It’s been a great run and loved working with all my students, but it’s time to retire some classes again. Don’t worry if you already purchased these, you will still have forever access and I’m always available via email if you have any problems or questions. Click the images to be taken to the class info. Will only be available until May 1st and then gone!
In the Art Studio
For my Art Quilt Week 2 I actually did two small art doll quilts. The whole point of these was to awaken my muse and try new techniques. I decided to use one of my Art Dolls I had created in digital and bring her to life in fabric. I needed some Studio inspirations and two sayings were ringing in my head. “Be True” and “Just Breathe”. One for my muse and one for my health. LOL If you remember, I’ve been dealing with high blood pressure for months now and have taken back up meditation and yoga when I’ve feeling stressed. I thought a little reminder to breathe was a good thing. 🙂
First thing I wanted to try was changing up that collage background I had tried with the previous art quilt. I took a bunch of my scraps of one material and cut them into squared up pieces. I laid a piece of my fusible fleece batting cut to 10″x14″ on my ironing board with fusing side up and then proceeded to lay out all the pieces taking care to make sure to overlap each so none of the fusible glue was exposed. Just for good measure, I used my pressing sheet over it to make sure I didn’t get any of that glue on my iron. Some of the edges overlapped were still loose and I didn’t like that so I used a few tiny dots of washable glue, that has a Fineline Applicator Tip for a top, to hold them in place. Ironed again. I liked it better than my previous background, but didn’t like how the edges showed through so much. It was a cheaper thinner fabric from my scraps than I use now. The only fabrics I buy now are batiks and a high thread count of 100% cottons for dyeing. I am now totally spoiled by the quality of fabric. 🙂 But hey, one of my 2016 goals is to use up all these older scraps from my stash so it’s ok. If I did this again, I think I would do this on a piece of white cotton fabric using fusible web instead of fusible fleece and that may have avoided this issue.
At this point, I decided that I wanted to make this borderless and added a backing on top and sewed 1/4″ all around the edges, leaving about 3″ or so to turn, to make my quilt sandwich and just did a pillow case enclosure. Then I turned right side out and folded in the unsewn edge 1/4″, ironed, and sewed around the entire piece about a 1/4″ in from the edge.
Steps how I did the base quilt.
I quilted the base at this point just an all over freeform swirls. Then the fun began!
From here, all that was left to do was iron on my girl, tag and sew on my buttons and trinkets. She now sits above my work area to remind me to just breathe. 🙂 Because she took me all about an hour or two to make, I made another one that day also. I did decide to use fabric letters on the 2nd one and cut them out quickly and easily using my Brother Scan N Cut. All I did was iron a piece of fusible interfacing to a piece of fabric, chose a preloaded font, then sized and arranged to fit the fabric piece. Boom! Perfectly cut letters I then ironed onto my background. I could have used this for my Doll parts too if I had thought of it. Need to find it a better home than under my cutting table. Not a big hassle to pull out to use, but also not sitting out to remind me to use more. OH New project for the Studio! Find better homes for my wide format printer and the Scan N Cut. LOL If only this room was a foot wider, many of my problems would be solved…. Sorry, I digress.
I have always loved making my art dolls in mixed media and digi and they just make me happy to look up and see them on my wall. Now I have some lovely reminders each and every day to look up at. 🙂 I hand sewed a couple paper clips onto the backs to use as hangers and I was done. Was a good afternoon. Just love when I have an idea and can actually start and finish all in one day. RARE, but was nice.
Wonder how I make my Art Dolls in Photoshop? Check out my Art Dolls class if you are interested in making your own.
Supplies Used for this Project for those with inquiring minds. These links are my Amazon affiliate links, so I do receive a small income if you use them. It doesn’t cost you any more, just helps me offset the cost of keeping up my site. I only recommend what I have tried and like and has the best prices also.
Scraps of various fabrics from my Stash
100% Cotton Connecting Threads brand of various colors
So how do I keep an active and highly creative 10 year old busy in the summer heat? We have been dyeing fabrics!
I’ve been experimenting with low immersions dying for a few months now. Read how others do it, watched videos, and in the end, came up with my own unique way that I am loving the results far better! Miss Bailey and I cut up pre washed 100% cotton muslin into fat quarters. 22″x18″ for those who are not quilters. Then we lay them out on our glass table outside and start to play. We mix dyes in recycled soda bottles and write the color name on the bottle with a Sharpie marker as you can’t always tell the color looking at the bottle. I love to use the Rit Liquid Dyes as they are nontoxic, mix easily and are highly concentrated so it’s easy for us to get true deep colors when mixing. I tried the powders and they clump and separate too much and you should really use a face mask while mixing so you don’t breathe in the fine powder. I wanted something safer and easier.
This day Bailey decided to use some rose leaves from the yard as a mask and spray the dye to leave a ghost image. After it dried, she dyed again with a blending color so that the leaves were just faintly visible. Smart girl!
I like to do an all over color dye, let dry, rinse and rewet, and then scrunch my fabric up and place into containers and add just a small amount of a darker color(s) and let set and dry in the sun. This gives a highly textured effect and depending on how much I squish the fabric into the second dyeing will give different results.
Most people set the dye in a microwave. I don’t want to have to do that and I found living in the desert, I can use our hot sun to do the job instead. It’s a deeper richer color than just dye baths and letting it dry or almost dry in the sun gives the textures I love.
After we are done, we simply fill a pale of clean water and rinse rinse rinse until all the extra dye is out and the water is clear when rinsed. Usually takes 3 rinse ‘cycles’. Then we iron to make sure the dye is set completely. I’ve used this same method using watered down fluid acrylic paints in the past too when I created my artsy curtains in the Art Studio.
CAUTION: When using any kind of containers, remember that you can never use for food items if you have used for dyeing. We have used cheap plastic storage containers, recycled soda bottles, (the ones with a spout top work beautifully), also zip lock bags to let them sit overnight in too. Also, we always wear gloves to protect our hands when working with dyes or we end up with very colorful skin that takes days or weeks to come off. Can you guess how I know? LOL
I also am starting a Dye recipe book. With each mixture, I take a small swatch of fabric and dye it and then when dry, I write on the fabric either the recipe I used of dyes, or the color name I gave my recipe in my book. Not all mixes are winners, but it did help me learn how certain mixes produced certain results. I always start with 2 cups water unless I make a note I used a different amount.
TIP: If you are going to experiment with dyes, keep a mixing chart with how much you use of which colors and keep notes about the results. None of our colors are just out of the bottle, we mix what we like. Here’s a peek at one of our experimental color ways we are developing for a project. This will be printed out and the swatches of each dyed fabric will be glued to the opposite page and put into a binder.
Some of our results? I’m in LOVE with these! Perfect for making art quilts, using as blenders in my quilts, creating decorating items… the list is endless and my mind was racing when I saw them.
Stay tuned for some awesome things we made with these fabrics and previously dyed ones. For now I’m still on a mission to complete my daughter’s wedding quilt she always wanted. Here’s a peek at my sewing room right now. Yes, I have split up the art section from the sewing section. The art room is now in an empty spare room. Still being organized. I needed the space as my supplies began to expand and I started quilting and sewing again more and much larger projects. I’m doing this king sized quilt as a ‘Quilt as you Go’ method as I only have a table top sewing machine not a long arm quilting one. Sigh…. maybe one day. 🙂 Can you believe that Pfaff sewing machine is over 35 years old now?! Serviced twice in all those years. Crossing my fingers I can one day buy a new one and pass this one onto Miss Bailey. 🙂 We
fight take turns, over the one right now. LOL
Have you tried dyeing your own fabrics? I’d LOVE to hear from you and how you do it.