OKAY YOU GUYS I AM SERIOUSLY SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS. Not currently as excited as the teenage boy currently screaming at Super Smash Bros. in the room next to me, but STILL SO EXCITED!
I am currently preparing for a vending weekend at Rochester Comic and Anime Con, so I’ve been in superhero mode. I have PLANS SO MANY PLANS. But right now I’m obsessed with making tiny cross stitch pendants. It is truly ridiculous how many patterns I’ve designed, but they are just so crazy cute that I can’t stop. I mean, seriously. Look at this cuteness:
The dilemma is that there are times when I have patterns with major details in white. Like Storm’s hair. Or Finn’s hat. When those details touch the white Aida fabric, they disappear. Then suddenly Storm is bald and Finn is just a floating face. NO BUENO. Aida does come in colors, but they are gross colors. Oatmeal. Yuck.
I have tried painting it sort of following this tutorial except using Airbrush Medium and water instead of fabric medium, and that works reasonably well. I am a crazy person and use 18-count Aida, though, so the holes are small and get filled with paint pretty easily, which is a pain in the butt. But still, it works.
The other day I was driving, which is when I do most of my plotting and scheming, and said to myself, “I wonder if it’s possible to print on Aida?” and then almost swerved off the road in excitement. I’ve printed on Muslin, so I know my printer can do it (it’s an Epson Stylus NX625 if you’re curious), so I figured I didn’t have anything to lose.
IT WORKED BEAUTIFULLY.
Look at these wee Adventure Time heroes that I stitched on a printed background of their treehouse:
Whee! (the patterns to all of these will be in my Strumpetstitches Etsy shop in the next couple of days!)
SO here’s how you do it!
Get yourself some freezer paper. You can find it in with the aluminum foil and baggies and whatnot (also known as butcher paper in some circles, stuff to wrap the body of Jimmy Fingers in other more scary circles) – it’s waxy on one side and papery on the other and keeps your steaks from getting freezerburned. It also makes it possible to print on fabric.
Cut a piece of freezer paper to 8.5 x 11 (or whatever standard size your printer likes) and then iron it onto your Aida. Obviously you want to put the waxy side down and iron on the papery side or you’ll end up with an iron covered with paper, and no one wants that.
Cut your Aida to size and then pop it in your printer. My printer feeds from the bottom, so I have to put it in Aida-side-down. Find yourself an image and then print! It helps if the image is high resolution – desktop wallpapers are great choices! I made this image on my iPad quick and dirty – it’s textured and grungy and colorful! It’s also only 72 dpi, and it still printed pretty well.
If you want to print this same background, you can download a png here! I set my printer on photo and printed that baby and LOOK! SO PRETTAYYY! It takes a little while to dry, but you can totally speed up the process with a heat gun or iron.
Aida is stiff enough that you could probably run it straight through your printer, BUT, since it has tiny holes, the ink will go everywhere. RESIST SKIPPING THE FREEZER PAPER. Look at what would be all over your printer:
In other news, Radiant II: Art Journals is starting soon! I’ve been working away on my lesson, which is a week in the life of my art journal. Here are some sneakypeekies!
There is a crazy awesome lineup of teachers that you don’t want to miss:
- Tamara LaPorte
- Tangie Baxter
- Dyan Reaveley
- Sarah Trumpp (holy crap that’s me!)
- France Papillon
- Micki Wilde
- Juna Biagion
- Iris Fritschi-Cussens
- Marieke Blokland
- Nolwenn Petibois
- Jeanette Montero
- Kelly Hoernig
- Felicia Borges
- with bonus lessons by Andrea Schroeder & Chelle Stein!
I can’t even begin to talk about how excited I am for this whole deal. Wootwootwooot! If you sign up for the course using my link, I make some money, drink some wine, and do the funky chicken. I hope to see you there!