Sunday, October 15, 2017

Labels, Image Transfers and Slow Stitching

Last week in my Art with Fabric Blog Hop - Fall 2017 post, I mentioned that I would write about the use of a photo transfer medium to put the image of the statuette on fabric. So here it is, with a few other things thrown in!

Image Transfers
Mod Podge
Photo Transfer Medium

I've wanted to place images on fabric for a long time but the one attempt by my son to do this didn't end well for either the image or the printer! I'm not bad with technology and will eventually have to buy a new printer - and then I'll do the research required to get the proper printer and transfer paper. However, I'm just not there yet.

So when I heard about a photo transfer medium, I got pretty excited! I did a little bit of research, mostly to see where I might buy this type of product in Canada. Turns out that Micheal's sells a product made by Mod Podge.

I originally wanted to use the photo transfer medium to make a label for my art quilt, Reason & Passion, created for the Art with Fabric Blog Hop - Spring 2017. The idea was to place the image of the original quilt by Joyce Wieland on the label as a tribute to her and her work.

Photo Transfer Medium applied to two images
For this particular image, since it had writing on it, I had to "flip" the image before printing it. Turns out that you can do this in Paint (click the Rotate button and choose flip).

Final two images of the original
Reason Over Passion Quilt by Joyce Wieland
Once I had figured out how to use the photo transfer medium (see "What I learned" below), I was ready to try the product on the image of my Gaïa statuette. I chose to use the black and white image since the original statuette is made of a grayish clay. 

Gently rubbing off the dried photo transfer medium
Final photo transfer image of Gaïa on Kona fabric
It came out great, except for a white spot (see "What I learned"). I would probably have redone the image except that I was able to use a pencil to cover and shade the finished image. If you can draw, I think that it would be easy to draw over and/ or add colour to the image using colouring pencils.

Gaïa image on the finished piece
Attaching the image was simple. I very carefully cut around the fabric, placed her on the quilt and using the silver silk thread that I was using to quilt the piece, sewed around the image. I then FMQ around a few features to better attach it and to give it depth.

The finished image on the fabric is a little rubbery, sort of like the way t-shirts were years ago. Depending on the look you want and the use of the piece (you wouldn't want to use this for items that you would wash a lot), the Mod Podge photo transfer medium works fine.

Quilt Labels

If I have time, I like to be inventive with my quilt labels. At the very least, I try to use fabric from the quilt. For Anna's Black & White wall hanging, I actually cut away a piece just for the label, while I was doing the improvisational piecing. I'm really happy that I was able to find it when it came time to sew on the label! (I think that I've learned a valuable lesson from the still missing Growing Up QAL blocks!)
Improvisational piecing

Label made from the
improvisational piecing of the quilt

For the Neutral lap quilt, I wanted to make a smaller version of the original block used in the quilt.

Label based on block
Original block

Growing Up QAL

I have finished block 10 of the Growing Up QAL. I enjoyed making this one, probably because it used one of my favourite techniques, foundation paper piecing. I just love the accuracy of the technique. With minimal effort, I can make pretty accurate blocks - gotta love it!
Block 10 of the Growing Up QAL

Slow Stitching 

With company around and just being tired after finishing the Art with Fabric QAL, I've been spending my evenings embroidering or doing English Paper Piecing (EPP). I do this while being read to since I've downloaded a whole bunch of audio books from our local library.

I started another embroidery piece with the same type of pattern as my previous (unfinished) piece. I've brought it to work a few times to stitch a little during lunch time. This one is also mostly practicing the stem stitch.
Embroidering FMQ motifs
Here is my EPP to date - seven large flowers completed, with 3 or 4 in the works.

Seven large hexie flowers so far
What I learned
  • When you buy photo transfer medium, check out the product's instructions for how to use it! Each product is different. It took me many tries to get it right, and it was only after checking out the instructions for using the brand I had bought that I got it right!
  • It's important to very gently rub off the dried photo transfer medium. The "Reason Over Passion" image on the left is a little less crisp because I rubbed a little to hard. It's best to remove the medium in several stages than to get it all off at once.
  • Turns out it's VERY IMPORTANT to keep your fingers off of the photo transfer medium once it's on the image. The white spot that you seen on the Gaïa statuette (where her heart would be!) is from my finger when I was placing her onto the fabric! I added extra medium but it didn't really help.
  • My stem stitch is getting better, but still needs work in tight curves. That's mostly my lack of patience since you need to use very small stitches in tight curves 

Related Links
Linking Parties: I will be linking to a number of great linking parties. Check out what others are doing! Growing up QAL - linky month 10, Slow Sunday Stitching, Oh Scrap!, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? Finished or Not Friday, MOP Monday, Monday Making, Main Crush Monday, Design Wall Monday, Off the Wall Fridays


  1. You hexie flowers are so bright and happy. Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

  2. You always share such a great mix of projects, techniques and lessons!! It is always very inspiring!


Hi! I would love to hear from you and I will try to answer you. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a message. :-)