Sunday, December 21, 2008

December's Tart Kit: MagicStamp

This month's lesson will be using a MagicStamp and ProFab textile paint to create images on fabric. Sue imprinted keys into her MagicStamp to print the center piece of the quilt above. As you can see, this printing will make a negative image as the paint on the stamp colors the fabric around the key. There is one key shape that is actually stamped. Sue put paint directly onto the key before printing.

You will start with a "clean" piece of blue foam - the MagicStamp, a rubber stamp, and ProFab textile paint. Heat the blue foam with a heat gun for about 30 seconds, being careful to not overheat it. Once heated, press it onto the rubber stamp and hold for 20 seconds. The stamp is now imprinted into the foam.

With a foam brush, spread the textile paint onto the foam and press onto fabric. For multiple prints, it is best to print before the paint dries - wet on wet. When finished with printing, let the paint image dry completely and then set it with an iron. If the printed fabric will be washed, let it set for at least 14 days before washing. The foam cleans easily with water.

Once you are done with one imprint and the foam is clean, use the heat gun again to "erase" the image. The MagicStamp is now ready to take another imprint. As long as you do not melt the foam, it can be used over and over. Remember to use both sides!

Besides using the rubber stamp, look for interesting textures and shapes in other objects. This old rusted wire basket will be imprinted after heating the foam.

Also in the kit is a length of weatherstripping which can be cut to make your own geometric, foam stamps.

Your cloth has been painted and stamped. By making your own fabric, you will be creating your own original quilted piece.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

November Tart Kit: Angelina

The kit this month gives you a chance to play with Angelina fibers and film and to use it as a design element in your next piece. The butterfly above was made by Sue using the Angelina film and Extravorganza. She sandwiched the printed butterfly between two pieces of film and pressed. She trimmed around the design just outside of the film edges which had adhered together. The sunflower was also printed on the Extravorganza and fused onto a yellow fabric, trimmed and appliqued to the background.

Angelina is wonderfully colored fibers and film that can be pressed, cut, sewn, stamped, painted, and much more. It has the ability to add sparkle and shimmer to the surface of a piece. The Angelina fibers in the kit are called hot fix and will adhere, generally, only to themselves. It is very important that you use a press cloth so that they don't stick to your iron or something that you do not want Angelina'd!

Take a small amount of fiber or a lot and arrange it on the press sheet, cover with another sheet and press for about 3 seconds on a silk setting. The more you iron, the more you change the surface of the Angelina - especially the color. Once it is pressed, it can be stitched, cut, or torn.

Angelina fibers can be mixed, or patterned.

Because Angelina sticks to itself, you can entrap yarn, fabric, or sequins between two layers, allowing the bottom and top fibers to come into contact.

By placing Angelina fibers between two pieces of water soluble stablizer, you can create a lacy effect. Wash away the stablizer and let the piece dry before you iron.

You can also press a sheet of Angelina, cut up and place with other snippets of yarns and threads between the water soluble stablizer and stitch.

The Angelina film will melt with the heat of the iron or a heat gun. Use it in strips to make beads. Or crumple it and iron it and it will look like crystals.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October Tart Kit: Pin Weaving

This month's lesson will give you the basics of weaving on a portable loom as well as instruction on doing randon fabric weaving. Hopefully, the photos will make the written instructions a little more understandable. The first photo show the pins in place along a piece of graph paper placed on top of a foamcore board and a yarn wrapped around the pins. This is called warping the loom.

The warp thread can be split with a double row of pins allowing a slit in the weaving like a buttonhole. The weft material will split around the slit or it can be woven back and forth up to the slit.

By placing the outside pins in an irregular line, your finished piece will not be straight across. You will use the outside pins to create your finished edge so it can be exactly as you want.

The next photo shows two things: you may warp the loom with different types of thread (see the heavier, darker thread and notice it is split; and the placement of the weft material in an arc. Leaving the weft material in an arc will allow it to be "beat" into place without pulling in the side warp giving a more even weaving.

When the weft material is in place, use a comb or plastic fork to "beat" it into place. You can beat it as tight or loose as preferred.

By weaving a craft stick in your weave and standing it on edge, you will create a shed or opening that allows you to move your weft material across the weaving. This will help if you have a heavy yarn or weft material that will not pull through the warp yarns easily. Otherwise you may use the weaving needle to go over and under the warp yarns.

The following photo shows a mostly finished piece. Not the slit on the right, the uneven botton edge, the curves in the weft material, the variation of the widths of the weft materials, and the changes of weft material. Experiment with laying in a heavier weft and filling around with a lighter yarn.
This next photo shows the weaving of silk ribbon in a diamond shape. By placing the pins in a specific line, you may create pretty much any shape you desire.

In this next weaving, the weft materials are left loose as fringe along the top and bottom sides. The middle section was woven with a selvedge by taking the weft back across the warp in the opposite direction without breaking the thread. The weft can meet in the interior of the weaving - either separating with a slit or by crossing and integrating with the second color.

The alternate weaving option is to use random fabric weaving. Strips of fabric are laid across a piece of fusible interfacing. By lifting every other strip and laying a strip across the warp, the fabric is interwoven. The next row will be accomplished by lifting alternating strips. Once the piece is woven, press with the iron to adhere it to the interfacing and remove the pins.

Curves may be cut and interwoven. The trick is to cut the curved strips side by side and keep them in order! You will then put them back strip by strip in the original order.

In either method, experiment with different weaves. The basic weave is over one, under one, reversing in the opposite direction. A basket weave is over two, under two, reserving in the opposite direction. Try over one, under two. Once you have finished weaving, remove the pins. Integrate the piece into a larger quilted piece or use separately. Add texture to your weaving, by incorporating beads, wood, torn strips of fabric or paper. Dare to experiment!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

September Tart Kit: Lutradur

This month's kit contains a piece of Lutradur and several products that you can use to alter it. Sue made this little quilt by coloring the Lutradur with watercolor pencils, melting it, cutting it out and sewing it to her background piece.

This piece of Lutradur has been "washed" with the watercolor pencils and melted with a heat gun. Melting it gives a lacy effect.

After using watercolor pencils, a gold PaintStik was applied by rubbing it over a rub plate. It was then melted.

The Lutradur was dyed with a Procion dye. See how the dye concentrates along the spun fibers.

Sue made a sample of different paints on the Lutradur. The bottom was first covered with gesso - one and two coats. You can see the subtle differences. Make your own sample to keep as a resource.

Foil can be applied using a fusible web. While Lutradur has a matte finish, the foil adds glitz! Melt it afterwards for an interesting texture.

Lutradur can be printed on. The photo on the left is a copy on paper. The photo on the right is the same image on the Lutradur. Be sure to use a back paper in the printer as the ink will permeate the Lutradur.Jamie layed the printed image of Lutradur onto a background, batting and backing and stitched with threads and yarns. Where the Lutradur showed, it was melted out, leaving the background cotton showing through. It was then incorporated into a finished piece.

Monday, August 18, 2008

August Tart Kit: Sheer Sensation

Our lesson this month comes to us courtesy of Peggy Holt. Her use of sheer fabric over silk flowers and colorful threads was featured in a past issue of Quilting Arts magazine. We have designed our kit to make use of her techniques. The above quilt was made by Peggy.

You will begin by layering a muslin backing, piece of batting, and a colorful background. We have included our hand-dyed cottons for this purpose. You may construct a background by stitching or by collaging the cotton. This background piece should be centered on the batting with a couple of inches margin. Lay the piece of organza over the top and baste at the top edge.

Pull back the organza to reveal the background. Lay the silk flowers and threads in a pleasing arrangement. You may want to spray baste these items to hold them in place.

Pull the organza down over the silk flowers. The organza will be a few inches larger than the background.

Quilt around the silk flowers and add decorative stitching. As you quilt the piece, the extra organza will pleat and fold. By stitching around the silk flowers, they will become more visible under the organza.

When you are finished quilting, you may bind this small piece or incorporate it into a large compostion. Try experimenting with other brightly colored backgrounds, silk leaves, and other colors of organza. This last quilt is another example of Peggy's use of a sheer fabric over silk flowers.