Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fiber Group Swap

This summer my fiber art group (FiberArt NorthEast --FANE) hosted a swap. Our ultimate goal: make 4" x 4.5" pages that we would swap in the Fall.  Each of us brought in a paper bag filled with supplies that we thought might fun to work with.  We could put in surface design supplies, fabric, or embellishments.  We blindly swapped the bags among the participants, making sure none of us got our own bags.

The bag I received contained beads, perle thread, cotton floss, paper clips, ribbon, and bon bon cups (like mini cupcake liners).

Can't wait to find out who filled this bag....
I didn't have a clue what to do....

I briefly contemplated using the paper clips and bon bon liners for  surface design but wasn't inspired.  (Having played with the materials I'm more inspired now, but that's a story for another day.)  Instead, I decided to use the supplies as embellishments to add texture and shape to my pages.

Taking a cue from the colors of the liners, I started by painting some cloth.  First I used yellow paint and bubble wrap; not knowing entirely what I would do, I thought it would be a good idea to mimic the circular shape of the liners.

I had just looked through the August/September 2014 Quilting Arts Magazine and decided to use one of the techniques described in Lynn Krawczyk's article to add more organic ink color to cloth.

Page from Lynn's article in Quilting Arts Magazine

One lesson learned: if you use cloth that's larger than 12" x 12", don't use rubber bands. I didn't have good success getting the ink to soak through all the layers because the rubber bands hold them too closely.  Instead, I simply smooshed the fabric in a plastic container (as suggested in the article) and kept "folding" it, as if I was baking.

Ink dribbling on my scrunched up cloth in a plastic bin

Look at the lovely color that process made.

Fabric post ink dribbles 

Front and back of the cloth
For some reason, I felt the cloth needed a few larger "true" circles, so I used a bit of painted fusible and scattered them across the surface.  The weren't glaringly obvious, but I felt they were enough.

After the addition of circles

A painted fusible circle -- love all the layers of color!

At that point, I felt the fabric was done and ready for quilting.  My first thought was to stitch large irregular circles around the red, but I didn't like it.  I had created unattractive mounds lost on the fabric. Eww.  They needed to disappear so I maniacally stitched swirls and circles all over the fabric in an attempt to flatten the mounds.

My crazy quilting, as seen from the back

Quilting, quilting, quilting

Post quilting

I liked it, but I felt that the fabulous texture  the stitching had created was too hard to see..... so I painted over it all with white paint, a la Deidre Adams.

I really like being able to see the quilted texture

Side view of texture; LOVE it!

There, now I really liked it.  Reluctantly I cut up the cloth to add the embellishments, but how?   This is what I decided: cut up the candy liners, open up the paper clips, and stitch them down using the thread from the bag.  Occasionally use some beads... and viola, here they are, ready to trade:

Can't wait to see what I get in the swap --  I'll post pictures when I get them.

1 comment:

Norma Schlager said...

Fabulous results, Vivien. Thanks for taking us through the process. It was fascinating!