While cleaning the other day I came across a bunch of my old tattoo supplies, including a giant stack of transfer papers! How handy!! Especially considering my favorite type of applique requires a lot of tracing! (A looooooooot of tracing!) And this little trick just made my life so much easier, I had to share it with all you lovelies!
Tattoo transfer paper, or tattoo stencil paper as some prefer to call it, comes in various sizes and consists of 4 sheets. Underneath a sheet or 2 of tracing paper is a sheet of carbon that will transfer patterns onto a sheet via heat or pressure to the bottom layers. Some parlors use a heat machine but I use the simple art of a ball point pen and trace designs myself.
For applique, I pulled the carbon sheet right out of the packet and taped it on 2 sides to the top of my drafting table. Be careful to get the correct side facing down. Meaning put the grainy, non-shiny side down. That is the carbon that will be transferred to the back of your fabric.
|Another way to tell what side of the carbon to put facing down is to scratch it with your finger nail. If it leaves a mark similar to the one above and you have a purple, grainy substance under your nail, that is the back side.|
|Be steady and careful when lining up edges.|
|Again be sure to line up your edges before starting to trace. I put my stencil edges to the very edge of the carbon so that I can easily see my fabric edges.|
Then trace! Ball point pens or semi-dull pencils work best. Felt tips are not a good idea. Not only are the tips not firm enough, but the ink often soaks into the tracing paper and can be smeared or absorbed into your fabric.
When you're finished, your design will be transferred onto your fabric...
...and your carbon paper will looking something like your design!
You can reuse the same sheet of carbon many, many times. I'm working on a pretty big project so I'm trying to get a lot of mileage out of every sheet possible. But after a while, they end up looking like this and are ready to die :-)
My only other suggestion would be to make sure you're not too involved with your music and singing along so much that you don't notice that you put your fabric in upside down. Yeah. I did that. And this is what happens:
|Oops, but still usable!|
|These are prototype blocks for my new pattern, "Twirling through the Pumpkin Patch." The completed quilt top is coming soon! Stay tuned...!|
So keep on quiltin' and I'll catch you all soon! Thanks for stopping by :-)
Music: "Freedom" by Anthony Hamilton, Django Unchained Soundtrack