Have Your Say

24th June 2022

More on Transferring Designs and Embracing Motion

We definitely struck a chord when we wrote recently about different ways you can transfer needlework designs onto fabric, as many of you have written in with your own hints, tips and experiences. There is no end to the resourcefulness and skill of our community, is there?

Angelina Guillen was curious about the prick and pounce method, although she was concerned that it could be rather messy. It does seem that way, but the secret is to only use a very small amount of pounce – just enough to go through the holes and no more. You use a soft brush or sponge to apply it and any residue is carefully dusted off into the bin afterwards. We described it as like applying blusher to your face. You only want a small amount on your brush in order to look perfect!

Alice Andrus shared a fascinating tip. She irons pre-cut freezer paper sheets to the back of her fabric. The freezer paper is measured precisely to fit into her computer printer. She then cuts the fabric to the size of the sheets, scans her design into the computer and adjusts the size to fit the hoop she is planning on using. Then, she prints the design directly on to the pre-prepared fabric. The design comes out perfectly, all ready to stitch! Alice then peels back the freezer paper and irons fusible interfacing to the back to give stability. She says:

You can draw your own designs and print them, but I usually use purchased ones or free designs from the internet. You can also print a coloured picture onto your fabric.

The word ‘permanent’ frightens Patty Park so she discovered Crayola Guaranteed Washable markers instead. They come in assorted colours and with different sized tips. They are designed for children’s art projects, so being washable is essential! But Patty says they work beautifully for stitching, as any marks wash out without any problems.

Christine Wellnitz admitted that her favourite method to transfer designs is by traditional tracing and tacking. She traces her design on to tracing paper and then tacks along the lines using a running stitch and fine cotton. She said that it does take a bit of bravery to fill in the missing parts between the stitches, but that is the part she loves the most because she can change little things and make the design her own. She did say that her experience with ‘vanishing’ pens is that they never fully vanish, so if you use them, be sure to stitch over every single line.

Stephanie Lamb told us that Pellon Stick-n-Washaway and Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy can both be used in the photocopier. Stephanie has found the sheets difficult to stitch through at times though, so she only uses this method to produce an area of a design, such as a trellis or cloud filling, where accurate measurements are a bit more challenging.

In All Stitched Up! issue #327 we talked about motion vs action. Cécile smiled when she read it, as she said she has a lot of projects in motion. She tries to put them into ‘action’ but it takes her so long to finish that she has a constant feeling of dissatisfaction. So, this year, she decided to get on and finish some. She joined a Facebook group that made her accountable as she had to choose two projects and post up her progress on them each month. She also completed another project – a gift for her first grandchild – because she set a deadline and made herself finish by that date. 

Lynne Redderson was pondering why ‘motion’ was such an easy state to remain in, and decided it was because it is so much fun! She finds her mind reels with excitement and possibilities when she’s planning, strategising, and learning. Although not all of her plans come to fruition, she loves the feel of the creative juices flowing. Once it begins, there is no limit to the creativity that can spring from this feeling.

Leslie’s goldwork pear

Finally, a small erratum – in All Stitched Up! issue #331 we featured a gorgeous goldwork pear which had been masterfully stitched by Leslie Brady. We mistakenly said that the kit was from the Royal School of Needlework, but it is actually from The London Embroidery School. Thank you to Leslie for writing in to let us know, as well as to Patricia Hill who also picked up the error.

That’s all for this week, but we’ll be looking forward to hearing more from you after we’ve transferred a few more designs using some of these great ideas and pushed ourselves into action on a few more of our projects!

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