Fabrications – In Bloom One

It’s good to be back home. As much as I enjoyed seeing thousands of bolts of fabric and new fiber art products, I missed the peaceful hum of my sewing machines.

I decided last week that I wanted to do a series of flower projects using various techniques and materials. Of course, I already do a lot of projects like that, but my desire is to challenge and stretch myself through the interpretation process. I really enjoy using textiles in unique and unusual ways. So I gathered together some of my floral line drawings and photographs and began jotting down notes of different ways I might recreate them in fiber (along with a few additional embellishments).

For the first project, I decided I wanted to use pink, yellow, and green, the colors for Project Spectrum, and sheer fabrics and fibers. I didn’t have a definite plan in mind, but I began by preparing a base of felt stabilized with a fusible mid-weight stabilizer. I then cut four 4-inch squares of cotton scrim.


Next, I set up my paint area and chose two Jacquard Lumiere paints: pearl magenta and met olive green. The met olive green has metallic gold highlights that are quite beautiful on leaves.

I mixed one paint at a time with Liquitex Gloss Gel Medium (about 2/3 gel medium to 1/3 paint) and painted it onto the scrim pieces. The mixture of gel and paint stiffens the scrim slightly and also leaves it tacky while still wet.

After letting the scrim dry for a few minutes on a paper towel, I then positioned the four squares on the felt background. Because the scrim was still tacky, it adhered to the felt enough for me to work on the piece. While the scrim continued drying, I cut two pieces of Carriff 0.5 stabilizer (engineered fabric) and painted one with the pearl magenta and the other with met olive green, using a wet paint brush. (A used dryer sheet would work just as well.)

After these pieces dried, I freeform cut two magenta flowers and two olive green leaves. I adhered the leaves to the green scrim squares with a light spray of 505.

In part two, I’ll share with you how I added texture to the flowers and used decorative threads to define the flowers and leaves.

Note: In this project, I use a couple of products with which you may not be familiar or that you don’t associate with fiber art, particularly gel mediums. Actually, gel mediums are quite useful to fiber artists. They can be mixed with acrylic paints, metallic powders, micro beads, and other items, and them painted onto fabrics, especially when doing detail work. When working with gels, I usually useLiquitex acrylic medium viscosity paint because it’s of a high quality and I always get good results. Also, it’s easily obtainable through art stores, craft stores, and online. Liquitex and Golden both produces quality gels.

For fabric painting, I use several brands of paint, such as Setacolor, Jacquard, Liquitex, and Dye-na-flow. Usually the technique I’m using dictates what brand of paint I choose.


N. Rene West
Time Treasured


  1. Annie said,

    April 13, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    This looks like another great project. Can you elaborate a bit about scrim?? I have seen it referenced in several articles. What is it? where do you find it?

  2. fembellish said,

    April 14, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    Annie, I posted a little information on scrim in part two of “In Bloom.” Hope it is helpful.

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