February 16, 2010

Confetti Fabric

Last night I had some fun in my art room, creating what I like to call "confetti fabric."
So, I'll give instructions in a tutorial later, but for now here's how I created the fabric and petal pieces in this quilt. I chopped up little pieces of fabric, yarn, string, thread, ribbons, fibers, angelina fibers, skeleton leaves, organza flowers, dyed silk roving, and dyed wool roving. I gathered all of these items in different little piles (like a palette) and got out two pieces of "SUPER SOLVY" - water soluble stabilizer. I put one on my work surface (anything will do), then began laying down roving pieces and snippets of thread, sequin trim, angelina fibers for some bling, and then string, fibers, and yarns. I made sure to cover almost the entire base with a super fine layer of roving. Then I sprinkled everything else on, creating areas of lights and darks. I made two of these pieces, one in a pink color scheme and one in a green/blue color scheme. I raided my scrap bin, where I throw all my threads while sewing, extra fabric scraps that I trim away from various projects, etc - ANYTHING will work as long as it is cut down into little pieces. I layered areas with sheer organza ribbon snippets, silk ribbon, dyed cheesecloth, faux flower petals, etc. Then I added another piece of Solvy on top, to make a "confetti sandwich" and pinned it all together with several pins. Then I free-motion stitched all around in loops, swirls, zig-zags, right on top of the water soluble stabilizer. I made sure to alternate thread colors often, and highlight areas with yellow thread. I laid my stitched confetti sandwich in a baking dish in the sink, turned the water onto luke warm, then sprayed with the spray nozzle over the top of the sandwich very gently. The Solvy disappeared, leaving all my beautiful texture and color from all of the different materials I used to make the confetti. Then I turned over the piece, and sprayed the other side. I swished the piece around in the water, then dumped it out of the dish regularly, spraying with new water until it filled again, then dumping it out, and repeating. This process also FELTED the roving I used for a base, which adds a great bottom layer to be able to stitch it down to other fabrics. I laid my piece out to dry on some thick towels, then ironed it between pressing cloths on a warm setting. Voila!! Confetti Fabric.

(flower and leaves in this photo)

I had been working on a base for an art quilt for an upcoming Lakeshore Fiber Artists Show, (LFAW is the group I belong to). I wanted to do something non-traditional, with free sheer edges, so made a base with different shades of dyed organza. The center is a turquoise raw silk with batting behind it, and the "frame" is made with a very cool new fabric which is black with white text all over it - words about music. So I was very happy with the beginning, because it combined everything I love - text, black and white mixed with color, sheer layers, silk and organza...but I didn't quite know where to go from there. I tried doing some traditional quilting designs on the square, to add the background texture - I did this with black thread to juxtopose the traditional design with the rest of the quilt, which is everything BUT traditional. It looked neat, but I didn't feel there was enough to it yet. So, I grabbed up my confetti fabric and started loosely cutting out shapes (I did NOT want to cut into it!!) that the colors suggested...leaves from the greens and large flowers from the pink. I used the lighter areas of the confetti fabric (the highlights of yellow and orange thread) as the centers. I arranged these on the quilt and machine-appliqued with black thread to add some definition to the edges, and to match the black and white text fabric frame. I'm still not finished with it yet - I think it needs some hand-stitching, some beads, something different for the centers of the flowers...maybe vintage jewelry?

A work in progress.....

1 comment:

  1. It's beautiful! You know, the black and white graphic fabric strips really make it pop. Most people wouldn't think to put something so bold on, but it's perfect, frames it nicely and makes the flowers pop. I really like it. You did a great job. I have to try to solvy technique someday :-)


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