This blog is a place to archive project processes and techniques from Painted Threads with descriptions of how work was produced. I am including comments that contain questions and answers pertaining to the work from many of the original blog posts.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Making a Faced Binding

Quite often I think bindings can visually distract from an art quilt. Of course there are times when the binding integrates visually to the overall design of a quilt and is a necessary design element. But for my quilts I find a frame of color around the outside edge of the quilt to be distracting. I don't really like big wooden frames on painted canvases either, so I guess that is just my personal preference.

So, when I make large art quilts, I like to make faced bindings, which creates a very clean finish to the front of a quilt (and you can never get a critical comment from a judge that your binding is not evenly filled either, lol).

The first thing you need to do is cut a four inch wide strip of fabric for each side of the quilt that is about 4" longer than each side.

Fold the fabric in half lengthwise and press.

After I have trimmed the quilt to size, I machine stitch the edge to secure any quilting lines that have been cut and to keep the 3 layers secured while sewing the binding on.

Pin the binding fabric to the front of the quilt with a couple extra inches of binding at either end.

With a pencil place a mark 1/4" from the top edge of the quilt, do the same at the bottom edge of the quilt. This is where you will begin and end stitching. Stitch binding down with 1/4" seam allowance.

Fold the binding back at a 45° angle, place the next binding down and repeat the previous step.

Finger press the second binding at a 45° angle.

This finger pressed line will be your stitching line.

Bring the two binding edges together, matching up the finger pressed lines and pin.

Pull the quilt out of the way and stitch along the finger pressed line.

Stop stitching at the pencil mark.

Trim seam to 1/4" and finger press open.

Trim bulk of seam allowance away at corner being careful not to cut the stitching line.

Trim the seam allowance at an angle toward the corner.

Turn the binding to the back, poking the corner out to a point with your finger or with a blunt pointed object. Press the binding along the edge of the quilt with a hot iron. Then slip stitch the binding to the back of the quilt.

A nice clean finish! 

jojo said- where did you get that measuring tool?

Jojo, That tool, made by Dritz, came in my teacher bag at festival, it is awesome! I found one here on Amazon.

Laurie said- How do you hang the quilt-with a sleeve?

Gloria Hansen has a great tutorial on making a quilt sleeve.  All you need is a wood rod or slat, then put a screw eye in each end. Then the quilt can be hung by two small nails that the screw eyes can slip over on the wall.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Making Black and Bloom all Over

I love getting really focused and tightly rendering a representational image while painting, but recently I have been trying to get looser and more gestural with my painting, kind of like the direction I take with some of my mixed media work, but pushing it even further. For my latest quilt, which represents my present emotional state of mind, I tried to work more spontaneously without pre-planned imagery.

After experimenting with Daler Rowney FW Acrylic Inks, I decided to use them for painting a 4' x 5' piece of cotton sheeting with large loose brush strokes of random color, to see how the inks would work covering large areas and what would happen as the different colors overlapped.

I really liked how the colors would get soft and mottled if the fabric was very wet with ink

and if the fabric was dry, there would be visible brush strokes

After painting the fabric, I used a permanent marker to write personal words and phrases that expressed some of my feelings. These messages are being written for my own catharsis and ultimately will not be very legible to the viewer. My intention is for the words to be embedded in the work like a talisman.

I also collaged a few bits of printed imagery; a toner printed tea bag and some painted abaca paper that I had leftover from making my One collages.

I also used some of my hand carved stamps with the ink and it worked great, not as thick and gloppy as stamping with regular acrylics.

My next step was to draw/paint some big floral imagery. To draw the flower motifs, I thought I would try this solid stick permanent marker I ordered from Dharma.

It was kind of a creamy consistency, much like an oil pastel. It had a little bit of odor but as it dried (after a couple hours) the smell went away. It was easy to draw on the fabric and quickly work out a design. I used the whole stick to draw the images on the quilt, it was easy and convenient but did not go very far.

I am not sure it was better than using a paint brush and paint, but it was probably faster. If you are more comfortable drawing than painting a design freehand then I would recommend it.

To define the flowers from the background it was a matter of painting different colors of ink over the separate areas. For example I painted yellow over the blue areas of the leaves and blue over yellows to get an overall green. I painted a deeper blue over the areas that would be background, making it overall blue yet with all kinds of variations in hue because the colors underneath effect it in different ways.

The large flower was painted over with white, since there was so much green in the under painting it would have been difficult to put a warm color over it without getting a muddy dark flower. As I painted the flowers and background I ended up using white textile paint to add more details and painting over some of the drawn lines to make them bolder.

The next part of the design process involved creating a layer of thorny black weeds to paint on top of the floral imagery.

I took a photo of the painted fabric (by putting it on the floor and standing on a table) and printed out a copy on 8 1/2" x 11" paper. I placed tracing paper over the top and drew multiple versions of weeds until I had it the way I wanted and made a final clean copy with black marker.

My next problem was to figure out how to transfer my design to the painted fabric. I decided the best way to do it would be to project the image on to the cloth. Not having an overhead projector, I decided to use my digital projector that I use for giving lectures.

I scanned the tracing paper and opened the jpg in photosshop, connected my laptop to the projector, taped my painted cloth to the wall and lined up the projected line drawing over the painting. I used a fine point sharpie to trace the line drawing onto my painting.

I painted the weeds with black textile paint, since I wanted it to have the most opacity and I knew it would be tough to cover the white lines.

So now you see where I am, one year after the Three of Swords quilt. There has been some difficult and ugly stuff (represented by thorny weeds) that I have had to deal with, but in the space between there has been a lot of growth, blossoming, renewal, light and life. Even the black bitterness has it's own beauty, it's just a little hard to see sometimes :-) So in other words, I am good! and life is certainly interesting, lol.

When I prepare a whole cloth painting for quilting my secret weapon is Mistyfuse. I am not fond of basting and when I discovered Mistyfuse could replace hours of tedious basting with fantastic results, I never looked back. I love this product and never make a quilt without it anymore.

I place my painted fabric face down on a surface I can iron on. For that I have a large plywood board wrapped with batting and muslin that I put on top of my work table. Then I cover the back of the fabric with a layer of Mistyfuse.

That roll is a bolt of mistyfuse.

Mistyfuse is as light as a spider web with delicate little strands of fusible adhesive, which will not change the hand of the fabric at all.

I lay a large silicon pressing sheet or parchment paper over the top and iron at the hottest setting.

After the whole back is covered with Mistyfuse, I put a bed sheet on the floor and spread the wool batting out on top. Next, I put the quilt top on with the Mistyfuse side down on the batting. Starting in the center of the fabric and working my way concentrically outward, I iron it on the hottest setting, fusing the top to the batting.

Then I turn the whole thing over, with the painted fabric face down on the sheet. I cut one to two inch squares of Mistyfuse and place them in a loose grid approximately 6 to 8 inches apart across the batting. I carefully lay the backing fabric over the top and iron the surface, which effectively spot fuses the back fabric to the batting.

Freemotion Quilting
I begin the process of freemotion machine quilting, by anchoring the quilt by outlining various parts of the quilt with stitching. This helps to stabilize the quilt. On this particular quilt I stitched around all the wed shapes with black thread and all the flowers with white thread. Then I worked on filling in those areas with different quilting designs.

When the quilting is finished, I block the quilt by pinning it to the carpet and steaming it. This smooths it out, puffs up the batting and makes the quilt lay flat.

Next it's important to make sure the quilt is square by using large straight edges and triangles to check all the corners.

I use a Bohin chalk pencil to mark the finished size of the quilt for cutting.

Then I trim the excess quilted fabric away, using a rotary cutter and butting up several large cutting mats, leaving an extra 1/4 inch seam allowance all the way around to sew the binding to.

I prefer a faced binding which is not visible from the front the quilt, giving it a nice clean finished edge.
Black and Bloom All Over       Judy Coates Perez     36" x 48" 
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