A Tutorial for My Readers – Fiber Art Collage – Greeting Cards

*****If you enjoy this tutorial and would like to see more of this kind of post, please let me know with a “like” or a “comment”.  Thanks!!! *****
***Because today is Thanksgiving Day here in the USA,  see if anything in the finished piece reminds you of a turkey and comment on it :) ***

Fiber Art Collage

Here’s how I approach the process. It’s art, after all, so feel free to bend, change or ignore any of the following steps.    

Supplies: (read through the tute – it’ll make more sense)

  • Blank Greeting Card (or medium of choice for mounting)
  • Background Fabric – a scrap from your stash
  • Batting or stabilizer to match size of background
  • Various scraps of coordinating fabric, threads, fancy fibers, Angelina, cheesecloth, ribbons, other non-cotton scraps such as wool, silk, burlap etc.
  • Glue stick – acid free
  • Thread to sew together layers of the collage. Machine or embroidery thread
  • Other embellishments of your choice: beads, charms etc.

Method:

  1. Determine the overall “feel” of the piece – Elegant? Playful? Modern? Romantic?
  1. Gather from your scrap bag and from your stash – pieces and bits that you think might belong in this piece (I often use color as my theme)

 

Gather scraps and other possible materials to use

Gather scraps and other possible materials to use

  1. Vary these design elements such as you would for any composition
  1. I think of these pieces as mini art quilts and assemble in layers
  • Layer one – background (stabilized)
  • Layer two – texture and color
  • Layer three – focal motif   (just one example of my approach)

5.   If preparing your mini fiber art collage for a greeting card – roughly cut your background fabric to measure at least one inch in from all four sides.

 

photo 3 (2)

e.g. card is 5 by 7; background fabric no larger than 3 by 5

Your collage will be built on this background; may entirely cover it; may extend from any or all of the sides.   If you prefer a frayed edge, tear your fabric instead of cutting.

6.  Stabilize your background by whichever means you prefer (and happen to have on hand). I like to use something like Pellon Craft-fuse or Décor Bond. Or I may use regular cotton quilt batting.  If you use batting, cover it with muslin so that it will adhere firmly to the card.

Stabilizer of your choice added to wrong side of background fabric

Stabilizer of your choice added to wrong side of background fabric

7.  Add your texture and color elements into a design that pleases your eye. Pin first, then stitch to attach elements to background.   Or just go for it; don’t overthink t!

First layer enhanced by ribbon and hand dyed cheesecloth.

First layer enhanced by ribbon and hand dyed cheeseclot

another possibility explored

another possibility explored

8.  Quilt by machine or by hand with thread of choice. Get crazy!

First pass at the machine with a narrow zig-zag stitch.  You can see that I was tweaking as I went.

First pass at the machine with a narrow zig-zag stitch. You can see that I was tweaking as I went.

The angelina scrap was pinned to the piece after the stitching.

 9.  Add your final element(s). This may be a focal point OR it may be something (for example a circle of couching or beads) that enhances the focal element.  In this case I isolated one element from some vintage lace trim and painted it.

photo (1)

10.  Affix your completed piece to the front of the card with an acid free glue stick. (I like UHU best but also use Avery or others)

 Have fun!  I’d LOVE to see what you come up with.  Send a pic to me at Honeyquilts at gmail dot com and I’ll post it here!

an aside – I was just looking at the lace on the piece – it looks like a turkey head to me this morning!  Really!!  Is it just me?   gobble gobble :)

© Guila Greer 2014

This tutorial and all photos are the exclusive property of Guila Greer. It is for your personal use only. Please do not copy.
Thank you very much for your understanding.

Learn to “Quilt As You Go” with this Gorgeous Christmas Runner

P1040312

Sign up for this class at Quilty Pleasures – Simi Valley –  It is sceduled for Saturday November 2 from 10 AM until 4 PM.

You will make a beautiful piece of Home Decor to use as a table or mantel runner.  It is shown here in festive holiday colors but can be made in the fabric of your choice.

“Quilt As You Go”  so that when you have finished adding the last border you are finished!  Quilting has already been done.

This is going to be a fun class so go ahead and call the shop today to reserve your spot.

805-581-1577     1742 E. Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley

Tutorial for Sun Printing (Sun Painting)

I love Sun Printing – the serendipity aspects are marvelous, especially using organic masks – you’re never quite sure how it’s going to turn out.  And, if you don’t like the results just repaint your fabric and start over.

Materials you will need:

  • Fabric – 100% white cotton – prewashed in detergent and dried
  • Clothes you don’t mind getting paint on
  • a portable work surface: cover a piece of heavy cardboard with plastic and tape the plastic securely to the reverse side of the cardboard. The work surface should be a couple of inches larger than your fabric piece all around.
  • Straight pins
  • Paint:  sun sensitive fabric paint such as Dye-Na-Flow (from Lumiere) or light sensitive Setacolor fabric paint   Use from 1 to 3 different colors.
  • Foam brushes ½ inch to 1 ½ inch
  • Plastic bowls (one for each color that you will use –
  • Spritzer bottle with water
Prepared work surface and wet fabric

Prepared work surface and wet fabric

A variety of items to use as masks to create your design:

Use items that have enough weight to sit firmly on the fabric so that the sunlight doesn’t leak in under the edges in order to create a nice crisp print.  Lighter items will give you a more subtle look.  If there’s a light breeze you may want to place a weight such as a hardware washer on top of a mask that could blow away or shift position.  (such as a leaf)  A fine straight pin could be used to hold your item to the fabric as well.  Just make sure that it doesn’t cast a shadow -unless you want that effect.

The paint used in Sun Printing works by seeking out a light source.  So when you place a mask over a section of painted cloth, the paint will migrate into uncovered areas of fabric.

Here are some examples of masks you can readily find:

  • Found items such as old keys, coins of various sizes, buttons, safety pins, string of beads, botte caps
  • hardware items such as washers, screws, nuts and bolts
  • items you can pick up on a walk like leaves, petals, stones, fronds, stems
  • stencils (your pattern will be reversed)
  • shapes you cut out yourself from cardboard.
A variety of objects can be used to mask areas of your painted surface and produce your print

A variety of objects can be used to mask areas of your painted surface and produce your print

Method

  1. Secure your fabric to work board with pins or use masking tape to secure the edges.
  2. Wet down fabric thoroughly with water/spritzer bottle.  Keep the fabric wet until you’ve finished arranging your design.
  3. Choose between 1 and 3 paint colors for your first project.  Mix a small amount of each color with 2 parts water, placing one color solution in each bowl.   supplies
  4. Wet foam brush and start painting fabric.  Remember this is a background.  It doesn’t have to resemble anything; it is simply a colorful backdrop for your printing items.  While painting with color #1, leave white spaces for additional colors.
  5. As you add your additional colors, spritz more water to help the colors spread and mix at the edges.
  6. Have your masking items ready to arrange on your fabric immediately, especially if you are outside on a warm sunny day!

Fresh leaves from a rose bush are arranged on the wet painted surface of the fabric

7.  Quickly arrange masking items  on to wet painted surface of fabric.

8.  Take fabric – along with work surface to a sunny spot and allow to dry for 30 minutes to an hour – depending on temperature and humidity.

9.  Remove masks when completely dry. 

10.  Press fabric with a hot dry iron for about 4 minutes to set the paint.

The results

The results

More Rose Leafs - different color scheme

More Rose Leafs – different color scheme

sunprint

New Life for An Old Bag

Several years ago I sewed a tote  bag that quickly became my favorite.  I enjoyed it  so much that I actually started wearing it out!

When It Was New

well worn

Tossing it aside was not an option. Too much work went into making it and besides I really liked it.

So, I investigated ways to ‘fix’ it that would not be too difficult and would not look like an emergency patching job.

I decided to use fake prairie points with a ragged edge.  Luckily I had enough fabric left over from the bag in my scrap stash.So I cut out about 20   3 in. by 3 in. squares, folded them in half corner to corner, then arranged them in overlapping fashion around the top edge of the tote. 

3 inch by 3 inch squares – fold each in half, point to point

I stitched around the top to hold them in place then stitched them more securely about 1/2 inch in from the edges to leave them “raw-edged.”  Finally I washed and dried the tote bag to allow the new embellishments to fray a little.  Because the fabric had been previously washed it did not do much fraying but I’m sure that in time they’ll take on that look.

And here is my “new” old tote bag ready to go !

D is For Do-Over

There aren’t too many things in this life that we can ‘do over.’  It’s not like a computer game where we can push the restart button and proceed; this time, of course, knowing the pitfalls and the previous mistakes that we made

In this case my Do-Over is of something of relative inconsequence.

This past January I made a small art quilt to go along with our Haiku prompt “Exhilaration”.  I was pleased with some aspects of my quilt.  For instance, I thought the quilting was terrific (even if I do say so myself, lol), there was considerable texture (I had experimented with light molding paste) and the colors were bold and beautiful.

But the composition was awful to my critical eye and I wasn’t happy with it.

Here’s the original:

Original Exhilaration Quilt

See what I mean?

So here’s what I did.

I needed to break up the huge expanse of yellow and somehow integrate the various elements.  So I painted some fusible web, cut it out, burned the edges with my multi heat tool and applied some of it to the quilt.

Then I printed the Haiku on Extravorganza, fringed the edges and painted them. Then affixed the Haiku to the quilt with BoNash.

Here’s my do-over.  Please let me know what you think?  How would you have proceeded?  I’m really interested in your comments.

Exhilaration The Re-Do

Fish Out of Water

When I posted here several months ago I mentioned that I was working on a piece that needed some hand embroidery to be added.  This was a fun project – something different and incorporating several different techniques.

Here is a photo of  my Fish Out Of Water

And here is an overview of how I made him.

I collaged several fabrics onto a mottled yellow background.  I made a stencil from a fish drawing and when I cut it out I was careful to keep the remaining stencil material intact so that I could use it too.
Then I painted the fish image onto the quilt using the stencil and acrylic paint.  When it was dry I thought that more contrast was needed around the fish so I used the “fish” part of the stencil and painted around the outline.

I outlined the collage pieces with perle cotton and added embroidery to the fish.  Then I added some beads and a button eye to accent the fish.

Outline Stitching and Button Eye

Beaded Tail

Finally I stitched and beaded a spray of coral.

Beaded Spray of Coral

I used a pillowcase type of backing and accented the edges with a perle cotton running stitch.

Demystifying Stamp Pads

 I’ve been using Ink Stamp Pads forever. Remember as kids when you’d get hold of an old stamp and stamp pad and brand everything in sight including the back of your hands?

Many years later I tackled scrap-booking then journaling – again making use of those tempting rubber stamps and lovely inky pads. In those days it was pretty straightforward. If the color called my name I used the pad and didn’t care if it was Dye Ink, Pigment Ink, Solvent, Archival, or whatever.

Now with art quilting there’s more to the selection and more risk in selecting the wrong type of pad. It’s got to transfer cleanly to a very porous surface. And of course you don’t want fading.

You may also be concerned about the image staying put AND crisp and clear after washing or if you’re planning to use wet media over the image. I have NOT included the effects of washing on these samples and will do something on that another time.

Oh I got so confused!!!  Everywhere you look – known and trusted online sites/blogs, manufacturers’ sites or craft shop advice sites you get someone else’s opinion. And often these opinions are at odds with one another.

So I decided to take matters into my own hands and go back into my mad scientist mode. I lined up ALL the different types of ink stamp pads that I had on hand, chose a rubber stamp that would print well (not too much detail and deeply carved stamp ridges) on fabric and went to work.

1. I washed, dried and pressed the fabric first: some bleached muslin. (you’ll get a slightly different color cast using the unbleached.)

2. One by one I inked up the stamps, stamped the fabric, and recorded what was used.

3. In a couple of instances I also documented the Surface that I stamped on to see if that made a significant difference. For instance whether it was a hard surface or a cushiony one – including batting.

4. After making sure all impressions were completely dry I pressed with a hot iron.

NOTE: Because I’m going to be using these in Art Quilts I did not wash the fabric again after stamping it. So this is NOT a test for washability, simply a comparison of how well the inks did visually on the fabric. I was looking for vibrancy, clarity and crisp edges.

Here are the photos of my first go-round.

       

 

 

                  In my opinion the best performers were the dye inks from the Recollections and Memento (Tsukineko) lines. I stamped with Recollections with and without batting under the muslin and definitely got a crisper edge without the batting.

I also was pleased with the Dye Ink in the Distress Ink Line from Ranger. (That’s the one in the group to the LEFT in the upper left hand corner.)

The solvent ink from Staz-on and Archival Dye Ink from Ranger were both excellent. The downside with both is that they are limited in color choice and are quite pricey.

The pigment ink from Colorbox left a smudgy outline. I tried it on a lightly padded surface, over batting and on a hard surface. The hard surface was best but still not as distinct as the Dye Inks.

The pigment ink from Versacraft was acceptable but not as crisp as Memento.

*A note about Versacraft: it is widely accepted as a good choice for fabric stamping as it has proven to stay put after washing. So if that’s your need it’s definitely a consideration.

Further test:

I further tested the Dye Ink from Recollections with a larger stamp to see if I could repeat the good outcome. I am partial to this particular pad because of availability and lower cost. However I haven’t seen it in a wide array of colors.

I retested the Memento as well. Both were excellent. Memento has a broad choice of colors available. It’s a little pricey in the larger stamp pad but is available in a smaller more economical Dew Drop size.

And here is the Dye Ink from Ranger (Distress Ink) This comes in a wonderful array of colors.

Next I will be testing my collection of brush markers with stamps to see how they perform on fabric so stay tuned.

Please pretty please leave me a comment – especially if you have had experience with any of these and would like to add your observations. That would be grand and thank you!!

Inktense Fabric Paint Tutorial

Guila Greer:

A great tutorial for using Inktense Pencils on fabric – These are my favorite colored pencils to use.

Originally posted on Carla Barrett:

Santa brought me a large pack of Inktense pencils by Derwent, so I decided to stitch a block design using my new IQ, and then paint it.  This is a work in progress (WIP), but I thought I would share a tutorial.

What you need:

Inktense set of pencils (comes in different sized packs.  I own a 36 set and a 24 set)

Small fabric brushes (bought at Michaels.  Read the label as it will say it is used on fabric)

Stitched quilted fabric design (I used a digital design by Karen McTavish, but you could stitch a stencil or any design.)

Fabric or Textile medium- I used 2 types on the sample- Aloe Vera gel and Liquidtex Fabric Medium diluted 50/50% with water (see baby jar in photo above).  Jo Sonja also makes a fabulous medium for use on fabric, some with added sheen.  (Google “Jo Sonya” to buy…

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Making Crystal Dangle Earrings

Another great video tutorial from Joggles

Just click on the link below and leave a comment here if you enjoy it and would like to see more of these short videos.   Thanks!  Guila

Making Crystal Dangle Earrings.

Link

If you’re looking to get jump started with some Journal pages – take a look at this!

Techniques For Using Stencils In Your Art.

Another wonderful video from Barbara at Joggles