Inspired by my recent patchwork clothing roundup, I thought I’d put my own twist on a patchwork t-shirt project that conveniently requires no sewing at all!
For this easy project I’ve used a fairly new product from Cricut – Infusible Ink sheets come in a range of colours and attractive pre-printed designs. They can be with Cricut cutting machines, or even by hand.
I’m always coming up with ways to reduce craft supply waste. This patchwork t-shirt project is an ideal way to utilize little scraps of Infusible Ink sheets left over from other bigger projects.
Instead of sewing little scraps of fabric together to make a design, I’ve put a twist on the traditional patchwork block and pieced it together with colourful Infusible ink sheets.
Cricut was kind enough to send me some product samples to experiment with, and as I’d already made Infusible Ink Ceramic coasters, I thought it was time to try making my own t-shirt.
What is Infusible Ink?
Cricut Infusible Ink is a heat sensitive ink transfer product. The ink is built into a paper sheet that when heated to an appropriate temperature, turns to gas. The process of turning a solid into a gas is called ‘sublimation’.
The gasified ink then fuses with the base material as it cools, dying it permanently.
Infusible ink is a printing process that dyes the compatible base material, rather than printing or adhering to the surface.
Base materials need to be compatible and results are most effective with fabrics that are rich in polyester. The colours will appear most vibrant on light or white bases.
For best results, Cricut recommends using Cricut t-shirt blanks as the fibre content has been especially formulated for compatibility.
The transfer process will still work with other polyester rich fabrics, so feel free to experiment with whatever you have on hand.
How to make a Patchwork T-shirt with Cricut Infusible Ink
Show off your love of patchwork by printing a classic patchwork block onto a t-shirt. Make it as colourful as you like, or keep it simple if you are a minimalist at heart.
Unlike vinyl iron-on, the Infusible Ink design stays stretchy and flexible, making this t-shirt super comfortable to lounge around in.
I’ve designed my ‘patchwork block’ in the cricut design space, but feel free to use your creativity and design a block of your own.
You can even hand cut a design if you are feeling adventurous!
Prepare the Patchwork design
1. Open up Patchwork T-shirt Design in Cricut Design Space. Adjust the shapes to any colours you desire. Remember that each colour will require a separate cutting mat. The design is already correctly sized for an average ladies t-shirt, about 20cm wide. You can adjust the sizing as required.
2. Click ‘Make it’ then arrange the individual shapes as required to maximize any scraps you may be using. Use the measurements on your cutting mat as a guide to the layout.
Make sure you MIRROR the design when using Infusible ink sheets. In this case it’s not that crucial as the design is symmetrical, but if you have any lettering included in your design it will iron on backwards if the cut is not mirrored.
I’ve used 7 colours in total for this design, which corresponds to 7 mats. You can reduce the colours on the design if you wish.