Paint Your Quilt

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If you’ve been following Toni’s posts about her exploits at the International Quilt Festival in Chicago this week, I assure you that there is more to come! I had the very real pleasure of being (willingly) dragged along for the adventure.

A little wine and a lot of quilting! Tracey Mooney (left) of Sew Supportive was also there to join in the fun at the Iron Quilter Challenge.

A little wine and a lot of quilting! Tracey Mooney (left) of Sew Supportive was also there to join in the fun at the Iron Quilter Challenge.

I got to see a bit of everything fiber art! From the traditional to the modern, from the subtle to the colorful, from the textured to the full 3D, these quilters are simply phenomenal.

A lovely example of quilts to ogle at the fest, taken directly from the official Quilt Fest FB.

A lovely example of quilts to ogle at the fest, taken directly from the official International Quilt Fest FB.

IQF  is not JUST about staring in wonder and awe over the amazing creations, though. Of course there are also the rows upon rows of goodies for sale, events like the Iron Quilter Challenge, demos of new products and techniques but most importantly for newbies like me…the workshops! Toni and I were able to take a class called The Art of the Covered Button with Lorraine Torrence where we were introduced to new techniques in fabric manipulation. I’ll let Toni tell you more about the session (along with our fab results) later but I found myself drawn to a technique I’ve never witnessed before, using oil paint sticks specifically designed for fabric!

This particular example is care of Laura Murray, purveyor of fabric art products and amazing paint techniques.

This particular example is care of Laura Murray, purveyor of fabric art products and amazing paint techniques.

If you have not previously been introduced to paint sticks, allow me to offer my sincerest apologies to your pocket book. These oil based paints look like giant nubby crayons that produce the most lush colors on fabric that I have ever seen. The sticks themselves come in an array of colors and in order to use them, they need to be peeled of the thick “skin” they form after each use. The self healing nature of the sticks allow them to be stored for long periods of time in between uses and still retain their vibrancy. The demonstration we witnessed utilized rubber stamps combined with a metallic stick to create a rubbing of the underlying stamp giving the fabric an embossed look. The beauty of the paint sticks is that once the paint has time to cure and is heat set, the color stays vibrant and the fabric can be washed! Amazing, right?! Now that it’s all over, I simply had to cruise the craft sites for more information. I would definitely point you firstly to Laura Murray Designs (not just because she has a great first name) as her templates, stamps, and supplies were what we got to see in use at the show. She also has a newsletter AND tutorials for using paint sticks on her very handy website!

Stencils will also be your new best friend! You know there are stencil blanks out there to make your own designs, right?

Stencils will also be your new best friend! You know there are stencil blanks out there to make your own designs, right?

Secondly, I found this quick and easy tutorial on Craftsy that takes you through using them specifically on stencils. I can’t wait to try out paint sticks on all sorts of projects! It’s been quite a weekend so I think it’s time to kick back and relax before starting on the next craft adventure.

Enjoy your week, all!

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


Geek Chic Knits

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One of the things I love about crafting is finding materials that have been hand made or hand dyed.  We met Geek Chic Knits at Magfest last year and saw her beautiful hand dyed yarn first hand with amazing names for the colors.

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Twilight Sparkle- Gold 40 weight embroidery thread ply-ed with hand spun Corrie-dale wool and kettle dyed in shades of lavender and purple create a yarn reminiscent of everyone’s favorite nerdy unicorn.

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Bad Penny – Tones of copper, delphinium, and teal hand painted onto a skein of 2 ply hand-spun blending together to create shades of lilac, brown and cream reminiscent of a copper penny going through oxidation. This colorway is also available as a braid of dyed wool roving.

She doesn’t just offer pretty yarn.  Geek Chic Knits also creates great things with the yarn for you.

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So head over to her websiteFacebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pintrest to see these yarns.

-Toni


Wonderful World of Worbla

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I’ve been doing some experimenting lately outside of my comfort zone- specifically, I’ve been making things that aren’t fabric based. This might not seem like a big deal for some, but I’m much more comfortable with creating something out of fabric and thread. But in my explorations of the cosplay world, there is only so much you can do before you need to deal with props and armor and other bits that need to be more solid.

When you decide on a project for a costume, one of the first decisions you have to make is what materials will you use? The possibilities are endless, from fabric to foam, paper, metals, or plastics to name just a few. I decided to go the Worbla route and since it isn’t the most usual of materials, I thought there might be some of there out there who haven’t heard of it, but might find it useful. It works well and has a lot of lasting power.

Worbla, or Worbla’s Finest Art to give it its full name, is a thermoplastic which basically means its a plastic that becomes pliable when its heated up. Worbla’s creators say it is made from renewable natural raw materials, which is something I like, and may be why it smells a little like bread when heated up.

FullSizeRenderHeating it to sufficient pliability requires a heatgun, but once there it works almost like clay. It does get quite hot, so I wouldn’t do this with children who could easily burn their fingers, but for the most part, I had no issue with it.

I’ve spent all weekend wrangling with a pair of shinguards, which were the most complicated Worbla project I’ve created to date. I do find that in going for a shape it is easier if I have something to base the Worbla on top of. For these shinguards, I used craft foam, although with Worbla’s pliability, it would certainly work for covering just about anything.

The only difficulty with Worbla is that it isn’t as simple as just form it and paint it. Worbla has a grain to it, with bumps and and bits. Its part of the structure of the material that you can’t get away from. If that’s cool for what you’re creating, then of course its simple enough. But for most of what I use it for, I’m looking for a smooth surface. To that end, I have to spend time priming the Worbla to make it smooth. There are a number of ways of doing this, the two most popular that I’m aware of being wood glue and gesso. Either way, once done, you’ll find you have a solid piece that will take a good deal of abuse.

Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel in explaining how to use Worbla, I thought I’d introduce you to Kamui Cosplay. My forays into Worbla crafting aren’t that impressive yet, but hers certainly are.

Scythes made by Kamui Cosplay out of foam & Worbla.

Kamui Cosplay is, in my opinion, the most impressive Worbla using cosplayer out there. Her talent is jaw-dropping, but her gifts aren’t limited to the actual creation. She has actually gone ahead and created tutorials and books on how to use Worbla that include everything from patterning to finishing. If you’re not interested in the books on fabricating these items, she’s also provided video tutorials that show the whole process.

Alongside Worbla, there is Worbla’s Deco Art which is a user friendly plastic that melts in hot water and becomes mouldable. There is also a new kid in town, called Worbla’s TranspArt, which is designed to be transparent. I haven’t had the chance to play with it yet, but it looks very interesting.

The only drawback I’ve found with Worbla is availability. So for those interested- here are some places you can purchase it:

USA & Canada-

Europe-

~ eliste