supplies: hot iron transfer pencils
I've been stitching regularly for over 8 years now, with more time on and off before that. You'd think that in that time I would have tried all of the basic tools and supplies available for embroidery by now, but I often stick with something I like. Then, every so often I think...maybe I'm missing out? Maybe there's a far more efficient way to do this! Maybe I've been going about things all wrong!
For example, it was only a few years ago that I started using a water-soluble pen to trace my patterns. Up until then, a regular pencil was my weapon of choice for most uses. I still use a regular pencil sometimes, and will soon share a post on my recent trials.
I suppose the point here is that it's always a good idea to keep trying new things, even if they are old. Which brings me to Aunt Martha's Hot Iron Transfer Pencils. There are plenty of reviews of these online, and they are mixed, but I decided it was time that I try them out for myself.
For those not familiar with these (or other transfer pencils), the idea is that you can basically make your own iron-transfer pattern or refresh a vintage pattern that's no longer working. You trace the design, place it face down on the fabric, then press the paper with an iron. Here's the instructions from the package:
I followed the instructions, using a freshly sharpened tip. In fact, I had to frequently sharpen as I worked, because the "lead" is fairly soft. You see, I wanted a line I could see (clear) without having a line that would show around my embroidery (overly bold). This proved to be a challenge.
Let's pause here.
At least online, I like to remain positive. How I see certain things in "real life" is another topic, but I still think of myself as more positive than negative. Telling you that a product is inferior is not my favorite thing. Let's take a look.
Here are two little patterns ironed onto linen as a test (this was the clearest photo I could get). The one on the left is a heart and the one on the right is a...Actually, I'll give a free pattern to the first person to identify what that is on the right. Obviously the lines transferred, but they are very difficult to work from.
When I used these pencils to transfer my OINK piggy pattern onto muslin, the lines were much easier to see. So easy that you can see the lines around my stitching and they don't wash out. They don't show in the photo (thankfully), but in person they are easy to spot. So sad!
So, it's back to the pencil and water-soluble pen for me! For now, anyway. There are so many ways that I've read about that different people use...I'll keep trying them to compare. Do you have a favorite way to easily trace or transfer a pattern? Share your thoughts and methods and we can form a discussion in the comments!
UPDATE: ♥Lizzy correctly guessed that it's a chipmunk! Well done, Lizzy! (email me for your prize!)