Wednesday, February 17, 2010

February Tart Lesson: Embossing Bamboo Batting

Who says batting has to be used only as the middle of a quilt sandwich? This month's Tart lesson will have you texturing and coloring bamboo batting to use on the surface of an art quilt. Sue Anne used a floral texture plate to emboss a piece of bamboo batting. In this sample she used dye and Lumiere to color it, then quilted and beaded it. This is piece with textue and interest.

The materials you will use include bamboo batting, a texture plate, textile medium, dye and paint. It is important to use what seems to be the wrong side of the batting in order to get a good impression. This side will have flecks of bamboo and a rougher look and it will be placed next to the texture plate. The side you don't use is clearer in color and smoother. The texture plate in the kit isdesigned for rubbing so it is heat sensitive. However, with a careful hand you can use it in this application by not overheating the batting when you make the impression. Mix the textile medium with water 1:1 and fill the mini-mister. Spritz the "wrong" side of the batting until the batting is moist; do not saturate.

Lay the texture plate onto a protected hard surface. Cover it with the wet side of the batting and cover with a piece of parchment paper. Using an iron set on cotton, press firmly for about 2 seconds. Use a little pressure in order to get a good impression. Try other textures such as a metal grids, or rubber stamps, or wooden print plates, or a heavy doily, or found objects. Be aware of the heat issue.

Let the batting dry completely.

Now you can color the batting. Mix the dye with water to the saturation of your choice and spritz or brush the color onto the batting. You may also use paint that has been diluted. The amount of color you use will be your choice. The depressions will be more visible if you do not oversaturate the batting.

When the paint has dried, you may apply highlights of a second color such as Lumiere. Use a dry brush application to just hit the high areas.

Adding color to the textile medium and water mixture will eliminate a step in this process. Once embossed and colored, the bamboo batting can become a wonderful textured background.