Encrusted CQ class project

Encrusted CQ class project

Friday, 13 January 2012

Glue Resist Painting - Part Three

The painted fabric dried, then I soaked it for 15 minutes or so in a sink of very warm, soapy water.  I used shampoo, since my skin is allergic to dish soap.  After a hot soapy soak,  I begin to rub the glue off the fabric.  The glue is softened after soaking, so it's fairly easy to remove, although wherever the glue is thicker I need to use my thumb nail to scrape off the last sticky bits.  When the glue is removed, I rinse the fabric in cold water and hang it to dry.  When it's dry and pressed, here is the finished piece of fabric, ready to add to any craft, sewing or quilt project:

 The colour is much lighter than when I started, which is exactly the look I was going for.  To have a darker coloured fabric, use less water to dilute the fabric paint.

Here are other examples of fabrics made in the same way:

Although it takes several days to dry between steps, it's a fun and easy technique.  I hope you'll try it!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Glue Resist Painting - Part Two

Today, the glue has dried, and it's time to paint.  I am using diluted fabric paint, and for this technique, it helps to use a colour quite a bit darker than I want to end up with.

You can see the lighter colour where the glue was applied.  The darker areas are where the paint is seeping into the fabric, the lighter areas are where the glue is "resisting" the paint.

Here is the entire piece painted.  I have left some puddles of wet paint, while some areas have less paint.  This is a fun technique and you can be pretty free with your painting.

I'll let this dry several hours at least, preferably overnight so the paint really sets well.  Tomorrow - part three!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Glue resist painting - Part One

Another easy project today - fabric painting using glue as a resist.  Think of resists as the leading between pieces of stained glass - it keeps the colours separate.  Resists are used in many dyeing techniques, especially batik which uses melted wax as a resist.

I start with a piece of fabric, pre washed to remove any sizing or other chemicals.  I pressed it (although you don't have to, it depends on the effect you are wanting) and laid it on a piece of freezer paper taped to my work surface.  The freezer paper is to protect the worktop from glue and paint/dye - parchment paper or tinfoil also work.

Next I apply ordinary white school glue.  Make sure the glue says "washable", this will be important later.
I am making some "ocean waves" fabric for my upcoming quilt project, so I squirted on a wave pattern.

Now, let the glue dry completely.  I will leave this overnight, to be sure it's dry before proceeding.  Part Two will follow, check back tomorrow......

Saturday, 7 January 2012

New Quilt Design

For many years, I have been wanting to make an Ocean themed crazy quilt.  My husband and I spent the first 39/40 years of our lives on Vancouver Island, 34 years in Nanaimo and 5 years in Ucluelet.  The West Coast of Vancouver Islands is one of the few largely unspoiled areas of natural beauty.  Here are some photos from various websites and one of our personal photos to give you an idea of the place we once called home:

(Click on any photo to see a larger version)

It's hard not to be inspired by the wind, waves, trees and animals.  I have made several failed attempts to capture the feeling of this untamed beauty in a crazy quilt.  I knew I didn't want to make a pictorial or landscape quilt - I could never capture what I wanted that way.

Last night while re-reading Allie Aller's Crazy Quilting, a most excellent resource,  I saw a picture of a quilt by Sharon Boggon, another much-admired teacher of mine.  She made a Tumbling Blocks quilt with CQ blocks which is just amazing.  I have seen pictures of this quilt before, but it clicked in my brain last night - this traditional quilt pattern rendered in CQ blocks is the perfect way to portray my Ocean theme.

This will be a really ambitious project, and will require careful planning on my part.  In the coming weeks, I'll be clearing the decks in my studio - tidying up after a Christmas creating frenzy, and finishing projects to make mental and physical room to start on this epic journey.  My working title for this piece is a well-know slogan of this area.......Where The Rainforest Meets The Sea.

Easy Recipe

Thursday night I mixed up a batch of Overnight Refrigerator Rolls, and popped the dough in the fridge.  Friday morning, while prepping my husband's meals for the week (he's a truck driver, away 4-5 days at a time),  I made the buns and let them rise slowly.

They were easy, mess-free to make and oh so good!

Overnight Refrigerator Rolls

1 pkg yeast
1/2 c warm water
1/2 c warm 2% milk
1 T sugar

Proof yeast in warm water, milk and sugar.

In a warmed mixer bowl, mix proofed yeast and:

1/4 c melted butter
1 t salt
1 egg
2 c all-purpose flour (I used hard bread flour, I prefer it)

Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Stir in enough flour (approx another 1 cup) to form a soft dough.  Place in a greased bowl, turning over once to coat dough with oil.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  

In the morning, punch down and divide into 12 balls.  Place 2" apart on greased baking sheet.  Cover and let rise until doubled.  Bake 400 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes.  

Friday, 6 January 2012

Theme for 2012

Last year I decided not to make any New Year's Resolutions, instead, I chose a theme word for 2011.  The theme was Creativity.  And by keeping my theme in mind, I did have a very creative year!  (I read this idea on someone else's blog, but I can't remember now who wrote it, so I can't credit that person.  Suffice it to say this is not my idea, but one that really worked well for me.)

For 2012, I have chosen the theme of Home.  This theme encompasses several goals/dreams of mine.  One desire is to earn enough money and reduce our living expenses enough that we can afford for me to not work outside the home.    For the past couple of weeks I have been experimenting with making my own cleaning products, revisiting my collection of money-saving recipes, and inventorying the freezer to use up what we have.  I also want to focus more on "home arts", such as gardening, home maintenance and upholstery.

And....you guessed it.... a new theme means a new artsy project!  I had planned to make this a step by step tutorial, and took lots of pictures.....all of which have disappeared somewhere in this computer.  After hunting for the photos and uttering some "potty-mouth" words, I have resigned myself to just showing the end product.

This is a 5" square framed artist canvas with wooden letters, painted with many layers of acrylic and other paints.  I kept changing my mind about colour combinations, and finally ended up with this.  I will hang this in my studio as a reminder to stay within our budget and look for creative ways to stay at home and enjoy our home in 2012.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

A quick creative project

This is an idea I found on Youtube - originally for holding makeup brushes, but the same principle applies to art brushes.

When I finish using a paintbrush, I wash it and pat it dry.  I reshape the bristles with my fingers, and insert it in the glass beads, which keeps the brushes separated.  Brushes last longer when they are stored properly.  And the glass beads are so darn pretty!  Glass beads were purchased at Michael's floral department, the clear bowl was from a thrift store.  Total cost $6.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Happy 2012!

Wow, we are already four days into the new year, and I am way behind on blog posts!  Today I want to remind you about the TAST (Take A Stitch Tuesday) challenge on www.pintangle.com  Sharon Boggon is an Australian artist extraordinaire, and her blog always has lots of lovely eye candy!  Every Tuesday, Sharon will post an embroidery stitch, and those participating learn that stitch if it is new to them, while more experienced stitchers are encouraged to use the stitch in new combinations, shapes, directions, etc.  It's free to register, or you can just follow along on your own.  You can even have an email sent to your inbox each Tuesday as a reminder.

You can either make a sampler or try the stitch on CQ blocks.  I decided to make a type of stitch journal, what Sharon would call a "library of personal stitches".  I'll be using a different fabric each week, and put one or more stitch varieties on each page.  The pages will each be finished with a large grommet in the top corner and then stored on one or more metal rings.  I have a place picked out in my studio to hang the book/s, so it will be a decoration and reference manual all in one!  It's so easy for me to get into a rut, using the same 5 or 6 stitches over and over, so having a brightly coloured visual aid will help my work to have more variety.

Here is the first stitch - Fly Stitch.  

As I was stitching last night, I realized that the yellow and pink examples in the photo below are actually fern stitch, also called thorn stitch.  I didn't feel like unpicking them, but now I know the difference between the two stitches.  The variation in blue is fly stitch with a chain stitch at the base instead of a straight stitch.

The multicoloured variation in the next photo is herringbone (in yellow), and then 2 layers of fly stitch on top.  Click on any of the photos to see a larger size.

The bottom row of stitching is simple detached fly stitch in varying sizes.

I hope you'll join the TAST challenge and expand your embroidery repertoire this year with stitchers from around the world.