Saturday, December 5, 2009

Altered Fabric

Yesterday, I showed a picture of the "twinchies," or two-inch squares, I made for the members of my quilt bee as favors at our Christmas brunch. There is a little funny story behind these.

Back in July, the bee met at our LQS, Quilts Like Crazy, for a sew-in day of making charity quilts. At the previous meeting, Donna brought a large bag of donated fabric that we rummaged through, finding choices that would work for Yellow Brick Road or other simple quilts for Quilts on Wheels. We then added some of our own fabric from our stashes and came up with some really nice quilts for wheel-chair bound residents of rest homes.

In my quilt, the donated fabric was the white flower print and the ribbons and bows on black background.

Carolyn worked with the snowman print to come up with this nice Christmasy quilt.

Marilyn chose the teddy bear Americana fabric and made enough blocks for two patriotic quilts.

The point being, that even dated, no-longer loved fabric can still make charming quilts.

But...nobody would touch this outlandish, neon-orange and green "surfer dude" print.

We had a lot of laughs as we tried to get someone to make something out of this awful stuff. I ended up taking home the extra fabric to use as backs for charity quilts that I offered to quilt for the guild. But...

I decided that for my Christmas favors, I HAD to make something out of this fabric.

When you look closely at it, there are interesting grids, lines, prints, and text throughout the fabric. What do many art quilters try to incorporate into their layered, textured, creations but line, prints, and text?

So, I started painting. I used a Jacquard textile paint in emerald green to cover the entire fabric. Then I stenciled with a gold Lumiere metallic paint, and used a stamp to add additional text that looks like script writing.

Without the glaring fluorescent colors, this was getting very interesting!

My first idea was to make stuffed bird ornaments with the gold ferns as wings, but I waited too long to attempt such an ambitious project. So, I covered the green fabric with silk ribbons, bits of Angelina and Textiva shiny stuff, and a white tulle with gold metallic dots, and machine-quilted it all to a piece of Decor-Fuse. Then I got out the heat gun and zapped the fabric to do interesting things to the Textiva and tulle. I trimmed the result into two-inch squares, fused a backing of either painted watercolor paper or a lame' print,and zigzagged a fiber around the edges. Finally, I ironed on some Swarovski crystals. If you don't care about the exact placement of the crystals, you can just use your iron to heat-set the "hot-fix" crystals. Much faster than the "Bejeweler."

Now, everyone has a little piece of the ugly fabric, which is no longer ugly.

But, I still had GOBS of the surfer dude fabric.

Our bee celebrates members' birthdays by giving them a fabric fat quarter according to their preference. Our absent member Jean had asked for "brights", and it is her birthday month.

She got a lot of nice bright batiks that will be delivered to her.

And a lovely bright package of "surfer dude" fabric! Our new White Elephant gift, that I am sure will be passed along whenever possible to unsuspecting others!

1 comment:

Judy Rys said...

Wow, great transformation of that UGLY fabric. It blended so well, I really had to examine the photo to find the original layer.