Beds, beds and more beds!

I still haven’t managed to get either one of my little boys to sleep on the last one I made. There are so many around the house now, with all of my experiments, they would rather not have to make a decision so sleep on my bed instead.

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Stalker after a hard morning, I would love to know what he is dreaming about. He always has a smile on his face!!

So this week I have been trying out my fabric yarn and crochet. This little bed worked out perfectly. Not very inspiring colour wise, but now I know what size it turns out and how much fabric I need I will be able to make them alot more colourful.

It started with a recycled cotton bottom sheet.

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Then I tore up the fabric to make my yarn ready for crocheting. There are lots of websites on the net with tutorials on how to make your own fabric yarn. Very simple, you just need to have a large crochet hook to crochet it with.

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I made a small pillow with the fabric, before I made the rest into fabric yarn. I then crocheted round the pillow and made a lovely warm cuddly little bed. (Yes, another one!!)

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Crochet fabric yarn is lovely and thick so stands up on its own, but is still slightly stretchy and soft. I made this little bed with less than a single sheet size of cotton fabric. It measures 12″ across (nice size for small cats or kitten) and stands 7″ tall with the top folded over, the cushion inside is about 5″ deep but sinks to about 3″ when someone gets in. So it is very cosy and very durable. These will definitely be going into my shop, with a little tweaking and a bigger size, and some decoration, after Christmas.

This weekend I have been busy trying things out to make for the shop. Along with this little bed idea I have made an easy 30 minute make cat pillow. I had seen these no sew, quick pillows before, made from fleece or tshirt fabric. The fleece doesn’t fray, and the tshirt fabric doesn’t fray and stretches. I wondered what would happen if I made it from the left over cotton fabric from the last cat bed. And this is what it turned out like………dsc_0214Perfect, I used to love making the rag quilt bags and I can imagine after a few washes this little pillow will fray and look shabby chic just like the rag quilts. I can see alsorts of designs with this one.

I am still working on my new Etsy shop. Working towards putting items in the shop after Christmas. Alot of the things I will be posting will be hand finished or hand made as I am doing most of my crafting now in my new boarding cattery (sewing machine noise is not acceptable). I am sitting there keeping my little guests company, having catty conversations and crafting. A wonderful way to spend my days…………..

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My crafting chair, and a little guest.

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Fabric Hearts

In October I was crafting for Christmas. I had some orders for my Personalised Fabric Hearts, and this was my favourite one.

12191959_794374737338998_8878003984162371314_nIt was made for a lady that collects teapots. and apparently was a much loved Christmas present.

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All wrapped up in tissue paper and in one of my lovely new packing boxes my hearts looked very professional  I am hoping that when Valentines Day and Mothers Day comes along they will be popular. They measure approx 5.5 inches, so are larger than the ones you normally see on other sites.  They are now for sale on my website.

Inkjet Printing on Fabric

I love, love my computer and printer for my crafts, not just for designing and printing out patterns but for printing on to lots of other stuff too including fabric.

My printer is a cheap Epson S21 inkjet that has lasted me for years and is happy with compatible inks so I can save money there. Here are some tips that I gleaned when putting fabric through it:

Hanging fabric hearts with printed poem and picture

I love to include poetry in some of my fabric projects but I don’t really enjoy embroidery, it’s too slow, and my writing is not that pretty so I won’t use fabric pens. Looking at all the fonts I have on my computer I wanted to use some of them.

There are lots of websites that give instructions on how to print on fabric. Apparently pigment ink (expensive) is washable, top loaders are better as fabric doesn’t get stuck and mess up your printer etc. etc……I would recommend that you have a look first as I wouldn’t want to be responsible for your printer.

BUT

The way I do it with my top loader inkjet printer is:

Materials needed:

Cotton fabric (I use plain off white bed sheets)

Carpet tape, it is nice and wide (or strong double sided tape)

A4 Printer card (I use 60gms)

Directions

Cut the  fabric about 1″ smaller than an A4 sheet of paper. (I make a template from old cardboard so I can just draw around it onto the fabric, alot quicker than trying to measure each piece)

Give the fabric a good iron so that there aren’t any creases

Place carpet tape or double sided tape onto the back of the fabric, cut away any excess tape as this will stick to the rollers in your printer. Cover the whole of the fabric piece with the tape and not just round the edges, the fabric will stretch between the tape as it goes through the printer if it is not all stuck down.

Peel off the tape backing and carefully stick the fabric to printer card (60gsm), there should not be any creases or any loose ends of fabric as these may get caught in the printer rollers.

Get your pattern or picture organised on your computer and print a practice piece to make sure that it will print onto the area of your fabric.

Use the printer as you would if you were printing a normal page, don’t chnage any printing settings i.e to glossy paper etc.

When you are happy with the placement place your fabric covered card into your printer and print!!!!

Vintage Lady and butterflies were printed onto fabric and used in this collaged wall hanging.

Unfortunately by using the cheaper inkjet ink the fabric is not washable, but most of my projects are pincushions, wallhangings or things that wouldn’t normally be washed anyway. I have tried heat sealing the ink with a hot iron and microwave, or rinsing it in vinegar etc but the ink still seems to fade or wash out completely. But for what I want it for, this method is ideal and easy and a lot cheaper than buying the fabric sheets made for the printer.

You can buy products to help make the ink waterproof just put in your search Printing on Fabric.

I also make my own patterned fabric for small projects like appliqué or patchwork (again, that are not going to be washed), there are lots of scrapbook backing papers free on the net, print them onto plain fabric, some of them are very pretty. Sites that sell household wall paper also have swatches of the papers, copy and paste them onto your programme (I use Word for everything, so simple) resize it to fit a page and print, perhaps you could find the wallpaper that matches your room and make some decorations i.e bunting. Or use one of your photographs to include in a fabric project. There are thousands of ideas out there for using this, I could go on forever, but I think there is enough to think about on this subject already!