Monday, 21 January 2008

Scrappy Challenge

Sue Bleiweiss on the Fibre&Stitch Yahoo group sets a challenge every month and this month the challenge was to spend 15 minutes filling a plastic bag with scraps from your fabric/fibre stash. At the end of 15 minutes we were permitted to add one more piece. It was permissable to use fusibles, lutrador, evolon, vilene etc and embellishments but not to buy anything extra.

I already have a couple of boxes or smallish scraps sorted into two colour groups of blues and reds and decided to fill my bag from the red box. The bag above was the result.

Yesterday I finally got round to having a play after I finished the ironing as I thought the ironing board would make a useful surface. I had recently bought some pelmet vilene which is adhesive on both sides and thought I would use that as my support so that I can make the resulting fabric into a box or a book cover.

The idea with the pelmet vilene is to peel back the protective paper and layer on your material. As I have done in the past, I decided to work in rectangles and tried to create a balance (one of my words for this year) of colour and of texture:

I did find that some materials adhered more readily to this sticky surface than others. Cotton was the least troublesome and silk sari ribbon did not want to stick at all.

This what I consider to be the "front" of the bookcover and includes cotton, pellon painted with angelhair bonded to it, mulberry bark painted, painted and stamped nappy liner, yarn fibres trapped under an organza ribbon, shot silk, distressed, silk, fabric made with the embellisher, a beaded bit of nonsense that I cut up, painted canvas, ribbon and one or two unidentifiable pieces!

Continuing across the other side I used all of the above and some painted muslin and silk paper that I had made previously.
My next task is to turn the piece over and stick a lining on and then make the book cover. I think I'll probably get some ATCs out of this as well.
Can anyone help me with something? I am bothered about whether the finished surface will be robust enough to function as a book cover, or indeed, as a box. Have I read somewhere that you can coat textiles with a medium and if so what is this medium and how much does it affect the finish of the fibre? Thank you very much if you can clue me in. :)


Gina said...

Not sure I would coat it with anything but you could cover the surface with stitch. If you didn't want to try free machining just simple straight/wavy lines or lines of automatic patterns in a variety of coloured threads to match the fabrics. Forgot to say but the fabrics look gorgeous together.
Gina x

Purple Missus said...

I agree with Gina here. You could use Golden Gel Medium, watered down PVA or Acrylic Wax or even laminate it. But each one of these finishes will alter the surface even if very slightly and that would be a real shame. How about bonding a transparent fabric on the top? Personally, I would stick with stitch but at the end of the day I suppose it all depends on what you have in mind for it and who will be using it. Would be interesting to know what you decide and to see it finished.

sharon young said...

Hi Julie
What a great collection of swatches, they look terrific.
I was about to agree with Lynda and Gina, when I remembered trying to hand and machine stitch sticky back felt. It was a nightmare!! The needle becomes gummed up with glue every few stitches, but maybe the vilene isn't so sticky!
BTW where did you get it, I thought it wasn't available in the UK.

The Wittering Rainbow said...

You can indeed laminate fabric if you wish. You buy it in a roll and use your iron to heat it and it will look fine. I have laminated leaves onto fabric in the past but haven't done anything recently. The stuff is called Therm O Web iron-on flexible vinyl (matte finish is best) You could use it to make bibs and cosmetic bags, aprons and tablecloths as well.

Having said all that, I think everyone else is right, heavy machine stitching would look very good and would be durable. True it wouldn't be waterproof etc., but the overall appearance would be much more interesting. Do you like free machine embroidery?

Becky Vigor said...

I agree that it would look great stitched, but it looks like that would be a lot of work. The problem with using gel medium is the fabric really soaks it up a lot and you'd have to use quite a lot on this size of thing. I personally wouldn't laminate it as you'd lose all those lovely textures. I guess you could put Bondaweb over the top, it would have a sheen to it but if you don't mind that it would be a quick and simple solution.

Doreen G said...

I love all the colours Julie and you have arranged them beautifully.
What about putting a piece of chiffon scarfe or very fine netting over the top to hold all the pieces in place--this is what I usually do when I make this type of fabric