Vinyl Shirts with Cricut EasyPress and Mat

I love my Cricut Explore Air 2. I love that it allows me to do paper crafts, cut fabric (yes, even with an Explore Air 2), and vinyl projects. Honestly, making my own shirts with iron-on vinyl is one of the best things ever!

Two shirts made with vinyl cut on a Cricut Explore Air 2 and adhered wtih a Cricut EasyPress

This week I made a couple of t-shirts for my little guy–one to celebrate his favourite hobby (way of life?) and one in anticipation of our upcoming trip.

Vinyl all on its own carrier sheets, but trimmed so they can be layered together so it can all be ironed on at once.

Once the vinyl is cut out (don’t forget to mirror the design!) and weeded, it’s time to adhere it to the t-shirts. I’m using 100% cotton shirts from Gildan. In the case of the Eat, Sleep… design, I trimmed up the carrier sheets so that I could layer everything together and adhere it all at once.

Just fold the shirt in half to find the centre and crease with a hot EasyPress (or iron)

I just folded the shirts in half to find the centre and did the same with the vinyl. Then I laid the t-shirt on the EasyPress mat, lined up the vinyl and added heat and pressure with my EasyPress.

The right temperature and time settings, plus a little weight of my own, and everything sticks perfectly

You know your vinyl has adhered if you can see the texture of the fabric in the vinyl. If you can’t, apply the EasyPress again (using a Teflon sheet if you have removed your carrier sheet). Once you can see the texture, flip the shirt over and apply heat from the back to be totally sure it has fully adhered.

The texture of the shirt is clearly visible in the vinyl

When working with iron-on vinyl it is super important to know if your vinyl is hot or cool peel. Siser Easyweed can be peeled either hot or cold, Vinyl Frog and Cricut vinyl are both cool peel. If you peel them while still hot, it is likely you will pull them off the surface you’ve adhered them too. Take your time and read all the directions, especially when working with a new brand of vinyl.

The Cricut EasyPress Mat! Simple, but it makes things so much easier.

The EasyPress makes it so simple to adhere the vinyl to the t-shirts. Cricut has figured out the time and temperature required, and the weight of the EasyPress (plus a bit of leaning on it) gives you the right weight too.ย  The EasyPress mat provides a 12″x12″ surface for the 9″ square EasyPress. It is comprised of several layers that work together to reflect back heat and keep your craft desk safe.

Cricut EasyPress and Mat, a match made in vinyl crafting heaven

I used a combination of Siser, Vinyl Frog, and CreativXP vinyl to make the shirts. I’m a huge fan of Siser vinyl because it is easy to weed and it adheres really, really well. But, I’m also always on the lookout for a deal, and the price was right for the Vinyl Frog and CreativXP vinyl (both available on Amazon.ca). You can get the Eat, Sleep, Game, Repeat SVG from LoveSVG for free, and the Disney vinyl is available through AMPStudio on Etsy. The EasyPress and EasyPress Mat are both available at most major craft stores and through Cricut’s website.

4 Comments | Posted in Cricut, Vinyl | Tagged , , ,

WIP Wednesday – Putting on the Gloves

Hi, Stitchy Friends! It’s Wednesday again, so it’s time to share my current work-in-progress.

Candy Cane Stocking, designed by Dimensions (WIP)

The final stocking is coming along nicely. Santa’s first glove has just made its appearance. So much of the stocking so far has been half stitched, but Santa himself is mostly whole stitches, so I’m going to be slowing down a bit now.

More fun stuff tomorrow!

6 Comments | Posted in Cross Stitch | Tagged , , ,

Smalls SAL – March 2018 Check-In

Hello, Smalls Stitchers! Thank you so much for joining me for yet another Smalls SAL check-in.

If you are new, you may want to check out all the rules and other info about the Smalls SAL over here. But, in a nutshell, the Smalls SAL is a monthly stitch along where we all stitch a small design (stitcher’s choice) and gather here once a month to share our finishes. No need to participate every month. Feel free to join in whenever you have time and a finished small.

Tea Time Bunny Tiny Tin Cover, from Lori Brimingham Designs

This month I stitched up an old, old kit–Tea Time Bunny Tiny Tin Cover from Lori Brimingham Designs.  And (can you believe it!) I even finished it up! The design is stitched over one on white evenweave with DMC floss. It is then glued to the top of an Altoid Tiny Tin. Remember those? It isn’t my best finishing job, but I think it looks very sweet anyway.

So, what did you stitch this month? With Easter so close, I’m sure we will see more than a few bunnies! Head towards the bottom of this post to add your link to the list. Be sure to use a picture of your finished small. Also, please be sure to use the permalink for your Smalls SAL post, not the link to the front page of your blog.

The link list will remain open to new entries until about midnight Eastern time on Friday, April 6th. Be sure to get your link in before then. For every month you share a link to a finished small you get an entry into the end of the year draw.

Next Month

The next Smalls SAL check-in will take place on Friday, April 27th.

Thanks again, so much, for stitching along with me.

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10 Comments | Posted in Cross Stitch | Tagged , ,

WIP Wednesday – Do My Wings Look Weird? and Wristwarmers!

Hello, Stitchy Friends! I’m back for another WIP (work-in-progress) Wednesday. I’ve got two projects to share today. First, the stitching.

Halloween Fairy, designed by Mirabila (WIP)

I’m very nearly finished withย Halloween Fairy from Mirabilia. But, my problem with the wings continues. As you may remember, I ran out of the colour for the wings, Crescent Colours Dandelion Stem. I just can’t seem to match the colour of the already completed wing. So, tell me, can you see a big difference between the two wings?

Once I decide what to do about the wings (and, sadly, ripping out the first one and restitching it to match the second one done in the new dyelot is an option because I have enough of that left), I can move on to finishing up the backstitching, beading, and then framing. Yay!

Project number 2 is knitting. I’m making Snowfall Wristwarmers, a pattern from LoveKnitting.com (available here).

Snowfall Wristwarmers from Loveknitting.com (WIP)

I’m using Paintbox Yarns Simply Aran in colourway Dusty Lilac. I know, it sure doesn’t look like it. What can I say, I’m known for my terrible pictures.

The yarn is knitting up really well. Normally soft, springy acrylic is splitty, but I’m not finding the Paintbox Aran to be that way at all. I am easily able to knit the cables sans cable needle on wooden needles. And, the yarn is plumping out nicely but still allowing the cables to pop. I haven’t washed it yet though, so I will reserve final judgement until I do.

This yarn was provided to me by Loveknitting.com for review purposes. All opinions are my own, as is my choice of pattern. And my terrible picture.

Smalls SAL

Don’t forget: the next Smalls SAL check-in takes place this Friday. I can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on.

6 Comments | Posted in Cross Stitch, Knitting | Tagged , , , , , ,

Review – LoveKnitting.com

I am always so delighted to discover a new online knitting shop, and I’m even more delighted when it actually goes out of its way to make my life easier. LoveKnitting.com is more than an online shop stocked with 100s of different types of yarns and more tools than you’ll ever need, it is also a pattern library, a place to record projects, and a vibrant online community.

Note: This post is sponsored by LoveKnitting.com but all content and opinions are my own. And be sure to keep reading for a discount code.

LoveKnitting.com landing page. Look! A sale!

LoveKnitting.com, and its sister site LoveCrochet.com, are at heart an extremely well-stocked yarn shop. They carry yarn brands from around the word, ranging from Bernat to Wool and the Gang and just about everything in between. (I even found some of my favourite, now discontinued, sock yarn and you bet I stocked up on it!) LoveKnitting also has a couple of house brands, like Main Street Yarns, which features some of the lovest acyrlic yarn I’ve ever used, and Paint Box Yarns, who’s focus is amazing colours in a range of weights and fibres. I’ve got my hands on a few different brands and I’ll be posting about them in the coming weeks. (Check my Instagram for some sneak peeks!)

So many tools!

LoveKniting also carries HiyaHiya and KnitPro needles, bags, stitch markers, etc. Looking for some Denise interchangable hooks or some Addi Sock Wonder needles? They’ve got ’em.

Some of my collections. I’m just getting started!

The coolest thing about LoveKnitting/LoveCrochet is the profile and collections capability. Sign up for an account and then setup your profile. Now you can save anything you see on the site into a collection. I’m collecting together patterns, tools, and yarns as a way to help me remember what I’d want to make, or just what I love and wish I could make!

You can even follow other LoveKnitting members and designers, so you can keep any eye on their latest collections or projects.

Adding yarn to one of my projects.

Projects, I say? I do! LoveKnitting has a great system for allowing you to enter projects, complete with yarns, patterns, tools used, notes, etc. The system is very robust and connects with LoveKnitting’s huge database of yarns and patterns.

Patterns for days!

Speaking of patterns, LoveKnitting/LoveCrochet has a huge database of patterns, both paid and free. You can use filters to look for exactly what you want to make next, then click through and buy the yarn, needles, and other tools all on one site. Super convenient!

If you’d like to give LoveKnitting a try (and I hope you do), they are offering my readers a discount code. Just enter WELCOME15 to get 15% off your first order on all regular priced yarn. (And be sure to let me know what you order!)

Also, be sure to look for me and give my profile a follow. I’ll follow back. ๐Ÿ˜‰

6 Comments | Posted in Crochet, Knitting, Reviews | Tagged , ,

A Different Type of Embroidery

If you follow me on Instragram (@stitchinglotus), then you’ve probably seen a few pictures of my embroidery machine at work. I’ll be perfectly honest, years ago I thought people who used an embroidery machine were “cheating”, but now I totally understand how useful they are. Hand embroidery and cross stitch are one thing, and machine embroidery is a completely different animal.

I’ve recently upgraded from my first machine, a Brother LB6810, which was capable of only stitching designs up to 100mm x 100mm, to a Singer Legacy SE300 that can handle designs of 260mm x 150mm. Both are single needle machines–one day I’ll upgrade to a multi-needle machine, but for now they are a bit out of my price range.

I’m still getting to know my new machine, but last month I stitched out some Easter egg ornaments for a children’s cancer ward in the UK. They are simple but super cute designs from Nonnie Noo Creations, and they were just the right project to get me used to my machine.

Easter Eggs from Nonnie Noo Creations

There is some bobbin thread showing in a few places, and a few little snarls on the backsides (covered by the backing), but overall I think I did pretty good given that my Singer acts a lot differently than my Brother. This project also gave me the courage to try a few other things.

How about this…

Sugar Skull, designed by DisorderlyThreads

It is a fully lined sugar skull bag, measuring about 6″ by 8.5″. I love it! The design is from DisorderlyThreads. Her instructions are great, and the design stitched out so well. There are a few changes I’ll make the next time, mainly with regards to colour choices (you can see some colour shadowing through because my fabric is thin and I probably should have used a different thread colour). Otherwise, I could not be happier. I will definitely be buying more projects from her. Like maybe this one as a gift for my SIL (who runs her own very successful lingerie company) or this one… for me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Shabby Chic Pin Cushion and Scissor Case, designed by Embroidery Library

I also made this lovely pin cushion and scissor case set using files from Embroidery Library. (Available here and here.) Luckily I had the perfect linen fabric in my sewing stash.

I love working on in-the-hoop designs. It almost feels like magic! I put a piece of fabric (or two, or three) in the machine, add some thread, and a little while later I end up with a finished project. I can’t wait to make more things!

Do you machine embroider? If so, I’d love to hear all about it. What machine do you have? Where is your fav place to get designs? Let me know!

9 Comments | Posted in Machine Embroidery | Tagged , ,

WIP Wednesday – Two Types of Socks

Hello, Stitchy Friends! It’s time for another Wednesday update. Right now we are in the middle of March Break, which means I need to fight my son for computer access… to play games. (Most of my blogging I do on my laptop, but Final Fantasy must be played on the desktop.) We are having a great time, though, sleeping in, building Lego, and hunkering down and hiding from the wind and snow.

Candy Cane Stocking, designed by Dimensions (WIP)

The cold, snowy weather has put me in the perfect frame of mind to work on the Christmas stocking. Progress is slow, but at least it is progress.

Meandering Socks from Knit Picks

I’ve also picked up these socks again. They are Meandering Socks from Knit Picks’ book Artful Arches. I knit up the first one way back in the summer (!) without any problems at all, but I’ll be darned if I can get the heel to work this time. I just keep losing count no matter how carefully I keep track. (Maybe I shouldn’t be watching Drag Race at the same time…) The yarn is one of my new favourites, Lana Grossa Meilenweit Solo Cotone Print in colourway 4002. It is a lovely cotton/polyester blend with a nice bit of stretch to it. It knits up like a dream, but only if the knitter can keep count! ๐Ÿ˜‰

More tomorrow, I promise.

5 Comments | Posted in Cross Stitch, Knitting | Tagged , , , ,