Welcome to Project Knitway or should I say Project Renottaway? It's my cyberspace place to post my favorite things...thoughts about family and creativity and design. One of my favorite things is making stuff, specifically clothing and accessories from fiber and metal. So you'll see a lot about that here. I also love spending time with my family, so there will be a bit about that too. When I'm not with my family or in my studio, I am most likely at nextdoor, my store. I have always had a store ever since I was a young woman. I started with a weaving store called the niddy noddy in Waukesha eons ago. I ended with nextdoor in Brookfield. It's my dream store filled with great clothing, especially denim. Really nice women work and shop there, it's a fun place to be. You can find us there every day and online at www.shopatnextdoor.com So come for a visit here and there.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Jet Set

We made it through January here in Wisconsin. It was brutal, but not as bad as other years. Snow fall was minimal, we have yet to have "the big one", the blizzard of 2012. Actually we always enjoy at least one great storm where staying in is your only option while Mother Nature has her way. I always feel like making things in February. Last year at this time I was winding up my "one a day" blog where I created and posted something I made everyday for a year. It was a great challenge that I was happy to be done with, but one that generated lots of ideas. One of my favorite projects that came out of the blog involves printing on fabric with your ink jet printer. It's nothing new, quilters have been doing it for years, but most crafters know nothing about it. Besides being a very creative technique, it is very easy, inexpensive and versatile. All you need are a few basic supplies and an inexpensive ink jet printer, which you no doubt already have. 
Supplies Include:
 1. A few yards of fabric, natural in color and fiber content. Light weight muslin, linen, silk and blends work well and are available at your local fabric store.

2. A roll of freezer paper from your grocery store.

3. A bottle of Bubble Jet 2000 solution found on line at http://www.dharmatrading.com/cgi-bin/search.cgi?query=bubble+jet

4. Some basic sewing tools like a rotary cutters, scissors, a simple sewing machine (nice to have, but you can get by with needle and thread), a good iron etc.

5. An iron on fusible that fuses fabric to fabric, handy to have and available at your local fabric store.

6. A simple ink jet printer/scanner. I like Canon and Epson.

7. A few hours in your work space, preferably during a snowstorm!

Step 1: Basically you are going to be preparing sheets of fabric for your printer, 8.5" by 11". I start by cutting my fabric in strips about 13"high by whatever the width of the fabric is. I soak these strips in the Bubble Jet Solution following the instructions and hang them to dry. 

Step 2: In the meantime I cut my freezer paper into pieces 8.5 X 11.

Step 3: After the fabric has dried, iron on the freezer paper and cut the fabric to fit.
Step 4: The fun begins. You are ready to print. Select a photo or design and place it in your scanner. Put the fabric-paper, one sheet at a time, in your printer and print. You will end up with your image printed on the fabric.

Step 5: Gently peel off the freezer paper. Save the sheet of freezer paper as you can reuse it. Let your fabric sit and cure for awhile. 

Step 5: Unleash your creative spirit. The fabric image I show above was taken from a photo of a monarch butterfly in my garden. I printed it and then "framed" it in fabric and stretched it on an antique frame. It is transparent and looks lovely sitting in my window on a cold winter's day.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many possibilities for this technique...pillows, table runners, window shades, photo albums, note cards etc. I'll be back with more ideas and examples. Stay tuned, create something and stick to your knitting.