I do some custom designs for a cute little quilt store in Williston, VT – Quilting With Color. She contacted me awhile ago about a special project. Apparently quilt shops do this thing called a Shop Hop. Each shop comes up with a special quilt kit to sell for the event. Customers go to each shop with their ‘passport’ and and get chances to get some great prizes.  Jennine wanted to use this beautiful butterfly fabric. 

She wanted to embellish the kit with polymer clay buttons. Because I loved the fabric so much my immediate thought was polymer clay transfers. I do transfers a lot in several applications and this seemed the perfect technique for this project.

So the first thing to do was to scan in the fabric and isolate the butterflies. It took a bit of Photoshop Elements work to get them isolated.

Photoshop Elements

Fimo Liquid Decorating Gel

The next thing is to print the butterflies on Avery T-Shirt Transfer Paper. Then I ‘paint’ on a thin layer of Fimo Liquid Decorating Gel. I prefer it over all of the other clear/translucent liquid clays because of how clear  – and sturdy – it is once cured.

Spreading the Gel with a Rubber Paint ‘Brush’


Once the transfers are cured they can be removed from the paper. The T-Shirt Transfer Paper is activated by heat so it moves the ink into the liquid polymer and the image is now transferred into the polymer.

Polymer transfer being removed from paper

Next the transfers get cut to shape and they are placed on raw polymer clay sheets and the excess clay is trimmed away. The buttons are baked and drilled for button holes.

Clay transfer on raw polymer clay

The buttons were a big hit. And they looked great on the quilt. She even quilted it with a butterfly pattern.

Quilt with buttons for embellishments for the Butterfly Quilt kit

Quilting with Color’s Hop Shop Butterfly Quilt kit

If you would like to learn more about my techniques for transferring images to polymer clay take my class on Craftcast.com




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I have worked with polymer clay for over 18 years. My work has been featured in books and magazines. I have won national and international awards for my pieces. I sell my work at local Fine Craft Shows, in a few Vermont Galleries, Breweries & Home Brew Shops in several states, and on Etsy. I love polymer clay as a medium because it can be used in so many ways.I love experimenting with its properties and the various ways it can be used to create all types of artful and functional pieces.


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