About Candace West

Candace West is a multiple national award winning quilt artist and educator, whose art has been displayed at all major quilt show venues such as the International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX, and the American Quilting Society show in Paducah, KY and many others nationwide. Her award winning quilts and garments have appeared in several major magazines. A love of teaching and sharing the techniques that can make anyone’s quilts show worthy, is her mission.

Teacher Essentials, A Magnetic Teacher Availability Sign Board

Every teacher has a small amount of time per day that is meant for catching up on paperwork, meeting with students and lunch! To keep interruptions at a minimum, this magnetic teacher availability door sign lets students know if the teacher is available to see them.

My daughter is a high school theatre teacher, so I made this acting inspired magnetic availability board for her classroom door.

Materials

KNK Zing/Zing Air/Maxx Air Standard Material Detail Blade

KNK Zing/Zing Air/Maxx Air Thick Material Blade

Pressure sensitive vinyl – I used Oracal 651.

Vinyl Transfer Tape

Magnetic Dry Erase Board

Ink Jet printable Magnet Sheets

Maxx Air Settings

Vinyl – Force = 42, Speed = 300, Blade Height = 25, Passes = 1, Standard Material Blade (Red)

Magnet Sheet – Force = 190 Speed = 300, Passes = 1, Blade Height = 19, Thick Material Blade (Blue)

Process Details

Create your design by deciding on the number of reasons for “busy” and draw the appropriate number of rectangles to surround the words that will fit the space of your board. Choose other designs to reflect your favorite teacher’s subject or personality. Cut and weed vinyl, apply transfer tape.

I found applying the vinyl tricky as the lightweight board kept moving around on me. So, I created a makeshift jig by taping down some straight edges on my worktable to hold the board steady. To get the vinyl lined up evenly I then used a variety of tape to mark guidelines for spacing.

For the indicator arrows, I found a free arrow pdf and printed it on the magnet paper. Using a Print and Cut process in my software, I cut them out. (I also chose to laminate my printed sheet before cutting to make the arrows more durable).

I did not want to waste an entire sheet of magnet paper, so I printed as many as I could fit. This gives the teacher extras in case some get lost. To store them, I affixed plastic adhesive file label holders to the back of the board.

Hoping my daughter gets some peace and quiet for at least a few minutes each day utilizing the availability time board!

DecoSPARKLE Club Totes

 

I am a member of a club that meets monthly to learn and create with our KNK cutting machines. We call ourselves the Blade Runners and we have a lot of fun together crafting with these wonderful machines. This week we are taking a road trip to a scrapbooking trade show to see what is new and shop!! So, of course, we will need some large totes to carry all our treasures.

Using the club name, Blade Runners, I designed a quick logo to embellish the blank totes. I used DecoSPARKLE heat transfer vinyl so we could really sparkle. This a good application for DecoSPARKLE as it is not stretchy and works best on items that are more stable than clothing.

I had an issue with fitting the club name on the totes as it had to go over the straps. My solution was to layout the weeded club name on the tote and mark with heat proof tape where the letters met the edges of the straps. Removed the transfer and cut the letters apart at the tape lines with a rotary cutter. Then I put the sections back on the tote and lined them up so that the letters fell on either side of the strap and avoided any gaps during pressing.

The totes look great and we have lots of room to carry our finds from the show!

 

Materials

KNK Zing/Zing Air/Maxx Air Standard Material Detail Blade

DecoSPARKLE

Canvas Tote Blanks

Heat Proof Tape

Maxx Air Settings

Force = 70, Speed = 200, Blade Offset = .25, Passes = 1, Blade Height = 25, Minimal Blade exposure

Fabric Flower Embellishments

It is Spring in Florida and the flowers are starting to bloom. If you are still dealing with old man winter, make some of these colorful fabric flower embellishments to brighten your world!

Fabric flowers can be used on headbands, attached to a pin for a fun brooch or added to a quilt for some 3D effects. Make a bunch attached to floral stems and put in a vase for a perky permanent bouquet.

Materials

  • Fabric scraps large enough for your chosen flower petals. Chose two colors for each petal. For my flowers the scraps were 5” square
  • Heat and Bond Ultra (heavy weight) fusible
  • Button or gem for flower center
  • Fabric glue
  • Flower SVG that has different size petals. You can download my Blooming Flowers for free here! Blooming Flowers

Maxx Air Settings

Force = 130, Speed = 200, Passes = 2, Blade Offset = .25, Blade Height = 25

Process Details

  • Cut out fabric squares large enough for your chosen petal size. You will need two squares for each petal. Mix up the colors for a fun funky look.
  • Cut one 5” square of the Heat and Bond Ultra for every petal.
  • Fuse the Heat and Bond Ultra to the wrong side of one fabric square per petal.
  • Peel off the paper backing and lay another fabric square over the first one wrong side down. Fuse. Your fabric square should have the right sides (the pretty sides) showing on each side.
  • Adhere to a very sticky mat, you don’t want the fabric to move around when cutting.
  • Insert your fabric blade and cut out the petals.
  • Stack up the petals, offsetting each one slightly to get a full look to your flower.
  • Sew a button in the center through all layers. Or just glue a gem in the center.
  • Cup the flower in your hand to curl up the petals to shape them. You can curl or scrunch up any petals to give the flower a more 3D appearance.
  • Glue the leaves to the back of the flower with fabric glue.

 

Now you have some pretty fabric flowers to use as a cute embellishment. Something bright and cheery to chase away any winter blues!

 

 

Waste Not, Want Not. Stretching Your Vinyl Stash!

 

Tired of wasting vinyl when working on word signs that use multiple colors? You could ignore the format and cut each color to use the smallest piece possible but trying to get it correctly lined up can be a pain. So many of us just chalk up the waste as an unfortunate by-product of our craft. However, if you plan carefully you can minimize the waste and still get great alignment.

I made this logo sign for a friend to put in her vendor booth for a trade show. The logo is two colors, the bulk of the lettering is black and the word “Passion” and two small diamonds are purple.

By creating multiple weeding rectangles to surround each word instead of one big square, a large useable rectangle of vinyl was saved for another project. The purple portions of the vinyl sign did not need to be formatted so weeding rectangles fit to size were used and the words were easily placed on the leather after the black vinyl was heat pressed.

Materials

Leather for sign

Siser EasyWeed Extra heat transfer vinyl (for leather)

KNK Zing/Zing Air/Maxx Air Standard Material Detail Blade

Maxx Air Settings

Force = 43, Speed = 210, Blade Offset = .25, Passes = 1, Blade Height = 25

Process Details

Set up sign in cutting program separating the colors to different layers. Cut each color vinyl, reversing (mirror) for the heat transfer vinyl.

When weeding, preserve any large areas of un-used vinyl by cutting out and setting aside for future use.

Heat press to the leather one color at a time. I did the black letters first and then lined up the purple by eye and pressed. Press for the time and temperature recommended by the manufacturer.

Closing

Careful planning can create less waste and maximize your vinyl stash, so you can make more fun stuff!

Custom Sized Boxes in a Hurry

Need a custom box in a hurry and don’t have the time to design one yourself? There are hundreds of free box templates on the internet, but if you need an odd size you may have to stretch and tweak so much, you might as well draw it yourself. Fortunately, there is a free box design tool called Template Maker. Template Maker is an online tool for making all kinds of boxes. Sandy McCauley made an awesome video on how the Template Maker works, which is how found this tool for my toolbox. Sandy McCauley Template Maker Video

I recently started a new business venture with a laser cutting machine, making custom products I cannot cut with my KNK Maxx. And while it certainly could cut paper for boxes, I did not purchase the Print and Cut upgrade for it (major big bucks!) I wanted a nice presentation box to hold this product for shipping. So, my KNK Maxx Air is far from retired, but is a valuable partner in my business.

I started with the dimensions I needed to hold fifty units of the product and used the Template Maker tool to design the box. One of your options is to download the result as an SVG. Since you are working with a SVG file you can use any cutting design program on the market to customize and cut your box.

I added my logo and text to describe the contents of the box, positioning these objects within the fold lines of the box. Next, I set up the file as a Print and Cut and moved the print, emboss and cut lines to different layers so they could be executed in turn.

After printing on cardstock and mounting to the mat, my first process was to emboss the score or fold lines using the Embossing Tool. Switched to the Standard Material Blade to cut out my box, once again using the Print and Cut operation.

Using a creasing tool while folding the sides and glue flaps of your box helps keep the box rigid. I did notice that the glue flaps were a little bit small and I will increase those in my cutting software next time. Apply glue to the appropriate flaps and form your box.

My custom product fits perfectly and will help protect the contents during shipping.

My Maxx Air allowed me to create a professional presentation of the completed custom job for my client! Be it business or pleasure we all need unique custom sized boxes occasionally. Having our KNK cutters makes the task easy!

 

Materials

KNK Zing/Zing Air/Maxx Air Standard Material Detail Blade

Embossing Tool

Cardstock

Paper Glue