Fiber Folio – Colorforms Nouveau (part three)

The collection grows. I keep thinking of more shapes that I would like to use in future projects and adding them to my little box.

Angelina Colorform Collection

As I looked at the orange triangles, I thought about what cute fish they would make, so fish they became! Angelina really lends itself to ocean scenes owing to its luminosity. This project takes on a different look from every angle as the various fibers catch the light.

You will find the digitized triangle file in the Fem-Gratis box on the left sidebar. Of course, you can make the shapes without the aide of an embroidery machine.

First, I chose three water fabrics and cut them with wavy edges. I then arranged the Angelina scraps to see how I liked the basic composition.

Water Fabrics and Angelina Scraps

Next, I cut a piece of chiffon on the bias and layered it in the center. I then placed some dark green and light blue tulle (cut with wavy edges) over the entire piece. If you look closely at the introductory picture above, you can see the various shading effects that this produced.

Chiffon, Angelina, and Tulle Layers

When I was happy with the placements, I used a little temporary spray adhesive (505) on the backs of the different pieces and repositioned them.Using 35 weight cotton thread (Valdani Mediterrana), I free motion quilted the water areas.

Free Motion Water Quilting

I then switched to Valdani Midnight Sea and stitched small round loops on the ocean bottom, creating the look of seaweed.

Free Motion Stitched Seaweed

With the same color, I thread painted a few sea plants.

Thread Painted Sea Plants

I tacked the orange triangles down with a dab of fabric glue to keep them in place as I worked.

Tacked Down “Fish” Triangles

The edges were worked with a free motion zig zag stitch using Sulky Holoshimmer thread. When the edges were complete, I worked the fish tails and then the stripes on the bodies. That completed the machine work.

Fish Detail

I chose some metallic colored beads for the eyes and for some of the bead work on the lower reef.

Fish Bead Work

I also used bugle beads on the reef along with a copper star for a star fish.

Reef Bead Work

For bubbles, I applied clear glass beads. And with that, the project was complete.

Glass Bead Bubbles

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Rene
Time Treasured

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Fiber Folio – Colorforms Nouveau (part two)

After cutting out some newly digitized shapes this afternoon, I noticed that the Angelina scraps looked so pretty together. So I arranged them as a background for a colorform flower.

Angelina Scrap Arrangement

Next, I covered the Angelina arrangement with a piece of parchment paper and pressed it for about three seconds (on silk setting). Angelina scraps can always be refused to each other. To attach the arrangement to the backing fabric, I sprayed the Angelina with 606 spray on fusible web (on the back). After is dried, I positioned it on the backing fabric, covered it with parchment paper, and pressed it.

Using white rayon thread, I added some decorative stitches to various areas around the center.

Decorative Stitches

I then prepared my sewing machine for free motion stitching and threaded the needle with green Sulky Holoshimmer thread. I used a viney leaf motif to quilt the area covered with lime green Angelina.

Free Motion Stitching with Holoshimmer

For the remaining areas, I used Sulky Sliver Metallic thread (wonderful stuff!!).

Sulky Sliver

The center motif was created with 5 fan shapes and one small circle, which were attached with fabric glue. I further embellished the flower motif with beads.

To complete the design, I free motion stitched the outer edges with Sulky Sliver.

You will find another colorform stitch file (fjleaves.dst) to download for your personal use in the Fem-Gratis sidebar box.

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Rene
Time Treasured

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Fabrications – In Bloom One (part two)

Before I get to the second part of the project, I was asked about scrim by one of my readers. Scrim is a lightweight gauzelike fabric made of cotton or flax. Owing to its airy nature, it’s often used in the construction of draperies. That being the case, the best place to find it is in stores that sell home decor fabrics, such as Hancocks. The scrim I use is 100% cotton and can be dyed, painted, and stitched. Medical gauze resembles scrim but is more loosely woven. Both scrim and gauze can be used creatively in fiber art projects.

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Now, on to part two of In Bloom. This is one of those projects that I could have been stopped at an earlier stage and called complete. However, I wanted to take it further and add texture to the flowers and some thread embellishment around the scrim squares.

To give the flowers dimension, I took some leftover painted Carriff stabilizer and cut it into little snippets.

I then dusted the base flowers with Bo-Nash 007 Bonding Agent and sprinkled the snippets onto the surfaces. Bo-Nash is a granular fusing agent. It leaves your fabric soft and can be sewn, washed, and dry cleaned.

Using a Teflon pressing sheet and an iron set on wool, I pressed the flowers for about 5 seconds.

Fused snippets; base flower before fusing

Next, I prepared my sewing machine for free motion embroidery and threaded the needle with a matching rayon thread. I used two different motifs to give the flowers definition.

For the two leaves, I threaded the machine with dark green Holoshimmer. Moving at a slow speed, I detailed the leaves with veins.

When using Holoshimmer, loosen your top tension, lengthen your stitches, and use an embroidery or topstitching needle. Also, use a thread net on your spool if the Holoshimmer needs taming.

With the same green Holoshimmer, I worked a free motion buttonhole stitch through the center and around the outside of the squares.

When I completed the buttonhole stitches, I rethreaded the machine with a pink Glitter Hologram thread by Superior. This time I retraced the previous path with a free motion zig zag stitch, using a stitch width of 3.5 mm.

I recently purchased a bottle of Liquitex Glass Beads, a painting medium that contains micro beads, that I wanted to use with this project. In a plastic container, I mixed a small amount of glass beads, a tiny amount of Pearl Ex gold powdered pigment, and a few drops of Liquitex medium viscosity cadmium yellow acrylic paint.

Using a stiff paintbrush, I painted the center of the flowers with this mixture and then set the project aside to dry. As a final embellishment, I sewed glass beads around each of the flower centers.

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N. Rene West
Time Treasured

Fabrications – Garden Gazing (part three)

With the free motion embroidery of flowers and leaves now complete, we turn back to the Angelina gazing ball, which is the final stage of this project.

First, iron your leaf fabric to a fusible such as Heatn’Bond or Steam-A-Seam. Cut about six free form leaves and position them around the Angelina. Using a Teflon pressing sheet (or parchment paper), press according to the manufacturers directions.

Leaves

Set up your sewing machine for free motion embroidery, making sure the feed dogs are lowered. Using a decorative thread, free motion quilt around all the leaf appliqués. I used Sulky Holoshimmer.

When using decorative threads, it’s usually necessary to loosen the upper tension. With Holoshimmer, I set the tension at 1.5 and use an embroidery needle.

When you complete the leaves, rethread your machine with another color of decorative thread and free motion quilt the Angelina between the leaves with whatever motif you like.

To make the flower center, cut a circle from a piece of satin about double the size you want your finished center. Free motion stitch large circles. The fabric will naturally pucker.

Next, baste around the outer circumference of the satin and then pull the thread ends so that the circle gathers in on itself.

Turn to the right side and attach to your flower center with seed beads. You may like to dab a tiny amount of fabric glue on the wrong side to keep the center in place as you bead.

Your project is now complete! I hope you all have a wonderful Easter.

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N. Rene West
Time Treasured

Fabrications – Garden Gazing

We put a gazing ball in our garden a few years ago and I would find myself walking around it, looking at it from different angles, and being thoroughly captivated by its image reflections. In spite of the fact that the weather people are telling us to expect snow this weekend, it is nonetheless spring and I’m stitching flower gardens.

For this project, you will need a commercial fabric with garden images or a hand painted fabric with the basic colors and shapes applied to the fabric. This is very easy to do with fabric paint. You might want to do a little sketch first and then paint your garden scene in abstract form. Stabilize your main fabric with a light weight fusible and back it with batting or craft felt. If you use batting, place a piece of light weight stabilizer under it so that the batting doesn’t get caught by the feed dogs. Sandwich these with a light spray of 505.

You will also need about three colors of Angelina “Hot Fix” fibers. I used Blaze Crystalina, Mint Sparkle, and Raspberry. An assortment of cotton embroidery thread will be used to define your flowers and grasses. To appliqué the leaves and embellish the Angelina, you will need some decorative threads, such as Sulky Holoshimmer.

For the main flower, you will need a small piece of satin, some seed beads, and some hand dyed or painted fabric for the leaves. I used hand dyed silk. These will be applied with a fusible backing.

After you stabilize your main fabric, cut a large circle from another coordinating fabric and position it on the surface. This will be your gazing ball. A little of it will show through so choose something appropriate.

Give the back side a light spray with 505 and then quilt it to the surface with a meandering stitch.

Now place your project on your ironing surface and begin pulling out strands of Angelina from each of the colors you chose. Drop them right on top of the gazing ball base fabric. Mix the colors well and make sure you have pulled enough to completely fill the round area.

Angelina

Place a Teflon sheet or a piece of parchment paper on top of the Angelina and press for 3-4 seconds on a silk/wool setting. Let the area cool and then remove the pressing sheet/parchment paper. Spray a little 505 on the underside to keep the Angelina in place. (Remember, only use sprays in a well ventilated area.)

The basic foundation of the project is now complete. In part two, we will begin stitching the background flowers and grasses using free motion embroidery.

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N. Rene West
Time Treasured

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

Applique

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.

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N. Rene West
Time Treasured