About Judy Kay

I am a retired computer programmer/systems analyst. I enjoy creating things with my KNK, sewing, quilting, machine embroidery, and other crafts.

Check Out My Etchings

A few years ago my friend made me an etched glass coaster that was personalized with my initial.  It is a square heavy glass candle base that has a recessed circular area for the candle – or in my case for the glass.  I use it every day and it is a treasured reminder of my friend and our friendship.  When I was thinking about what to give to my co-workers for Christmas gifts, I decided to make similar etched coasters for them.  This is a picture of my etched coaster.

Optimized-Original

Materials Used:

Oracal 631 Vinyl

Standard Material Red Cap Blade

Armour Etch glass etching cream

Painters Tape

plastic trash bags

Heavy square glass candle bases from Michael’s

Settings:

Machine used:  KNK Force, Blade: Standard Material Red Cap, Blade Tension: 1, Passes: 1, Cutting Depth: 18, Cutting Speed: 15

Instructions/Comments:

My friend was generous enough to share her cutting files with me so I was able to use them and didn’t have to start from scratch to come up with a design for the border and the little flower beside the initial.

Because I needed to make 12 of these coasters, I previewed several script fonts to find one that I liked all of the letters I was going to use.  In the end I picked one that I liked most of the letters and then ‘adjusted’ the other letters to my liking.

I wanted the vinyl mask I cut to fit the shape of the coaster as closely as possible so I measured and drew and tweaked an outline around the border design until it was as close as I could get it.  To test the fit of the mask, I used the test pen to draw my various versions on paper and could place the coaster on top of the drawing to check the fit.

Optimized-Drawing

The vinyl masks for the center initial and the small flower were cut separately and then put on the coaster.  After all of the pieces were in place, the remaining glass was covered with painters tape and pieces of plastic trash bags so the glass was completely covered top and bottom.

Optimized-Ready to etch

The etching cream was applied with a small plastic spatula to two or three of the coasters at a time and allowed to sit for about 30 minutes before being scraped off.

Optimized-Etching

The coasters were then washed under running water and the mask and tape and plastic removed under the running water.  Here are the completed coasters.  Yes, we have a few other people whose names begin with “J” besides me. Optimized-Finished When I weeded the masks for the initials, I saved the vinyl initials and used them to make tags for the coasters.  I sewed gift bags out of Christmas fabric, wrapped the coasters in bubble wrap, placed them in the bags, and pinned the tags onto the bags.

Optimized-Bagged&Tagged

The coasters were a hit plus it was a good ‘advertisement’ since the store where I work is now selling the Zing – soon the Zing Orbit – and we will be teaching people how to cut fabric for appliques with them as well as all the other fun things we can cut and make.

Oh Christmas Tree

One of the recent free files offered by My Scrap Chick was a set of three Christmas Trees.  The trees are very attractive and could be used in many ways.  I chose to make them as multi layered decorations similar to the way that they are pictured at the My Scrap Chic website.  The main difference between their sample and mine is that they glued their tree layers together and I stitched mine together on the sewing machine so my layers are only one piece of cardstock where theirs are two pieces glued together.

optimized-trees4

Materials Used:

Green Cardstock

Green Sewing Thread

Liquid Glue

Settings:

Machine used: KNK Force, Blade: Standard Material Blade (red cap), Blade Tension: 2, Passes: 1, Cutting Depth: 65, Cutting Speed: 25, Blade Offset: Red Cap, Blade Overcut: .38

Instructions/Comments:

The trees were cut in sets of 5.  Then stacked in their set.  The top tree was marked using a Centering Ruler with a line down the middle of the tree where the stack would be stitched.  This is a ruler that I’ve had for several years and it is very handy to mark the center of a lot of projects.  I like that it has metric as well as Imperial measurements on it.

optimized-centerruler

optimized-trees1

The stacks were then clipped together and sewn on my sewing machine using a size 90 embroidery needle and cotton thread in the needle and bobbin with a stitch length of 3.0.

optimized-trees2

I used a wide foot to give the machine more gripping area to keep the stack from shifting.  After they were sewn, I secured the thread ends by tying a knot at each end on the bobbin side and put a drop of liquid glue on the knots before trimming the tread ends.

optimized-trees3

Two layers were folded away from the center layer to give the trees dimension so they would stand up.  A bit of white paint could be added to the trees to look like snow.  Using the cutout from the tree would make a good aperture for a card front.

My Scrap Chick is very generous with their files and they cut really well.  Thank you ladies!

Perfect Applique Pieces

Since my post last month about learning to use the Zing to cut fabric applique pieces, I’ve been using both the Zing and Force to practice and learn more about that.  The most important piece of information that I can share with you is that you MUST have a sharp blade to get clean cuts!!!  I struggled for a long time one day and was getting very frustrated trying to cut some fabric pieces until I used a new blade.  What a difference that one thing made!  And, yes, I can see exactly what pieces I cut by the markings on my mat since I neglected to reduce the blade settings when I put in the new fabric blade.

This is a picture of the finished applique on the back of my shirt jacket.  Isn’t he a cute little guy?  Actually he measures just a bit over 7″ square.

optimized-pug

Materials Used:

Quilting weight cotton fabrics with Steam-A-Seam Lite fused to the wrong side.

Settings:

Machine used: KNK Force, blade: Fabric, Blade Tension: 2.5, Passes: 1, Starting/Ending Depth: 10, Cut Speed: 25, Blade Offset: .75, Overcut: .5

Information/Instructions:

The embroidery design is from an Anita Goodesign collection “Casual Friday” that will be released in December.  I am fortunate to work at a store that gets previews of soon to be released designs.

In order to prepare the applique piece cutting files, I open the design in my Viking Premier+ software and manually trace the applique piece shapes.  Then I export those shapes as SVG files.  The shapes are imported into Make The Cut and cut directly to the Zing or exported as SVG files to be used on the Force.  That description makes it sound as if it is a complicated and involved process but after the first couple of times it really goes quite quickly and since I have a background in computer programming, I enjoy doing it.

Here is a screen shot of the applique pieces as they appear in MTC.  As you can see from the picture, a lot of the fabric is overstitched with threads in the embroidery process.

optimized-pieces In order to introduce the store customers to the “cool” way to create perfect applique pieces, I am teaching two classes this week in which they will be making an embroidered pot holder with pre-cut pieces.  They will prepare their fabrics ahead of time by fusing Steam-A-Seam Lite onto the wrong side.  During class, we will cut the applique pieces for them to use in their embroidery using the Zing.

This is what they will be making.
optimized-skillet   And these are the pieces we will be cutting.

optimized-skillet-pieces

amaZING!!

Today I had my first experience using a KNK Zing Air.  It is an amazing little machine!!  Recently there has been a surge of interest in using electronic cutters to cut fabric pieces for applique both for people who do hand applique and those who applique by machine.  The shop where I work has decided that the KNK Zing Air is the best cutter for the job.  (I might have had a bit of influence in the decision 🙂 ).  Friday two Zing Air cutters arrived at the shop.  Today (Sunday) one of them is helping me prepare my post.

A friend who works with us at the shop had a request to create an applique for a wall hanging she wants to create.  She explained her plan to me and provided a copy of a photo that was her inspiration.  I was able to use an existing file from the Make The Cut Gallery and node edit it so it resembled the photos.

Materials Used:

Cotton Quilting Fabric backed with Heat-N-Bond

Cotton Quilting Fabric backed with Steam-A-Seam Lite 2

Iron-on Heat Transfer Vinyl

Settings:

Machine Used:  KNK Zing Air

For Cotton Fabrics: Fabric blade, Speeds 11/15, Force 75, Multi 2, Offset .75, PIN 25

For Iron-on Heat Transfer Vinyl:  Red blade, Speeds 15/15, Force 30, Multi 1, Offset .25, PIN 25

optimized-skulls

Okay, skulls are not my thing, but—.  The request was for a 4″ high skull cut from fabric so it could be appliqued onto a base fabric.  The green one in the picture is about 3.5″ high because I forgot that the measurements in the bar in MTC also include the vector handles.  So I corrected the size before cutting the others.  The green one has Heat-N-Bond fused to the back of the fabric.  The two pieces did not get cut cleanly apart because the Zing mat was not sticky enough to hold the fabric in place while cutting.  The white one has Steam-A-Seam Lite 2 fused to the back of the fabric and the Steam-A-Seam itself is sticky so that stickiness, in addition to the adhesive on the mat, was successful in holding the fabric in place for a clean cut.  After seeing the amount of detail that would have to be dealt with in using this design for an applique, I thought that the Iron-on Heat Transfer Vinyl would be a better choice for the applique and it would not have to be stitched down.  The black glittery skull was cut from this vinyl.  And I did remember to mirror the image before cutting the vinyl since it is cut from the back side.

So now I know a little about the Zing and will be able to help customers as they expand their skills into our world of Klic-N-Kut.

Carry Me

I am again using my wonderful KNK Force to allow me to make something for the store where I work.  We have a new line of embroidery threads and want to do something special and eye catching to promote the sales.  I was asked to put together some mini collections.  Immediately I started thinking about what I could make with my Force to present these mini collection.  This is what I came up with.

optimized-with-thread

I thought that four would be a good number of threads to start with and since we also sell them individually, the customers can purchase additional colors as they want.

Materials Used:

Recollections Kraft Cardstock Paper

Liquid scrapbooking glue

Settings:

Machine:  KNK Force

Blade:  Standard Materials Blade (red cap),  Blade Tension 2,  Passes 2, Starting Depth  60,  Ending Depth 75, Cutting Speed 25,  Blade Offset  0.25,  Blade Overcut  .50

Additional Info:

Here are pictures of the parts of the box prior to assembly, and after assembly.

optimized-box-parts

optimized-assembled

I’m thinking that Snoopy makes a great background for photos of things he has cut!!  (Snoopy is my Force).  I used inspiration from several cup carriers that I’ve seen on the internet and then did my own thing using both my KNK Studio and Make the Cut software to prepare the files for cutting.

I am delighted that the box parts cut beautifully on my Force.  The large ends of the handle piece (the one with 2 holes) are folded at 90 degrees and glued to the inside of the bottom of the box.  The spools of thread are placed in the box and then the insert (the one with 4 holes) is placed over the handle and the spools to hold them in place and to help keep them from falling out.  I will be putting labels on the sides of the box to describe what is inside and to dress them up a bit.