Technique of the Week #23 – Multi-part printing or Faux Screenprinting

Project Hours: 5 hours
Design and Materials: 1 hour
Execution: 4 hours


This week’s technique is from this month’s issue of Cloth Paper Scissors.  Melanie Testa had hinted that this technique was something she helped test for a friend, and turns out that friend is her road-trip roommate from CREATE, Patricia Gaignat.  I had the pleasure of meeting her at CREATE as well.  
I am not going to give away how this was done because you should really get the magazine and give it a try, but I will say that I did this with sticky-backed fun foam and fabric paint.  The fun foam was cut into my multi part print, and then mounted onto clear template plastic to help me align the pieces.  I varied from the magazine only in using fabric paint on fabric (not paper) and the mounting on plastic.
This technique is so much easier than I had thought when Melly was showing her results way way back at IQA Chicago in April.  I could not fathom how to line us the pieces, until I realized you could do so on acetate or plastic.  
This little Octo is one of the first for me to have his legs cross over one another, something that made this project a little tougher.  
I didn’t do that good of a job registering my plates, but there’s next time, and I have the plates forever.  They wash up nicely.  This would be great for ATCs.

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Technique of the Week #22 – Thread Painting

Project Hours: 8 hours
Design and Materials: 2 hours
Execution: 6 hours
It was soooooo good to be back in the “saddle” again.  I took this thread painting class from Elin Waterston at the Cloth Paper Scissors’ art retreat called CREATE.  I had one day, so I was limited in my choices of classes to take, and when I saw this one, I thought it wasn’t going to be something I was interested in, but as usual, I was wrong.  I also thought I “knew how to do that” so it wasn’t going to hold my interest.  Again, wrong!
Essentially thread painting is the layering on of thread free motion style to build up a subject.  Like painting, except with thread.  So the octopus here is only made with thread.  The shading is done to give him some dimension.
The first thing Elin teaches you about thread painting is that there are no mistakes.  And that sums up how our approach was: a free and casual approach.
We were encouraged to bring designs with us, but of course, I had been thinking for two weeks of a subject with no inspiration.  When I got to class, I was going to make an octopus or a pomegranate.  I chose to stay “on theme” for this year, with this little dude.
There are things I did “wrong” that worked itself out, like some puckering that ended up “quilting out” and the shadows of his bumps on his head were done in reverse, so they look like holes.  OOPS.  Oh well, he was an experiment. 
A couple of things: this eats up thread. A LOT OF THREAD, so if you covet your expensive thread you may not want to try this.  Second, Elin teaches you to look up, get up, get away every 20 minutes or so.  This was critical, since I ended up hunched over the bed of the loaner Bernina 440 machine slaving away to cover my background.  The class hours were from 9 am to 4 pm, and we sewed for about 4 of those hours. In that time I got the octopus above done and most of the machine quilting, and he isn’t finished yet, so I will post a photo of the finished work later this week! I’ll be adding a section of beads and an embroidered school of fish to complete him.  Enjoy!

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Technique of the Week # 20 – Notan Japanese Cut Quilt

Project hours: 2 hours
Design and materials: 1 hours
Execution: 1 hours

I learned about this awesome technique many moons ago on Jane Dunnewold’s website.  She has a great tutorial here about the art of Notan, or light and dark design principles usually demostrated with papercutting.  This isn’t about Scherenschnitte, German scissor cutting, though they can be similar.  The voids you leave in the paper, flipped outwards are an extension of the design in this technique.  Be sure to check out Jane’s website for more info than I could possibly explain here.   
Papercutting is a great design source for quilting, and I was stumped at first to come up with a design that I wanted to actually cut from fabric.  This is one instance where my “Year of the Cephalopod” comes in handy, it’s an easy design resource.  I was able to make this octopus design quickly, and I was happy with the results.  Most Notan is done in black and white for easy contrast, but to take the technique one step further I decided to use grey and pink.
Sorry it’s not quilted yet, it’s been a hectic week!

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Technique of the Week #19 – Shading with MistyFuse

Project hours: 2 hours
Design and materials: 1 hours
Execution: 1 hours

MistyFuse is a paperless fusible web that comes in white, black, and ultraviolet.  Iris, the wonderful woman at MistyFuse, had some that wasn’t black enough, but was perfect for what I want it for, so I bought a whole bolt. 
The pear is layers of MistyFuse to create the “drawing” of the fruit.  No tulle is used.  How I did this was to draw out a design onto paper, including marking where I wanted the shading of the layers to lay.  I laid a small piece of MistyFuse down over the drawing, and holding the MistyFuse with one hand, I snipped away the excess with the other.  I did this for each layer, and fused it down with my Goddess pressing sheet as I cut them.  It was really neat to see the design take shape.  More complicated designs would take longer, but I can see using this for shading still lifes, people, and much more. I especially like how it looks hand drawn.

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Technique of the Week #18 – Watercolor fusible interfacing

Project hours: 5 hours
Design and materials: 3 hours
Execution: 2 hours

Some projects are better than others, and the same goes for techniques.  I had this iron-on interfacing that you fuse your specially chosen watercolor charm squares down onto, and then you just “fold and sew” along the lines to make this easy to do watercolor effect.  The hardest part was picking out the fabrics, and I had a box of old Keepsake Quilting swatches that I used for this purpose.  The squares were one and a half inches to start, but because of how I spaced them on the interfacing I got more or less mileage, depending.
The down side was that this interfacing is so bulky at the seams when you are finished, that I really didn’t want to go further and quilt it. I know this is a “needlebreaker”.  It’s so thick at the seams in the intersections I don’t know how I will avoid them.  I ironed on my tentacles to act as my silhouetted “gate”, as I knew I didn’t want to do a traditional gate.  This wasn’t hard to do, but having done it, I don’t think I will want to revisit it.

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