Saturday, July 16, 2011

Deb Corder: Sewing Machines

When I first saw the machine theme for this month, my first thought was SEWING MACHINE! I love the look of stitching on cards. It adds such a nice, subtle detail. But I've spent the last 3.5 months (we get the themes very early on) pondering what kind of tutorial to do for the SEWING MACHINE.

I either own a machine and know how to use it OR you don't own a machine and it's a mute point. Right?

Then this past week I learned the COOLEST photo transfer technique in a class I' m taking and the ideas started rolling around. So forgive me for taking a slight left turn...I promise to include the sewing machine too!

You'll need 4 basic supplies for this transfer technique - clip art and/or paper (I'm using a DEZINAWORLD Steampunk 4 image and some 7 Gypsies paper), a piece of sticky backed canvas (I'm using an ATC sized piece), a bone folder, and spray bottle of water. Note: All the photo transfer tutorials I've ever seen all say "use a laser printer or photocopy". With this technique you can use an image generated on your ink jet. The Dezinaworld image collage sheet was printed on my ink jet with normal copy paper.

Trim your main image removing all "white" space around the outside edge. Remove the backing from the sticky part of the canvas and place the image face down on the sticky. Burnish it a little. I use a clock image from the 7 Gypsies paper to cover the remaining part of the canvas (no need to cut around the clip art. Burnish the front and back of the canvas. Last minute I added a small piece in the bottom corner to cover some exposed sticky.

Mist the paper until it's glossy or becomes transparent. Let it sit a minute.

Gently begin rubbing you finger in circles. The paper will start to "pill".

As you rub the background and image will start to reveal. Add water as needed. Better to have too much water, than rub the image off (like I did with his mustache!)

If you're not sure you've completely removed all the paper, dry it a bit with the heat gun. The bone folder is pointed at the 7 Gypsies paper - it's still a little white so there's more paper to remove. The scissors are pointed at section I over rubbed - it's was sticky and shiny. There are two ways to fix that.

You can add more paper to a section and repeat the burnishing/water/rubbing.

Or completely dry the transfer and sprinkle a bit of talcum powder. Rub that around with your finger. Any excess powder can be removed by pressing a damp cloth to the image.

Once you're happy with the transfer you can add some stamping or ink detail. Here I'm gently rubbing an ink pad over the sequin waste.

You can use Copics to color section. I used E00 to give his face some definition since I rubbed off his mustache. (grin)

SO FINALLY TO THE SEWING PART OF THE TUTORIAL! I started with two 6x6 backgrounds. The manila folder back ground I rubbed with Distress Ink: Pumice Stone and 7 Gypsies paper I held the transfer image in place while I did more rubbing and stamping. I used a little adhesive to hold the two pieces together while I sewed to avoid bubbles.

Use both your straight stitch and zig zag for visual interest.

After sewing the backgrounds together, I again used the tape runner to add a little adhesive to the photo transfer and lined up with the pre-stamped parts.

I found that the sticky was still a bit sticky for the machine foot. So, I just grabbed a scrap piece to lay over the image as I sewed. I am not sewing on the brown piece but next to it.

When you've completed sewing, don't clip the thread. You'll have "hairs".

Instead pull the bobbin thread on the back to bring the front thread thru. Then I just tied them together and clipped the extra thread.

To distress the edge of the canvas piece, I pulled loose threads up to the sewing edge.

You might have some trouble here with the glue but a few threads will come loose.

Then embellish your piece! For close-ups of my piece please visit my blog, Freckle-Faced Printworks.


  1. Wowza! Fabulous piece Deb, and great tutorial!

  2. Being more of a textile artist, i find very few of my paper projects escape the sewing machine! I love how it can add that little bit of something 'extra'. Great tutorial. Julie

  3. Wow - awesome tutorial.Thanks for sharing. x

  4. Oh, this is beautiful Deb, thanks for the tut, it's very inspiring.


  5. Fantastic steampunk collage and great tutorial! I keep wanting to pull out my very lonely SM!

  6. Wow, that is cool! I loved this tutorial and your art, what an inventive way to do a transfer! Thanks for sharing this and also for the tip about pulling the top thread to the back, I need to remember to do that...hehe.

  7. Fantastic piece & a great tutorial, thank you.

  8. Fab technique Deb and your finished piece is awesome!

  9. Wonderful tutorial, makes me want to get out my machine!

  10. I love this transfer technique...wonderful piece of art... thank you

  11. Fantastic transfer tutorial - thanks so much for sharing how you did this!


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