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.
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.
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.
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.
The buttons were a big hit. And they looked great on the quilt. She even quilted it with a butterfly pattern.
If you would like to learn more about my techniques for transferring images to polymer clay take my class on Craftcast.com