Saturday, 5 May 2007

Lessons Learnt re Paper Fabric Quilts

I just took this quick photo to share. The pot of Z..... (the name has completely escaped me!) sits on an old wooden table outside my kitchen window while it is in bloom. It is so bright and cheerful and reminds me of all the reasons I love hot pink and deep orange together. Time to do some bright art I think - maybe tomorrow, because this afternoon I have to finish my alphabet tags (all the fiddly bits that are left).

So these are the lessons I learnt in the course of making my first paper fabric quilt (following Beryl Taylor's method for making paper fabric) as outlined in the Premiere Issue of Cloth Paper Scissors and her book Mixed Media Explorations:

1. Make lots of pieces at the same time in different colourways (if you have the space as it would be good to have lots of choices for layering, applique pieces etc). It is probably better to make several 12 inch squares rather than a couple of big pieces.

2. The PVA can be quite heavily diluted and still work - too thick a glue impacts on the softness (or otherwise!) of the paper fabric. I think it also makes the surface a bit shiny which may or may not be a good look depending n what you want.

3. On some pieces, colour the back side (which will look like fabric with paper images peeking through the open weave) as you may like the result even more than the front.

4. Maximise colour variations when colouring the surface while it is still wet (my pieces didn't end up with enough variety really).

5. Make some pieces that are not "too busy" - this is determined by the paper pieces you are using (although you can tone them done by using paint etc).

6. The paper fabric tears quite easily if you want rough edges but it is a bit unpredictable.

7. Paper fabric punches really well.

8. It is really easy to sew paper fabric, especially by machine but needle holes really show up if you unpick any stitching.

9. If you back your paper fabric with felt and then want to use wonder under or vliesofix to adhere it to another piece of fabric that is felt backed, it won't work as the sandwich is too thick! Ask me how I know...Solution had to be more stitching which messed things up a bit visually.

10. Adirondak Color Washes are a fantastic colouring agent while the paper fabric is still damp. I didn't use my Moon Shadow Mists but I will be next time as I think they would be gorgeous as a final light spray over the diluted inks and paints.

Seeing it was so long ago that I posted pictures of the two pieces of paper fabric that I originally made, I have included them again for reference. I have only used a section of the butterscotch/walnut ink one so far in making the first quilt. I am planning something completely different with the pink piece (which is VERY pink!).

Method I followed in making this quilt as pictured in my last post - tear out a piece of the paper fabric and zigzag stitch it to a piece of felt the same size, similar colour. Stamp desired images on kraft coloured tissue paper with permanent black ink. All of my images are from my favourite Oxford Impressions plate "The Art of Being Beautiful".

Use Mod Podge to glue the tissue images to the background, overlapping them where desired. I also cut out and glued a bit of manila folder to sit behind the woman's image so that her features would not be obscured by the images showing through the tissue.

Glue on some paper ephemera (the ticket and painted die cut dress form) and a scrap of tulle. Glue on twill and lace. Stitch around some parts of the tissue pieces and stitch in the gutter down the lengths of the twill and lace.

Ironed on wonder under to the back of the felt and attempted to iron it to a piece of black fabric that was backed with black felt (already stitched together). Failed. Stitched the two sandwiches together cursing my stupidity for not anticipating the wonder under dilemma.

Hand sew buttons and the scissor charm to the quilt and use small black pins to pin black twill to the quilt as a removable hanger.

Ciao for now


Purple Missus said...

Thanks for sharing your tips Debbi - very generous of you.

kittybaroque said...

Hey there Debbi,
I've been meaning to contact you for ages since finding out I coincidentally know your Sister.
Come visit my blog (though I haven't posted for a while) and email me your email addy if it is OK to email you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Debbi *waves*

the name of the plant...Zygo cactus?

Lynne Larsen - Perth

Debbi B said...

Hi Lynne - lovely to hear from you and thanks for the plant name!! My brain doesn't seem to hold as much information anymore... Debbi

Marie C said...

Hi Debbi - thanks for the step thru on fabic making - just wondering, where do you get your kraft coloured tissue paper? Love your fabric quilt piece too!