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Archive for March, 2013

I will freely admit that this chapter stumped me at first. My theme and technique for making my mosaic quilt blocks had become standard, and I wasn’t sure how to use the painting techniques this chapter focused on as a block. I think this is why the book encourages us to work in a theme as part of a series. I was challenged more by thinking about the blocks as part of a whole, and how to incorporate this new technique with my other blocks.

IMG_5332I also received good advice from Cathy, who led us through Chapter 5. When I admitted to my feeling stuck on using this technique, she replied that she found with this exercise it really required her to spend some time experimenting, and then the ideas began to flow more. With that encouragement, I pulled out my paints, laid out some fabric, carved some potatoes in simple mosaic shapes, and began to experiment.

IMG_5334My first try, I squeezed the paints into containers, and dipped the potato stamp into the paint, and then stamped it on the fabric. This way ended up putting too much paint on the stamp, and when it got to the fabric, it spread. I was hoping for a more crisp look to my stamps. Next I tried painting the paint onto the potato stamp, which took a little bit longer, but allowed me to put just a smidgen of paint on the stamp. It also allowed me to mix up the colors, and have more than one color on a stamp at a time.

IMG_5336Midway through the stamping, I thought it would be have fun to try triangles, so I quickly made a triangle potato stamp. It went quickly, and I went with the flow, not thinking too much about where I put the next stamp or with what colors.

photo1-2The paint instructions suggest letting the fabric and paint dry for 24 hours, then iron to heat set the paint. After doing that, I cut my piece of stamped fabric into two 10×13 squares, and made quilt sandwiches out of them with batting and backing fabric. Note: on one of the quilt block sandwiches, I put the backing fabric, then the batting, then a background color, then the stamped fabric. Can’t wait to show you more about this below!

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The stitching went quickly. For one block, I chose yellow thread for all the mosaic pieces. For the second block, I matched the thread color to the mosaic color.

IMG_5337And my before shot. Two blocks, stitched, ready to have their threads trimmed. After trimming all the threads on both, I took up my scissors again. On the block that has the extra layer of fabric sandwiched in, I cut around each stitched square, exposing the background fabric, in a type of reverse applique technique.

IMG_5338The trimming went quickly, and it was fun to see the color and pattern emerge as I cut around each piece.

IMG_5341Soon, I had a pile of thread and scraps, and two very different blocks.

IMG_5342Now you can see the deep orange color I selected for the background of the reverse applique block, and texture of the mosaic blocks rising above the quilting.

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In the other block, the colors blend more subtly, with the quilting emphasizing the mosaic squares but the surface staying smooth.

IMG_5348And here are the two blocks. Which was another revelation I have to thank Cathy for. I’ve been somewhat literal in my following of the books suggestions, making one block for each chapter. At our last meeting, Cathy had many blocks for each chapter. I realized there could be joy in that – why not make more blocks? Play with the techniques more? I don’t just need as many blocks as chapters at the end, I need as many blocks as I can make. They will all then be put together in a quilt. So now, freed from rules, are two blocks.

IMG_5349Both still follow the look and feel of my series quite well, while bringing in their own originality and individualism to make the quilt more varied.

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{This post is part of a series. To see additional posts on the same topic, click here.}

Last evening, our art quilt group met to discuss and play with paint, chapter 6 in the Art Quilt Workbook.

Since it had been so long since I had joined up, I caught up with seeing other quilters’ completed quilt blocks. Cathy laid hers out on the table, a bright creative mix!

IMG_6703Nela shared her quilt blocks as well – already put together into a quilt!

IMG_6706Chapter 5 highlighted different ways paint could be applied onto fabric to create a variety of looks and effects.

paint, n. A mixture of pigment in liquid form, used as a decorative or protective coating (from Latin pingere: to paint).

Cathy showed us many different techniques and ways to stamp and paint. Here, she carved a potato in a spiral pattern and stamped it on the fabric!

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She also showed us a stamp she made from soft rubbery material she bought at the local craft store. I want to make one!

IMG_6716Margaret showed us a goo plate she made, and how you use it to print fabric with designs. Penny wrote down the recipe – can you share it in the comments? It was really interesting, the goo stopped the paint from spreading, and then Margaret laid her fabric over the goo, lightly pressing it down, and then the same pattern was transferred to the fabric. She was able to do a couple repeats with the leftover paint.

margarets goo

Nela brought out her watercolor pencils, and showed us how they could be used on the fabric. I had fun trying them out. First I tried using the pencils on the dry fabric, then wetting it after, then I tried wetting the fabric first, then using the pencils. Nela wasn’t sure how lightfast or permanent the pencil color would be on the fabric. She used them on an art quilt that isn’t meant to be washed.

IMG_6722I also tried out stamping with the paint. Cathy brought a lot of found items, like rocks, wood, bubble wrap, and other packing material, that had interesting designs. I chose a packing material that had flat grooves, and dipped it in paint and stamped it in different designs on my fabric.

IMG_6719Fun! Now, how to incorporate these new ideas into my next mosaic block?

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