New beginnings

My son recently bought his own practice and moved from San Diego to Wisconsin.Then they got a kitten to keep their older cat company. Their older cat had a skin condition which made it scratch and caused sores. So like any good cat person, his better half Annie, had a dress made so the open area would be covered and ordered a matching dress for the kitten. I applied the logo to the dresses. The kitten in a Savannah hybrid, her name is Lily. The older cat , Mia, has since healed and the kitten has outgrown her dress.


And then because at one time I had ordered 200 koozies ( just in case I ever needed a koozie) I made some Koozies with their logo.


Heat transfer vinyl

heat press



Speed 350

Force 33  2 passes

red capped blade


Both were pretty simple. My son had designed the logo and sent it to me as a jpeg. I was able to trace it and turn it into a KNK file. I then mirrored the image and cut it from the heat transfer vinyl.  When cutting htv I use a lower force but do a multiple cut with 2 passes. It seems to weed better this way. I don’t do a lot with htv and my heat press compared to regular vinyl, but everytime I make something with HTV I am so happy that I invested in a heat press.

Birthday shirts

As I am preparing this post I have come to realize that my Maxx and I may have an unhealthy relationship. I chose to use my Maxx to cut the Heat Transfer Vinyl instead of using my Force. I was trying to rationalize why and thought that it is like having a husband and then seeing a new guy that is newer and stronger and deciding that he was better and then FORCEing him to stand by while you played with the new guy. Like my husband, Maxx and I have been together a long time. As long as Maxx is alive he will be my go to guy. But I need to learn how to use the Force so when that sad day comes I am prepared. I know, therapy is probably in order…but then, Maxx is my therapist. :~)

On to the shirts. These started out when I was able to buy Crayola Fabric markers on clearance for $1. I told my daughter that I would like to make shirts for my granddaughters birthday party and have an outline so the girls could then color the shirts. This is what she asked me to design. The girls will color in the heart and the {you}. Once it is colored it will then be heat set and ready to wear. Here is the file for the shirt. It should have KNK,MTC and SVG ready for the Force. Be you tiful shirt

IMG_4751 Materials


heat transfer vinyl

t shirt from Wal-Mart

heat press



red capped blade

70 force

400 speed

heat press 320 degrees for 20 seconds

Heat transfer vinyl

About a year ago I bought a heat press. I love cutting vinyl and thought that I could have a lot of fun with heat transfer vinyl. From what I read on line you can have a lot of success using an iron but a heat press is definitely faster and less work. I don’t use it as much as I would like to but when I do it sure is fun.

A friend has a sister who is a Chicago Bears fan, we live in WI, we are not Bears fans. So her sister asked for a Bears shirt for Christmas and this is what we came up with. :O)

IMG_4589 IMG_4588

The red Glitterflex HTV is so pretty on this shirt

IMG_4633 IMG_4634


For a little princess in my life

IMG_4635 IMG_4636


And for the little princesses Aunt I made a hoodie using Thermoflex







KNK Maxx

Red capped blade

Force 50

Speed 400

2 passes for Glitterflex

The fun thing about the shirts is that the majority of them are just using a font to create the verse and then mirroring it so that it appears correct on the shirt. Most of the shirts cost under $10 to create, including the price of the shirt. The hoodie was a bit more.

It’s me again!

I may have a warped sense of humor and put that together with a heat press and it can be dangerous.

IMG_3723 In case you are so inclined here is the file. HTV my wife is psyc Hot Ic


HTV vinyl

Heat Press

KNK Maxx


15″Knk Maxx

red capped blade Force 60

Speed 450

Temp 320 for 25 seconds

Rhinestones from KNK

Crafters have a lot of questions when it comes to rhinestones. There are as many variations in rhinestones as there are questions. This post will help clear up some of the common questions, specifically about hot-fix rhinestones.

Rhinestones are sold using a measurement call a “gross”. A gross is 144 stones. Often it is easier to measure a gross by volume – for example with actual measuring spoons – and sellers will typically ensure that you receive at least 144 stones. In the Make-the-Cut rhinestone feature, you will be able to see exactly how many stones are required for your design.


Types of rhinestones:

Swarovski – these jewels are at the top of the rock pile. They have more facets than other stones (14 for SS10-SS40), with great color and clarity, and with a good adhesive. Because of these characteristics, and their high cost, Swarovski rhinestones are well suited for jewelry applications. When used for clothing, a wedding dress would be the most likely match.

Preciosa (Czech rhinestones) – at 12 facets these stones have fewer facets than Swarovski stones but typically have the same level of color and clarity. There are various ‘grades’ of Preciosa stones so it is prudent to investigate which ones to use for a particular application. Adhesives may vary, but are generally pretty good. The cost for Preciosa is lower than Swarovski which has made them a good choice for items like jewelry and formal wear. These stones are harder than the other options so they are also good for things like belts, boots and jackets.

Korean – for a wide variety of applications these stones meet all of the requirements for color, clarity, number of facets and adhesive. In addition, they are significantly more economical than the previous options. Korean stones have 12 facets and low lead content. There are variations by brand in the quality of cut and adhesive. Korean stones, in general, are the optimal choice for everyday garments and craft projects.

China – the most recent entry into the rhinestone market, these stones only meet the lowest standards in all areas. Stone shape and poor adhesive are primary concerns but these stones are typically the lowest cost option. There are limited applications where these rhinestones would meet project requirements.

The shape of the rhinestone is important when using a template for designs. If the shape is not consistent, the stones will not properly fall into the holes of your design. Additionally, if the manufacturing application of the hot fix adhesive is not well controlled it can cause problems getting the stones into the template holes because there may be extra adhesive ‘tags’ hanging off the edge(s). The adhesive itself must be a quality adhesive to ensure even application and durability.

Too much information? Eliminate the worry, and buy KNK rhinestones. KNK brings you a balance of the best quality and most economical Korean stones – perfect for your project needs. These stones have been tested and approved by KNK USA, and can be seen in a number of Team KNK projects.


Stone size: 

Use a sizing chart before creating your rhinestone template. Even within a single brand, there may be variations in the size of different color stones. This will greatly reduce your frustration and stress. Sandy McCauley has a great rhinestone support page that includes a rhinestone sizing chart you can cut on your KNK.

Applying rhinestone designs (with transfer tape):

  1. Ensure the material can withstand the heat process.
  2. Preheat iron or heat press to 325 degrees (cotton setting). Turn OFF steam.
  3. Remove the white backing sheet from the rhinestone design.
  4. Position the rhinestone design on the garment adhesive side down.
  5. Place a teflon, muslin, or cotton sheet over the design. If the material is very thin, place a teflon sheet inside the garment to prevent glue from bleeding through to the next layer of the garment.
  6. Press with firm pressure for 10-12 seconds with an iron or 5-7 seconds with a heat press. Do not slide the iron across the stones. Smaller stones may need less time, while larger stones may need more time to heat up and melt the glue.
  7. Wait for stones to cool before removing the transfer tape.
  8. If needed, press for an additional 5 seconds after removing transfer tape.
  9. Allow the garment to set for 24 hours.

Extra tip: In some cases, heating the garment itself before applying the rhinestone design may help with adherence.

Care Instructions:

Wash and dry garments inside out at cool or warm settings.

An inside view – my personal experience:  I have been using rhinestones for approximately 10 years – first by applying the stones one by one with a wand and now with templates and a heat press. I’ve made hundreds of costumes for my daughter and her friends, and quite a few T-shirts in between. The KNK USA stones have consistently been the best product I’ve worked with and the pricing is highly competitive. ~Michele Harvey