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Joanna van Ritbergen
In thanks to everyone who emailed me their thoughts on inspiring artists and works, I thought to share a small journal cover I made this past Sunday night using transfer-dyed velvet. A journal cover is a great little gift to give a dear friend or relative this holiday season, and only takes a few hours to make.
First, you need to transfer-dye some velvet—lots of fun and easy to do. Transfer dyes (otherwise known as disperse dyes) yield beautiful, transparent effects on fabrics, and you can layer color on top of color to create luscious combinations.
-8"-square piece of cheap, stretchy, synthetic velvet (panne velvet) in a light color. (We’re talkin’ the tacky, synthetic velvet you find in the $5 bin at your fabric store. Don’t use your prized silk velvet because transfer dyes only work with synthetic or predominantly synthetic fabrics.)
- Transfer-dyes (also referred to as disperse dyes) or Crayola fabric crayons
-Rubberstamp(s), stencils, or print blocks in bold designs
- Foam brush
- Sheets of copy/print paper
- Iron and ironing board
1. Paint the copy/print sheets of paper with the transfer dyes. If you are using a crayon, scribble bold, geometric designs such as diamonds, circles, squares, or triangles. Using paints, apply colors to rubberstamps then stamp onto the paper. You could also apply with stencils and a foam brush, or paint designs directly onto the paper.
2. Let the copy paper dry completely.
3. Once the paper is dry, set your iron to the cotton setting and place a piece of velvet onto your ironing board. Place the copy paper with the design facing down on top of the velvet.
4. Iron the back of the copy paper for several seconds, making sure to keep the iron moving over the paper (otherwise you’ll find that the iron’s steam vents will leave a design on your velvet).
5. Gently pull up a corner of the paper to see if the design is transferring. For a bolder, darker effect iron for several seconds longer.
6. For a more complex, variegated look, paint several papers, allow them to dry, and transfer-dye them individually to the same piece of velvet.
For more in-depth information on transfer dyes and velvet check out Jean Littlejohn's VOLUPTUOUS VELVET (Book #2) and Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn's TRANSFER TO TRANSFORM (Book #4).
Creating the Embroidery
After devouring the latest two Jan Beaney/Jean Littlejohn books, GRIDS TO STITCH (Book #17) and SEDUCTIVE SURFACES (Book #18), I was inspired to make a journal cover with diamond-shaped bits of transfer-dyed velvet.
- Transferred-dyed velvet (approximately 8" square)
-2 hand-dyed chiffon scarves
-Hand-dyed cotton (approximately 8" square)
- 8" square piece of Misty Fuse fusible webbing
- Parchment paper
-Shiva® Paintstiks® in gold and copper
-Hand threads in coordinating colors
- Tapestry needle
- Gold metallic thread
- Sewing pins
- Sewing machine
- Fabric scissors
- Heat gun
- Painted cheesecloth
1. With your parchment paper, iron the Misty Fuse fusible webbing to the back of the transfer-dyed velvet.
2. Cut the transfer-dyed velvet into equally sized diamonds.
3. Iron the velvet diamonds in rows onto your hand-dyed piece of fabric.
4. Pin one of the chiffon scarves on top and machine stitch around the velvet diamonds. (It’s easiest to machine-stitch in long diagonal rows.)
5. Take your heat gun and burn away most of the chiffon scarf. (Make sure to do this either outside or in a well-ventilated area.)
6. Add running stitches around the diamonds with various hand threads.
7. Cut the cheesecloth into 3 diamonds and place randomly on your piece.
8. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with your second chiffon scarf.
9. Accent bits of your design with gold by dabbing some Shiva Paintstik in gold and/or copper with your finger around the raised areas.
Assembling the Fabric Journal
-2 pieces of 8" x 16" pieces of hand-dyed fabrics that coordinate with your embroidery
- 8" x 16" piece of batting
- Sewing pins
- Sewing machine and machine threads
- 4 eyelets
- Eyelet setting tools and craft mat
- Marking pen
- Sets of signatures for the pages in your book
- Hole punch
1. Pin both pieces of hand-dyed fabrics to the batting to make a quilt sandwich.
2. Zigzag stitch the edges close and take out the pins.
3. With your ruler, marking pen, eyelet tools, and eyelets, place your eyelets on the cover down the center crease. You want to place two near the top and two on the bottom, both sets about 1" apart from each other on either side of the folding crease.
4. Take your embroidery, cut to the size for the cover, pin to the cover, and satin- stitch with your machine.
5. Make signatures of papers for your book, measuring and punching holes in your pages that will align with the eyelets.
6. With your decorative yarn, weave through the signatures and eyelets and tie off on the outside.
In other news, we have a new canine mascot here at QA headquarters. Meet Sophie, a two-year-old Golden mix that Bernie Berlin rescued from her local pound in September.
Sophie was scheduled to be put down in September (along with her unborn pups). What a loss that would have been...
Due to transports, Bernie has been delayed in getting her eBay auction to raise funds for her nonprofit, A Place to Bark, but I spoke with her yesterday and it's set to launch this Friday at 6:00 PM. Happy bidding!
Below are some more results from the blog challenge. I'm amazed at how a handful of scraps can be transformed into such beautiful creations.
Question for the day: Are you making holiday gifts this year? If so, what? If you have pictures on your blogs, I hope you'll share your link with us.