Technique of the Week #41 – Craft Store Rub Ons

img008Project Hours: 1 hour
Design and Materials: 1/2 hour
Execution: 1/2 hour +

Because my quilts are art quilts made for the wall and are hardly ever (as in NEVER) washed, I decided to see if I could make some craft store rub-ons that are made for paper work on fabric.
The answer?  Yup, you can.  I only ironed this piece from the back so that I did not touch the rub-on with the iron directly, and it still worked out great.  A simple design here to showcase 4 different rub-ons.  These were literally in the dollar section of the store, but in any scrapbook section you can find some rub-ons. I do NOT know what will happen if washed, but I assume they will wash off.  You may be able to cover them in a fabric or matte medium for permanence!

Technique of the Week #40 – The Spilling Canvas Mixed Media

img009Project Hours: 2 hours
Design and Materials: 1 hour
Execution: 1 hour +

A while ago I had the pleasure of taking a class with Traci Bautista called The Spilling Canvas.   The idea was to layer and layer and layer some more with all manner of fabric marking tools, and in the end you have a wonderful fabric from which you can make lovely things.  I used a lot of marking tools I had never used before, like Tulip Spray paints, and lots of fabric pens and gelly pens used for t-shirts in the big box craft stores.
tow2The class had a lot of freedom to draw your own designs, and I went for it with all of my favorites, octopuses and the girly girl I seem to always draw.  But in the end, the octopus fabric was too cool to cut up and may be better as a wholecloth piece.  So I chose to cut out the design at the top as my weekly quilt.  I have used this technique lots of times since, so it was a great class, and I recommend Traci as a teacher if you are able to take one of her awesome classes!

Technique of the Week #39 – Soy Wax Batik

Yr 4 week 39Project Hours: 4 hours
Design and Materials: 1 hour
Execution: 3 hours +
After being so awful at Batiking, I thought that trying my hand at this again was going to be a disaster.  Soy wax is MUCH easier to deal with than the Jaquard beeswax batik wax.  In fact, I love the fabrics I made using the Soy Wax.  The cleanup was much easier, as you can iron out the fabric much easier than the other stuff.
Wax batik fabricsThere’s tons of soy wax batik instructions out there, but this was taught to me by Jeannie Palmer Moore at CREATE Chicago sometime ago.  We used paint in this class to color the fabrics, which I suppose you could use thickened dyes, etc.  We used acrylic paint, and it worked out great.  The hand of the fabric was not stiff or hard to sew through as the other batik fabric I made.
I can see myself using this much more than the other stuff, and the soy wax is easy to find.

Technique of the Week # 38 – Shaving Cream Marbling

Project Hours: 2 hours

Design and Materials: 1 hour

Execution: 1 hour +


This project was so fun and it didn’t hardly take any time at all to do.  All you need is a can of shaving cream, a wipe-able surface and some Tsukineko inks.

To start, you spray your shaving cream (not the gel kind) in a section on your table or surface.  Then you smooth it out with a flat edge of a ruler or piece of cardboard.

Then you drip on your inks, and I used the end of a paintbrush to drag through them for some marbling effects.
Then you lay your fabric onto the surface of the shaving cream to pick up the ink and gently pat until you see the ink through the back of the fabric.  Wait about 5 minutes, then wipe the excess cream off the fabric.  Iron well when dry.  

It was so fun!  I even did an octopus for the Technique of the Week project series!

Technique of the Week #37 – Suminagashi Marbling on Fabric

Project Hours: 2 hours

Design and Materials: 1 hourExecution: 1 hour +

Suminagashi is a marbling technique for fabric or paper that is done with inks that float on top of the surface of water.  I learned about this technique from a recent meeting of the Fiber Art Divas, and went to Dick Blick to purchase the supplies to try it.
The cool thing about this technique (or the most frustrating part) is that the design is mostly up to how steady you are at dropping the ink onto the surface of the water, and any air current or bumping of the table you do.  If you like organic results, this is for you!
I got the above palate pan and filled it with about an inch and a half of water.  I got this marbling kit in the airbrush ink section.  It’s from Japan, made for this technique.  You use the paintbrushes to lightly dab the ink onto the surface of the water.  You then use a surfactant (like a little dish soap in water) to separate your colors and layers.  Blowing on the water or dragging a cat whisker through the water creates the patterns.  You lay your fabric down in a sort of roll to pick up the ink on the surface of the water.
I finished playing with this technique in about 2 hours, so it was a perfect distraction from my busy days.  My results are below, done on PFD (Prepared For Dyeing) fabric.  I cold over marble and do other things for greater effect, but I had a blast.  Now what to make out of the fabric?