Kraft-Tex Update

As you know, I have a lot of fun with Kraft-Tex products.

In a prior blog post, I talked about using embroidery for yard flags or signs.

This time, I decided to try a little acrylic paint on it and see how it holds up in weather. The previous sign that I did has been out in rainstorms, thunder, wind and more, and looks just as nice as it did the day I put it out there.

To be honest, I’m a little shocked that it held up so well.

So this time, I pulled out my acrylics and painted up a patriotic floral for the Fourth of July. I have not added any finishing, like Mod Podge or varnish of any kind.

For the record, I asked Kraft-Tex for more information about their product. It is recyclable, and therefore biodegradable, but doesn’t fall apart in the rain. It is OEKO-TEX certified, which is standard in the textile industry in that the end product is certified to be non-toxic. It also holds an FSC accreditation (Forest Stewardship Council) Essentially, this means that the product is regulated to be using forestry resources responsibly as defined by the highest industry standards.

I’ll be getting back to my wool and quilting momentarily. But for now, I’m having a great time with outdoor decorating and garden crafts…using my sewing machine.

Kraft-Tex in the Garden

kraft-tex for the garden. learn to use Kraft-Tex for lots of fun projects. Edgestitch.

If you’ve followed this blog at all, you know that I have a lot of fun with Kraft-Tex, a paper/fabric that can be washed, doesn’t fray, and needs no finishing.

Here’s a link to a couple other of my blog posts on Kraft-Tex.

This time, since I am into garden season, I thought I’d try something slightly different by adding a garden flag made from Kraft-Tex. Now, I know that it has been a truly rainy season in my area, so I though it would be interesting to find out how the flag holds up during rain. I know it can be washed and dried without any issues, and I already tested the ribbon I’m using for color-fastness. So I’m not really worried about the rain.

I promise to show you what it looks like after a few weeks. We’ll all find out!

The embroidery showed up really well on white, and then I placed it on the grey or charcoal color. I find that Kraft-Tex holds up well with lots of embroidery…upwards of 20,000 stitches..as long as I use the right stabilizers. I find it best to use a medium weight cutaway, with a layer of Stabilstick cutaway on top of that — 2 layers of cutaway in total.

Then I cut out the pieces and used a bit of scrapbook tape to hold them in position while I stitched them down onto a larger piece of Kraft-Tex.

These designs can be purchased at emblibrary.com.

After assembling the flag, I added some velcro to the top, along with a fold so that it hangs nicely on the iron bar. A bone folder works great to give a nice solid crease. And the velcro makes it easy on-off. I’m thinking that I could make a number or these through the seasons…Fourth of July next.

Finally, I’m playing around with placement outside. I don’t have my annuals set up out there yet, so it’s a bit early. In the meantime, this is easy and gratifying stitching to get done for any season.

Kraft Tex, Transfer Artist Paper and Living on the Island of Lost Tools

Me: “I’ve lost my mind.”

Husband: “Now what?”

Me:  “I no longer know what I own. And even if I know what I own, I can’t find it.”

Husband: …(no response)

Me:  I’ve looked everywhere for my edge punch that I bought last year to do favors for Auntie Geri’s 80th.”

Husband: “OK. You know you just haven’t looked deep enough. We’ve been through this.  It’s in a bin somewhere. It’s in a shoebox in a bin. It’s in a plastic bag in a shoebox in a bin.  It’s in a paper bag in a plastic bag in a shoebox in a bin.  Look deeper.”

I hate it when he’s right.

When I went back to the place where I would put it away NOW if I had it and looked inside a few bags…there it was.

My main sewing machine needs a new part, so I am working on some sewing-related projects (even though I have another machine that works just fine.) Above, with the “Martha Stewart” logo is the punch I could not find.  She doesn’t make it any more, so it’s not even available online anywhere that I could find.

Been playing with both Kraft Tex and Transfer Artist Paper to make cards and Valentines and to just see what I can do with the combination.  Both are readily available online and I’m sure your local quilt shop can get them in too.

The beauty of working with these products is:

  1. Kraft Tex doesn’t fray at the edges, so it doesn’t need any finishing.
  2. It’s washable.
  3. So is anything that’s been transferred via the Transfer Artist Paper.
  4. TAP can be used on cloth, wood, glass, basically anything you can iron …and on Kraft Tex too.
  5. I can sew on any of this, and I can mix in some card stock tools like the paper punch.

So conceivably, I should be able to wash any of these finished cards.

This  little cherub is from my own photography.

This one reminds me of the scene from Holiday Inn, “Be Careful, It’s My Heart…” Free clip art is all over the place for Valentine’s Day.

And in this one, I used some free vintage art and added a pic to personalize. A good place to try is thegraphicsfairy.com.  I think this one will end up as this year’s Valentine. It will fit perfectly into one of the lace envelopes I recently created.

On this card, the transfer of our pic was on top of the first transfer, and I probably would not recommend that. I should have used a graphics program for that work and only transferred once.  Still, the photo looks old and worn and I love it.

Hmmm…so when I throw all these in the wash, they should come out whole.  I know that they will soften and get a little wrinkly like the Levi jeans tag.

Even so, I can’t wait to play around with this more. I’ll share some after a washing…should be interesting!

 

Something Old (Hand Quilting) and Something New (Kraft-Tex)

I have been working on hand quilting this queen sized quilt for, oh, two years now.  My initial intention was to work on it a little every day and have it done in a year.

Ha.

Months go by between times when I sit down to work on it. Other days, I get a flurry of hand work done.  But my prediction at this point is another two years. Seriously.  I am easily distracted by other more urgent/exciting/interesting/challenging/fresh/you-name-it projects.  Still, I come back to this one when I can.  I would say at this point I am 60% complete. I have hauled this quilt into the bedroom, the family room, the sewing room and back again dozens of times.

hand quilting 1

 

 

hand quilting 2The center is basically quilted.  The outside two rows of blocks are still undone all the way around. And then there’s the border. And then I’ll need to add the binding.  Progress is slow, but I AM making progress.  Those hand stitches are so cozy-looking up close.  Everyone needs a long-term project.  If nothing else, it teaches me patience and perseverance. It reminds me that work done by hand is still precious, still relevant and still worthwhile.

It’s no longer just a quilt.  It’s a commitment.

Below is the type of project that distracts me..and yet still needs to get done!

I really love the Kraft-Tex product, which is a fiber for crafters and sewists and artists, which does not tear.  You cut it up like fabric, it sews and wears like leather.  The more I play with it, the more I like it. I’ve been told that it’s the same fiber as the Levi jeans logo..you can wash it and dry it and it will just get softer!

I needed a new checkbook holder — nothing fancy, just practical. (Yes, I may be the last person on earth who still writes checks, but there you have it.)

checkbook1I selected a decorative stitch and added it to the edge, and finished everything off with a triple stitch.  Because it doesn’t fray, you don’t have to finish the edges.

checkbook2The only caution I would offer is to be careful about the decorative stitching you choose.  Because Kraft-Tex behaves like leather, the stitching causes perforations, and you don’t want to use a very heavy satin stitch as it will separate along the holes.  You want the project to hold together well, so the lighter the stitching, the better.

In this case, I used King Tut variegated thread which adds a little interest.  King Tut, however, calls for a 90/14 topstitch needle.  I used an 80/12 topstitch for fear of making the holes too large. Test all your stitches out on a scrap.

Here’s a link to another project I did using Kraft-Tex.

Something old..and ongoing.  Something new..and done.  Please don’t make me choose.