technique question

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on 1 Jun 2015 5:39 PM

Does anyone know the technique for appliqueing a realistic looking glass of water with ice cubes?  i saw an example of this years ago in a magazine and i cannot find out how this was done.  It was done using fabric only, no paints or dyes and yet it was quite amazing and two dimensional.  I mean, it looked like a photograph of a glass of water with ice cubes in it.  

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ckquilter wrote
on 3 Jun 2015 4:16 AM

hi cheryl


i am not familiar with the article you ask about.

however, there are a number of ways to get sheer effects with fabrics.

first, you will need a design. you can just draw one. or you could take a picture. some photo programs will have posterize or line drawing options you can apply to the picture, to get a design. or you can hand draw the design from the picture.

if you take a picture to use for your design - remember to draw what you SEE - not what you THINK is there. 

either way - you want a design the size of your finished project.

remember, the sheer effect means you can see the background thru the glass. so create a continuous background.

the sheer effect of ice, water and glass could be done several ways.


sheer fabrics would be one way. you might need several sheers - one for each element; or one sheer might work for more than one element.

you could also use the sheet form of angelina, or the sheer gift wrap or florist wrap.

you will need to make ice cubes first. remember they float - so you will need to decide where your water level is, before placing the ice.

probably want to fuse the ice - but not required. and might want to stitch - possibly with monofilament. but again, may not be necessary.

then i would add the water layer. again fuse (?). as it will cover the ice layer - you might not need to stitch the ice.

and finally, i would add the glass layer. remember, the top edge will be rounded - and depending on your viewpoint, the front and back edges will both show. the glass layer of sheer will cover both the ice and water layers - so that is why they might not need to be stitched down separately.

if you need to shade, another layer or more of sheers can be used to create shadows or darker areas. i like to add the largest layer last - so no raw edges to worry about. 

the edges of the glass are probably gonna want to be stitched down. you might try monofilament - but it usually gives a plastic-y look. instead, i would try one of the iridescent metallic threads - they give a good edge effect for glass. i would probably satin stitch the glass edges - to give an opaque effect there. it is opaque because you are looking thru several layers of glass . 

if you use fabric - satin stitching should work fine. if you use one of the plastic type sheers - you will need to play with the stitch a bit to make sure you don't perforate the plastic so much that it breaks off.  (even if you fuse the sheers down, i would stitch them down. regardless of what the manufacturer claims, all fusibles will eventually release, if moved around enough. so i personally always stitch the edges down.)

you won't find sheer fabrics at the quilt shop. you will need to find a joanns or michaels or home furnishing fabric shop to find sheer fabrics.  at joins, try the costume fabric area or home dec fabric area . they usually have lots of different sheer fabrics.    you might want green or blue or amber colored glass - instead of clear. and should be able to find sheer fabrics for either effect.

you could also try clear vinyl for the glass - should be in the home dec area at joanns. 

hope that helps                        ckquilter

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on 6 Jun 2015 2:18 PM

Wow, thats an awesome amount of info.  Thanks so much for the help.  I actually have a lot of the material you mention.  I cannot wait to try this.  Again, thanks for the time and info.  Cheryl

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