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.

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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.

??????????

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.

??????????

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.

??????????

 

 

 

 

 

 





Adventure West! 2015

3 10 2014

I will be bringing two terrific International tutors to Western Australia between 27th February and 8th March 2015.  If there is demand and support for the workshops, we will be running 8 classes across three different locations:  Perth, Margaret River and Albany.  The tutors are Patt Blair from the US (www.pattsart.com) and Alysn Midgelow Marsden from UK/NZ (www.alysnsburntofferings.blogspot.com.au).

To book your place, go to this link:  http://tinyurl.com/okrnxaz or

http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/c/4538764/1/adventure-west—27-february-to-8-march-2015.html

 

Here are the details of the Patt’s classes:

Painting with Tsukineko Inks (being run in Perth on 27th Feb and Albany on 7th March.

Patt tigers_eyes

Description:  You will be amazed at what you can create using these flexible and easy-to-use pigment inks made by Tsukineko of Japan. These permanent inks are used to enhance commercial fabrics or to create an original art piece painted on clean white fabric.

Special fiber stick applicators make painting much simpler than traditional brushing techniques. Students are delightfully amazed and proud of their creations.

Paint a landscape, still life, or animal using TSUKINEKO Fabric Inks and special stick applicators. Bring your own artwork or choose from Patt’s drawings. You’ll love these inks.. They are surprisingly easy to use… It’s like crayons for grown ups.!

 

Media Mixer (being run in Perth 28th Mar and Albany 8 Mar).

media mixer

Description:  Can you believe this little quilt top is created using fabric, napkin and kleenex tissues, stamps ,stencils, marking pens and pencils. You will design your own whimsical version of what you chose to adhere to fabric. All will be beautiful. I will bring several types of napkins, tissues, and stamps for you to play with but I encourage you bring something you love too. You’ll chose items, lay them around on your fabric piece ’til you are ‘happy’, then adhere them to your art quilt top with my instruction.

 

Fun Faces with Tsukineko Inks (being run in Perth 1st Mar)

Patt faces

Description:  I’ll bring to class an assortment of face and torso shapes/eye/nose/mouth/hair shapes. You can mix and match into a collaged drawing to be used as a basis for a painted with ink caricature of yourself or a friend. Your result can be finished as part of a quilt, wall hanging, placemat,etc. You will have a ball!

 

Fusing to be Free (Margaret River 3rd Mar)

fusing

Can’t fuse because the quilt top becomes stiff or the edges lift? No worries! This clever fabric fusing method avoids both problems and will have you fusing and designing original work almost without effort. Its fun and freeing… kinda like grown up play time! You’ll be proud of your newly enhanced quilt top. No machine required, really!

 

Painting a Portrait Quilt (Margaret River 4th Mar)

portrait_quilts

This class is for anyone who wishes to learn the basic elements of portraits on fabric, and as importantly, capture an image of family or friend (2 or 4-legged ) in an engaging art medium using textiles and ink. Come to class with a tracing /drawing of your family or friend ( as outlined in pictures via http://pattsdrawingmethod.blogspot.com.au/), and you’ll leave with a portrait of which you’ll be proud.

 

Rubbings and Beyond (Margaret River 5th Mar)

bumble bee

Start by rubbing a textural pattern onto your fabric, use a range of paints, markers and more and then embellish layers to create a fabulous art piece.

 

Now here are Alysn’s classes:

Crown Jewels Gone Mad (being run in Perth 27th Feb and Albany 8th Mar)

AMM Crown Jewels Gone Mad

Description:  Exploit the textured surfaces which can be developed by fusing and melting the Angelina fabric.
Really go for it with bright, lustrous, over the top combinations of Angelina fibre, wires, beads, soldering, burning, hand and machine stitch to develop a wild embroidery by layering and stitching.

 

Golden Romance (being run in Perth 28th Feb)

gilding-2

Create a sampler collage which introduces the different forms of gilding we can use to apply onto textile backgrounds and stitch over, it throws in a little goldwork, then updates and twists the techniques to produce a sensual, subtle wall panel. The traditional is mixed with a couple of my favourite surfaces to stitch into which are waxed papers and felt from silk cocoon strippings. The stitchery is worked in delicate machine embroidery using viscose embroidery threads for their soft, silky sheen. If you are a hand stitcher, go back to traditional long and short stitch with floss silks, you will achieve wonders! (And it doesn’t have to be gold or traditional!)
Handmade Books – Make a Book without the Bind.  (being run in Perth 1st Mar and Albany 7th Mar)
Handmade-books-1
Description:  Have fun with a contemporary approach to bookbinding. Make your own special book which is also a work of art using the piano hinge style book binding giving a modern, flexible format.  Expandable, interchangeable pages are held in place with a clever technique using kebab sticks. The spine creates room for creating exciting sketch books and sample storage, or to use as a special occasion memory book with photos, writing, and memorabilia.  Best of all, there is (almost) no measuring!
Elemental Layers (being run in Margaret River 3rd Mar)

AMM Elemental Layers

Description:  Use silk, linen and flax fibres to create a textured surface, further developed using felt and stitch (hand and/or machine) which will then be treated with layers of paint, patina, verdigris and gilding to create a surface reminiscent of ancient bas relief carving or natural weathered and gnarled features.
Richly Stitched (being held in Margaret River 4th Mar)
AMM Richly Stitched
Description:  Velvet and metal are such perfect partners! In this workshop you will use machine stitching to create a rich, luscious, embroidered panel on velvet using metal and metal fabrics enhanced with a smattering of beads.
Mixed Media Layers (being run in Margaret River 5th Mar)
Mixed-Media-Layers-1
Description:  Use an exciting mixture of different paints, resists, glazes, and stamps. Embellish with embossing powders to create densely layered and textured background fabrics for stitching and beading later. Expect to get messy and finish the workshop with plenty of experimental surfaces and a piece underway.




I am crowd funding

9 05 2014

or at least going to give it a go.

One of the most interesting parts about the connectedness of life these days is that producers can link into consumers in so many different ways.  Social media provides instant feedback, news can go viral in a heart beat, and through Crowd sourcing or Crowd funding, marketers can determine whether there is a need or appetite for a product before producing it.  I have been watching this phenomena for a while but have only just attempted it for the first time.

Crowd Source image cropped

This crowd funding is not a commercial venture and is only linked to Unique Stitching in as far as that I am an integral part of both.  I have an idea for a community resource for Textile Teachers or anyone who wants to expand into the Textile art world.  I am prepared to give the information away if there is demand for the service.  Based in a stand alone, community website, the material will be available 24 hours a day, all year and all around the world.

For years now, I have had hundreds or even thousands of High School Textile teachers come to my workshops to learn about contemporary media, techniques and tools so that they are better placed to share that knowledge with their students.  They want me to come to their schools or their PD days, but I am physically unable to do so as my calendar is already too full.  So this is part of a proposed solution.

For full details or to make a pledge, you can go to this link:  Pozible Link   or http://www.pozible.com/projext/180878

There has been a lot of excitement around the proposal, but it needs to translate into action.  I would like to proceed with this, but have other projects that can be done instead if it does not go ahead.  This package will only be built if there is demand and demand will only be measured by the success of this crowd funding exercise over the next four weeks.  Please share with your friends if you think they might be interested.





Angelina Fibre Butterflies

14 01 2014

??????????I have added a little video to Youtube showing you how to make these super cool Butterflies.

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I hope you like it, please share.

 





We are taking our Retreat on the Road to FNQ.

4 11 2013

Unique Stitching

Retreat on the Road

Friday 26th to Sunday 28th September 2014

In Townsville

Three days of surface design, mixed media, art quilt heaven.

This little retreat will be jam packed with fun, ideas and inspiration. Tutors have been handpicked for their sharing, inclusive and enjoyable approach, guaranteeing that you will not only learn heaps, you will have a ball doing it. Classes will be held in Townsville, QLD.

Each tutor will offer three one day classes, giving you a smorgasbord of six workshops to choose from. Class sizes will be small and intimate – numbers will be strictly limited – book early to secure your position. You can book for individual days or for the full three.

Ensure your place by paying the deposit, be first to see the tutors class list and get priority placement into the classes of your first choice. Deposit is fully refundable if your plans change, so there is no risk. This option is only available for the Far North Queensland Retreat as it is the first time we are running that event. Deposit registration will be available up until the time that the full class list is released at which time, those registered will be given first priority on class placements.

Tutors at the Retreat will be Jane Davila http://janedavila.com/ and Alysn Midgelow-Marsden http://alysnsburntofferings.blogspot.com.au/. Both tutors will provide fantastic classes and a great experience for participants

To secure your place go to www.uniquestitching.com.au and register your interest.  This tiny url will take you straight to the page: http://tinyurl.com/l9ztc92

Don’t miss out!








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