Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fabric that is all my own....

Stenciling on fabric is a great way to build a stash of fabric that is uniquely yours. I use a lot of commercial fabrics but the ones I like most are the ones I've "made" myself using a variety of surface design techniques.

My last post was about using Pebeo Steacolor textile paints (which, I think act more as easy to use dyes) and sunshine to stencil designs on fabric. I wound up with a nice pile of fabrics to take to the next step, adding another layer of stencil design with acrylic paint.
I used Liquitex acrylic paints and their textile medium, mixing about equal parts of paint and medium. Using straight acrylic paint works also but the "hand" of the fabric is significantly changed by straight acrylic paint. I like using the textile medium because the paint is a little more transluscent and the hand of the fabric does not become stiff.

I use stencil brushes to apply the paint, tapping & swirling the paint through the stencil to get good detail. After dipping the brush in the paint, it is important to "tap off" most of the paint onto a paper towel. You should be using a semi-dry looking brush - too much paint leads to globs of paint seeping under the stencil and ruins the design. On some of the pieces, I used a nearly dry stencil brush with remnants of black paint to get the shaded effect.

Next, I plan to do a little discharging with bleach pen and maybe do a little stamping with some stamps I made using fun foam. After that, I'll be using the fabric to make some small quilts and a tote bag or two. I'll post some pictures of the finished fabrics next weekend and of the finished projects shortly thereafter.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sunny Saturday Art-play

On a recent sunny Saturday, I set up a few tables in my backyard and brought a bunch of art supplies out to play... new stencils from The Crafter's Workshop, Pebeo Setacolor textile paints, sea salt, and a lot of mixing cups, sponge brushes & mixing sticks. I had several yards of PFD (prepared for dying) white fabric that I tore into 14" squares.

I mixed up small batches of the textile paints & used the sponge brush to apply it to a square of fabric - sometimes using a solid color, other times adding splotches of another color or applying a couple of colors in stripes. I then placed the wet fabric on another table & placed a stencil on top, gently pressing the stencil to the wet, paint saturated fabric. After an hour or so, I lifted the stencil & moved the fabric to the shade. The result was a perfect outline of the stencil design with the positive space in the original paint color & the negative space lighter, from its exposure to the sun. I sometimes threw on some sea salt which creates a lovely mottled effect.

I spent the entire day mixing up colors and playing with the stencils. I've wound up with a nice pile of fabrics to use in my next steps, overpainting and bleaching. I'm going to work on that over the next few days, I'll post pictures of some of the finished fabrics.

Great news for anyone looking for The Crafter's Workshop stencils, they are now being sold at both Michael's and A.C. Moore! You can see the full line and some inspirational photos and ideas at . It is a wholesale company so you can't buy their products there but you will be able to find a list of where they are sold.

My next post will include pictures of the fabrics after I do some overpainting & bleaching. After that, I'll show you what I did with the fabrics!