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Tricks and Treats

7 Oct 2008

What's that saying: When the cat's away the mice will play? My husband's been out of town for the past week, and while he was gone, play I did…
ATC Stack

A few things have been on my mind lately: my beautiful hometown of San Francisco, the Grateful Dead (who have a new CD set out), and of course Halloween so I had a lot fun combining imagery inspired by all three to create ATCs for the upcoming trade in Houston at Make It University!™.

2 up

ATCs with Freezer Paper Motifs
Freezer paper stencils have of course been around for a while, but I was truly captivated by Melanie Testa's snowflake freezer paper stencils in Quilting Arts. (In case you missed it, her article will also appear in the upcoming Quilting Arts Book, and Melanie will also have her own book published with us next spring!) I am a huge fan of Melanie Testa's work and ever since she shared her freezer paper process, I have been addicted to making motifs for stenciling and resists. Below I modified slightly to suit my Halloween ATC needs.

• Iron
•Freezer paper
•Marking pen
•Masking tape
•Fabric paint, thickened dyes, or coloring agent of choice
•Foam brush, sponge or dauber to apply paint

1. Draw or print a motif you'd like to stencil. You could choose simple geometric patterns such as circles, dots, squares, etc., or a motif like a spider or jack-o-lantern. Cut the stenc/ motifout. (I chose to use the freezer paper motif as a resist.)
2. Secure freezer paper to your work surface with masking tape. Make sure the wax side is facing down and the paper side is up.
3. Trace the motif onto freezer paper. Cut the motif out.
4. Place the fabric you want to stencil onto your work surface.
5. Place your freezer paper motif or stencil on top of your fabric and iron with the wax side down. Be careful ironing; you want to secure the stencil to the fabric with enough heat, while being careful not to scorch your fabric.
Freezer paper stencils
Motifs made of freezer paper. The reason they are colored is that I have used them as resists a few times already.

6. Now the fun begins--time to paint your fabric! I used fabric paints, Shiva Paintstiks, and thickened dyes. Be sure to paint right over your motifs, while being careful not to oversaturate the fabric. (You don't want the paint or dye to accidentally seep underneath the freezer paper.)
7. Allow the fabric to dry, then gently peel the freezer paper motifs off and save them for later to use again.

Voila: You have some beautiful fabric that you can layer with more imagery and use for quilts,  totes, home dec, fabric postcards, or ATCs.
Three across

Make It University!™ in Houston

It's hard to believe Make It University!™ is just three short weeks away! I am really looking forward to seeing everyone again and we have a very exciting line up of artists who will be joining us in Open Studios. For more information on the International Quilt Festival/Houston, click here.

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Suzie wrote
on 8 Oct 2008 6:47 AM
Those look really interesting! Wish I could go to Houston this year. What kind of fabric did you us for the spiders?
Kelli Perkins wrote
on 8 Oct 2008 9:22 AM
Wow! Those are delicious and fun! I love Halloween, and in fact I was married on Halloween four years ago--right inside a haunted mansion. All of the guests were in costume and the cake was decorated with Day of the Dead skulls. The Houston ATC traders will be lucky to swap with you!
Lisa wrote
on 8 Oct 2008 11:13 AM
These are SO cool! How I wish I could go to Houston this year (instead of the family reunion scheduled for the same week). I had so much fun trading inchies last year and Make It University was a blast! Ah well - I have my sights set on 2009. (What will CPS be trading then, I wonder...?)
Sharon L. Neth wrote
on 8 Oct 2008 11:51 AM
I can't go to Houston but I would love to make more ATC's so that I can send them to you for the swap? Where do I mail the ATC's to Houston or Stow, MA? This would be a wonderful chance to use my brand new Gocco machine for some fun fresh new work that I have been I have been planning! I do have to say that I never knew about the freezer paper stencil idea.... that is so wonderful! Wait, here it comes.... the wild and woolly creative juices are flowing! Thanks everyone for that stimulation!
Melissa wrote
on 15 Oct 2008 8:31 AM
Love the ATCs...can't wait to try this method! Also, your mention of the Grateful Dead brought back memories of my days growing up in California. I was such a Dead Head back then! I'll have to check out the new CD.
e14studio wrote
on 19 Oct 2008 7:46 PM
I would love to trade mine for yours! I hope to get more made by the time of the show. Thanks for sharing this freezer paper/stencil technique. ~Sharon Hou.TX
Pokey wrote
on 20 Oct 2008 8:54 PM
Sharon, if you send some ATCs with an SASE to our QA address in Stow, I'll swap same amount out to you... (Address is Quilting Arts, PO BOX 685, Stow, MA, 01775) Sorry I didn't respond sooner; I missed your comment!
Sharon Neth wrote
on 25 Oct 2008 12:03 PM
I am glad that I can mail them to you in Stow! I just hope that I can make them fast enough? That is to meet the deadline?
Sharon Neth wrote
on 26 Oct 2008 9:06 PM
I have just finished 2 of the ATC's and on Monday I will overnight them to you in Stow, MA. I hope that you get them before you leave for TX? Thanks for everything!
Michelle wrote
on 26 Oct 2008 10:51 PM
Love the ATCs!