Making a rock cliff look like rocks......

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Peggy Szasz wrote
on 26 Jun 2010 12:57 PM

I am getting ready to start a new landscape.  It has a wonderful, craggy rock cliff with a lone cedar hanging out over Lake Superior.  It is really an awesome scene......I plan on making the tree using thread lace, so that will not be a problem.  I would like the rock cliff to have the definition that real rocks have.  I thought I could lightly stuff different "rocks"(fabric rocks) so that when I quilt them they are more pronounced.....just a few.  I also thought about puff paint for a few......any ideas out there that might help me get this cliff better?  Thanks a ton for any ideas!!!  Peggy

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DinahT wrote
on 27 Jun 2010 8:13 AM

I am really hooked on fabric paint.  I usually use multi layers of different paints, the base layer Setacolor with additionally layer if needed. I then add details with Tsukineko  inks and other paints. I then use fabric markers and thread-painting to highlight areas.

Check out my "Cliff Side" and "Cougar Twilight" in the Galleries here. And I have a couple of others (not fully finished :(, why they are not here) at my Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/sayyidadinah/sets/72157614481157668/ 

I hope this helps, Dinah

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Peggy Szasz wrote
on 27 Jun 2010 12:55 PM

Hi Dinah,  And yes, your reply did help.  Your new not fully finished quilts on Flicker are fabulous!!!!  I have the Setacolor paints....will start with that and then go from there.  I really want this craggy cliff to look natural.  I thank you so much for taking the time to reply.  Have a great Sunday.  Peggy

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boshell wrote
on 28 Jun 2010 9:49 AM

If you have not tried Tyvek then you just don't know what you are missing.  Go to Fed Ex or the Post Office and get one of their plasticky mailing envelopes.  Cut off the tap and slice around the three sides to give yourself two pieces to work with.  Color the plain side with regular acrylic paints, water color paints, or any other color system might like to use.  I have used acrylic, fabric paint, kids water colors, kids washable markers, color pencils, and crayons.  Crayons make it a lot more delicate to work with so be careful.  Anyway, use heat tool - heating one side makes concave bubbles, and heating the other gives convex patterning.  Or, my favorite is to place the painted Tyvek between two pieces of baking parchment and use the iron to melt the product.  This really makes it look like river stones.  You can even paint this after burning.  Just play with it and I think your stones will have the total definition you are looking for.  PS - yes, you can sew this onto fabric with hand (must use a thimble) or by machine.  Have fun.

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Peggy Szasz wrote
on 28 Jun 2010 1:05 PM

Wow, this sounds like fun!!!!  I will have to give it a try.  Thank you for your instructions including how to sew it onto fabric.  I really appreciate your time in writing out the directions.  Will post the quilt when it is finished.  Thanks again.  Peggy

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Dale Kathryn wrote
on 28 Jun 2010 5:43 PM

Tyvek envelopes without anything printed on them are also available in packages from office supply stores. You might also try your favourite fibre art supplier to see if they sell it by the meter/yard. There are two weights - one is the "usual" Tyvek paper and the other is Tyvek fabric which feels almost like a paper towel. It has a slight, but noticeable texture, whereas the "usual" Tyvek is very smooth. I have both, but have not yet experimented with the fabric. 

Use care and take your time when melting the Tyvek (and always use the baking parchment) - the Tyvek heats very quickly and if you are not careful, you can end up with a melted pile of nothing! No two pieces will end up looking the same - so have fun with it!

Because the Tyvek can bubble and curl when heated, try painting both sides for a different effect. Some of the bubbling might give you a "pebbly" look in your rock cliff. Don't forget to post a photo!

 

TADA / BC

"To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage." - Georgia O'Keeffe

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Peggy Szasz wrote
on 29 Jun 2010 4:03 AM

Thank you so much for the information on the Tyvek.  Do you think that Seta paints will work with the Tyvek?  Thanks for your help.....will post a photo when I have one.  Peggy

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Peggy Szasz wrote
on 29 Jun 2010 6:17 AM

Okay, curiosity got the best of me with this Tyvek for rocks.....I painted a small piece with my Seta paint....let it dry a bit and then sandwiched it between the parchment paper......Wow!!!!  It really does look like rocks!  Thanks a ton for all the help.  Now, back to playing with Tyvek!!  Peggy

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BarbaraM132 wrote
on 16 Jul 2010 6:29 PM

Tyvek is great but for variety try taking a number of strands of yarn in rocky colours, tie them into knots quite close together & stitch all over it. You can do it by machine if you take it slowly but sometimes very big knots have to be anchored by hand.

For a really rocky look I like to use a variety of techniques & even with tyvek i think it looks best if it is stitched into as well. After all we don't want people looking at our work & saying "oh yes, she's used tyvek". I prefer it if people look & wonder how i've got the effect.

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Peggy Szasz wrote
on 17 Jul 2010 4:08 AM

I had fun playing with the Tyvek.  But, I am not sure I am ready to put Tyvek on my quilts......but, reading the comments about how other people make rocks got my brain to thinking.  I have a product I got in Europe called Stickvlies. it is some kinda foundation paper.  Anyway, I traced my cliff pattern onto this paper.  I had 3 rock cliff sections.  I numbered them all.  Then I sat on the floor with my scrape boxes and took out about 50 different fabrics that looked like they could work for rocks.  I built my cliff sections on this Stickvlies and watched the cliff come to life.  It has over a 100 pieces.  Once I got it together, I thought I would try to remove the cliff sections from the Stickvies....and it peeled right off.  I was thrilled, now the cliff would not have the added weight of the Stickvlies.  It is quilted and I am very pleased with it.  Once the quilt is bound I will post it.

I do like your idea of the strands of yarn.  I will have to give that a try since it would give the rocks some dimension. And I bet it looks real natural.  Thanks a ton for your help and technique.  Have a great day.  Peggy

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ckquilter wrote
on 18 Jul 2010 2:26 AM

hi peggy

there are some wonderful stone textured fabrics out there right now - the stonehenge series comes to mind. if cut out and appliqued onto a background, they would provide nice rock textures. i then put a thick, dense poly batt behind them. add heavy quilting in between the rocks, and no quilting over the top of the rock, and you will get wonderful dimensional effects - that even feel like rocks.

another very different embellishment idea - lay real rocks - flatter  is a bit better, and not too big, then cover with tulle, and stitch all around the rocks, heavily. just let the tulle scrunch up between the rocks, and stitch it down thoroughly. cut away excess tulle when you are done.  obviously you can't stitch through the rocks. and it makes a quilt heavy - but it does make for realistic rocks!               ckquilter

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Peggy Szasz wrote
on 18 Jul 2010 1:26 PM

Thanks a ton for the help concerning the rocks.  I like your idea of heavy quilting between the rocks.  And cool idea with the rocks and tulle.  I am just about finished with the quilt and then will post a photo.  It has been great getting ideas on how to execute these rocks on this quilt.  Gotta love QA!!!  Peggy

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