Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Moonshine & Mother's Day -- Part 2

Last week I showed you an intoxicating creativity exercise I'm calling Bootleg Collage. And while playing with scissors and glue and the contents of your recycle bin is plenty rewarding all by itself, I promised you more. So just in time to make a special Mother's Day gift, here's how to transform a collage into a small piece of wearable art. (My mom is still on dial-up so I don't think she'll see this providing her friends don't forward it to her -- please!)

What You Need
  • Inkjet silk
  • Cotton batting
  • Stiffener (like quilter's template plastic)
  • Ultrasuede for backing
  • Embroidery floss
  • Embroidery needle
  • Bar pin back
  • Size 11 seed beads
  • Nymo D beading thread
  • Size 10 sharps needle
Print & Prepare The Fabric
  1. Scan your collage.
  2. Open a blank document and insert the collage image and any other images you want to print on a sheet of inkjet fabric, leaving about a 1-inch border all the way around each image. 
  3. Print the document on inkjet silk according to the manufacturer's instructions. Let dry overnight before peeling the fabric from the carrier paper. 
  4. Briefly soak the printed fabric in a basin of cool water with a drop of Palmolive or other mild soap to remove any unbonded ink, stubborn bits of the paper or starch used to adhere the carrier paper to the silk. Rinse, dry, and iron if necessary. OK, this sounds like a big deal but it only takes a few minutes, and if you've printed a bunch of images on the same sheet of inkjet fabric you get them all done at once.
Embellish The Image
  • Cut a piece of cotton quilt batting larger than the image area. If you're not comfortable just holding it in place while you embroider, quickly baste it to the back of the printed silk.
  • Embellish and border the image with some simple embroidery stitches. I used embroidery floss I painted earlier with Dye-na-Flow fabric paint.
Assemble The Pin
  • Trim the excess batting.
  • Cut a piece of stiffener (quilting template or recycled plastic) slightly smaller than the image area. 
  • Place the inkjet fabric face-down, then top the batting with stiffener.
  • Imagine you’re about to wrap a gift with the fabric. Trim the fabric, if necessary, so you have a small overlap when you fold the fabric on two opposite sides around the stiffener. Press the folds with your fingers. Make a few stitches on the back to hold those opposite sides in place. On the other two ends, trim the excess fabric and fold it like wrapping paper. Press the folds with your fingers and fold the ends to the back. Stitch to secure. Stitch a bar pin back in place.
  • Cut a piece of Ultrasuede to cover the back. Cut two small slits in the Ultrasuede and position it over the catch and the arm of the pin back, covering the bar. You can stitch the Ultrasuede backing to the piece as you bead the edges.
Bead The Edges
  • Anchor a thread and pick up two beads. Take a small stitch one bead width away through the fabric and the Ultrasuede backing. Pass the needle back up through the last bead strung. Pick up one bead, make a stitch, and pass through that bead again. Repeat the pattern. 
  • When you get all the way around, pass through the first bead again, pass back through an adjacent bead and secure the tail with a couple of small stitches.
 There you have it:
  • a simple gift that will fit in the palm of your mother's hand
  • a gift that will spark conversations when she wears it (My daughter made this for me..) 
  • an opportunity to use a creativity exercise in a project, and
  • an opportunity to learn some new techniques.
I do hope you'll give the collage exercise a try, and let me know how you like it. But if you're running short on time (Mother's Day is May 9), you have permission to use my red flower collage for your own personal use.  Just right-click on the image to save it to your computer. (My mom -- the retired schoolteacher -- won't mind a bit.)

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