Often. to get the look that I’m after for an art piece, I have to dye my own fabric. Now, that’s not something that I see an a hardship – although it is a lot of work: messy work. Especially now that I have my own studio with a SINK!! And there was a reason I wanted to leave the concrete floors “as-is” during the garage conversion.
So last night I tackled the job at hand and set about to dye several lengths of fabric for a couple of upcoming quilts. The fabrics were all immersed in their respective color baths and I left them to cure overnight. This morning, after oohing and aahing at the lineup of color on my worktable, I took the fabric/dyebath containers to the sink one by one to do the rinsing.
So far I’ve discovered that when rinsing “Deep Space” (Dharmatrading), I rinsed out Purple; when rinsing “Emerald Green” (from Pro Chemical & Dye), I rinsed out Turquoise, and while I swished around the “Gunmetal Gray” (Dharmatrading), RED water drained away!
Well, I do realize that a lot of these dyes are mixtures – but I’m always delighted when I see the elements right in front of my eyes.
I’m reminded of being 10 years old and playing with my chemistry set. This was my favorite toy as a kid. Mostly I loved mixing the chemicals to see what color I could get.
Note: For the past year I have been part of the 2016 Journal Project. In alternate months we have been given a theme and made a 12 inch by 12 inch quilt that was inspired by the theme.
Today was “REVEAL” day for the first quilt of 2017. This month’s theme is Fantasy. Here is my take….
Almost every year for the past 5 decades we have driven up the Pacific Coast Highway en route to a favorite vacation spot in Marin County.
What we quickly realized is that the drive is a vacation in itself; an opportunity to unwind, kick back and to enjoy all the natural beauty that this state is famous for.
Rolling green hills to the east as we drive up the coast…and the boisterous Pacific in all its magnificence to the west.
In recent years, that beauty has been hampered by lack of rain. This drought, of course, has had serious consequences for the state – not the least is the agricultural fallout. Anyone and everyone who loves to garden or has a lawn to care for has been affected severely with restrictions and penalties.
For that matter, anyone who loves to shower or to brush their teeth has had disruptions of their morning routines. (not to worry – we still shower – it’s just shorter. And the most disciplined take pains to recycle the shower water).
So here is my fantasy of the California hills, after the rains come back and wash away the memories of drought.
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.
Determine the overall “feel” of the piece – Elegant? Playful? Modern? Romantic?
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)
Vary these design elements such as you would for any composition
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.
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.
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!
8. Quilt by machine or by hand with thread of choice. Get crazy!
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.
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 – and I’ll post it!
And please let me know what you think of this tutorial… Thank you!
There are lots of reasons we don’t finish our projects right away. And one of them is that we’re not quite sure how we WANT to complete the piece.
So this has been hanging around for awhile now on my design wall.
This started as a plain piece of Lutradur. I took a photo of a tree on my street and worked with it using Photoshop Elements. I took out everything that I didn’t want in my finished piece including all the leaves on the tree. This step also included removing all the color.
In the meantime I painted the Lutradur with acrylic paints. I used some from Golden paint and some Lumiere in various coppery hues.
Then the moment of truth as I printed my tree onto the Lutradur.
Then lots of fun to thread paint the tree itself. I used a variegated 40 weight cotton from King Tut – (In the meantime I had layered the piece with cotton batting.
and that’s when I stopped.
The biggest question in my mind is whether or not to add quilting.
So now it’s time to finish and I’ve given myself 2 weeks to do that. I hope by posting the process to date I’ll have more accountability to do that – to keep it as a priority.
What’s your opinion on adding more quilting to the piece?
Well, it must’ve been during the last half of December when those words were uttered. What’s the deal, folks? It doesn’t seem to matter when I start the preparations, this time comes and there’s so much left: shopping, cooking, sewing, painting…..Ahhhhh, but I love it all !!!
Speaking of which, I just put these on Etsy. (Click on ‘shopping’ on my home page OR type in: honeyquilts.etsy.com
They are mini Fiber Collages mounted on an acid free 5 by 7 inch Strathmore deckled edge card. The card itself is blank inside so you can write the message of your choice OR just put the card in a frame. Either way, if it’s a gift it will be sure to be enjoyed for a long time.
The more I make these samples the more ideas I get for using them. Right now I’m working on a cute cover for a collection of recipes. Also in the works is a cover that’s perfect for a knitting or crochet diary. Keep records of what you made – type of yarn – needles used, and so on.
Here are a couple more that are suitable for just about any topic. One of the benefits of these particular covers is that when your composition book is full you can slip it out and replace it with a brand new one.
The cover shown above was made by Betsy Farwell and features a collage of nettiing with colorful ribbons and an unique toggle closure.
I made this cover from a colorful batik and embellished it with a collage of cheesecloth, lace, silk pod, and decorative hand and machine stitching.
Call Baron’s in Woodland Hills for details about the Journal Cover Workshop scheduled for March 19 from 6 until 9 PM at Baron’s Sewing Center in Woodland Hills. Call 818-224-2746.
As the year is winding down I’m busy getting my act ready to take on the road for 2013. A new workshop being offered is Celebration Art Cards.
This is one of my favorite things – creating small mixed media pieces – combining colors and textures as I go to achieve a special look. It’s all about color – movement – mood – and most of all letting those creative forces loose and having FUN!!
Here is a preview:
Workshop being offered at Baron’s Sewing Center Friday January 18: 4 PM until 7 PM.
In addition – I will be demo-ing this technique at the San Fernando Valley Quilt Association’s annual Quilt College, Monday February 18, 2013
The prompt word for February’s Haiku Art Challenge was “Moon.” I thought of all the different sayings that we have to describe the moon: some quite descriptive, others turned into common expressions and a few quite fanciful. So much folklore and romance has evolved from our common experience of viewing this orb in the night sky. called