Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May's Tart Kit: Nature Printing

In this last Tart kit, we are printing with natural stamps and a metallic paint onto a piece of black cotton. The paint picks up the details of the leaves and gives a sparkly sheen.

Prepare your fabric by pressing with an iron and taping to a soft protected surface. Use the foam brush or roller to dab paint onto the veined side of your leaf or leaves. Press the leaf carefully with your fingers to bring the paint into full contact with the fabric.

Now try printing with fruits or vegetables. Cut apples, pears, or peppers in half and cover with paint. Press onto the fabric. Carve into a cut end of a potato to create a stamp. Or as we did, cut across the root end of a whole celery and dip the cut ends into the paint. Your resulting stamp will resemble rose petals. Use a single stalk to fill in the gaps.

Consider using leaves and other flat natural items as resists and roll the paint over the leaves onto the surface of the fabric creating a negative print. When the paint has dried, heat set it with your protected iron.

Monday, April 23, 2012

April's Tart Kit: Lines and Splatters

In this month's kit, you have the supplies and three types of paint to create your own unique fabric. There's not much lesson as you are instructed to make lines and splatters with the paint and the tools in your own style. You want to build layers of color onto the hand dyed cotton. The two samples below show first a piece that was done without getting the fabric wet and the second is a sample of spritzing the cotton before applying the paint. Either way makes a great surface.  Susan cut her piece into strips and sewed them into a small quilt which was quilted and beaded.

The different paints will make different marks so experiment a lot. When you are done you will heat set the paint with your iron. If you are so inclined, add more marks by stamping or drawing. Build lots of cloth so that it will be available when you are ready to design.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March Tart Kit: Upcycled Art

We're preparing for Earth Day again this year by building a Tart kit around items for upcycling. You will take the kit contents and repurpose them into an art piece.

You have two book covers that have been removed from obsolete books. These will serve as your canvas. To cover the original color of the book cover, paint it with the gesso in the kit. You will then have a surface that can be painted or glued.

The other items in your kit can be altered as you see fit. One example is to color the used dryer sheet with paint and adhere it to the dried book cover with the gel medium.

The fabrics in the kit can be altered as well. You may paint them, tear them, stamp them and stitch them. Use the gel medium to "glue" it on. The gel medium is also great for adding buttons or other embellishments. Find objects in your studio to add to the composition such as glitter and foil.

One use for the paper towel included is to glue it over the gesso covered canvas with the gel medium. Here's a good reason to keep your clean up towels when you paint!

Try stenciling with paint, or collaging with tissue paper.

There are very few "rules" for you to follow. Just remember to use items that you already have and have fun.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February's Tart Kit: Thread Lace

In this month's kit, we are making lace with rayon thread and a meltable background. The kit contains both Kunin felt and Lutradur for you to experiment with.

The paint and brush are to be used to place a motif onto the felt using a stencil. Cut your own from the freezer paper or use a commercial stencil.

Once the paint dries, use the rayon thread (which will not melt when heated) to cover the painted areas completely. You may use a straight stitch or zig zag, whichever works best for you. Connect the motifs with interlacing thread to hold it all together. The more open the thread, the more open the resulting lace.

Using a heat tool, melt away the background felt. Be sure to protect your lungs by wearing a mask and be careful not to singe the thread by holding the tool too close or too long in one place.

The Lutradur does not need to be painted since it is translucent enough to trace a pattern. Fill in your motif with thread. Trim away the large areas of Lutradur and melt away the unstitched areas.

Use the melted pieces as appliques or backgrounds or focal points in your next art quilt.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

January's Tart Kit: Closing the Gap

This month's Tart kit is all about closures and the lesson is about designing around a single element or elements. Use any or all of the included fasteners and close the gap! Make your quilt relevant to the supplies. Be humorous or literal. Use the fasteners as intended or use them in creative ways. Have fun!

We have included a short demo in making frog closures and a Chinese button. Google frog closures and you will find several tutorials to help you build your frogs. It is easier to build your frog onto a surface that you can stitck pins into. By measuring the distance between loops and placing straight pins in your surface, you can get a balanced frog.

Think of the side that you can see as the back. Baste the loop intersections with matching thread before you remove the pins. One set of loops will be sewn to one of the pieces you are closing. The second set remains free and will connect the gap with a Chinese button or other button.

To make a Chinese button: Create several intersecting loops and weave one end of the cord over and under the loop sides, keeping your work open and loose.

Gradually pull both ends of the cord, allowing the loops to close up.

Cut the cords fairly close to the knot and tack them to the wrong side of the button so that they become invisible. Sew the button at the place where the frog loop will close your gap.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

December's Tart Kit: Using deColourant Plus

In this month's Tart kit, we are introducing you to a relatively new product that lets you remove color from fabric safely and replace it with another color. It is called deColourant Plus. It is non-toxic and allows the fabric to keep its soft hand. It is especially great for adding color to dark fabrics without painting. For this lesson we have included a deColourant with a metallic color for you to use on a dark fabric with a snowflake stamp. 

Prepare a padded surface and lay out your ironed fabric. You may want to tape it down. Decide how you will want to apply the deColourant. You can use stamps, stencils or apply the deColourant directly to the fabric. Use the included stamp or alter it by using the shape to make a stencil. Apply the deColourant directly to the stamp with the foam brush. You can vary the results depending on how much deColourant you apply to the stamp.


Directly applied


Allow the deColourant to dry thoroughly and iron. It won't matter whether you use a dry iron or steam, though your results may differ. The longer you iron, the more intense the results.

Finally, wash the excess deColourant out of your fabric and it is ready to use as background fabric or cut into strips or patches. You will find this process a very easy way to create one of a kind and unique fabric for your next art quilt.