mini mo's quilted mom


it is important that i make one thing perfectly clear....i am not the best at writing out instructions. i just seem to assume too much so sometimes it means you have to read between the lines - or write me for more info to fill in the holes! and you will never see a layout of my workspace - maybe bits and pieces of it that have somehow missed my abuse long enough to be presentable - but never ever a long shot like some people show of perfectly neat nests. not unless someone turns my name and address into oprah - like people have been doing lately to relatives they hate and want to humiliate even though they SAY they are exposing their shortcomings because they love them - and then a bunch of cameras show up and enter the doo dad den before i can reach for my stun gun and lipstick. but i don't think i'm gonna worry because our driveway is really long so i'd probably see 'em coming and be armed, lipped and ready.

please don't get all upset with me if i forget some little something - just post a comment and i'll add whatever should have been here to begin with. now, if i ever do the book everyone keeps bugging me to do and charge - oh say $32.16 for it and then leave a vital step out of some mad mo creation, then you can get all upset - is it a deal? and for those of you who need to get creative ideas with bland, boring instructions from someone without ADD, please feel free to leave now and do a google - i'll never know you rejected me. okay - now that we have all that out on the table....

... the picture you see above is not some bad version of those cute little ladies some smarty pants thought of to make for everyone to use when they post layouts - no - it is my original daughter's present to me for mother's day when she was in kindergarten. this was of course long before the body snatcher took over mini mo a few weeks ago (still here and looks to be settling in for a while). the words all around were what she dictated to the parent volunteer to include on the artwork. we later found out that mini mo could in fact read AND write before entering kindergarten and didn't need this dictation taker but tried to keep it a secret so we wouldn't "clap and say yeah!", which of course we did and made everyone else do when we found out. she also did a portrait of her daddy for father's day and it's a very good likeness but we keep it hidden so he won't know he's lost most of his hair.

i'm sure you have similar art created by YOUR brilliant children or by you when you were a child or really any image or combination of images you love. you could frame them but sooner or later they would end up in one of those stacks all framed art worth under 1000 dollars ends up in - the one that leans against the wall in the basement or attic - or you could just put it with the other piles of paper we have to save that our adored children carry into the house. but if you want it to live forever there are only two things to do with it - put it in a wonderful scrap book... or QUILT IT! these are really the only two things that seem to be fought over for generations to come (except money of course but i'm not giving out helpful hints on how to preserve it). and a quilt not only passes down bits of history - it is useable history!

now don't freak out and say you can't quilt or sew or think you need to go spend your inheritance at joann's. all you need is the art to be on fabric, a piece of fabric for the backside, some thread and a needle and some puffy stuff to put between the two - preferably everything all cotton. once you do this one little piece of art you can wait until the next beautiful piece of art comes home from school and then add another... and then another and another and pretty soon you gotcherself a beeeautiful heirloom worthy of the best of family feuds a few generations from now. if you'll approach it this way you will be successful. i think it's why even the least confident person in the world feels good about digital scrap bookin' - it's lots of little commitments that can be dumped completely and started over if necessary. most people won't attempt quilting as it seems like a huge commitment of time and stuff and space. but i think everyone should do it at some point in their life and i aim to be the one to find a way to make that happen. also, it's a bit more portable and social than digital scrap booking is for those times when you have to be social or portable.

there a many ways to get the art onto the piece of fabric. the easiest and cheapest for you is to have your child create the art right onto the fabric. but this really limits your choice of art and quite frankly, kids don't like drawing with YOUR choice of materials on such an unusual medium and to get anything good, you'd have to make them do that exclusively and that might do some sort of life time damage to them.

you can transfer the art via one of the zillion ways there are nowadays to do transfers or you can buy those way too expensive pre-treated sheets of fabric to run through your printer and screw the first 3 up learning how best to to do it and then be too pissed off to use the remaining two and hate me every time you think of the money and quilt you lost.

or you can do the one that makes the MOst sense to me....buy some fairly good quality 100% muslin, a roll of freezer paper and - here's the biggest expense - some bubble jet 2000 (and your ink jet printer of course)! i buy my bubble jet 2000 online for about $17.50. now don't scream at me - this is enough to 'bubble jet ready' MOre fabric than you can use for a while unless you are the old shoe livin' lady with zillions of arty children. AND - whatever drips off the fabric can be reused.

The process is easy - you just soak the fabric in the solution and hang it to dry. then press it with the iron nice and smooth. then lay it down on the shiny side of the freezer paper and iron over the fabric - the freezer paper sticks to the fabric like magic and allows the fabric to go through your printer perfectly. just cut into whatever size you can tell your printer to print in relation to the size of your art, load it just like you do your paper and ta-da - you're printing fabric! once i know you can succeed at this, we can branch out into other fabric printing projects....... but stick with this one first.

this technique is only for ink jet printers and you WILL want to experiment a little...i have six different printers here - four are epson ink jets and each one prints differently and therefore i would use a different print setting depending on which i was using. with some printers you might even have to bump up the color via saturation either in your image program or the printer settings. i can help you with this when the time comes to print if you need me to. and why not do your experimenting on the fabric that has not been treated if you want so you can save IT for when you feel good about what you're doing. and i think i forgot to tell you WHY you are treating the fabric first (DUH)... this makes it washable - a gentle wash but still washable.

the most important thing to do before putting the fabric/freezer paper into your printer is to make absolutely sure no threads are hanging off. you don't want to be digging any of those babies out altho they aren't as harmful as the baby snickers i rolled through one of my printers (was the perfect melty temp to pop in my mouth when it was delivered out the front though). the biggest problem with the loose strings is they end up pressing some odd color in the wrong place on your art as they roll around the roller.

okay..i think that's about all i can type for now, since i am still laying flat on the floor. in the meantime, you can get started by finding the perfect art and tomorrow i will concentrate on the sewing part of your assignment... i'm thinkin' of even offering you an incentive for giving this a try...i just know you'll be so glad you did!