Monthly Archives: July 2011

28 weeks

28
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scrappy pillow

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Using stamps to create your very own fabric is easy and a perfect way to make yardage of fabric with unique pattern to use in a multitude of projects. Since I love creating pillows (it is the easiest way to change things up) I set out to create a neutral/brown pillow for the couch with lots of texture and scraps of hand stamped fabric.


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I always make my own stamps or find something unique to stamp with. Typically I use craft foam and cut out shapes and carve into the foam with a wood burning tool. I have found that craft foam is cheap, durable and really great to use with fabric ink and paint. In addition I always try and find unique object or simple things that I can use as a stamps to repeat pattern across the surface of fabric.


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For my neutral pillow I started by creating a few different stamps- the first was large chevron inspired pattern.

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For my background fabric I picked up a set of really soft linen napkins in a natural beige- I really like stamping on linen.
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When I am creating fabric that will get washed I typically use screen printing ink or fabric paint that can be heat set and made washable. I used the screen printing ink to “ink up” my stamp by applying paint to the surface with a brush.
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And then started stamping onto the linen surface- note it can be challenging to get a stamped pattern perfect and often I personally am not going for perfect (I like when areas are faded or there are little drops of paint).


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I added gold to the surface, again with fabric paint (Jacquard- Lumiere) made to be heat set.

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I created more stamps and made another surface of pattern again with fabric paint.
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After my fabric was dry and heat set, I dove into my scrap bin which consists of scraps of my painted fabric and scraps of recycled fabric and I picked out additional pieces that were in the neutral and brown family.
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I cut up my scraps into all sorts of different sizes and pinned then to the surface of quilt batting.
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Now, this is where I am different from other sewers and quilters out there- I sew and quilt everything on the outside with all of my stitching. WHY? I actually love the way it looks- stitching is just another way to add more texture. I love the look of stitching so much that I often say that if I could wear my clothes inside out to show the stitched seams I would!

Soon, very soon (like in August!) in you will be able to read about this process in full detail in my new book- Sew Wild.
But basically I pin everything down and then go to town free motion sewing on top of everything- sewing it all to the surface of the batting.
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I used this piece of quilted and stitched scraps to create the front to a simple pillow, using another linen napkin for the backing, I stuffed it and added it to my pillow collection :)
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working with a still life

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When I was in college taking drawing and painting classes- I HATED working on assignments that involved working from a still life. Back then I was really rebellious about my art- I didn’t think I needed to learn anything traditional or work from subject matter that I considered boring, I just didn’t see the point.

So it is ironic that now, years and years later, I utilize working from a still life all the time (talk about full circle)! And often the subject matter is not exciting at all but instead everyday objects from around the house set up in a simple grouping. What I have discovered over time (after I got all that rebellious art major out of my system) is that taking the time work on and improve your creative skills through discipline and practice will help improve your skills in other areas. While my still life practice paintings are not perfect with perspective or dimension, I have found a way to incorporate my colorful whimsical style with everyday subject matter- which turns out isn’t so boring after all!
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