Parked Ticked

That’s right – Parked Ticket, not Parking Ticket.  In the accounting system used by the store where I work, there is the ability to ‘run a tab’ for customers while they are in classes and need to purchase supplies.  The system’s name for those ‘tabs’ is Parked Tickets.  It is a very handy feature to have.  Unfortunately, with several employees working at any one time and customers asking different ones to add items to a Parked Ticket for them, we sometimes ended up with multiple Parked Tickets for the same person on the same day.

The owner wanted something to remind both customers and employees that a customer had a Parked Ticket in the system.  She thought if we had some kind of a token that we gave to the customer when we created a Parked Ticket that it would remind all of us that one existed.  She asked me if I could make something on my “magic cutter” – my KNK Force.  This is what we ended up with.

Materials Used:

Cardstock

Copy Paper

Laminating Sleeves

Settings :

Machine:  KNK Force, Blade:  Standard Material Blade (red cap),  Passes:  1, Blade Tensions:  2 – 2 1/2 (depending on cardstock),  Cutting Depth:  40 – 65 (depending on cardstock), Cutting Speed:  25, Blade Offset:  Red Blade,  Overcut:  38

Information:

Car shapes were created in Make the Cut.  The cars were cut out of cardstock and a ‘sign’ pasted on one side.  They were then laminated so they would have a rectangular shape, be all the same size, and would be more durable than just cardstock.  A hole is punched into one corner so they can hang on a hook by each of the cash registers.  When a Parking Ticket is started for a customer, they are handed one of these ‘reminders’ and their name is written on it with a dry erase marker so it can be identified in case of a mix-up.  When they check out, the employee knows to look for the Parked Ticket instead of starting a new ticket and can erase the name and return the car to the parking lot (the hook by the register).  So far it has worked well and both customers and employees find it helpful.  And, I enjoy finding ways to make creative and helpful things with my Force.

 

Embroidered Valentines

It is almost Valentine’s Day. When I needed to come up with a project for one of the classes I teach at the sewing/quilt store where I work, I decided to combine my hobbies again and make Valentine cards that used both the cutter and the embroidery machine.

This is the end result.

Materials Used:

Cardstock – red, pink, and white

Felt squares

Cotton Fabrics

Batting

Soft-n-Stable (a foam batting)

Embroidery Threads

Double-sided tape

Tear Away Stabilizer

Red Cap Standard Material Blade

Rotary Cutter with Pinking Blade

Settings:

KNK Force  Blade: Red Cap

Cardstock:Blade Tension – 2, Passes – 1, Cutting Depth – 60-65 depending on thickness of cardstock, Blade Offset – red cap blade, Overcut – .38

Scrapbook Paper: Blade Tension – 1.5, Passes – 1, Cutting Depth – 35, Blade Offset – red cap blade, Overcut – .38

Husqvarna/Viking EPIC Embroidery Machine

Information:

Kits were prepared that contained three cardstock blanks.  Two of the blanks had heart openings cut into the front of the card.   The third card had a square of felt to be embroidered and sewn to the front.  An extra piece of card stock was included in the kit to be glued over the inside of the front of the card to hide the stitching.  Each kit contained an envelope that was cut from Valentine themed scrapbook paper.  The envelopes were folded with the printed side to the inside and the plain white side to the outside.

The embroidered felt square was embroidered, trimmed with the rotary cutter with the pinking blade and then stitched to the front of the card with a long straight stitch.  The two cards with the hearts were embroidered and as the last step of the embroidery, the prepared card blank was positioned over the embroidery and stitched to the fabric in the embroidery hoop.

Card blanks and felt squares were available in red, pink, and white.

 

 

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