fabric painting

  • water

    When it's summer time,
    and I'm sitting on my terrace,
    I hear from the gardens around a lot of sounds of children playing.
    I can't see them ... but enjoy their happy cries and songs ... 
    and I bet they have all a basket, bucket or bigger barrel filled with water.
    They don't need much more to enjoy the summer !

    So to refresh myself, I can do the same 
    it's just that with my size
    a bucket won't be enough, except for my feet Verrast

    So to refresh my little place in the sun (morning till midday)
    I hang up a wet cloth on a clothesline that I tightened on the upper edge of my little patio
    (patio sounds more southern and exotic than terrace).
    So that is protecting me from the sun
    (I've got a rather white skin...burning easily)
    and is  also cooling off a little;
    at least the time the cloth dries.

    And then, to play also with some water ....
    I dye some fabrics.

    So even if it's too warm to knit or sew or embroider or quilt, I still do something with fabrics.

    I just finished some pieces.
    I dyed white blankets, all coton, and also some previous painted-dyed fabrics where I added some other colours.

    In this warm weather everything is drying very quickly, so working with salt is a speedy and surprising adventure.

    I don't know if Jannie, quilting friend from the Netherlands,
    is looking at and reading  my blog  today,
    but here's a preview of what I sent  her  early this week (maybe she's got already the package ...)

    jannie's stofkes

    Left is a soft pink with some yellow details (they became more orange),
    a dark deep shaded pink with golden stamps on it,
    a it-was-once-a-green where I added some browns on
    and a light blue where the drops of dark pink are mixed with some grey spots.

    The grey has been used for the middle ones.
    I pleated, wrinkled, rippled the fabric in different ways,
    and the spots and stains I added on the borders or in  the middle, are giving a very different and scattered result.

    Right is the one I worked with salt and a lot of spots of colours (little leftovers of former dyes).
    As it dried so quickly,
    I often spattered water and paint and salt.
    It was fun to see it move and come alive  (oh!).
    Unfortunately I forgot to take pics from the process ...

    And al this has been done between my flower pots.
    Remember my fuchsia I bought some weeks ago? 
    It's still blooming and blooming ....


    Did you notice  that I added some  stickers (re-usable)  on my door of the small storage room ?
    I could have painted something,
    but found these in outlet and it gave me the opportunity to arrange myself the setting of trees, leafs, flowers, butterflies and one owl.
    And I particularly love that little owl sitting in top of one of the trees  Knipogen  and here it's in detail with the shadow play of my fuchsia ....



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  • workshop

    This posting is about a workshop I've been given several times in the last few years - and always with a very good result by those who attended the course. It is very simple to do, but not for hand-work, because the quilting is keeping all parts together and must be done rather narrowly and also because you've got to sew through many layers.

    I'm always looking for simple techniques that can give a very different and distinctif result, because I find that it must become a very personal quilt for each one.

    flowers organza mini detail

    You start with a background fabric that have the size of your finished work. And then also a lot of cut-out's of different motifs from different fabrics. It might be a heavy home furnishing fabric, or a translucent one, but remind that with this last your background fabric will be lightly visible.
    Once you've got a huge cut-out's, you can start laying them on the background fabric(might also be muslin or calico or a light woven interface).  It is not really necessary to spray a temporary glue on the background, but it might help keeping it together ...  but spray frugal !!  
    And then  you start  "painting".
    I took flowers, butterflies, leafs, ... all nature motifs.
    Once the lay-out satisfying, you can add other stuff like trimms, pieces of lace, embroidery motifs, ... .
    Then you place a piece of organza or translucent curtain or tulle or another sheer fabric above it, lay it on your filling and back-side-fabric, pin all layers  securely   and   quilt. 

    This is the result of my first one :

    flowers organza mini2

    In the sky of my little garden I placed a lot of pieces of sheer fabrics to create a cloudy sky.

    Then I made a bigger one ...

    flowers organza

    Here the background fabric is one I dyed by splashing paint (blue, yellow and red) on a wet coton and adding some salt. The organza is also blue-green-tinted with a very high shining (the kind of organza where you have a blue shine looking in one direction and a green one looking at it in different direction).

    I also took a checkered fabric in black and white to make the finishing edges. It looks like I've been taking small strips of white and black fabric sewed together. (this is a little bit cheating indeed ...)

    flowers organza detail2

    The longest work in this collage-technique, is to cut out all the pieces that you need to fill your "painting". Don't hesitate to overlap the pieces !

    Try it out, and you'll see that once you've started, you'll get confidence in this adventure. 

    The one that will be in Edingen next week-end (and was in Creativa Namur this week-end) is one I made for the suitcase quilts from the EQA

    hot and cold

    The lizard is a cut out from a leather painting from Australia ! Some fabrics have the typical dotted-design as from aboriginal-paintings, and I wanted to represent the "Hot&Cold" by the cold-blood-lizard and the hot-temperature-from-the-desert.
    Here I added some sparkling and glittering appliqué motifs , ready to ironing with glue on the back. The background coton is one I dyed it with heat-fixed paints.
    Here I used a red-shining organza.

    hot and cold detail3

    It wasn't easy to stitch and quilt through the leather .... so you understand that hand-quilting through all those layers is rather hard to do, depending on the fabrics you'll use, but is not  impossible .

    Proof is this little quilt of Jolien exhibited at Creativa Brussels 2007 : she was eight at that time, made her own design, cut out her own little pieces in different colours to make flowers,  and quilted it by hand with a perlé thread !  It's not a dense quilting, but all layers are kept together just as it has to be and, most of all, with a very good result. All visitors who looked at it, had difficulty to believe that a kid could do this so good...

    joliens quilt creativa QI 2007

    So, that was it for now, I give you another picture of my second collage to enjoy your day....

    flowers organza detail1





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  • Don't need complications

    You often find these kind of little frames in  hobby-  or decorationshops.  Mostly they'll be filled with embroidery, but for those who don't have that patience or skill, just insert a beautiful fabric, a little painting or picture, ... , in coordinated colours or hues.  I like also the rough rope knotted on the front  (top left and right) to hang it on the wall.IMG_4686




    I've taken a fine delicate black fabric with a leaf-design, added a little bit of sparkling paints on top of it, embroidered the outlines and tightened it on a piece of (black) cardboard, before inserting it in the open space.   


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  • soft in the couch

    I love to have very  BIG cushions in my couch. They have to be at least 60cm square.  The little ones I have made or received as a present, are going on the chairs.  I know that I could put more variety in patchwork patterns by making smaller ones,  because instead of one big cushion, I could make several tiny others, but nothing is softer and has a greater hugging-degree   than a big cushion  .... it is a question of personal taste.

    This quilted cushion is made in a log-cabin pattern, a construction of strips stitched in round, always in the same direction, starting at the edges of a center square and continuing at every newly stitched row. By taking a mix of several fabrics, mixing colours randomly, and sewing them to one single long strip, you'll have always a different result as final block, because you'll never know in advance where what colour is going. So they could be adjacent in two or more rows, or not... surprise at the end ! So it's not a classic log-cabin with a clear and a dark side, it is a "personal mix".  After stitching some rows, I cut off a part of the outer edge. So I ended up as I would have planned to stich strips with uneven width. Some parts of the stirp is made of two different little piece of fabrics sewed together. The ease of this method is also that you'll stop when you have enough rows done.  I used two leftover-fabrics with a bold design, fabric of Kaffe Fassett, and hand-dyed cottons. The quilting is done by machine.

    wild log cabin 2 

    wild log cabin detail

    Crazy patchwork is also a very good idea to do for a cushion. Even without all the embellishments (by hand or machine), you'll end up with a beautiful cushion that can be placed in any direction. Because another of my elementary points for a cushion, is that you can throw it any way in the couch, it must flop down righgt. So no directional designs for a cushion for me !  This one is made of velvet flower fabrics (a heavy curtain) and hand-dyed cotton. For the quilting I choose a simple wavy stripe with a coordinated coloured thread. I often use fleece as filling for my patchwork top, because of the softness and the good price !  And once finished and the cushion inserted, you'll never notice the difference with a regular quilting wad.

    crazy patch 1 

    crazy patch detail

    Following is a patchwork-top half made by hand - rather exceptional for me these days ;-) . The hexagons are sewed and joined with the english-paper-method and then appliqued on a hand-dyed red cotton fabric. In the hexagons I used some striped en chequered fabrics (also K.Fassett) in different directions; it was an experiment to play with those kind of fabrics in small segments. The rope-border is from a chequered fabric cut on the bias : that is always nice as a finish.


    hexagon detail

    And this is the last one I made : a basic as drunkards path, but with cuts (freehand) and switching colours....and cutting again... very fun to make. (it's one of the new items for the next season...).


    16_quilted detail

    So,  with these examples,  I hope I'll gave you some more ideas to soften your couch as well.
    Let's  relax  !


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  • Cotton Coat

    cotton grey jacket

    This is front and back of a jacket, stitched with a minimum on seams, and certainly no separate sleeves to sew on the body (because I never took sewing-lessons and thus I bungle always with that special part of a pattern). So 'kimono'-type patterns are definitely my thing.

    I painted the basic cotton in soft grey tones, sewed it with a twin needle (like the center of the hexagon quilt in precedent posting) on a raw cotton base and washed it in warm water. So the shrink of the raw cotton is little but enough to prevent me from ironing the coat after washing ( a trick to avoid ironing which I don't like at all).
    Then I put randomly different pieces of organza, silk, shiny fabrics, braids and ribbons and stitched this with "free-quilting". 
    All done in the tones of red burgundy, soft greens and greys.  Adding some big embroidery stitches with cotton and silk threads gave it a little more depth.  

    I also added a pocket with two big buttons and an embroidery motif.


    vest front



    The most difficult was to make a collar. I first made it in paper to have the right curve, but the fabric didn't fit as easy as I thought.
    Nevertheless, after multiple attempts ...... I managed it  
    and I was so proud of myself !  

    There is no lining, meaning to be wear in the summer, though not right now, with the tropical temperature of last days ;-)

    vest back

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  • Hexagoon Leftover

    Here is a small quilt made of leftovers of all kind :

    Center background is a leftover from fabric painting, manipulating, that I found when I cleaned out one of my boxes full with fabrics.  Oh what a surprise !!!!

     I dyed the cotton fabric with heat-fixing paints (has been ironed to fix the dye), and then stitched it on raw cotton with a twin needle. After that I washed it hot, very hot, so that the raw cotton fabric shrinks a little. I had a leftover from mexican fabric for the border, and I found also some sewed hexagons ... ...

    With a small leftover of the hexagon-fabric I made the inner border. Then a small little ball of silk (leftover from a jacket), I took my crochet for a ric-rac border en my cro-tat-hook for the center of the flower -just some rings sewed together at the base.  Quilting is done partly with a buttonhole-stitch.

    hexagon leftover

    Now it is welcoming the visitors, and my upper-neighbour is also enjoying it every day he's passing.


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  • Birmingham 2009

    For the EQA competition this year, 10 quilts will be shown from each country-member during the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, august 2009.
    It had to be a banner of 15/150cm : thus a long small thing ... with celebration as subject and for each country  a different colour to use for 20% in the quilt (=red for Belgium). This "year-celebration" is because of the 20th anniversary of the European Quilters Association; and as it is also our anniversary in the Belgian guild (also twenty candles!) I made a quilt with theme of flowers, because at any anniversary, ladies must receive flowers !  

    It was a competition, so I've been waiting till the decision of the belgian jury, to know if mine is selected; and it is. So when I'll be visiting the Festival of Quilts from 20 till 23 august, I'll see my quilt 'Flower Power' hanging among all the others. The EQA has 17 member-countries, so that will be 170 banners-quilts to admire !  

    So this is it :  not easy to take a picture of such a small long quilt, but I hope you'll still see the details. Remember it has 15 cm width and 150 cm height.

    flower power  The fabrics are wool, cotton, self-painted cotton, tweed, velvet, suèdine and silk, an addition of braids and trimms, a ric-rac in red in bottom and upper border, cro-tat flowers, appliqué embroidery, painted and stencilled flowers, sparkling shadows glued on some parts of the strips, some little beads, embroidery machine-stitches for the quilting and a border in cotton fabric like a zebra-design.

    Lutgard (link on your right 'I like a lot') is also selected for Belgium ==> have a look : she's sending you a lot of kisses XX!

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  • fabric painting

    I don't know what about you, but I had a wonderfull easter weekend full of textiles. I've been sewing two little quilts, quilting them, just have to finish them right now : it is the one with the Miao-indigo-painted fabric (use tag 'fabric painting')and another for a visit I'll do in june to France;
      and      I've done some painting too.

    Last year in Birmingham (Festival of Quilts) I bought a little piece of fabric from Susan Brandeis (50*55cm). (she's in my links on the right,  or click here to see here work) .  It is a heavy linnen, with a beautiful soft screenprint on it in tender yellows and greens. I had already some ideas what to do with it, but, as usual, as longer something's waiting, the more ideas I get. So today, finally, I decided to paint on it ! I still have a few colours of the wonderful paintings from Gil Stewart  and combined with two stencils I made this one :


    It is a family of lizards, mum and dad walking around the rocks and only one of the kids is staying with them. All the others are running away and hiding behind the stones....  The stencil of the spheres is one of Stewart and if you look at one of my first postings  (use tag 'fabric painting') , you'll notice I already used it on felt which I quilted and framed. The stencil of the lizards is one I bought recently in a hobby-shop, just because I loved it... I knew that soon or later I would like to use it.

    Now it's drying, I'll quilt it later... first I'll have to look for fabric to make a border around this centerpiece, and in my immense stash there are many fabrics that could fit... so wait and see.... time will solve this problem.


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  • drunkards path

    Going on with the circle cutter, I present you here a quilt made with the block named  "Drunkard's Path". It is not set in the traditional way, I've been playing a lot with the blocks till I had this setting. It is made of coton fabrics I painted a few years ago. I usually use heat-fixed paints (like Pebeo, Setacolor, Dylon...), and when I start  painting I do several meters in different colours. Never for use in an immediate project, but just with the tints I love at that moment. When it's all done, I put them aside and from time to time I look at the pile of fabrics and I know that when time is ready, I'll have an idea to use them in a quilt or garment. These red-lightblue-green fabrics were done by tying up centers. For this project I cut circles from all those round designs.  They were all of different sizes. I then appliquéd the circles on big squares in another fabric (the colour is a mixture of grey and dark green) with a close zig-zag-stitch over the edge of the circles (I pinned the circles, used no vliesofix). Afterwise I cut the squares in four parts and I have four blocks. These blocks alternated with plain squares from the background fabric, gave me a lot of choices for different settings. The quilting is done with the same red thread I used for the appliqué (a Rayon-embroidery because I love the beautiful shine of those threads)  

    drunkards path

    In the normal pattern of Drunkard's Path you have to make all the blocks and quart-circles in the same sizes and with the colours switched. This way you always have a road or path that goes from left to right to left to right to .... just as a drunk would be walking.... Look at this :


    When I started to demonstrate the circle cutter for Prym, I made a quilt on this traditional way  with a dark flower fabric and two lights in pink, all blocks of the same size. So I could show (among other projects) what you could do with that special cutter. I used two leftover-blocks for my label on the back (that makes me realise that it's already five years ago I've done this.......time flies!).

    drunkards path first

    drunkards path detail



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  • Be my Valentine...with this quilt

    Een bijzondere dag kan het zijn
    Deze februari-dag van Valentijn
    Maak het dan vooral niet te commercieel
    Liefde en vriendschap zijn reeds het mooiste juweel...

    Deze quilt is gemaakt zoals de 'papercuts' uit de kindertijd : je vouwt  een vierkant in vier of acht en je knipt of scheurt stukjes uit, dan ontvouwen en kijken wat wonder je hebt gemaakt. Als kind waren we er uren mee zoet; hier heb ik met stof gespeeld. Vier lichtgroene vierkanten in katoen, plooien, tekenen, knippen, ontvouwen, strijken en appliqueren en kijk, overal komen hartjes tevoorschijn. Alle stoffen zijn zelfgeverfd, volledig machinaal werk, quilt-as-you-go, appliqué en quilting met rayon-draad.





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