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Fabric Journal & More Blog Challenge Results

28 Nov 2006

Congratulations to the following five for winning a free one-year subscription:

Terri Stegmiller
Sandra Spagnuolo
Carol Wiebe
Sue Bleiweiss
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
- Iron
- 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
- Yarn
- Marking pen
- Ruler
- 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.

Donna Anderson


Carol Wiebe


Diana Ching


Eleni Litt


Leanne Hurren


Natalya Aikens


Sue DeHann


Teri Stegmiller


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.

Related Posts
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Susan Radke wrote
on 28 Nov 2006 7:54 PM
Hello! I just learned about your magazine from a quilt shop nearby. They don't even carry your magazines but the woman was talking with me and learned that I like to make hand painted fabrics and embellishments for clothing. She felt your magazine was just the ticket. I can't say enough how excited I am. I'm just learning about textile arts and I'm astonished at the beauty I see in the work of others. I'm so excited and thank you sincerely for sharing through your blog. I may even consider creating a blog if I can figure out how.
Susan Radke wrote
on 28 Nov 2006 7:57 PM
Oh - forgot to answer the question - yes, I am making Christmas gifts this year. I will be making hand painted silk scarves for the ladies and hope to paint some wonderful cotton flannel shirts with a unique pinstripe design for the men. I love to use the Lumieres by Jaquard as well as their Dye na Flow paints. I would like to hear a review of Sherrill Kahn's Sorbets?
Terri Stegmiller wrote
on 28 Nov 2006 8:54 PM
Hi Patricia, I want to thank you for the 1 year extension to my subscription. I was totally excited to actually be a winner. I've been working on some X-mas gifts. Most I haven't posted as I don't want to spoil the surprise. But just last night I made a Little Treasure (QA Winter 2005) and plan to make more for family member gifts. I'm going to stuff them with treats. See the one I've done so far here -
Zoe a.k.a Witchypoos wrote
on 29 Nov 2006 3:53 AM
Question for the day: Are you making holiday gifts this year? If so, what? Yes, I have been making tree ornaments and fabric postcards. This is an seasonal event for me as I enjoy making a small gift for familly and friends. Pictures will be on my blog in the next few days.
e14studio wrote
on 29 Nov 2006 12:09 PM
Last year I made "Rumi cards" for a friend and she really liked them. (I can't show you what I'm making this year because it would ruin the suprise!) Here's the link to the cards:
Carol Wiebe wrote
on 29 Nov 2006 12:16 PM
I, too, am thrilled to have my subscription extended a year. I get both your publications, and have ALL the issues. When a new issue comes I "save" it until I can have some savoring time in a comfy chair with a chai latte. Now I'll be able to do that even more often, thanks to your wise decision to do 6 instead of 4 issues a year. As for Christmas, I simply enjoy the extra time in my studio. I like to give art supplies rather than finished products.
Sandra Spagnuolo wrote
on 30 Nov 2006 1:24 AM
Thanks Patricia. When I realized I was one of the five, it made my day. My current subscription to QA has made the rounds of all of my "artist" friends and I am constantly revisiting the back issues for techniques. I have been using the heat gun to slash and burn lately - QA Issue 17 - and the results have had me smiling from ear to ear! I look forward to every issue of both CPS and QA and having them come more often is icing on the cake. Thanks again. The generous gift and the wonderful inspiration it provides are greatly appreciated.
Sue Bleiweiss wrote
on 30 Nov 2006 7:11 AM
Can't thank you enough for the extension on my subscription! Your magazines are the only ones that I refer back to again and again. You have really managed to raise the bar on what a quality publication about fiber and paper arts should be and look like. Your magazines are like food for the creative soul.
Julie wrote
on 30 Nov 2006 9:25 AM
I made some quilted coasters for Christmas gifts this year. I quilted two 4 inch pieces of some beautiful fabric that I bought in Provence in 2004, sewed them together, and filled them with 3 inch muslin sacks of rice and lavender from my herb garden. When you put your hot beverage down on them, the smell of Provence in July wafts up. No pictures yet though because I was doing really good just to get the coasters made!
Donna Funnell wrote
on 30 Nov 2006 1:03 PM
I have been busy making fibre art bookmarks and pins to wear for a Christmas sale here in my home town with local artists. I am putting my new sewing machine ( Pfaff 2048) to the test. This was my retirement gift to myself after 30 years teaching school. I have also made beaded earrings for family members for the holidays. Using beads gets me to play with colour and pattern in a very relaxing and inexpensive way. Then I get to wear my creations!I have just started to blog and very soon I'll figure how to put photos on it. is my blog, hope you will visit. Thank You Pokey for these marvellous technique blogs, its like getting More Quilting Arts Magazine!!!
Veronica Richmond wrote
on 1 Dec 2006 11:37 PM
I don't plan to make Christmas gifts, but will likely use ATCs and other goodies as tags. My friends have very different tastes and there are other presents I think they would appreciate more. I love playing, though, and will make goodies over Christmas. I'm now blogging as well, inspired in part by this blog and the wonderful artists it's led me to. is where I'm posting my fun. Thank you for wonderful magazines that have provided me with hours and hours and hours of play.
DonnaU wrote
on 6 Dec 2006 10:24 AM
Wow, what a wonderful resource your site is. I make quilts for my troops when they return home from overseas and now you have given me so many more ideas. Thank you!
Nina wrote
on 4 Feb 2007 1:55 AM
I'm a beginner at fabric art journaling. What are signatures????? Many thanks. - N
Wendy wrote
on 24 Feb 2007 2:56 PM
I found some great used shoes and wanted to paint designs on them, etc. The ribbons and fake gems are staying on great with fabri-tac (sp?) but my acrylic paint is starting to crack and peel. Anyone have an idea on how to prep the shoes before, seal afterwards, or a product to use that would make the paint stay? Thanks so much!
Patricia Bolton wrote
on 28 Feb 2007 5:31 PM
Wendy, You may want to try leather paint rather than acrylic, as acrylic paint will tend to crack if there's movement. Anybody else have ideas?
quiltingarts wrote
on 28 Feb 2007 5:41 PM
Nina, Signatures are sets of pages (say...sets of 8 pages) that are then stitched with other signatures to make a book. Hope I helped!
Lilly wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 1:38 AM
well… i visit your website first time and found this site very usefull and intresting ! well… you guys doing nice work and i just want to say that keep rocking and keep it up !!!! Regards Lilly