Thank you all so much for your Christmas wishes, for the greeting cards, the comments on my Merry Christmas post, and the influx of so much very nice e-mail, which I’m trying to answer! You certainly made my Christmas even cheerier! I hope yours was merry and bright!
After the brief holiday hiatus, it’s time for me to move forward on several embroidery-related endeavors that I hope you’ll enjoy! This week, for me, will be dedicated pretty much to needlework and blog work. What could be better? I’m so excited!
First, though, let’s finish up that Transfer-Eze experiment!
Last week, I showed you the beginning of a little embroidery project, using Transfer-Eze, an adhesive water-soluble, printable stabilizer sold for hand embroidery. This is the finish of that project, with the clean-up and some reflections on using Transfer-Eze.
Here’s the embroidery – it’s the Boughs of Holly pattern I posted last week, stitched on the corner of a flour sack towel, using two colors of green stranded cotton embroidery floss and one color of red, and entirely stitched in stem stitch. I finished it on Christmas Eve, with enough time to clean it up and press it, for gift-giving on Christmas Day.
Stitching on the Transfer-Eze was not as easy as stitching straight onto the fabric. Transfer-Eze stiffens up the fabric just enough to make a noticeable difference in stitching. It’s not “difficult” to stitch on, mind you, but it definitely requires a little more effort than it does to stitch directly on the fabric. It’s a little harder on the fingers, too.
You can see the extra Transfer-Eze here, where I began to peel it off the fabric. It was fairly well adhered, and in the long run, I decided not to bother cutting away the extra.
Next step after stitching: submerge the piece in cool water to soak. For how long? It depends.
After a few minutes, the water gets murky.
After about 15 minutes, the bulk of the Transfer-Eze was gone from the fabric, though still visible all over the embroidery. I switched out the water at this point, but didn’t rinse the piece yet. I wanted to see how much of it would dissolve by just sitting in water.
After about 30 minutes, I took it out of the water, and the Transfer-Eze was pretty much gone, except for little bits clinging to the embroidery. At this point, I rinsed the piece under running water, and the rest of the residue washed away. I noticed a few areas of stitching that were a little looser, but nothing drastically off.
I tossed the towel into the laundry, with other white kitchen towels and so forth, and washed it on a regular setting with regular detergent, and then I stuck it in the dryer with the same stuff. Why? Because I know that’s how it’s going to be washed after it’s given as a gift, and I wanted to make sure nothing went amuck with the piece when it went through the laundry. (If you’re absolutely counting on a towel like this as a gift, then you might not want to do the laundry thing at this point, the day before giving it away, just in case something does go amuck! I was confident, though, that all would come out well.)
When it came out, it was fine – a touch of ironing finished it up. When ironing an embroidered project like this, it’s a good idea to iron on the back side of the project, with the embroidery face down, using some folded pillow cases or flour sack towels on the top of the ironing board, to cushion the embroidery and keep it from flattening. For ironing embroidery, I use a couple layers of soft flannel sewn together and topped with a clean (used just for ironing) flour sack towel or pillow case. Works great every time!
My final thoughts on using Tansfer-Eze:
It worked fine for this type of embroidery: cotton on cotton, on a washable item. Would I use it again for this kind of work? Probably at some point. Generally, I use a pencil to trace corners on towels and so forth, and even though the Transfer-Eze is pretty darned easy, I prefer stitching directly on the fabric, rather than through the stabilizer. When it comes to the stitching part, it’s easier to stitch directly on the fabric – it’s easier on the fingers, it’s easier to gauge stitch tension, and so forth. The only part that’s not easier is the actual transfer of the design. But yes, I probably would use it again, for this type of project. And I can see how it could be handy for working on dark cotton with light threads. I would not use it for anything that can’t be washed.
Incidentally, there’s a product available by Sulky – it’s called Sticky Fabri-Solvy, and it comes in printer-sized sheets and in larger rolls. I suspect that it’s probably pretty much the same thing, so I ordered some just to find out. If it is the same thing, it’s a little less expensive than Transfer-Eze, especially if you buy it in bulk and cut it yourself. Several readers e-mailed me with the heads-up on that (thank you!), and I figured a comparison would be interesting. I’ll let you know!
Thus ends my Transfer-Eze experiment. I think it was pretty successful and I’d definitely use the product (or Sulky’s variation) again, especially on flour sack towels and other “casual” cotton embroidery projects.
Where to Find It
You can find Transfer-Eze available in the US here on Amazon, in a 10 sheet package.
You can find a 30-sheet package available on Amazon, here.
Sulky’s printable Sticky Fabri-Solvy is a similar product that works equally well. It can be found in a 12-sheet package on Amazon, here.