8 fabulous tutors, one online community

31 01 2016

I am very excited to tell you about my next venture.  I am part of the Fiber Art Connection.  This is an online class, but better – an online community for you to join and share.  I am so honoured to be amongst this amazing group of artists.

http://www.fiberartconnection.com/

This series of workshops will have each of us taking charge for a week and sharing ideas, techniques and some projects.  You will have access to lots of varied, but complementary skills for you to take on as they are released or when ever it suits you.  As an online series of classes, you can do these at your leisure when and where it suits you.  You can even do it in your pyjamas if you prefer.  Most importantly, once you are registered, you have access to the material forever.

Here are the line up of tutors in the order of their material being released and where you can see their work.

  1. Desiree Habicht – http://www.desireehabicht.com/
  2. Candy Glendening – http://www.candiedfabrics.com/
  3. Liz Kettle – http://www.textileevolution.com/
  4. Roxane Leesa – http://roxanelessa.com/
  5. Ruth Chandler – https://ruthchandlerdesignsblog.wordpress.com/
  6. me!
  7. Deborah Babin – http://www.deborahbabin.com/ and
  8. Rayna Gillman – http://www.studio78.net/

There will be a blog hop, give aways and great workshops.  We plan on having some fun!  Why not join us.

Registration opens on February 15th and the first class kicks of March 15th.  Follow this link to read more:  http://www.fiberartconnection.com/what-is-fac.html





12 Days of Christmas – Day 12 – Textile Art Kits

17 12 2015

If you are reading this, it is probably no surprise to you that I like to work with lots and lots of different fabrics to get a good mix of texuture and light reflection and refraction.  You can’t go past adding different types of fabrics to change the visual impact of a finished piece.  I have routinely been asked to create kits for some of my more textural quilts.   So, I have started doing that.  For today’s special, I offer 25% off any kits currently listed on the website while stock lasts.  I don’t have huge numbers of any of these kits.  To get the discount, you need to use the discount code Christmas15

Here is the link to Kits on the website:  http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/c/256569/1/kits.html

And here are pictures of the kits I have loaded up

Textured Garden sml

Scattered circles table runner sml

coneflower

Wild women newsletter version





12 Days of Christmas – Day 9 – Working with Hessian or Burlap

14 12 2015

Hessian is one of my favourite ‘specialty’ fabric as it has such great texture.  When you mix up your fabrics using some rough, some shiny, some flat, some luscious, you get a lot of visual contrast, dimension and complexity.

Generally working with the specialty fabric is not that much harder than working with cottons, but some may need some extra love to get them to behave.  Hessian does need a little bit of preparation to get it to be nice.  It is, fundamentally an industrial fabric, not designed for fine sewing and textile art projects but that does not mean we can not use it.  I want to discuss some of the issues.

  1.  It is grubby, flakes and smells.  Yes, it does all of those things.  However it also washes easily, can easily be ironed and softens once washed.  Washing it can be a challenge.  If you have a large amount, you need a big container to soak it in.  Don’t put it in your washing machine.  If you have small pieces, the movement of washing it might result in a lot of fraying and unravelling.  See below about fraying.  I have largely fixed this problem for you with the hand dyed hessian.  The process of scouring, dyeing and rinsing the dyed hessian has removed almost all of the excess fibre, has cleaned out all the rubbish and significantly softened the hand of the fabric.  I have also cut off the frayed bits and put them in my stash.
  2. It frays.  Yes, it can do that too.  You can hem the hessian, including a blind or rolled hem or you can stitch the edges to stabilise them.  If you have an overlocker (serger) use this or just do solid zigzag around the edges a couple of times.
  3. It is itchy and prickly.  Once it is washed, this is largely resolved, but don’t use hessian in a bed quilt or baby toys for obvious reasons.
  4. It is hard to cut straight.  Although this does not bother me that much personally, I understand that you might not be comfortable with unevenness.  This is easily resolve by finding the first straight strand or thread that reaches from each ends of the hessian.  Slowly pull that out and you will have a clear, straight channel to trim the hessian back to.

Despite some of these negatives, hessian is well worth including in your textile and mixed media work.  In small amounts it can really change the visual impact of a piece.  It is also a fabulous textural background that leaves scope for pretty much any project direction.  It irons well and can be used with any double sided web such as Vliesofix etc.

I have 20 different colours in hand dyed hessian and todays special is for you to buy six but only pay for five.  I also have a small number of scap bags available on the website.

http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/p/8828590/hand-dyed-hessian-pieces—20-colours-to-choose-from.html

This photo shows 18 of the 20 colours.

burlap

Like most things, there are heaps of ideas and photos on the web.  Google working with Hessian or Burlap and you will find heaps.  There is also a number of boards on Pinterest.  Here is one example.    https://www.pinterest.com/glhaygirl/working-with-burlap/





12 Days of Christmas 2015 – Day 3 – Ice Resin Jewellery or Ornaments

8 12 2015

On the third day of Christmas we add some bling.  There is always room for bling.  Ice resin is a fabulous, jewellery quality cold resin that is easy to use.  You can get it in syringe or in larger bottles. The syringe is a perfect way to start and see if you like this as it measures out the two parts of the resin perfectly without you worrying.  Once measured out, you simply stir gently and then use it in hundreds of different ways:  to fill bezels, seal paper, glaze objects or even as a strong, clear glue.  There hundreds of uses and if you go to You tube, dozens of tutorials and projects.  Today I am going to keep it a bit simple and stick to the basics.

This is todays 12 Days bundle:

12 Days resin

You get some resin, a packet of Mica Tiles (trust me you are going to want those) and three to five bezels.  The bezels will vary from bundle to bundle.  Lets see how to use it and get some ideas.

This video introduces the creator of the ice resin and shows you how quick and easy it is to use.

Here is a video showing you some simple steps in adding media to the bezel.  Take the ideas and add your own bits, found objects, paper, fabric, glitter, beads, anything and seal it with the resin.

I have made numerous embellishments with bezels and ice resin.  At this time of year, this is a great way to personalise Christmas ornaments.  Here are a couple of samples I have made:

bezel tags

 

bezel 1         bezel 3a       bezel 2

If you would like to have a play with this fabulous product, follow this link from now until December 10 2015.

http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/p/9096450/12-day-3—ice-resin-bundle-.html

 

 

 





This weeks featured product – Using Transfer Artist Paper (TAP)

14 03 2015

I love TAP and use it pretty much every day.

Transfer Artist Paper (TAP) is photo transfer tool. It gives you a lot of flexibility because it can be transferred onto almost any surface and can be added at any stage of a design process. Fabric you print onto will always need to be stitched into the project, but TAP can be applied over layers at the beginning, middle or end of a project. It can be applied to fabric, paper, card, leather, tiles, wood and even glass. TAP is paper sheets coated in a polymer which catches and then binds colour to objects. You can print onto it with an ink jet printer or draw, stamp, stencil – basically add colour in any way you want.

Transfering images with TAP is not hard and the quality of the image you can get can be crisper than any other transfer process, but there are a couple of hints that will help you do this. Here they are:

  1.  Use a high quality, large image. What you start with is what you get. If your image is not a high resolution and is pixelated or will become so if enlarged, then it won’t improve in the transfer process. You can increase the dots per inch and the colour saturation in most picture software.
  2.  Reverse your images. This is essential with people you know, words and phrases and landmarks that are identifiable.  If you create all your images, including any text as a picture, it is very easy to reverse.
  3.  Print onto the white side. This is the right side. When ironing onto your fabric, the right side (white) goes face down onto the surface you are transferring it onto.
  4.  The TAP is not A4 in size. Open up a Word document and change the Page Layout to Letter. Reduce the margins as much as you can.
  5.  When you iron the TAP, use a hot dry iron. You are melting the polymers onto your fabric, so the heat must be sufficient to melt all of the polymer evenly across the whole piece.
  6.  Remove the backing paper immediately. Do not allow it to cool down or your image will be damaged when you pull the backing paper away.
  7.  MOST CRITICALLY – if, as you pull the backing paper off, there is grabbing or resistance – STOP. Replace the backing paper and iron again. The backing paper should slip straight off without any grab. Pulling when there is resistance will cause you to lose or damage some of your image.
  8.  The surface that you apply the TAP too will determine the finish. TAP is semi transparent, so you will see colour, texture and patterns behind the image. This can be a powerful design tool, but make an informed decision about the finish you are after. See images below.
  9.  A textured or uneven surface will result in a textured or uneven transfer. See the image of the TAP on Crash for an example.
  10.  The finer the fabric, the harder it is to transfer onto. If in doubt, keep ironing. It will be okay.

Look at some comparisons on using it. This first image is the original photo printed on white card.

Original Photo med

I then printed multiple copies of the photo onto the TAP ready to transfer onto different surfaces.

Transfer images onto TAP med

As the TAP is semi transparent, each surface that the image is printed onto looks different.  When you know what the TAP is going to do on various surfaces, you can manipulate it to suit the finished effect you want for you project.

Different surfaces will get a different effect med

The crispest and clearest image is one transfered onto a white, high thread count cotton fabricTAP on cotton homespun med

These next two are on a light coloured patterned cotton and a coloured (green) cotton.  You can see that the colour and texture show through influencing the image.

TAP on Patterned fabric med         TAP on Coloured Fabric med

Extending the concept of texture, here is one on Bamboo Felt.  You get the crispness of the white showing through, but the subtle texture of the bamboo behind the image.
TAP on Bamboo Rayon Felt med

The next transfer is on heavy weight Lutradur.  Again, the texture influences the image. Next to it is a light weight Lutradur in Gold.  Colour and texture influence the image significantly here.

TAP on heavy lutradur med   TAP on Gold Lutradur med

When you iron the TAP onto an uneven surface, the transfer will only occur on the places where the top of the surface comes in contact with the TAP.  Imagine photos on lace or white cord etc.  This next image is on Lutradur Crash (now discontinued, sadly)

TAP on textured Lutradur Crash med

The final image I am going to show you today is the picture ironed onto a hand dyed silk georgette.  This effect is lovely and has a lot of potential to explore.

TAP on Silk Georgette med

So, dive in and play.  The potential is unlimited.

 

 





tremendous texture from tyvek

8 02 2015

Tyvek can look really dull and boring – no colour or texture, but this week’s product is worth having a play with.  Tyvek is a synthetic sheet, water resistant, it can also be recycled. Tyvek comes in three weights: 54gsm, 75gsm and 105gsm. I get the sheets cut into A4 size pieces, but it can come in larger pieces or even on a roll if you need that much.

Tyvek can be found in a lot of different forms.  It is most commonly found in the US as free USPS envelopes, but we don’t have that luxury here in Australia.  It is a man made paper type of medium and is now most commonly used for archival purposes.  Water proof, no acid, smooth surfaced, it is a great storage paper when slipped between items being stored.  The other place you find it is in hardware stores in the form of protective clothing (a great way to start a wearable art piece by the way).  In earlier times, you would readily find tyvek used as wall insulation.  You do not want to use industrial tyvek in your craft as it will probably have a lot of other, nasty additives which you particularly do not want to heat and therefore release into the air.

Using it is supper cool.  Tyvek bubbles and warps with heat. It also bonds to itself and other materials when heated. Yet it remains soft and pliable and can be hand or machine stitched or embellished.

To use, place the Tyvek between two sheets of baking paper or an appliqué mat. Using an iron on the cotton setting gently iron until the Tyvek starts to change shape. You can keep going until it bubbles and separates, or use it with limited warping. Painting the Tyvek on one or both sides not only creates interest, but helps with the warping process. You can use any paints. They will behave slightly differently, but it is fun to experiment. I particularly like the effect of Lumiere paint on melted Tyvek.  When you put a surface of paint onto the tyvek, it acts as a bit of a resist, slowing down the heat activated reaction.  This will often give you more time and, dare I say it, more control.

Both sides of the Tyvek will look different after being heated. You may like to heat some of the sheet on one side and flip it over to heat other areas. That will create an interesting combination of hills and valleys. I have also had a lot of success using a heat gun on Tyvek.

Some ideas for its use include:

  • Cut out shapes and heat or use scissors to create slashes or nicks in the paper before heating.
  • Paint and then lightly apply Shiva stiks or other highlights.
  • Stamp on the surface.
  • Hand or machine stitch patterns or designs on the Tyvek and then heat.       The stitching will slow the warping in some areas and create interesting designs.
  • Sprinkle or stamp embossing powder onto the surface – the heat will warp the Tyvek and activate the embossing powder.
  • Lay Hot Fix Angelina on one side of painted Tyvek. Heat. The Angelina will melt into the Tyvek but will also limit the warping where the Angelina is.       Try this with non hot fix too.
  • Cut strips of painted Tyvek, roll onto a skewer and heat with an iron or heat gun. The rolls will bond to become chunky beads.
  • Cut Tyvek shapes and apply to a background of Tyvek. Heat to bond.

As always, play experiment and wonder ‘what if…’ and you will get some great results.

Tyvek Project – A Swirl of Pearls

swirl of pearls

Materials

Silk velvet (about a 10inch square)

Backing material and wadding

Hot Fix Angelina Fibre

Acrylic Paints – I used Lumiere

Tyvek

Small number of Pearl beads

Appliqué Mat or Baking paper

Iron

Thread, Sewing Machine

Foam Brush for paint

Instructions

Sandwich the backing fabric, wadding and velvet, pin to hold together and stitch around the sides to baste.

  1. Cut small pieces of Tyvek. Start with pieces about 10 by 15 cms.
  2. Paint both sides of the Tyvek with the acrylic paint and leave to dry.
  3. Lay a thin wispy layer of the Hot Fix Angelina on to one half of the appliqué mat. Cover with the remaining mat and iron to bond the Angelina together making a cob web effect. Set aside.
  4. When the paint on the Tyvek is dry, place between folded appliqué mat.
  5. Scatter some Angelina fibre over one side of the Tyvek and iron with a warm to hot iron. Hover the iron over certain areas to cause puckering and bubbling. Flip the Tyvek and do both sides until you are happy with the effect.
  6. Lay the Angelina web on to the velvet ‘sandwich’ and stitch to hold in place.
  7. Pin the Tyvek in place and stitch in place.
  8. Scatter pearl beads and hand stitch into place.
  9. Quilt and edge to create interest and texture.

 

 





texturising Angelina fibre

7 10 2014

Did you know that you can create textured surfaces with Angelina fibre by ironing onto something with texture?

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I have used bits of three of the bright citrus hot fix Angelina, mainly as they are what I could put my hand on easily, but this will work with any hot fix or meltable Angelina.   You also want a surface that has good texture, ideally some depth so you get good contrast in your layer, that will take heat from the iron.  I have used two different rubber stamps.

??????????

Place your stamp or other surface face up and layer the Angelina over the top.  The thicker you make your layer of Angelina, the thicker and more solid your final piece will be.

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Place baking paper or an applique mat over the top and iron to heat and melt all of the Angelina.  Angelina ‘crackles’ while still seperate fibres, so iron until the crackling stops.  You need to iron a bit longer than you think you do if your Angelina is very thick.  It might take a couple of attempts to get it right, but it is worth the effort of experimentation.

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Once happy, peel the Angelina off the stamp or other surface.  It should all be one solid layer now.  Trim back the edges for a straight line, neat finish or leave the loose edges for a more organic finish.  You can now cut, stitch, embellish the piece and add it to your project as desired.

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