About Me

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Great Falls, Montana, United States
I love creating art. I love the Creator! And through that love, I find a little slice of heaven on earth and I give Him all the glory! It's a great adventure and I'm excited to see what's around the bend! Come join me, won't you?
Showing posts with label wool. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wool. Show all posts

Friday, February 25, 2011

Making Fabric Paper

Thank you to Beth who left a comment yesterday asking for more details... I hope this post will help you out... but I welcome any questions you have! 

First things FIRST.  Lay down a plastic covering on the work service; laying out your muslin and items you want to use in the collage.
The muslin can be any shape; small, squarish...or round if you'd like!
Notice I left the frayed edge (on the left) of the muslin.
By the way, these are items I put in the art quilt "Katie Cutie".
As you can see... a napkin, doillie, pattern piece, a hand-written note, candy foil wrapper, miscellaneous text, pattern paper, torn wrapping paper, and tissue!
(the list is endless!)
I mix up 50% water/50% tacky glue (I use Aleene's - Elmers would also work).

  It's kind of sloppy-good - no need to measure; I literally just 'slap it on' with a cheapo brush, or whatever you have on hand.  Don't buy something new or good quality... in case the glue mixture dries before it's cleaned. (uhh... oops!)

Next: you will lay down your (pre-planned) miscellaneous ephemera items on the 'primed' glue-muslin layer. It will dry fairly quickly, so you don't want to take too much time deciding what to use.
Note: I know some artists like to use various gel mediums... as far as I know, either will work just fine... (but I'm not an expert - I'm just a hands-on, let's try this type of girl!  I've only used tacky glue so far. 

Above: place the white craft tissue paper (it's sturdier than your average gift-wrapping type) onto the muslin surface; having cut or torn it  into smaller segments from the package. Overlap them a bit as you lay them down on the muslin-textured base.   Then add your color; I use acrylic paint, watering it down as the notion strikes me! 

"Give Thanks" paper quilt
If you find the top tissue layer isn't sticking, gently add a bit more glue/water mixture to the top of the tissue  Than add your paint... watered down as you desire (add a bit of glue to it if you want and this has worked well for me)
AND.. if you 'over-do' it... you get some fabulous wrinkles or perhaps the tissue 'wears' away a bit!  No worries! (See 'Dancing With Jack') 

Here is the final dried, layered base... notice there is a transparent coating of acrylic paint, watered down significantly... but this is certainly a personal preference!  See an earlier piece I did, (below) in which the paint was mostly opaque... and I liked that too... but it does cover up more of the things you laid down... just a different style, really.
Now is the time to add further embellishments... fused flowers were added after the paint had dried.
Let it dry... it will curl.  
Once dry, iron it (into submission).
Stabilize it, bat it, back it.
Stitch it.
Quilt it.  Bind it!
Pictured left is one of my first fabric paper quilts.  These are the items added after paint was dry.  

It also shows where I had alot more color than water... a happy accident, and ugh - I muddied the colors a bit.  So it goes; and it turned out better than I had expected. Opaque or transparent... it's all good!  
 After all the tissue paper layers and paint had dried... hand-painted accents in a silver metallic pen are very fun!  I had leftover fusings... angelina fibers, silk roving... added decorative stitches...& a beautiful hand-dyed yarn -- couched on with my #43 free motion foot!  See more about it here and here.
 Be original, and have fun with your own personal 'stuff', and make it unique to you.
AND... if you'd like to know more, go to Terri Stegmiller's blog and  the 3 Creative Studios website... (great resource!)  She wrote a book: "Creative Paper Quilts" (which I just discovered today, because she left me a comment-thank you Terri!) You can purchase it from Amazon.com too.  I hope you will visit her blog, which I enjoy LOTS. She has such great style, and fabulous, colorful inspiration for you!  Another resource is a book from Beryl Taylor: Mixed Media Explorations.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Here's a fairly simple way to add a bit of free motion embellishment without alot of time investment.  I love to buy the  pre-made, decorated hand towel (and I have made them too). Great gifts for the girls at the office, and for any other gift giving need you may have. It's really cool to make them fun, as well as unique, combining free motion, fusing, and embroidery, as well as bit of "fluff" with a ruff...ruffle, that is! 

The best part is adding the  'unexpected' embellishments!  Another example of how you can add a touch of free motion to any project, and make it very special!

I had a great batik in my stash (oh imagine that!)... so started by cutting a 5" or 6" strip of it, doubled up, and then ruffled it. Doubling a ruffle makes it more professional looking in my opinion; it hangs nicely, is finished off nicely, and it also runs through the ruffler foot quite smoothly too!  (Makes you look like a star!)  Attach to your towel, by laying the ruffle underneath the towel, and stitching along the towel's already existing hemline makes it easy to line it up!
Adding the lovely crocheted trim makes a statement of country style on top of the ruffle. But you don't need to stop there... I was pretty sure I had a lovely ribbon somewhere in my stash and found this beautiful blue rayon ribbon that was the perfect accent for the towel.  I top stitched it right above the trim using my 'triple straight stitch'--- in black thread of course!  Why choose a plain straight stitch when you've got so many others that are fun to choose from? I was tempted to use a flower-y decorative stitch instead of the triple straight stitch, but decided the three little batik flowers were enough, and didn't need any more... but it would have been cute, either way!

I used a black thread: King Tut 40 weight cotton for that, and also black cotton on my bottom in a 50 weight  Masterpiece; both threads made by Superior threads). By the way, this particular towel was embroidered first.

THEN comes the funnest part for me, and that is to add a little fused flower --- which was a very basic five-petaled flower I drew free hand onto fusible web, cut it out, fused it on, then added a bit of yellow wool, fused into the center.  Using black thread for the free motion motif made a bold statement, but in a very light-hearted,swirly, curly-q'd and leafy meanderings, tiny little circles, all following somewhat, the curves of the petals.  Such fun FUN thread play with black thread to match the embroidery design.

Inspiration is everywhere... and for me it came from the embroidered design "ZENSPIRATIONS" from Bernina.   I'm not an advanced embroiderer by any stretch of the imagination, but I do love the 'plug n play' of USB sticks in my machine.  So quick and easy! And I fell in love with the whimsical nature of the words and their STYLE!

So I repeated some of those same design elements featured in  the embroidery as my inspiration for the free motion motif on the flowers.  You can too!  Practice on a bit of paper first, if you are hesitant to go straight to your machine. It's really great to go off the line, and give your quilting a sketchy look!!! Smiles everyone!  No need to be... dare I say it... "perfect?"!!! Absolutely NOT.  It's charming, fun, fast and easy-breezy girls!

KNOW that the stitches will be a little 'off' tension-wise on the back side, because the towel is not real thick, and so it doesn't have alot of stabilization to the fabric.  And that's OKAY!  We're not being perfect - we don't need to be... this is fun, loose and FREE!.  Just be sure to loosen your top tension, match the color of your top and bottom threads, and try to hold the fabric firmly with your hands without gripping so tight you can't free motion!  If you prefer, use a spray adhesive, and attach some of the wash-a-way type stabilizers on the back. However, I DID NOT. and you can see the results.  After all... it's creative, and above all... it's FREEly done! 

I hope you found some inspiration...and FREEdom here!  Add your own special touch, and enjoy adding to your skills, and making a quick project, not to mention a wonderful gift to have on hand.

"Freely, Freely, you have received... Freely, Freely, Give."

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