Monday 29 July 2013

From sketch book to quilt

When I work in my sketchbook I use a lot of layers.  Layers give a lot of depth to art work and bring the viewer closer to the art work to study it in more detail.  Paint on paper can be layered until it is quite thick.  On the other hand using paint on fabric is a completely different technique. Because the fabric will be stitched we have to keep the fabric as soft as possible.  This adds quite a bit of challenge to create a similar effect as in my sketchbook but with the flexibility to add stitch once it is dry.  

This is one of my layered sketchbook pages for the sketchbook challenge theme "into the woods:

It is created using acrylic paints, metallic paints, stencils and stamps. 
 I have added layer upon layer of paint. 

So I am going to show you how to transfer this idea to fabric.  I am not aiming to get an exact replica of this page but to transfer the feeling and intention from this page to fabric.

1) Mix up the colours of paint (I use a textile ink) needed for this art quilt.  I usually mix the basic colours and then mix the other colours I need as I go.Add a little water to the paint so they will go on thinly.

2)  Wet the fabric you will be working on.

3)  Paint the fabric with the base colours.  Use 3 or more colours to create a very textured base.  I have used white, warm yellow, cool yellow,  orange and a red orange. Keep the paintbrush wet so that the base layer will be very thin.

4) Take off any excess paint with an old towel or rag.  Not only does this help the paint layer to be thin it also blends the paint colours well

5)Place the fabric on to a piece of batting.  This is to assist in getting a good stamping surface. Choose 2 stamps and 2 different colours of paint to print on the surface.  I have used 2 different types of circles in white and orange.

6) Choose another stamp and paint colour.  I have chosen a contrasting square stamp and used a brown yellow to add more texture.  You want to see the stamp but you don't want it to stand out too much.

7)  What the fabric looks like at this stage of the process.

8)  Take the fabric to the ironing board.  Lay an old towel or cloth on the board place your art work on the board then place a pressing cloth on top.  Iron the fabric until dry.  The pressing cloth will help remove any extra paint. 

9)  The fabric once pressed

10)  Add more texture with sequin waste and a stencil brush and a darker paint.

11)  Using a medium sized stencil randomly stencil a design all over the cloth.  I have used a flower designed by me.  The stencil was cut out of an old piece of OHP transparency. I have added gold paint to the brown yellow paint.  Metallic paint used on its own is best left till after the quilting is complete as it is very thick.  But when metallic paint is used with textile ink it is able to be stitched through. 

12)  Stencil a large design in the middle of the cloth. I have used a orange red paint with a little red metallic in it.  Try to vary the paint colour in the stencil to create more interest.

13)  Iron the cloth with a pressing cloth over the top.  Again this will remove any excess paint.  

Now your art top is ready to be quilted.  
Tune in next week for the progress of my wee little quilt xxxx

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