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The Stash Connundrum


AKA: How I excuse my boxes of fabric, yarn, and my most recent additions to my embroidery pattern collection.

Recently, Sew Lovely Embroidery announced a BOGO sale, and I couldn’t resist picking up their Deep Blue Sea and Circus Palooza patterns.  Thus stands my embroidery pattern stash:

And thus stands my embroidery.  Clearly, there is a disconnect.

This theme repeats itself.  I have more fabric in boxes than I’ve ever sewn.  I have more yarn packed away than being knit.  I can be neurotic about not owning too much stuff, too much clutter, too much items which thus own me, but for some reason I am not neurotic about craft stashes.

How’s that work?

Excuse #1: Some people collect stamps which have already been used.  Some collect coinage they never intend to spend.  Some collect tea bags, or 8 Tracks, or even dirt.  My collection is at least nominally useful- I can make things from it, I can use it to enhance my skills, I can do stuff.  If I ever manage to, y’know, actually get around to doing stuff.

Excuse #2: I have plans for all of it.  I don’t buy yarn or fabric unless I know what I want to use it for.  Don’t call it a collection; call it inspiration, call it being prepared.

* * * *

On the subject of stashing embroidery patterns, I have another question for the big wide internet.

How do you make embroidery patterns?

Obviously I don’t mean “how do you draw embroider-able line art?”.  I think I’ve got a reasonable grasp of that one.  I mean, how do you make embroidery patterns like the ones pictured above?

What kind of ink, once printed, can A: be ironed onto fabric not once nor twice but repeatedly, B: leaving a dark design that doesn’t fade for the duration of the embroidery project, but C: immediately disappears with its first washing?  Does one need a special printer for this?  Does one need to order their patterns printed from someone else who already has special ink and/or special printers?  My Google-Fu has thusfar failed to answer the question, instead coming up with lots of information on t-shirt iron-ons (permanent, one-time, washable).

You see, I’d like to try selling patterns (while still giving some line art away for free- that’s fun), and while I figure I could always sell them as .pdfs (with multiple sizes of the patterns and lots of good instructions), I really like the idea of a physical product.  I want to make iron-ons.

Google, don’t fail me now.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 07/06/2010 3:12 PM

    I think your best bet may be to contact one of the smaller companies that print patterns, and ask who their printer is, then contact the printer.

  2. 08/18/2010 7:17 AM

    I have been looking for this same information off and on for about 5 months now. I’d feel kinda sleezy calling up the small businesses whose products I like using (Sublime Stitching, Sew Lovely Embroidery) and asking them what they do. In this time of readily available information on virtually anything, I can’t seem to figure out how these iron-on,w ashable transfers are made.


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