6.28.2008

"Magic" Paper/Teabag paper mini-review

Thanks to Kate's tip last week, I ordered some of this and got to try it out today. (This was originally posted, in almost this same form, on the quilting.about.com community forum.)

PURCHASING/PRICE: I purchased it from Etsy seller DogDaisy. She shipped very quickly from the UK -- I ordered it on 6/19 and it arrived on 6/25, neatly packaged with some tips for how to use it. Given the size of the sheets she sells (approx. 20"x30"), I thought the price was reasonable (especially since my favorite paper-piecing paper is a vellum that's probably $6+ for 25 letter-sized sheets).

PROS:
  • This is a nice strong paper -- I got a few little tears, but nothing troublesome at all.
  • It's flexible, so it wasn't in the way when I was sewing curved units (I made a NYB block for Miss July).
  • It's also super lightweight, so it definitely could be left in the block without any noticible increase in thickness.
  • It's far superior to the other leave-in product I have, which is very stiff (Fun-dation, or some dumb name like that), and although that softens with washing, I can feel the extra thickness.
  • I haven't tried this yet, but I think it would work well as a light stabilizer for machine applique.
  • Because it's not 8.5x11 (which can be a con; see below), you're not limited to units you can directly print, and you don't have to sew through the tape or glue you used to stick the pages back together to get the bigger unit. This was helpful in my NYB block, actually, since EQ doesn't let you rotate pieces to fit the paper.
CONS:
  • The biggest one for me is that I had to trace my foundations onto it. It was easy to see through, but it increases the margin of error, since I had to first print them onto regular paper, then trace onto the product. According to the notes from the Etsy seller, two layers can be ironed together for a stronger paper; I might try that, trim it to 8.5x11 and try it in the printer next time, just to see what happens.
  • It seemed to "catch" the iron just the littlest bit.* Turning down the temperature helped. There's no visible residue or anything on the soleplate, so I don't think it was melting or anything. (Of course, I also have a brand-new iron today, which seems to be much hotter than my other one, so there could be an element of user error here.) *I do this this is a user issue, actually, since I had the same problem with my Monkey Wrench blocks. The soleplate has a much "sharper" edge -- something I was looking for, but that takes a little getting used to.
  • The obvious one is availability, especially in the States -- I hate relying on a single source for a supply!
There are other things I could -- and probably will -- try with this product, but I thought I'd share my initial reactions. Don't look for me to try this, but the paper is dyable, and probably a whole lot of fun to play with once it doesn't look so much like a teabag!

1 comment:

katelnorth said...

I could be wrong, but I think someone I know used it in their printer - trying to remember how - maybe ironed it to freezer paper or a piece of that waxed paper you get around reams of printer paper sometimes? I've not run it through the printer yet, just traced designs through... I have sewed through it with the machine, but I also use it a lot for handwork, where it's great, as it's really easy to sew through, being so light.