Fabrications – Cutting Up

I love the term “fiber art” because it’s so broad and inclusive. Normally, I think of myself as a quilter since I’m forever sandwiching things together and stitching through layers. For me, it’s difficult to say where one ends and the other begins. This little project blends the two nicely and could become a wall quilt, pillow, or some form of wearable art.

For the top fabric, choose a bright large print. Cut it to the size that you need for whatever end you have in mind.

Top Fabric

Choose a solid fabric for the under layer. This fabric will show through to the front. Cut it about three inches larger than your top fabric. Stabilize the back with a heavier stabilizer such as Decor Bond.

Under Layer Fabric

Place your solid fabric on a moveable base object, such as a large quilting ruler or foam board. With a sharp pair of scissors, begin cutting pieces of your top fabric in a freeform fashion and positioning them on your solid fabric (about an inch in from the edge). Cut one piece at a time and place it next to the previous piece, sort of like a puzzle. Leave a space between the pieces (about 3/8 of an inch). You may have to trim the last few pieces to fit them properly.

Puzzle-like Top Layer

When you are finished placing all the pieces, you should be able to see the original printed pattern, only now in a slightly fractured form.

Take your two layers to a well-ventilated area. Working with one top piece at a time, spray the back of the piece with a little 505 temporary adhesive (or similar product) and place it back in its original position. Repeat this process until all pieces are secure.

Thread your sewing machine with a variegated decorative thread. I used a Valdani cotton. Stitch around each piece about 1/4″ from the edge.

To prepare your project for the decorative stitching, add one more backing layer. I used a piece of craft felt cut to size. A piece of flannel would also work well. Attach it with a light spray of temporary adhesive. (I recommend 505 because it lessens the problem of skipped stitches and sticky needles.)

Choose whatever decorative stitch on your sewing machine that you like, and stitch in all the open spaces between your cut pieces.

After you complete all the decorative stitching, wash your project on the gentle cycle, using cold water. This will allow the raw edges to fray, giving your project a little dimension. Next, place it in your dryer on a short heat cycle.

Clip any extra stray or uneven threads from the surface and finish the edges according to the type of project you are creating.

This method is a great way to use those large prints that don’t work so well in other projects. Another idea would be to use a monochrome color scheme. Additionally, you could embellish the cut pieces with beads, buttons, or ribbon. Whatever choices you make, I think you’ll enjoy the process.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

N. Rene West
Time Treasured

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1 Comment

  1. May 21, 2007 at 8:38 am

    Creative and fun! Thanks….


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