection of 180+ stitches and combinations – great for new stitchers and veterans alike
- Alphabetical stitch index
- Right- and left-hand instructions and diagrams (in full color)
- Full color thumbnail photo of actual stitch
- Tips, chart and “getting started” section for needles, thread/yarn, ribbon and fabric
- Variation of stitches also included on many of the stitch diagrams
- If you’re a very visual learner, some of the more complicated stitches might take you a little longer to master despite the illustrated diagrams.
- The price could be off-putting for some, but when you price it out, it’s only 13 cents per stitch tutorial!
Have you used C&T Publishing’s Embroidery & Crazy Quilt Stick Tool? Where do you find your stitching inspiration? Leave us a comment and let us know!
Reported by Heather Strenzwilk
The Ultimate 3-in-1 Color Tool, Updated 3rd edition is a color selection deck created by Joen Wolfrom for C&T Publishing. The tool includes 24 color cards (816 colors), instructions, value finders and five color plans for each color. The cards are laminated and bound on the lower right corner and can be stored in its convenient clear vinyl pouch.
Nearly two years ago I had the opportunity to review the previous edition of the 3-in-1 Color Tool. Although I tried very hard to show how helpful the tool could be, I completely missed the point. So I jumped at the chance to review the updated 3rd edition.
The first thing I noticed about the new edition is that it is larger- the previous edition was 8″ x 2 5/8″ versus the new edition which is 8″ x 3 1/4″. The new edition has more color samples and most of them are larger. The directions have been re-written and I found them much clearer and easier to understand. This edition also includes various color formulas which make the colors easier to replicate (if desired).
The instructions use a five step process to pick, match, choose, find and select colors for your project. the author also provides strategies if you are uncertain your colors match (are on that color card). She also provides a brief introduction to the Ives 24 color wheel (one card for each color). This edition has a new section which explains the difference between pure colors, tints, shades and tones and gives examples of each (pink is a tint, navy is a shade and mauve is a tone). Also provided is a brief explanation of basic color plans such as monochromatic, complementary, analogous, split-complementary and triadic.
The HUGE lesson I learned with this edition, is that I don’t have to try to find an exact match for colors (I spent a lot of time doing that with the old tool.) The tool can be used to identify the color family. When you put a color up to a color card you can tell if it is part of that family. If it is slightly off, most likely your color family is on a neighboring card. This was huge for me and I went from dragging on color selection, to finding the right family card.
Speaking of the color cards, they had a makeover for this edition as well. The front of the card now sports the pure color and a sampling of tints, shades and tones. Also included examples of how the color is used in the color plan options. In the prior edition, the color plans were on the back of the card.
In the current edition, the back of each color card has 32-34 additional color samples. Each samples is labeled with CMYK (cyan magenta yellow black) and RGB (red green blue) color formulas. Additionally, samples has a HEX code which is used for website design.
The value finder is the last component of the tool. The value finders are pieces of green and red translucent plastic. When you look through either the red or the green value finder, colors disappear but values can be seen. If there are some dark and some light areas, contrast is present. When I tried this step, I was amazed where I noticed a lack of contrast in my artwork.
(Digital Image: In a Scrap Creations)
Sometimes, new and improved isn’t always a good thing. Fortunately, for the updated 3rd edition of the Ultimate 3-in-1 Color Tool, the changes are all good, from the increased color selection, larger color swatches, color codes and improved instructions. The tool is portable and very helpful for crafting and shopping (be confident that antique or yard sale find will match your sofa). This is a very handy and useful tool and one that I’ll use frequently.
- Lightweight, portable and comes with a protective vinyl pouch
- Colors are easier to replicate with CMYK and RGB formulas and Hex numbers for web sites
- Instructions were revised making them much easier to follow in this 3rd edition
- Double sided cards make it difficult to compare colors on opposite sides of the card
- Deck is permanently bound. It would be nice to be able to remove individual cards.
Do you use any tools such as a color wheel or the 3-in-1 Color Tool to assist you with color selection? How would you use the 3-in-1 Color Tool?
*Please note: Insul Fleece is heat-resistant only, not heat proof or fire resistant.
- Insul Fleece is pliable. Easy to bend and turn.
- Thin enough to sew through with a machine or by hand.
- 27″ x 45″ piece in the package. I was able to make all the projects shown and had leftovers.
- Not a con, really, but just wanted to reiterate that Insul Fleece is heat resistant, not heat proof.
Reviewed by Julie Tiu
You may recognize Mary Stori from HGTV’s Simply Quilts and Sew Perfect, but if you don’t, not to worry. You’ll enjoy the introduction! She and C&T Publishing created this pocket reference book, in a fan deck format, in 2005. Their wish: to create “The Ultimate Beading Reference Tool”, and it falls nothing short of it with 78 Beading Stitches and step-by-step instruction.
They were on the cutting edge of the bead craze that’s taken hold in the last few years. Can you tell by the amount of aisles in the craft stores devoted to beads and findings? So, is this book for the beginner, intermediate or advanced crafter? For beading projects, quilting, embroidery, or home decor? I say, all of the above! The book reads in true reference style, with tips and how-to’s. There’s a bonus value finder included, too, for finding contrast between beads and backgrounds.
The book includes a well-thought out “Let’s Get Started” section including tips on supplies, a breakdown of bead types, and knotting. In the “About Beads” section, Stori shares this very useful tip regarding colorfastness that I was not aware of, “… beads are often dyed, or have had finishes applied. Test by soaking a few in warm, sudsy water for an hour or two. Rinse and compare to the original bead.”
I’ve played around with beading for simple projects like bookmarks, and who hasn’t made a simple necklace from just a string of pony beads or seed beads? But, I’ve never really followed a written beading pattern before (I like to reverse engineer most of my projects). It was time to try a few new stitches from the book.
Next up, I needed to repair my very intricate beaded purse. And what I thoroughly enjoyed about the reference book was the fact that I found every single stitch on this purse. Really!
This book is a valuable tool for any bead enthusiast at any level, “The All-in-One Beading Buddy shows easy-to-follow instructions, and photo examples covering a large range of beading techniques, plus helpful information…” That’s it in a nutshell!
- Great pictures for all 78 stitches including visual index.
- Easy-to-follow instructions and technical drawings.
- Very portable size.
- Helpful tips.
- Fan-deck format a little awkward for me when using the reverse side.
- Stitches could be marked with beginner, intermediate, or advanced stitch designations.
- No actual projects included in the book (but that’s not the intention, either).
This book starts at $16.95 (without shipping or handling) at the C&T Publishing website. And, there are also online resources on their website for teachers interested in using this book as a text for teaching.
How would you use the Beading Buddy? Is this something you’ve stashed away and want to crack open again? Share with us your beading triumphs or disasters in the comments!
Reported by Susie Ziegler
- Very appealing projects. I want to make every single quilt, and I rarely feel that way about quilt books or magazines.
- Instructions are clear and simple and are presented with appealing photographs and full color diagrams.
- Patterns are all quilts, the book doesn’t get sidetracked with totebag, placemat, or pillow instructions.
- Alternate colorways and interesting pieced back ideas are offered for each pattern.
- These quilts are colorful and modern. If you like traditional piecing, and old fashioned detailed blocks with points all matched up in subtle small scale prints, you will not like this book.
- Each quilt is offered in only one size. I would like to make bed sized versions of some of the quilts and I would like to see yardage and cutting instructions for alternate sizes.
- I feel like I really need to modern up my fabric stash! I’m going to have to encourage my local quilt shop to stock these kinds of prints.