Monday, April 30, 2007

Summer Craft Swap

Today I finally finished everything for the Crafty Daisies Summer Craft Swap. I must admit that I had big plans but there really is many a slip between cup and lip. Things I did send are: a felted purse in three stranded Serenity yarn, a set of crocheted coasters from the Crochet Dude, an issue of Craft Magazine, a copy of Rip-it (a fun sewing book), water balloons, window painting markers, many beads, buttons and threads, a Texas slide tie, a wierd stretchy scarf from Friendze, a sun shaped pottery box and a lidded fabric box to hold it all. It all came to over five pounds but with the restriction of using a flat rate shipping box from USPS it only cost me $8.10 to get it to Tucson, Arizona by Priority Post. I didn't complete a magic card case (as shown in Quilting arts recently) or the embellished Flip Flops on my kitchen table and counldn't squeeze in the vintage quilt blocks and fabric I have in my stash. I hope my trading partner will be happy with it all. Can't wait to see what will come my way!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Vintage Button Swap

While cruising the web one evening a few weeks ago I came across a blog that had an nformal swap announcement. I don't seem to have saved the site or the e-mail address of the organizers but I wish I had as it was definitely a positive experience. I traded buttons with Jen in California. I sent her a bunch of buttons that primarily came from my grandmother's sewing box. They were mostly blue and I bet they came off of some of her many blue sweater sets that she seemed to have an inexhaustible supply. All of them were at least 37 years old as my grandmother has been gone that long.

Jen sent me twelve wonderful buttons, some glass, some purchased from French General and some that look like bakelite. In addition, she added a card of six pearlized buttons that look like someone bought them for a specific project but ended up using something else...the card is clipped at one of the button locations as though someone was preparing to remove them from the card but changed their mind.

This swap was great. The only problem is that I now feel guilty that I may not have sent comparable quality to Jen.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Saturday Sharing

This morning I attended the Chapter Advisory Board of the Houston Chapter of the American Sewing Guild. I am the Treasurer and my formal role is tell the others that we still have enough money to continue providing programs to our membership. Most would not find an obligation like this to be a peasant one but I enjoy our meetings as it usually gives me a chance to share another sewing adventure of mine with a group of incredibly talented sewers. Today I brought a handbag I had made using painted fusible web as the basis for embellishing some plain muslin.

This handbag is based on Vogue Pattern 8173, designed by Marcy Tilton and uses her ideas for painting on Steam-a-Seam 2. Marcy uses Lumiere fabric paints and silk fabrics. I, however, use any cheap craft paint I have hanging around and more mundane fabrics like cotton muslin. I did use silk organza as the top layer. There is a great write-up from when Marcy was on the Sue Hausman show, America Quilts. I have taught this technique to an ASG neighborhood group and to the Married Ladies Art and Charty League of Houston. Both times everyone had a great time and I hope I can bring my show to other groups so they can have some play time. Here is the handout I use during the workshop - Enjoy!

In this workshop we will look at several ways to change the look of a piece of muslin to create a foundation for a variety of creative projects including clothing, purses, card cases, and other fabric based projects.

Using Fusible Web to color Muslin

The use of fusible web to color fabric is a quick and simple way to provide a base for transforming your muslin. The key advantage is that after the web is painted and fused to the fabric the web retains its stickiness to facilitate the addition of other elements. The process is very straight forward.
1. paint the web (do not worry about wrinkles)
2. let it dry
3. fuse to fabric
4. wait for it to cool
5. remove paper backing
6. admire the results.

Additions to a fusible web painted surface

Fabric scraps – lay them onto the painted surface of the muslin. Can have other pieces of painted web added to them before layout.

Foil – The web painted surface can be foiled either using glue to hold the foil for burnishing (12 – 24 hour dry time before applying foil) or the foil can be directly burnished onto the surface. The former can be very exact while the latter is more free form.

Thread scraps – An ideal way to get rid of your orts by laying them on the painted surface

Ribbon scraps – Lay out ribbon scraps on top of or behind the fabric scraps to add depth

Rubber stamps – Stamp images on the web painted surface or on the fabric scraps. Use pigment inks so that the images can be heat set.

Moving on

Once everything is laid out on your painted surface, to your satisfaction, you will need to secure all the items to each other. Layer a length of organza/chiffon/tulle/netting over the painted surface and additions. Lay a pressing sheet on top of everything and fuse the cover to the embellished fabric. Lay everything on top of a piece of batting. Sew through all layers to secure everything between the batting and the top cover. Determine what you want to do with it and proceed to create something dramatic and fun.

Technical note

Paint – you can use any paint you can get to color the web. You can use acrylic craft paints, fabric paints, fabric dyes, inks, coffee, tea and Kool Aid. I have tried all of these and the only difficulty I have encountered is getting the surface to dry before adhering the web to the muslin. The judicious application of a hair dryer speeds the process considerably. Do not use a heat gun as that melts the web.

Friday, April 27, 2007

In The Beginning....

Today I decided to take the plunge and begin a blog. My goal is to share comments on current events, projects I have been creating and the doings of my significant others. It will take me a while to figure this all out but I hope this blog will be a creative outlet for me and allow others to stretch their own creativity.