Cats Who Quilt -- Where Quilters and Cats Meet on the Web
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Needlecrafter's Computer Companion
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Shop Cats Who Quilt
Buy the book "Cats Who Quilt." Buy your cat the "Certificate of Membership in the League of Cat Quilters." Make your cat very happy. Buy other stuff too, like some of the other cat quilt pattern books featured on this Web site.

Stories About Special Cats Who Quilt
Read stories about special cats who quilt, submitted by visitors to this Web site. Submit your own story about your quilting cat.

Sewing Room Safety Tips for Cats--And Dogs
Please read these all-important sewing room safety tips for pets!

Free Cat Quilt Patterns to Download
Free Cat Quilt Patterns to Download

World's Biggest Cat Quilt Pattern Database
World's Biggest Cat Quilt Pattern Database. Find cat quilting patterns in this "shareware" directory of cat patterns around the world.

Excerpts from 'Cats Who Quilt'
Read excerpts from the book 'Cats Who Quilt'

More Excerpts from 'Cats Who Quilt'
Read more excerpts from the book 'Cats Who Quilt'

Table of Contents
Read the Table of Contents of 'Cats Who Quilt'

Certificate of Membership in League of Cats Quilters'
Read about the Certificate which comes in the book, or can be purchased separately.

History of Cats Who Quilt
History of the Web site, and the book's rocky road into print.

Judy's Page
You can read about me and find out why I do these crazy things.

Unfinished Objects Prayer
Proof that all our needlework projects come from a higher source.

Men of Quilting
Is there a special guy in your life who helps run your quilting Web site, who drives you to fabric stores, who humors you with "Honey, but that quilt looks lovely!" when you're too embarrassed to pull it out of the closet? Honor your special guy here in our special feature Quilt Guy of the Month!

Help for Handicapped Stitchers
Looking for information on how to use a sewing machine with a blow stick or help for quilting if your eyesight is failing? Here's some help.

Cats from Outer Space FAQ
Is your cat from outer space or has she simply been abducted by aliens? Find out here.

How to Print Photos and Other Art on Embroidery Fabrics Including Linen and Aida

This is Copyright 2002 Judy Heim. You may link to this Web page, but please, please don't distribute this material in e-mail messages or post it on your Web site or in your quilting guild newsletter without my permission. I don't make a lot of money as a writer, I'm only a scribbler because I'm seriously handicapped and can't make my living in any other fashion. I eek out a living as best as I can. I don't mind sharing what I write with other people, and in fact enjoy it very much. But when I find things that I've written on other people's Web sites without my name and used without my permission, it's hurtful and it's frustrating. In the past year I've found entire chapters of books that I've written posted on other people's Web sites without my name or my permission. I've also found essays that I've written circulating anonymously on mailing lists and in newsgroups. Please respect what other people write. I'm happy to share, but I ask only that my work be respected. If you'd like to republish this material, I ask only that you drop me a note requesting permission.

Why not print a family photo on Aida then cross-stitch embellishments? Or, print clipart on linen and embroider in the details. Here's how.

I printed this wedding photo on Aida cloth by pre-treating the fabric, then ironing it onto freezer paper. After that I fed the sheet through my inkjet printer. The printer wasn't fond of the heavy Aida cloth and kept trying to spit it out. It took about 4 tries to get a good sheet. While I wouldn't relish stitching this entire 9 1/2" x 11" cloth, stitching it would be a lot easier than trying to follow one of those computer-generated cross-stitch charts that come from a photo. As you can see, the image is very clear on the Aida cloth. Yes, this is actually the Aida cloth that you see.

Cross-stitch is my tue love among needlearts and so I've always been intrigued by the idea of printing a photo on Aida cloth and cross-stitching it. I was similarly attracted to the idea of printing Victorian art on linen and using the images in embroideries, such as crazy quilts.

I discovered that while you can iron these fabrics onto freezer paper just as you would cotton, it's difficult to feed them through a printer. Aida is a thick fabric. Linen is stiff and porous.

Here are the tricks I learned through experimentation:

How to Print on Aida in Your Inkjet Printer

Step 1. Before you print a photo or other art on Aida brighten up the art in your graphics software. The Aida will soak up a lot of the printer ink, and the resulting image may look muddy.

An assortment of items made with clipart printed on embroidery fabrics Step 2. Start by washing and drying the Aida several times. You want to wash out some of its stiffness. When the fabric is pliable, pretreat it in Bubble Jet Set as described in the previous chapter. Then iron it onto freezer paper.

Step 3. When you cut sheets of freezer paper-backed Aida, leave a freezer paper "tail" of about 1/4" on the end of the sheets so that the printer will have something to catch hold of when you start to feed the cloth into the printer.

Step 4. Cut about a dozen sheets of freezer paper-backed Aida, even if you plan on embroidering only one. Because Aida is stiff it can become streaked and speckled with ink glitches as it slithers through the printer.

Step 5. You should definitely set your printer to manual feed, if your printer's software has such a setting.

Step 6. You may need to gently push the fabric into the printer to get it started. You may also need to guide the Aida through the printer, pushing it with your thumbs, to keep it feeding through evenly.

Step 7. As the Aida feeds through the printer, make sure that no strings hang from its edges. Keep a sharp scissors on hand to cut the end of the sheet if it starts to fray as you’re feeding it through.

Step 8. Don't forget to let the printed fabric sit for 24 hours to dry. Then rinse it with cold water and finally machine wash it.

When you stitch and embellish photos printed on Aida, outline the face first to make it stand out from the photo. As you stitch, work outward from the faces to make the faces the focal point of your canvas.

How to Print Linen in Your Inkjet Printer

Clipart angel printed on linen
Compared to cross-stitch fabrics, linen is easy to feed through an inkjet printer. Because linen takes on the consistency of parchment when it's ironed to freezer paper, you must watch it carefully as it feeds through the printer to ensure that it prints correctly.

Pretreat linen with Bubble Jet Set, just as you would cotton as described in the previous chapter.

Inkjet ink may take longer to dry on linen than on other fabrics. You want to make sure that you don't smear the image while your fabric is still drying.

Be sure to wash the linen after you print on it. If the image appears faint, consider embroidering it to bring out details.

Tip! Because linen is so intrinsically beautiful a simple piece of antique art like an angel or bunch of flowers looks exquisite when printed on it. Embellish your computer-printed linen with silk thread or metallic thread. You should also try printing on different colors of linen. Experiment! Photos or more elaborate art is less successful when printed on linen.

How to Print Other Embroidery Fabrics in Your Inkjet Printer

You can print on just about any embroidery fabric by treating it with Bubble Jet Set and ironing it to freezer paper. Charles Craft Monaco works especially well. Other crisp, cotton-weight fabrics do too. I steer clear of fabrics not woven of pure cotton or linen, for synthetic fabrics' absorbency of ink sometimes leaves something to be desired.

Tip! Pictures that contain lots of white areas often don't print well on fabrics, particularly porous embroidery fabrics.

Photos by Joni Prittie

Quilty Line Break

Cats Who Quilt is a trademark of Fruitful Plains. Text on this Web site Copyright 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 Judy Heim. May not be reproduced in any form--in either e-mail messages or on Web sites without written permission. All illustrations are copyright 2000, 2001, and 2002 Irina Borisova. They may not be reproduced without permission. Photos and quilts are copyrighted by their respective artists, and may not be reproduced without their permission.