Monday, August 2, 2010


Dear Mom,
Did you know you can do this? Because I didn't and now I do and I was so excited when I learned this I nearly had a headache from all the possibilities crowding into my brain.
There I was, quietly reading Lizzie's blog and admiring her quilt and the label she made. I left a comment admiring both and asked how she made her pretty label. Lizzie and I exchanged a couple of emails and Tah Dah! I made a little practice swatch, and even washed and dried it to make sure it was for real.
I am sharing it here, just because I think it is very exciting and I can't keep it contained. If you already know how to do this, skip to the end.
Now, in my defense, I already know about and have used those t-shirt transfers you can buy, print off your design or picture onto them, and then iron them on to ... t-shirts, or whatever. What I didn't know and what Lizzie very kindly shared with me, is that you can print RIGHT ONTO THE FABRIC!!!! Of course, here you are limited to a size and thickness that will fit through your printer, but still! This is how it is done. (Or how I did it anyway.)

Draw, sketch, print, write, whatever you want, onto a piece of paper. Hey....that makes me think of another possibility! I bet you could write on decorative paper....I'll have to try that next. Anyway. Draw your design, care instructions, etc. and set it aside. Then iron a piece of fabric onto freezer paper. I used cotton muslin for my experiment, but I think any fabric would work as long as it isn't too thick and not a stretchy knit. It should also probably be pre-washed. Put the fabric/freezer paper combo into your printer so that it will come out with the printing on the fabric side. In my printer, this means that I put the fabric side down when I load it into the tray. Put the paper with your drawing on it onto the scanner just like you would to make copies, and hit "copy". That's it! Well, except for peeling off the freezer paper afterwards. The fabric should feed through your printer and come out with your design on it. Lizzie suggests setting the ink by ironing the fabric, which I did and then, like I already said, I washed and dried the swatch just to make sure the ink would stay put.

Perfect for quilt labels like Lizzie's, but I can also imagine making care labels for my hand knits and sewing them onto a side seam or at the back of a collar. Then I thought how fun it would be to use this trick on a fabric pattern piece (here is where size would limit me) that has already been cut out for sewing and print a design onto it. And no way am I limited to black ink on a piece of muslin.....probably a good thing I didn't know about this during the bucket hat frenzy. If I get any more ideas and have time to test them out, I'll share them with you.