Fabrications – Caught in the Middle

It was Saturday night and I felt like doing a little experimental play. So I took out some paint and looked around for something I might apply it to. Although an unlikely prospect, I chose the lightweight Carriff 0.5 stabilizer (see Carriff Engineered Fabrics on the Fiber Art Resources Page for details). I was actually curious as to whether it would take paint and if so, how it would act (and look) if I torched it with a heat gun. I never got that far, but here’s what transpired.

First, I assembled the usual painting supplies and brushed cadmium red medium and yellow light hansa on one piece of stabilizer and prism violet and magenta on another. (I used Liquitex medium viscosity acrylic paints for this project.)

Liquitex Paints

As soon as the pieces were dry, which was within minutes, I cut them in half.

Painted Carriff

Next, I took some rayon thread clippings and dropped them on two of the cut pieces (yellow and viiolet).

I then placed a fusible (Heatn’Bond) on top and pressed it.

Fused Threads

After peeling the backing paper off of the fusible, I pressed the two remaining painted pieces (magenta and red) on top of each fused piece. Mixing the top and bottom colors makes a big difference in appearance since the sheerness of the stabilizer allows both colors to harmonize.

The resulting fabric reminds me a little of vellum. It’s lightweight, semi-translucent, and nonfraying.

New Fabric

Unlike vellum, its surface is texturized by the middle layer of rayon threads. All in all it’s quite unique.

I really liked the organic appearance of the fabric so I decided to cut some flower shapes and use them in a quilt I’m working on.

Cut Flowers

When I picked up the scraps, which were heading for the waste basket, I was intrigued by the various shapes that had formed as a result of the cuts.

Cutting a 15″ square of cloth, I positioned the shapes on the surface and then appliqued them using Holoshimmer thread.

Holoshimmer Thread


I love the way this thread catches the light. (Make sure you loosen your top tension and use an embroidery needle when sewing with Holoshimmer.) One thing led to another and the piece ended up looking as you see it above.

I did a little more experimental painting on Saturday night using Jacquard Lumiere. I’ll share the results of that with you in the near future.


N. Rene West
Time Treasured