Monday, January 9, 2012

Christmas Quiltlet, a mixed media fabric tutorial

As promised, here is the first tutorial of the year. This is a quiltlet (some might call it a small hanging art quilt) I made for a friend who gave me some fabric scraps. I didn't have enough of the right colors for the entire quiltlet, but I was able to use the fabric with stars she gave me. I hope you like this mixed media quiltlet tutorial I made since I had no scanner available at the time I made this.



I began with some fabric I purchased at Tuesday Morning awhile back. It was in a fat quarter bundle and I expected all the fabric to be a similar color or theme. That was not the case. Of the four pieces I chose (along with the "star" fabric my friend gave, me, none of the Tuesday Morning pieces were color coordinated (and I have a THING about color, since I know it's the one design element or principle I get "right").

Back to the tutorial! I began by tearing four fabric pieces to about 4.5 inches square, as shown at the top of the photo, then stacked them like a sandwich (right sides facing the same direction) and sewed them together on the edges and in overlapping and diminishing circles until I had enough areas to remove parts of the surfaces.



I then cut away pieces of the fabric, some of which I cut through two layers, other through only one layer. I cut between the lines left by the thread to expose the fabric below. I used the green football fabric, but didn't cut through to expose it.


I applied gesso with a brush to knock down some of the bright color of the fabric and to hopefully make the colors more cohesive. I then allowed the gesso to dry overnight.


The next day, after the gesso dried, I applied various bits of metallic rub-n-buff over the gesso. I'm not quite sure I know why I pulled this product out, but I suspect it was because I hadn't used it in a long time and wanted to try something a bit different.


I applied Golden Fluid Acrylic paint to a rubber stamp using a makeup sponge. After I had enough paint on the stamp, I lightly stamped all over the altered fabric.


Next, I chose a stencil, then taped it to the fabric.


I applied joint compound through the stencil using an old gift card.


When dry, I positioned the altered fabric sandwich on the background fabric I chose. The background was some I had overdyed using blue Staz-on and alcohol. In the above photo, the altered fabric sandwich has not been sewed to the background. I only placed it there so I would know where to position the second stencil area.


Once again, I used an old gift card to spread the joint compound, then allowed it to also dry. When dry, I used fluid acrylic paint (blue and gold) to paint the raised areas.



(Click to see the entire picture)
It's no secret I need a better camera, and because I had no way to get photos off the camera when I took these photos, I had to hope for the best. I often take hundreds of pictures to get the best one, but this time I had to choose between two, neither of which was very good. However, I really wanted you to see the dimension left by the joint compound. Sadly, the gold shows up as white in the photo, so you will have to take my word that it is gold.

I have also now sewed the altered fabric to the background using a zig-zag stitch on the edges and one small straight stitch above the tiny joint compound circles only. I did that after I added the batting, but before I added the backing.


I was quite happy with the finished quiltlet, even though I learned a lot from this exercise. In case you weren't sure, it is a wall hanging. I started to gesso the fabric I used for the loops, then decided to leave them plain unaltered, since they were made from the fabric I received from my friend, who I, in turn, made the quiltlet for as a Christmas gift.

Ruminations:

My first problem was I should have used five or six layers of fabric when I made the altered fabric "sandwich." I would have had better color choices if I had done that and I could have cut through more pieces of fabric.

I should not have used all the fabric from the group of fat quarters I got at Tuesday Morning. The colors were simply not compatible with the star fabric, or with each other. I should have found more compatible fabric, or hand dyed some specifically for the project. No amount of gesso, rub-n-buff, joint compound, or stamping with acrylic paint brought these colors together properly.

Speaking of joint compound, my next stencil will be larger, because I had a terrible time getting the paint on those tiny, tiny circles. If you have questions, or if I was unclear about part of the process, please ask.


I hope you have enjoyed this first tutorial for 2012. And because the theme for the month of January at Creative Every Day is "NEW" (like my computer video card, which is not a card, but on the motherboard), I thought joining in this week, when my computer is hopefully here to stay, would be a way to inspire others (my word for 2012) to create some "new" art, too. That's why I am linking to Leah at Creative Every Day, as well as adding this post to my tutorials page.

24 thoughtful remarks:

Jennifer McLean said...

Beautifully done. I've always wanted to be a quilter, it's just not in me. Oh well. I do love to paint though, lol.
Best,
Jenn from JustAddWaterSilly.com

Margaret said...

Thank you Elizabeth, really interesting combination of techniques, I think the results are fab! I also have those metallics and use them infrequently especially the lighter colours, nice to see them used on fabric. Mx

see you there! said...

Nice work. You do inspire me Elizabeth. Although I don't really work with fabric the steps in your tutorial can translate to some degree to paper. Always interesting.

Darla

Healing Woman said...

I very much enjoyed the first tutorial of the year. I think experimenting with the metallics added a lot of highlights to the color of the cloth and I too can see how this technique would adapt well to paper.

Thanks so much for the time and energy you always supply with these wonderful techniques.

Monica said...

though not a quilt maker over the years fabric art was a favorite and what I found re Kemshall, "The painted quilt" is when not happy with the quilted piece to roller white acrylic over the whole quilt. the technique results were never disappointing and often surprising especially when teamed up with surface embellishment that glitter!

gina said...

Wow! I am very impressed with your process and results! It is a bit intimidating for me, as I have never tried anything like it, but I can see how the creative process works -- thanks for the tutorial.

elle said...

Great details, Elizabeth. This are very helpful instructions and great for adding some cohesiveness to different things. Thanks.

Nancy said...

Your wall hanging is lovely :) and your process is very inspiring!

Lynn said...

Very cute quiltlet! I call them that too!
Glad you are back on line, and thanks for stopping by my blog today. Our kitties are both biggies!

Steph said...

have been missing you...welcome Back!!!
and thanks for sharing this tutorial...
I'm missing my art making with fabric.....
have a good week!

Halle said...

Wonderful tutorial! Welcome back!!

Dosfishes at Sparkle Days Studios said...

This is great, love the 3-d and mixed media aspects of this. Yes, welcome back. xox Corrine

Dianne said...

so glad you are back on line! the quilt turned out beautifully...

Marilyn Rock said...

This quiltlet is beautiful; love the texture of it as you describe and I can see. Thank you for the tutorial; it is wonderful! So glad you are back online; you were missed.

Healthy and Happy New Year to you and Bleubeard! xxoo

CRAFTY WOMBLE said...

Ooooh that looked messy and fun however you feel about the outcome. I was given a lovely book as a Christmas present called Sew Wild. It looks at different ways of creating your own fabrics and then some projects for how to use them. Also taking in free motion stitching. I have to wait a month or 2 until I can get some plain fabric to play with seriously but I think I am going to have a lot of fun this year :)

Carolyn Dube said...

What a wonderful tutorial! Very creative!!!

Gayle said...

Hi there Elizabeth, and Happy New Year. Glad to see you back on line again. Love your tutorial, well done. You have explained every thing so thoroughly and with great pictures, love it. xx

voodoo vixen said...

You're back at last!! I love this quiltlet and don't think the colours clash at all... and I would never have thought to sew in circles and then cut through the layers!! I love your tutorials so keep them coming as you are always so upfront about what you would do differently when the odd hiccup occurs!! :)
I haven't seen a Christmas parcel yet... maybe it took the scenic route? LOL

~*~Patty S said...

missed you lady...nice to see you back
I always enjoy how you combine mediums...you are fearless and so creative!

thanks for always sharing!

oxo

PetraB said...

Oh, this is wonderful with all the textures and techniques and very inspiring.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

So glad you are back. I really enjoyed the tutorial--you are so creative; I always learn something when I stop by your blog!

Ayala Art said...

so cool! Thanks for sharing!

Canace said...

You're one very ambitious/creative lady! This is a beautiful little quiltlet!!

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