Friday, April 22, 2011

Tail Feathers

Finished stitching the first 3 tail feathers for Tommy Turkey's tail.  I'm pleased with the stitches, but might want to add a little "bling" to the red ones.
The finisher might need to top stitch the edges of these, so I don't want to bead them and am considering hot-fix crystals.  I've never used them on needlepoint before - is there any danger of damaging the silk fiber when applying the crystals?
HINTS are welcome!!!!!!!


  1. I've used hot fix crystals once so I'm no expert, but I can give you hints. You use Swarkovski crystals that have glue on their flat backs that a "hot fix" tool activates. The tool gets very hot so you need to be careful. The crystals also get hot. I don't think they get hot enough to damage the silks but if you touch the tip of the hot fix tool to the silk directly, it might scorch the silks. So be careful. Silk can be ripped out and restitched but you don't want to burn fingers.

    You need something to protect your table, your canvas off stretcher bars so you can press down hard, the hot fix tool and your crystals. Some people put the crystals where they want them to be on the canvas and then once the hot fix tool is hot (that takes a couple of minutes), they just press down on the crystal. I didn't do that, I picked mine up with the tool off the table, waited until the glue was liquid, then put them in place, but I am not sure this matters. Read the tool instructions and remember to push down on the crystal the amount of time it says to give the glue time to melt and adhere.

    Two things you should know--the crystal may not end up exactly where you want it but you can push it into position with a needle or tweezers for a second or two. NOT YOUR FINGERS--it's hot, remember?

    The hot fix glue starts to build up in the tool as you work. After a few crystals are set, there is enough glue that you should have tweezers or an old needle at hand so you can push the crystal out. That's what the slot in the side of the hot fix tool tip is for. That's when the crystal ends up in the wrong place so if it is really stuck inside the tool tip, pry it out over the table protection so you don't have it end up in the wrong place on your canvas when it flies out of your fingers.

    It really is easy to do. Just be careful not to burn a finger on the tool or the crystal with its very hot liquid glue. After you finish, let the canvas sit for hours, just to make sure all is dry and in position, and don't put the hot fix tool up until it is cold.

    Good luck. It will look fabulous!

  2. Thanks Jane - I was just about to email you at Ashley Bradley's recommendation. This is really good advice if I'm not too chicken to try it ( I was thinking of a lot of cyrstals). How do you think super glue and crystals would work? Easier to control?

  3. I find Super Glue goes everywhere But I am clumsy. I just found the hot fix glue easier to control although it does get into the hot fix tool tip and makes the crystals hard to remove. If you are more comfortable with Super Glue, try it and see.