Thursday, December 17, 2009

December's Tart Lesson: Bedazzling Beads

Bedazzling beads are strung with round commercial beads to decorate this Christmas tree. Sue made a dozen embossed felt beads and then embellished this holiday quilt as an example of using this month's lesson.

This easy project will have you rolling and melting! The supplies in the kit for the most part can be melted and/or painted and embossed and then melted. Work carefully, protecting yourself with a respirator and working in a well-ventilated area. You will be making beads by rolling any of the materials onto a skewer, securing with either glue or a straight pin and melting the roll together. The kit lesson includes a triangle shape to use or design your own. A rectangle shape will give you a bead that is kind of clunky where the triangle shape gives you tapered ends. Experiment with different shapes. Any of the materials can be altered before rolling them, but we found that sometimes the paint interferes with melting. Again, experiment. Making beads is quick and easy so you won't be spending alot of time trying out any of the fabrics or papers. The photo below is a sample of the different materials made into beads of different shapes and sizes.

For illustration purposes we are showing the Kunin felt rolled and melted. The felt was cut into a long skinny triangle and rolled around the skewer and secured with a pin. Next it was heated with a heat tool which melted it. The bead can then be left as it is or painted.

Or you can paint the rolled bead before melting it. Here it has been painted with the silver acrylic paint, covered with gold embossing powder ready to be melted.

The felt was layered with a few angelina fibers and organza before being cut into a triangle. It was then melted as one unit.

Make lots and lots of beads to keep with your stash of embellishments, ready to be sewn on the next art quilt you construct!

Friday, November 20, 2009

November's Tart Lesson: Painted Fusible Web

In this month's kit, you will be experimenting with coloring fusible web to use on the surface of your art piece. Instead of using the fusible web as a bonding product between two pieces of fabric, you will color it and leave it exposed to add color, texture and depth. The fusible will be a bit sticky when it is first applied to the surface but will lose that tackiness over time. However, remember that any time heat is applied to the fusible web, it will once again become sticky. Protect your iron!!

In the kit you have a piece of Wonder Under which is the fusible web with a paper backing. You will paint the web with a watery mix of acrylic paint. As the glue layer (the web) becomes wet it will partially lift off the backing and ripple. This is a good thing! Try painting two or more colors and see what happens when they bleed together. When the paint has dried, you will iron the web to a piece of background fabric. Cover with parchment paper and iron with a dry iron. Let it cool a bit and remove the backing paper. The results will look like the photo below.

To use the second piece of fusible web, you will be working with Misty Fuse which is the web without a paper backing. You can color Misty Fuse by immersing it in diluted fabric paint (Setacolor, Dye-na-flow, etc.) or diluted acrylic craft paint. We have included a jar of Pearl Ex Powder to add glitz to the Misty Fuse. Put a small amount of the powder into a ziplock bag, add a piece of Misty Fuse and shake the bag to adhere the powder to the web.

Take the Misty Fuse from the bag and lay onto your piece of fabric. With a pressing sheet over the top, fuse with a dry iron.

Try adding a small amount of water to the powder in the bag before you add the Misty Fuse and agitate to color the web. Take it out of the bag and let dry. Fuse to fabric. This gives a more spotty, but shinier look.
You can add foil to the fusible web that is adhered to the fabric in two ways. Lay the foil pretty side up over the fusible web and iron very lightly with an iron to get an overall foiled look. Don't use too much pressure or you will lose your painted web. Protect your iron!

Or iron the foil with the side of your iron to get stripes.

Try trapping fibers and snippets of stuff under the fusible web. Write, draw, or stamp on the fusible web. Mix Pearl Ex Powder into the acrylic paint to add sparkle and shine.

Monday, October 19, 2009

October's Lesson: Covered Cording

This month we will be giving you instructions to cover cording in a number of ways. Included in the kit are different widths of cording, threads, yarns, beads, and ribbons with which to cover them. Many of the examples we describe can be used with any of the cording, so mix and match to suit your style!

Cording can be covered with thread. Try zigzagging over the narrower cords using your machine and different types of thread. You may have to reduce the pressure on your machine's pressure foot, use a cording foot, or use your darning foot in order to cover the cord. Experiement with verigated thread or mix your top and bobbin threads.

Tear strips of fabric, twist and cover with machine zigzags.

Cords can be covered by tying a half-hitch knot over them. Use embroidery floss or yarn.

Cords can be wrapped with ribbon or fabric. Hold the wraps in place by either machine zigzagging or by hand.

Use the ribbon to weave two yarns together.

Treat the cord as trapunto to create lines in your fabric.

The cord can also be covered with beads. Arrange the cording on the surface of your piece and baste in place. It will probably be placed onto a finished quilt as an embellishment and in that case, you would want to use a hoop that was large enough to contain the entire beaded cord. For practice, use the fusible web and pellon that is included in the kit and fuse them to the fabric for a stablized surface.

Bring up your double threaded needle next to the cording. String on the number of beads it will take to cover the cord from one side to the other. Come down on the opposite side, pull snuggly and come again next to the first stitch.

You will come back to finish this end, starting next to the last row of beading. When you get to the end, finish off by gradually decreasing the number of beads you put onto the needle.

Use several cords together to tie around a journal cover. Or use the cords to add texture and dimension to the finished piece. Or incorporate the cords as design elements. Try the different widths of cords in as many ways as you can imagine until you find a favorite.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

September's Lesson: Silk Paper

Sue Anne has made silk paper to use as a fabric for this beautiful evening bag. The silk paper was layered with batting and a silk lining and quilted. It was then embellished with beads and a few silk appliques.

This month you will be making your own silk paper. The kit includes several types of silk fiber as well as some silk ribbon scraps. You will be using textile medium as the bonding product. Silk paper is made by laying silk fibers side by side onto netting fabric (we have included tulle), adding bits and pieces of other silk, or ribbon, or feathers, angelina, sequins, beads, dried flowers, seeds, threads, etc, and adding additional layers until you get the density of paper you want. It is important to build up the layers rather than starting with a too heavy piece of silk fiber. Once the fibers are in place, you will cover with your netting to control the fibers and saturate with water mixed with dishwashing liquid. Once it is fully wet, you will paint on the medium, let dry, remove the tulle or netting and then use however you would like.

The following pictures show you the layering process. Never cut the fibers, always pull them apart. Be sure to leave a margin around the tulle. Since you will be working with water, make sure you are working on a protected surface. The first photo shows the first layer; the second photo shows the second layer which is laid on top of the first in the alternate direction.

If you want, add your bits and pieces. Shape the silk fibers, lay the ribbon on top of the fibers or let snippets of ribbon fall whereever.

Cover the top of the silk fibers with another piece of tulle. You will have a tulle sandwich. With water mixed with a small amount of dishwashing liquid, paint over the fibers on top of the tulle, turning the sandwich over to make sure the piece is fully saturated.

Clean your brush and saturate the fibers with the textile medium. If you use the medium straight out of the bottle, it will have a stiffer hand than if you dilute it with a little water. Your choice. Experiement to find what you like best.

Find a good drying spot. Use a cookie cooling rack, a terry cloth towel, or make yourself a screen drying rack by covering an old picture frame with screening. Let your piece dry completely. The tulle should pull off when the silk is dry. However, you can leave the tulle if you would like.

The silk fibers can also be bonded with paper or cotton.

Use your paper as a background or as fabric within your artwork.

This last piece was done using only the short fibers call throwster or waste. It incorporates snippets of silk ribbon and some curly mohair.

The size of the piece is limited only by the amount of silk fibers and your tulle.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

August's Lesson: Texted Collage

This month we want you to use lettering and text as the primary design element. The kit includes a pen and stencil, tissue paper, a page from a book, dye, and a primed canvas background. The texted collage can then be used either as the whole quilt or as an applique or part of a larger piece.

First you will color the primed canvas with the dye. Dilute a small amount of the dye to the intensity you would like with water and apply with the foam brush and/or the mini-mister that is in your kit. Once the dye is dry, write across the background with the Sharpie pen. Write words, sayings, a recipe, a letter, anything that suits your fancy. Much of this writing will be covered with layers of paper, stamping, or paint. The text will become a subtle background element.

Dilute the Elmer's glue with water, one part to one part. Use the glue to adhere pieces of tissue paper, magazine or book text, computer printing, the top ply of decorated paper napkins or other bits and pieces. Cover the top with the glue, decoupaging it all to the canvas. If you'd like, while the glue is still wet, spritz more dye onto the surface.

When the surface has dried, add stamped images or words with ink or paint. The finished canvas may be cut and stitched.

This project is your chance to "make a statement"! It can truly be a one-of-a-kind piece especially if you have incorporated your own hand writing.

Monday, July 20, 2009

July's Lesson: Blue Glue Batik

This month's kit is a lesson on "batiking" with using Elmer's blue glue as a resist. The kit contains fabric, glue, fabric paint, and brushes. You may use the glue to draw, doodle, stamp or paint on the fabric. When the glue dries it will resist any paint that is brushed onto the fabric. In Sue's mountain scene, the glue is used to outline the mountains and to create the fence. Once the glue has dried, Sue painted the sky, the mountain, and the foreground with fabric paint. When the glue is rinsed out, it leaves the white, unpainted lines. In this piece, the fence then was colored with watercolor pencils. Machine quilting added the finishing details.

Create a whole cloth picture by outlining shapes with the tip of the bottle.

When the glue has dried, color each section with fabric paint. Lightly spritz the fabric in order to allow the paint to flow into each section. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly and then iron it with a protected iron in order to set the paint. Soak and rinse your piece to wash out the glue. Dry and press.
Doodle with the glue on a piece of white fabric. When the glue has dried, apply a wash of paint over the entire piece, allowing multiple colors to bleed together.

Your fabric can be painted or dyed before you begin the batik process. In the example below, by stamping with the glue and then painting a second color over the entire piece, the initial color will become visible when the glue is rinsed out.

In this last example, multiple layers of glue and paint have been applied to the fabric. After brushing glue onto the fabric and painting, the process can be repeated several times once the first layer has dried and been washed out.

You have now created pieces that may be incorported into a larger piece or cut into shapes for piecing or applique.