Thursday, 3 September 2015

Building a fabric-2

Yesterday my computer time was taken up with writing a newsletter. So, here we are with the next bit of building a fabric.

We had just got to fusing the 3rd fabric and needing to slice up the fabric which was a combo of fabric 1 and 2.
This time the fabric needs to be cut up in the other direction. Perpendicular to the pieces from the first fabric. Again I cut it in 1cm strips.

And then laid them onto the 3rd fabric (laying on the ironing board so I don't have to move the fabric when I have everything placed.)
I staggered the strips.

I rarely use the pieces on the very end. But on this layout, I cut little bits from that strip to place on edges because the 2nd fabric was a little too wide.
To put the little pieces on the edges increases the amount of fabric you can use.

When this fabric layout was fused, I then cut fabric no. 4 a little wider and a few inches longer than the current combined fabric piece. And fused the back of it.
Fabric no.4 is a crepe back satin. So, I used the shiny side up as it 'reads' lighter.

Again, time to slice the fabric, but remembering to go the opposite direction. Stagger the strips on the 4th fabric.
This is where you begin to see how exciting your 'new' fabric is. So many little bits of fabric in many different combinations and coming together in a way you could never have developed if you didn't follow these steps.

Now fuse them down.

One last go! Cut fabric no. 5 a little longer and a few inches wider than your combination fabric. I cut mine from the back of the crepe back satin...the crepe side 'reads' darker. Put fusible on the back.

Cut the 1cm strips from the combination fabric (no.1-4)

Place them on fabric no. 5 and fuse them down.

And for my purposes, this now is the final fabric!
This fabric will be cut into the shape and then mounted on an even darker blue.*

Do you see how interesting this new fabric you have built is? A lot of movement, a lot of texture, and a lot of combinations of the shapes and colours.
I usually use shades and tints of a certain colour, but you can do this with a variety of colours. I wanted to build a fabric to use for a jungle.
After this step, I also cut the strips diagonally.
You can see how this piece could be developed to show the idea of leaves and shades of the jungle.

There are a lot of places in the steps which I covered where you can say, What if I did this? It all depends on what your final use will be. But for the most part, you need to do at least 4 steps. If you are doing more than 5 steps, you need to be sure your fabrics are well fused to one another in the first few stages. Otherwise, they are tiny when chopped up and can easily begin to come undone.

After cutting my shape, when I fuse it to the backing fabric, I also do a bit of free machine embroidery. The fusing is good, but as it is pieces, could easily get caught on things, then pieces can get picked off.
Do remember though that you have several layers in some parts, so take your time and use a larger needle so it has more oomph to push through. Oh, and if you haven't used Misty Fuse, the glue in the fusible areas of the layers may create their own layers.
It may also mean that because the needle is working harder, it gets hot and you might find the glue melting/sticking to the needle, gumming it up. You can still do it, but you may have to have a handy bit of the hand cleaner gel on a bit of fabric to clean your needle off every so often. You will know! The thread starts to shred! (I haven't tried this, but I understand a needle with titanium coating is helpful in that instance.)

Another idea I have done in the past is to layer the whole with a synthetic organza - free machine it down in a close pattern, and then zap it with a heat gun. Some of the organza will melt away between the stitching to reveal the built fabric. It also creates a wonderful crunchy texture where it has melted.

Let me know if you try this!

*This fabric I have built will be used in the piece I am making for the Fly Me to the Moon project. Quilts made to the theme of the Moon will be put into a book to celebrate the 50th year anniversary of the Moon Landings.

1 comment:

Sarah Jacobs said...

WOW!! this is AMAZING!!!!