12 Days of Christmas Project 10 – Covered Canvas Fabric Art

17 12 2011

Oh well another better late than never effort here, but hopefully the adaptiveness of this project will make up for my tardiness.  We have had some unexpected visitors in the last two days and when you have not seen people for twenty plus years it seems a bit rude to say, ‘love to chat but I need to blog – 2000+ people are waiting for today’s entry’ – rude and pretentious.

Now, I am going to show you one option for creating fabric wall art, but I hope that you will take the ideas and adapt them because the sky is the limit really once we break down the steps.  I recommend three basic parts, each which can be varied:  a surface designed background, padding or bulk in the middle, which can be quilted if you like; and a focal point.  I have used the silver leaves because it works with my theme but you could use applique, collage, photos, anything.

So for the first step, I used a fat quarter of black hand dyed sateen and two deColourant Mists – one clear and one dusty rose.  I also used some leaves from the garden.  Ferns work really well for this technique, but we don’t have any, so use any leaves you like the size and shape of.  The more interesting the better.

lay your leaves on your fabric, push down to keep fairly flat.  Lightly spray the surface with the uncoloured deColourant mist.  Spray from the top down rather than from an angle to ensure you are not getting under the leaves.

Remove the leaves and let the fabric dry.

The pattern will start to show up once it is ironed but you can start to see the complexity of the pattern already.  Steam iron with a hot iron.

Once ironed, replace your fabric and lay the leaves on at a different set of angles.  Spray, allow to dry and then steam iron again.  Spray your fabric for a third time, but this time use the deColourant Plus.  This has colour added to it.

Both the deColourant gel and mist come in deColourant Plus versions.  These not only remove colour but also leave a new colour in its place.  I love these on dark fabrics like the black and the blue I am using in this project. anyone notice the blue photos turned black?  Seamless aren’t I?

So, for the third spray, use the deColourant plus.  In the photo below you can see the colour on the leaves.  Spray fairly heavily to get an even coverage.

Again allow to dry and steam iron.  Your background fabric is now ready for the next stage.

You can do anything for your background.  You can use prepared commercial fabric, you can paint instead of discharge, you can use stencils or masks.  A mask is just something that prevents the colour getting to the background by masking or resisting.  The leaves I have used are a mask.  There are a heap of fabulous commercial ones available or you can use items from around the house.

For the second stage, you need to prepare the frame or canvas that you are going to mount your piece into or onto.  I am using an artist canvas which is readily available and cheap.  I have cut some wadding to the same size as the canvas and glued it to the surface.

Next, I am going to wrap my fabric over the wadded surface around the sides and, tucking in the corners, staple the fabric to the canvas to hold it in place, keeping it taut.  You can glue, stitch, thread or staple at this stage.  You might choose to take the glass out of a cheap frame and wrap the fabric around the backing card.  In that case you may not need nor want the bulk of the wadding.

If your focus point is applique or something you need to stitch through, don’t attach the fabric until you have completed that – obviously it will make it hard to applique if the fabric is already stappled to a frame.

This photo is a bit light, but you get the idea.

The third element is your focal point.  For that you can do anything.  Choose a theme that suits the decor of the person receiving the piece and tie it in with your colour selection and surface design patterns.  I continued the leaf theme.

While I was discharging the fabric, I was dehydrating some of the leaves off the tree that I took my mask leaves off.  For information on how to dehydrate flowers and leaves, this website is very comprehensive – http://tipnut.com/how-to-dry-flowers-a-collection-of-tips/

These will be fragile, so I have painted them gently and sealed the back to give some reinforcement and strength.  The first lot I painted silver and tried against the black and the blue backgrounds.

I also painted some rust and teal ink over the leaves, but did not like that so much, though it was getting there.  It is worth experimenting to get the look you are after.

In the end, I aged some painted dried leaves with distress ink and embossing powder, but I will show you the final version after Christmas as the recipient is watching my sites hoping to see her gift.

Anyway, this suits my friend.  I hope that you can take the concepts and the techniques and tailor it to gifts for people you know.

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