Sunday, February 25, 2007

February’s Technique for FAF

The Fiber Art Friends are doing a different technique each month this year. For February we are creating surface texture using different materials. So far the only thing I’ve done with this is stitching with embroidery threads to create texture. I turned it into an ATC and swapped with Doreen.

I do have some examples I have done in the past to create surface texture. Some of you may remember seeing these from a post I did last year. For those of you who haven’t, these are a few samples from a wall quilt I put together showing 20 different techniques to use in your quilt art.

I stamped images onto light colored fabric using Xpandaprint then heated with the heat gun. I painted the raised images with acrylic and dry brushed with metallic bronze paint. I machine stitched the lighter piece to the darker background fabric. I added hand stitching using metallic threads.

I wrapped a wire frame with Grilon thread wrapping in both directions; covered with chiffon and laid various scraps of fibers, lame, bulky yarns, threads, etc on top. I covered with a piece of tulle and free-motion stitched all over. I then cut it from the frame and plunged into very hot water to shrink the Grilon threads causing the piece to draw up. I then stitched it to a felt base.

Multicolored piece: covered Bondaweb with metallic threads and Angelina fibers; covered with second piece of Bondaweb and fused together. I then laid it on a piece of Solvy and free motion stitched all over. Next I lightly foiled over the entire piece, rinsed away Solvy and let dry. I heated it with the heat gun to melt away most of the Bondaweb to create a lacy effect. I stitched to black felt and then stitched to a piece of wine felt.

Green and Gold piece: I used wadded plastic wrap to apply 3 shades of green onto plain muslin and let dry. I applied a thick layer of Mod Podge for fabric over the paint, let it set for 20 – 25 minutes then imprinted the swirl design and let dry over night; gold foil was then applied.

Green paper piece: This is another piece using painted brown paper which I crumpled up after it was dry. I fused a layer to wonder under; then fused a second crumpled up piece on top of it. I applied some gold rub n’ buff and added the copper wire and beads.

Red piece: I stitched some lace to a background of muslin, dabbed on Xpandaprint and used heat gun to puff up paint. I couched down some cording on top of lace, painted with acrylic paint and let dry. I then dry brushed with metallic gold and added a bead made from tyvek wrapped with wire and beads. I am not sure what caused those lighter spots in the picture, but the actual piece is darker all over.

You can read about the wall hanging with all of the samples by going here.

This tree trunk was created by brushing Xpandaprint onto a plain fabric and then heated with the heat gun. It was painted with a couple of shades of brown and touches of gold added for highlights. It was then cut out and used in one of my art pieces from an online class. Here it is shown laying on a piece of felt.

This last piece is an experiment gone wrong. I can’t remember exactly what it was that I was trying for but this is what I did. I started with a piece of heavy denim and painted the outer edges (about an inch in) with gesso and then sprinkled on some sea salt. In the center I spread down some heavy gel medium. When it was dry I painted it using acrylic paints. I had no idea what I was doing and the colors did not blend like I wanted. At the same time I took a piece of saran wrap and dropped paint onto it and then wadded it up to mix and spread the colors. I opened the wrap and left it to dry. Once it was dry I wadded the wrap up again and heated it with the heat gun, manipulating it to sort of a flower shape. I then tacked it to the base piece. It is ugly but it gives you an idea of using things other than fabric to create texture in your work.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

TAST week 8

I managed to get my Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge piece done early for a change. The stitch for week 8 is the fly stitch.

Here is my ATC:

click on photo for larger image

The background was done entirely on the Xpression. I used a base of tear away stabilizer. The sky has both wool fibers and some silk noil. The meadow is entirely of wool fibers. I wasn’t entirely happy with the front when I finished so I turned the piece over and felted it just enough to cause the fibers to blend more on the front side.

It is hard to see the fly stitch in the darker foreground; my floss (DMC) blended in more than I intended it to, but if you click on the photo you can see the stitching in the larger image.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

TAST result week 7

Here is my ATC featuring the feather stitch for the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge for week 7.

click on pic for larger image

I started with a piece each of green and blue felt and blended them together with my Janome Xpression. I then added bits and pieces of organza, strips of tulle, wool fibers and eyelash yarn which I covered with another piece of tulle and felted these together. I then added the feather stitching and the little fish beads.

Although it is hard to see, I really like the way the background blended together. This is my first true embellished piece using the Xpression. I am going to have to start playing around with it some more.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Good Mail because...

The postal carrier had a special little package for me today. Doreen of Creative Meanderings asked to do an ATC swap and it came today.

click on pic for a bigger image

This scan does not do it justice. The leaf and the gold stitching sparkle, as does the deep blue stitching. There is so much texture on this, I just love it. The colors are some of my favorite. It came with a beautiful little card. I don’t think Doreen has received mine yet, so I will not show it here just yet.

I can show you another birthday postcard I made for Lynda, who is another Fiber Arts Friend whose birthday is also this month.

I layered a piece of painted dryer sheet, purple and violet wool fibers, purple Angelina fibers, more wool fibers, and some torn strips of the dryer sheet onto a piece of purple felt. I hand needle felted these all together. Then I covered it with a piece of tulle and free-motion stitched it down. Happy Birthday was stitched on my embroidery machine. I chose the purples for the obvious reason that Lynda is known as “purple missus”.

A Postcard for a Friend

Now that I know that she has received it, I can show you the postcard I made for my friend Margaret (Digital Gran) who is a member of FAF with me.

click on pic for larger image

It is hard to get a good scan of a piece when it has a lot of colors/texture that blends like this. I chose these colors because I knew she liked them and uses them a lot in her art. It is hard to read Happy Birthday, but I didn't want it to stand out from the background.

I can also count this as an example of one way to add texture to a piece of your work. February’s challenge for FAF is creating surface texture using different materials. I used rayon thread snippets, metallic threads and small fabric bits fused together and free motion stitched. Some gold foil was added and tulle was placed over the top; I used the built-in feather stitch on the machine to stitch the edge and then free motion stitched over the rest. Happy Birthday was stitched using the embroidery unit.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

TAST-week 6

Here is my take on the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge. For week 6 the stitch is the Algerian eye stitch, similar to an eyelet stitch. I am still working in an ATC format with felt as the base, but this time I added some painted cheesecloth before stitching. I used a pearl crown rayon embroidery thread.

This Past Week and...

It has been really cold this past week. I finished up two postcards and an ATC earlier in the week, but didn’t get to the post office until Thursday. I will post pictures after I know they have reached their destination. On Tuesday I painted some cheesecloth and let them soak over night in their containers. I spread them out Wednesday to let them dry. Thursday night I worked on my ATC for TAST but it is not quite finished.

And Friday…I bought the Janome Xpression Needle Punch Felting Machine. I have been debating on this for quite some time; in fact I almost got one for Christmas but had decided to wait. I have been oohing and aahing the work of many people and decided I was just going to go ahead and take the plunge.

I “played” around with it just a little while and made a couple of samples.

The background or base is a piece of felt. The red strips are pieces of felt also that I “punched” into the background. I then played with the orange and gold bulky yarn to see how it reacted to different amounts of felting. It is about 5 x 7 inches.

I think I will place it in my Fiber Art Friends journal and count it as one of my experiments for February’s technique of “creating texture”.

Here is the second piece:

The base is felt once again. I then added a piece of painted dryer sheet. Next I added a square of purple and silver cotton lame` and a strip of dark purple tulle. In the center is a short length of bulky yarn. This will probably go into my journal also. It is smaller than an ATC.

Monday, February 05, 2007

TAST-week 5

The stitch for week 5 of the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge is the Chevron stitch. It is not necessarily one of the best stitches, but neither are some of the others when used alone. I dressed it up with detached chain, straight stitch and French knots.

Here is my ATC featuring the chevron stitch:

I used six strands of DMC cotton floss for the chevron stitch and three strands for each of the other two colors.