A couple of Summers ago my neighbor Kat showed up at my door with three Sunflower Plants. They grew into beautiful Sunflowers, that never failed to make me smile. I am always on the hunt for patterns that will show off my hand marbled and hand dyed fabrics. Breezy Sunflower is perfect for that. It always takes a bit of time to select just the right fabric. Hand Marbled Sun (two different designs), Hand Marbled Chocolate Freestyle, Hand Dyed Chartreuse and Hand Dyed Forest is what I started with.
Quilting the Sunflowers
As I wanted to show off the Marbled Fabric, I chose to only do very simple quilting. Found an Art Deco book in my library, clean simple lines was what I was shooting for.
Sunflower Close Up
Marbled Fabric gives the Sunflower motion, depth and life. It is always satisfying when a creation turns out better than you thought possible.
If you are looking to create a Wearable Art Garment this pattern (Kwik Sew K4104) gives you space to play. The Lined Open Front Jacket is pretty easy to construct. It took me longer because of all the embellishments and Quilting that were added. When I plan to Quilt on a garment constructed with Hand Dyed Cotton Fabric, I always use Flannel as batting. The Flannel has been washed and dried a minimum of three times in very hot water and dried in a hot dryer. This is done to get any possible shrinkage out of the way.
I planned to Quilt on this garment, I initially cut the fabric out one-inch
larger than the pattern pieces. This
allows for any shrinkage that occurs during Quilting and Embellishing.
colors are Hand Dyed Lavender, Sky Blue and Marbled Cerulean. The strips were made using a ¼” Bias Tape
Maker. The Ultimate Marking Pencil (UMP)
was used to draw the lines for strip placement.
After sewing down the colored strips, I used a hot iron (Steam or no
Steam, works both ways) to remove the UMP lines. At this point I felt a little stumped, things
didn’t look right, my creative eye was not happy. Thinking it was time to put the project into a
Time Out. My sister suggested that I
hang the jacket on my new dress form to see what I thought. Realized that I had been constructing in 2D
and my brain had been dreaming in 3D.
With a few minor adjustments and I was ready to move on.
The Ultimate Marking Pencil is used to draw very basic Quilting outlines. I always allow myself the freedom to create and adjust as I am Quilting. The beauty of the UMP is if you are not pleased with the design you can iron it away. I love the face that once I am done Quilting, I can iron away the markings and no one knows that I Quilted outside the lines.
Quilting takes time, give yourself time to Quilt. I always use extra pieces of Cotton and Flannel to do a sample to find the right thread, needle, stitch length and tension. Remember everything is a huge adventurous experiment.
My Fabric has been created. Time to cut out and mark everything. Construction of the jacket took less time than making the fabric. The pattern called for tons of Understitching, so I chose to leave an opening in the lower center back of the lining. It made it easier to get to all of the places to Understitch. I sew it up by hand when everything was finished.
Finished Wearable Art Jacket
This is View A, but with all of the Embellishments and Quilting I chose to put pockets in the side seams instead if the Welt Pockets. Jackets need pockets in my world. This is how I Create a Wearable Art Garment.
Fall is officially here, that makes me think of a mug of Hot Chocolate. Now I am not talking about Milk Chocolate, but rich Dark Chocolate. Luscious, yummy really Dark Chocolate in the Waved Icarus Design.
While cleaning out and organizing old photos I found some lost treasures. This wonderful chicken wall-hanging was created by Karen Nickelson. She used my hand marbled fabric to give the chickens some feathers and texture without having to cut out each feather.
Finding the perfect colors for each hand marbled pieces of fabric can be a challenge. Generally I find myself using a combination of six colors. The tricky part is that the paints I use are opaque (Solid), translucent (see through but not clear) and transparent (clear). Each color is printed on a colored background. I am using Burnt Orange for this example. All of my paints are in clear jars. A fair amount of fiddling around and trying different combinations of paint follows. My favorite combination is dropped onto the clear marbling base. Sometimes that can change the look of the colors.
The hand dyed fabric is the gently lowered onto the base. They are lifted and rinsed.
I discovered it is hard to photograph wet fabric. The water reflects the light, just like a lake or pond.
Opaque colors tend to stay the same, translucent colors may darken or appear to mix with the fabric color, transparent color allows the hand dyed color to shine through. More fiddling with the combination maybe required at this point.
The colors often change once they dry. The hard part is waiting fifteen days for the paints to cure. No trying to rush them or the colors do not adhere properly and all of the work is wasted. The cured fabric is washed, dryed and ironed. It takes about three week from start to finish.
It is so exciting to see what artists are creating with my hand marbled fabric. Eagle is a pattern by Kathy McNeil, you can find it on her web site. Wow! this big bad girl is gorgeous. I say she as female eagles are larger than the males, wing span up to six and one half feet across. Kathy has captured the majesty of the American Bald Eagle. I am adding a close up of the body, it shows how my hand marbled Chocolate and Black fabrics were used to add depth and texture. Cannot wait to see the beauty in person!!!