The Design and Technology Show

my stand looking quite tidy from the front . . . .

I have just unloaded my poor car after the The Design and Technology show. I don't think it has ever been SO packed to the gunnels. It is a 13 year old Volvo V70 and still going very strong - thank goodness.
The show was great fun. My role was to inspire, help and listen to teachers who need help to create new courses that include textiles, whether they teach art, textiles or D and T. A lot of schools and colleges are developing new, more creative courses and need help with the new products and materials that are now available. 
My main tasks were to demonstrate how to use a heat press for transfer printing and a die cutting machine to cut out textile shapes along with all my usual heat distressing techniques.

on closer inspection - not quite so tidy

behind the scenes - definitely not tidy!

showing how to use a die cutting machine (Prestige Pro) to cut textiles

You may have seen die cutting machines such as the Sissix Big Shot at craft shows or you may indeed own one. They are generally used to cut card and paper and are very popular for card making and scrap booking, however they can be used to cut out shapes in fabric. This is particularly useful for applique and patchwork and quilting, I believe Ellison/Sissix will be bringing over new dies especially for quilters early next year.

I also had access to a laser cutter while I was at the show and had the chance to cut a few more designs. The images below show polyester satin that has been transfer printed on the heat press with flower wrap. The decorated satin then had Bondaweb ironed on the back. As the Bondaweb has a backing paper it makes a fine fabric easier to handle and cut on a laser cutter.
Once the design has been cut you just have to remove the backing paper and iron your design onto your desired background. It really couldn't be easier.

transfer printed satin with Bondaweb ironed on the  back and laser cut then ironed on to black cotton

the 'positive' shape removed from the laser cut design above and ironed onto black cotton

laser cut lamp 

This lamp was created by space dying two rectangles of heavy pelmet Vilene plus and then ironing on toning space dyed silk tops. One piece was then laser cut with a fish design to create the front of the lamp. The pieces were then machine stitched up the sides. A wooden base was carved by a friend of mine to finish the lamp off.

more laser cut samples

I thoroughly enjoyed talking to the teachers at the show, we all learn from each other. My very good friend Brenda Killigrew from Inkberrow Design Centre  helped me on the stand. We were gathering email addresses from teachers who were interested in the new residential courses for teachers Brenda and I will be running from the end of next year. The courses will be Hot Textiles based but aimed at the specialist needs of teachers.
I've just got to write the courses now . . . . .  we weren't sure if anyone would be interested but we were overwhelmed. I will be contacting everyone that left their contact details next week. 
If you are a teacher and wish to be included in the mail out - just email me.

I am listening to Seals new C.D while I write this - oh! it's gorgeous.

My Open House 'opened' on Saturday and, thanks to Jose and the girls everything went smoothly without me. We had a busy first weekend and look forward to three more. 
I must make some Christmas stockings this week . . . . . and some more cards . . . . . ooohH!!!! and write a book.


x x x


  1. I love the sound of the laser cutter - your tree is beautiful (both positive and negative images).



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