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Tag Archives | fabric crafting

First Look: Lumi Photo Printing Kit

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Lumi Photo Printing KitThe Lumi Photo Printing Kit was created by Jesse Genet and Stephan Ango, and it got its funding through a quarter million dollar Kickstarter campaign in 2012. They promised a revolutionary textile printing process, and came through for their investors – and for fabric crafters! Continue Reading →

Review | Tulip Dual-Tip Fabric Markers

The Tulip Dual-Tip Fabric Markers are the first fabric makers I have used and actually been happy with the results. The dual-tip allows you to use them for a variety of projects, and the neon colors are so vibrant and fun. These markers have a permanent ink that does not need to be heat set. Just wait 24 hours and it is safe for machine washing.

Tulip Dual-Tip Fabric MarkersWorking with the extra fine tip (shown below) is just like using a regular pen. Continue Reading →

CHA Summer 2011 | Silhouette America

With the long list of electronic die cutting machines on the market, it takes something truly amazing to grab people’s attention these days. Well, Silhouette America may have done just that. Like the Silhouette SD, their new Silhouette Cameo offers the ability to cut a wide variety of media from cardstock to fabric, create and cut your own designs, and use all your existing fonts. Oh and did I mention it is 12″ wide!?! This new machine will not be available until October and will be $299.99 MSRP.

Their new Fabric inks kits come with everything you need to get started inking up fabrics and clothes. The inks are also sold separately and come in ten colors. They can be mixed to create different shades and colors as well.

They’ve also added some colors to their existing palette of colors available in their premium and adhesive vinyls.

And their Heat Transfer kit makes transferring your images to clothing so simple. They have flocked as well as smooth materials sold separately. There’s even a printable heat transfer material!
We can’t wait to put this new machine to the Craft Critique test. What are your first impressions? Might this replace your current machine? Do you use their other materials like vinyl or heat transfer?
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CHA Summer 2011: Clover Needlecraft, Inc.

Clover Needlecraft was debuting a few new exciting products for the fabric crafters out there. The Trace ‘n Create Quilt Templates by Nancy Zieman help you cut your fabric strips and make a quilt in no time at all.  The Grandmother’s One Patch Collection has two template designs with 4 sizes each.  You can create tumblers and Faux hexagons with fast piecing and no Y-Seams.
IMG_0055 And once you have that quilt top sewn, you’ll need to quilt and bind it…  Clover is introducing the Wonder Clips to help you secure that binding for sewing.  The clips are great alternatives to pins if you’re working with materials you don’t want holes in (vinyl, silks etc).
IMG_0053The clips are flat on the back,so you can feed them right up to your presser foot, and they have 1/4” and 1/2” seam allowance marking right on the base of the clips.   IMG_0054
The Wonder Clips will come in sets of 10 for about $7 and boxes of 50 for about $32.

The newest product Clover was debuting was the Kanzashi Flower Makers.  If you’re not familiar: Kanzashi is the traditional Japanese art form of folding and sewing fabric together to creature beautiful and life-like flowers.

A simple square of fabric is folded and clamped in the template, a couple of stitches later and you’ve got a petal ready to go.  Group a few together and your flower is done!
IMG_0051The templates come in 3 forms:  round petals, pointed petals and gathered petals.  There are also two sizes of each available, creating either 2” or 3” finished flowers.  Retail will be close to $5 each.
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What was your favorite new product by Clover?  What do you want to try the most?  What would you make with it?

Vendor Spotlight and Giveaway: OLFA Chenille Cutter

Reported by Cassandra Darwin

I was very excited to have the opportunity to review the Chenille Cutter by Olfa, because I have a few crafty family members that recently went through a chenille craze.  I wanted to see what it was all about!  I ended up making a baby blankie for my little girl, and got a number of tips from those experienced chenille makers along the way.  I’ll share everything I learned so you can get started right away. 

 This is the chenille cutter as sent to me – instructions at the bottom of the package look easy enough!

Is it really just 4 easy steps to get soft and fluffy chenille?  Turns out the answer is yes (essentially).
The Olfa website describes the Chenille Cutter:  
Designed for both right and left handed use the revolutionary Chenille Cutter cuts multiple layers of fabric, as well as paper, cardstock, photographs, felt, fleece, and more! Features 4 channel guide sizes for narrow to wide widths and 24 new exposed blade edges all with one click. The ultra-sharp, double-honed edge blade is never exposed for extra safety.”

 I gathered my supplies for this project and opened the package to see what I had gotten myself into.  The included instructions were very concise, and easy to follow.  See below for front and back views.

Chenille Cutter instructions (front)
Chenille Cutter instructions (back)

 There were a few vital pieces of information missing from the packaging and instructions.  The first – what type of fabric should I be using?  TIP – A looser weave fabric that will fray a bit on its own works best.  I used flannel in my project, but linen is another great option.

I decided to do two different chenille blocks so you can see some different results.  Instructions recommended 4-8 layers of fabric, and the tool can cut channels from 1/8″ to 1/2″.  The green block has 8 layers of fabric with channels that are 1/2″ apart.  The pink block has 4 layers of fabric with channels that are 1/4″ apart.

I marked the top layer to indicate where I need to sew and pinned my layers together.

And here you can see that I have sewn the channels and started to use the tool to cut every layer except the bottom one.  TIP – It’s important to sew a fairly straight line, because if you have narrow parts in the channels the tool may not be able to squeeze through.  Luckily it has 4 widths so you can always go down a size if you need to squeeze through a problem area.

I ran into another problem with the way I was holding the cutter.  I copied the pictures in the instructions below, which worked okay (it was the 4 layer piece).

But when I moved to the 8 layer block I kept having trouble with the dial turning on its own, and blocking the cutting blade (see below).

Luckily my aunt saw what I was doing and said that she held it a different way and never had that problem.  So I changed my grip and had much better results.  TIP – Adjust your grip to hold the dial in place while you are cutting.  TIP – It also made my life much easier when my aunt suggested cutting through no more than 4 layers at a time.  So do one cut through the top 4 layers, then one more cut through the bottom 4 layers.  This made it smooth like butter!

 This all went pretty quickly, especially after I adjusted my grip on the cutter and limited the number of layers I was cutting through.  So I quickly got 4 blocks sewn together and pieced together a little blanket.  Put it through the washer and dryer one time and PRESTO!  Like magic I have a fun little blanket with lots of texture for my baby to enjoy.

Note the difference between the two blocks (above and below).  In the end, the green block with 8 layers and 1/2″ channels has a “depth” of about 1/4″and lots of texture.  It’s actually quite heavy because it has so many layers.

The pink block with 4 layers and 1/4″ channels has a “depth” of just under 1/8″ and feels very soft.

I also wanted to share a few online resources that Olfa has to help you with your projects.  They have instructional videos on their website, but I couldn’t get the Chenille Cutter video to load more than 30 seconds.  Luckily the company also posted it here on You Tube.  There is also a great selection of ready to print project ideas and instructions specifically for the Chenille Cutter.
Pros:
  • Small tool, but creates chenille fabric that makes a big impact
  • Much easier to use this tool than use scissors for the same purpose
  • Dial on this tool allows you to adjust channel widths (4 sizes) and gives you 24 sharp cutting edges
Cons:
  • Printed instructions missed some important info (best fabric to use, proper grip of the tool, etc.)
  • Once you use all 24 cutting edges you will need to replace the blade in this tool
  • A bit of an investment at about $30
I really enjoyed using the Olfa Chenille Cutter, and would encourage anyone to try it that is looking to add some texture to their fabric creations!

GIVEAWAY!
Our friends at Olfa have given us gift pack to give to two lucky readers. Leave a comment answering the following question to be entered:

Would you make your own chenille? What would you create with it?

One comment per person per article (this is the third of four, over a two-day span), please. Winners will be chosen on Saturday, July 9, 2011.


Disclosure


Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Vendor Spotlight and Giveaway: OLFA Deluxe Ergonomic Rotary Cutter

Reported by Christina Hammond

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When you work with fabric, one of the most indispensible tools you can own is the rotary cutter.  And let me tell you, they are not all created alike!  For years I have been working an “el cheapo” model I bought at WalMart the day my Great-Grandma gave me her 50’s era Singer sewing machine.  I didn’t own a single pair of fabric scissors, so I ran to the store and asked the lady there for help.  She tossed that foreign-to-me cutter in my basket along with a little self-healing mat and plastic ruler, saying “Trust me, you need these!”

Boy, what was she right!  That rotary cutter had become almost an extension on my right arm.  I used it everyday, but when faced with a large project like a large quilt to cut, I had begun to dread picking it up because it would, honestly, start to hurt. 

Olfa sent me the Deluxe Ergonomic Rotary Cutter and it has become the new extension to my right arm.  I am very pleased with how comfortable it is to use.  In addition to being ergonomic and easy on the wrist – it has a dual action safety switch.  I can use the switch to lock the blade closed for storage, or to lock it open so I don’t have to squeeze the handle to keep the blade out.  The deluxe system comes in both a 45mm and 60mm size, perfect for most cutting needs.

The blades are sharp and stable.  There is a small Belleville Disc Spring* under the thumb screw that helps maintain pressure.  Even after having used the cutter for a while, the blade doesn’t have a wiggle to it at all.

*admittedly, I had to ask my husband what this was called because I didn’t want to type “curvy washer thingy” for y’all. (Editor’s Note: “curvy washer thingy” is perfectly acceptable).

 Olfa has a great video right on the site – it’s not hard at all.  

To test the comfort of the cutter, I put myself to work on something that needed tons of repetitive slices.  I have so many quilts in progress, so I decided to try a knock-off of all those ruffley pillows I am seeing everywhere.

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This pillow was made with a fairly thick shantung, and I cut about 10 layers at a time with no problems at all.  I used the pinking blade to reduce the fraying.  I *really* like this blade.  Alot.  I made a couple of this style pillow, each taking about 200 3″x5” rectangles.  I didn’t have any pain at all and not a single complaint about the cutting.  YAY!
IMG_0637 While I was sewing, I switched back to the straight (AND VERY SHARP, oops!) blade and whipped out this cute giant bow pillow in no time at all.

Finally, I changed the blade over to the “Wave” blade and cut out 22 pennants for our all purpose “CELEBRATE” banner.  I used this blade because it looks fancy, a bit different than a standard pinking blade and I wanted to make this quick-n-easy.  We’ve used this banner for so many things already, I think I might just leave it up!
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A close up of the edges.  Look how pretty!
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Pros:

  • ergonomic claim is true!  So comfy to use.
  • can be used Righty/Lefty
  • readily available
  • decorative cutting blade available
  • safety lock
  • the handle is guaranteed forever! 

Cons:

  • initially pricey
  • blade replacements are slightly expensive, and the decorative ones only come in one blade packages.
  • a bit fiddly replacing the blades, but easy enough to do if you pay attention

GIVEAWAY!
Our friends at Olfa have given us gift pack to give to two lucky readers. Leave a comment answering the following question to be entered:

Have you ever noticed pain/discomfort when using a standard rotary cutter?  Do you think you’d benefit from this Deluxe Ergonomic cutter?

One comment per person per article (this is the first of four, over a two-day span), please. Winners will be chosen on Saturday, July 9, 2011.

Disclosure

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

CHA -Tools: Making Memories Slice Elite

At CHA Summer 2010, Making Memories unveiled its brand new Slice Elite. The Slice Elite now cuts more precisely, so your die-cuts look even better, cuts up to 40% faster, AND it can cut through thicker materials (up to twice as thick). The Slice Elite works with all your Design Carts and Accessories, and comes in original blue and pink. The Slice Elite will make its debut at your local scrapbooking store this September. Just in time for all of your holiday scrapbooking projects.

Here’s a little demo of the Slice Elite in action:

There are also a whole bunch of new cartridges that will work on the original Slice as well as the Slice Elite.
Here’s a look at some of the cool fabric crafts you can do with the new Slice Elite since now it can cut fabric.

Bring your craft to a whole new level! Join the MyStik Community today!
www.scrapbook-adhesives.com/mystik

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!