When I was a child, before we had handheld devices–or even more than a handful of TV channels–we often passed the time by coloring. Any time the adults wanted to keep the young folk quiet and occupied, out came a fresh coloring book and box of crayons, and we were absorbed for what seemed like hours.
Bold black lines formed the shapes we would color in with light shading or bold intensity, depending on the crayon of choice and the amount of pressure applied.
For many of us, coloring books were our first foray into the Zen-like focus color play can bring. Time spent in my studio rearranging textiles for fabric art brings me back to those days.
|‘Tutti Frutti Lane’ fiber collage quilt by Sue Bleiweiss.|
I immediately thought of coloring books when I first saw Sue Bleiweiss’s “Tutti Frutti” quilt series. The stark black lines, simple house and tree shapes, and candy colors resemble a grown-up version of a coloring book to me, and I know Sue has fun creating these fabric art projects.
Sue dyes her own fabrics for the quilts and spends an afternoon fusing them with MistyfuseTM. She does all her fabric fusing with this gossamer fusible because she can build up layers of fused fabric–as many as eight–without the quilt getting stiff. Plus, Mistyfuse doesn’t gum up her sewing needles.
Sue gives special treatment to yellow and black fabrics.
Because a darker fabric background can often show through yellow fabric, she first fuses the yellow onto white fabric. Then she adds another layer of Mistyfuse under the white fabric.
|Sue keeps the outlines sharp by taking two layers of black fabric & fusing them together for extra stability before cutting.|
To give her skinny strips of black fabric a little more stability, she fuses two layers of Mistyfuse to the back of the black.
“I fuse one layer on, let it cool, and the fuse another layer of Mistyfuse right on top of the cooled layer,” says Sue.
Once her fabrics are prepped, she’s ready to design, cut, and assemble her “Tutti Frutti” quilts.
You can try your hand at creating your own coloring book-style textile art with Sue’s guidance in her Quilting Arts Workshop video, Coloring Book Fabric Collage: Dyeing, Fusing, Designing, and Quilting, available on its own or as part of our Fabric Fusing Fun: Complete Mistyfuse Kit, back by popular demand.
P.S. Did you color as a kid? Did you stay inside the lines or embellish on them? Leave your comment below.
Join Sue Bleiweiss for this workshop that will guide you through fabric collage techniques.