Monday, February 27, 2017

How I make a fabric art journal

 Today I am sharing the instructions for my fabric art journals. I forgot to take photos as I went along because I was filming for the video so I have a few pictures I saved from the film, sorry about the quality. You will get more detail in the video but this is a quick recap.

I start with a bunch of finished pages. It needs to be an even number of pages.  Use any technique you want to make your pages and finish off the edges neatly. Some methods I used for edges were folding over excess fabric to the back, binding, leaving felt untouched or satin stitch. I like all my pages to be the same size and I make them letter size (A4 metric) because that is easy to handle under my sewing machine.

I place a strip of fabric between the first and second pages. It doesn't matter how wide you make it but I like it to be almost the length of the pages. I match the outer edge of the pages and pin them first then pin the fabric strip in place. Stitch all the way around your two pages to hold the strip in place and connect the first two pages together.

 I place the third page on top then pin the extra piece of fabric strip to it. I add the fourth page and matching up the outer edge again I pin it in place. I stitch all the way around the two new pages and catch in the fabric strip.

 This makes a 4 page signature that is connected by the fabric strip in the middle as you can see here. At this stage it is very sturdy.  Do that to all your pages so they all become grouped together. Next we will make the spine and attach it to all those 4 page signatures.

I stack my pages and measure the width I want the spine to be. I also measure the length of the pages for the length of the spine. I cut that piece out of stiff interfacing (stiffener or vilene etc). I cut a piece of fabric to attach the spine to and also allow some excess fabric that will be inserted into the cover to hold it on.  I fold over the ends for neatness.

I pin the interfacing part of the spine, close to one edge, to the fabric strip connecting the pages of the first signature. I make sure it is pinned straight before I stitch it in place.

 The stitched signature. After the first one is attached I then add the rest, one at a time, making sure I line up the top and bottom edges so the book is square.

 When all the 4 page signatures are attached to the spine the inner part of your book will be complete and all you have to do now is attach a cover to that excess fabric strip.

I pieced my cover together here but usually I do it with one piece of fabric. This shows the interfacing applied to the fabric cover, heavy stiffener front and back but light stiffener on the spine area. I did the cover interfacing the same size as the pages. The cover fabric I measured by wrapping the material around the closed book. Do not open the book flat and take a measurement because it will be too short for the book to close.

I stitched the inside cover, just a plain piece of fabric, right sides together to the cover then folded it out to hide the seams. Here I have folded out one side only so far.

The completed cover with both sides folded out. You can see the inside edge of the inside cover is folded under for neatness.

I pinned the excess fabric from the stack of connected pages between the front and inside covers then stitched it all together. I tried to get the inside cover edge as close as I could to the first page, Leaving just a small gap of the spine showing.

Next I pinned the back excess fabric strip into the pocket between the back cover and inside cover. I stitched that together and then book is finished. At the end of the third video I shared the binding method of attaching a cover. Here are a couple of closeups of that binding.

Fabric art journal videos

I have finally made my fabric art journal videos. In the next post I will put a summary of the technique so it will help refresh your memory after you have watched the videos if you wish to tackle this project. To see the videos a bit larger go to my YouTube channel here:

Video 1 covers the introduction, preparing pages and joining them together.

Video 2 shows how to attach the pages to the spine and getting ready for the cover.


Video 3 shows how to attach the cover. I also show an alternative cover with binding. 

I hope you enjoy my first videos. I learned a lot along the way and will probably do more video in the future, with less errors, ha ha. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Fun fabric journal pages

These are the final pages for my 2016 art journals. I made so many pages this year that I ended up making two books.

 This page was an experiment using the Prisme paints, inspired by the Workshop on the web lesson I did last year. It is very shiny so it hasn't photographed well. I used a stencil design and painted it with Prisme. When it was fully dry (about 2 weeks) I glued it to felt and used it to make this page. I have also added a couple of left over pieces of the forest floor page I showed in the previous post.

This is another of the Workshop on the web lessons. It is done on canvas and is a mixed media experiment. It is currently my calendar picture for the year so will end up in next years fabric journal. 

This page is a paper collage as inspired by Workshop on the web. I used a lot of paper I had previously printed and stitched it after I glued it to the page.  I added the quote with a permanent marker.

When I used mica spray to change the color of the background the printed surface became sticky so I sprinkled on embossing powder and heat set it. You can see in this closeup how shiny it is.

This is the cover of my second book. It is another one of the workshop on the web lessons and was a very experimental journey, my favorite kind of art. 

My finished books that I will show you how to make next time.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Fabric journal pages

I mentioned that over the Christmas break I did some more journal pages for my fabric books. Today I am sharing some of them.

 This was an old cross stitch wall hanging that I took down but didn't want to throw it away. I put fray stop around the edge of the cross stitch where I wanted to cut it down and left it to dry. I cut the border off that I didn't want and stitched it to a textile background. I added a few of my Prisme experiments and a bit of hand stitching among the gold table runner piece at the bottom. 

 This page is centered around the fabric paper experiment that I shared last year. I stitched it to a larger background and added beads.

I made this page after watching a Quilting Arts video about using tea bags in textile art. I traced some stamp images onto the tea bags and colored them with Neocolor II crayons. I then added machine stitching and a little handwork. 

This page is a 2016 Workshop on the Web lesson by Ro Bruhn. I did my childhood home, my first home with my husband and our current home. I also included some of our cars. I was going to add figures of the families but I did the houses too small and the people would have been too tiny to see.

This page is using the forest floor technique I shared last year. I added a few beads and a little hand stitching for veins in the leaves. I found a quote that fit nicely around the outside. It hasn't photographed well but you get the idea.

I have a few more pages to share and soon the video of how to put the book together. I have finished the filming but there is a lot of editing to do. I have no idea how long that will take but I expect it will be within a couple of weeks.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

A new year has begun...almost a month ago

I have been away for longer than I thought. I was creative but have not spent much time online. I did some dressmaking (too boring to share) and a few other textiles and art journaling. Today I will share the art journal pages.

This year I wanted to do more painting so I decided to do the Lulu Art colour me positive challenge. It is one page a week using the quotes provided or not.

This first page was a quick one to do. I looked around my desk and found the daisy on paper towel that was made when I was painting on fabric and the paint bled through. I made a background to suit and wrote the quote on washi tape strips I had stuck down.

Kylie (owner of Lulu) also now gave us a list of Daily prompts to use if we want. I decided to randomly choose 3 of those prompts to make my pages. I like having directions about what I need to do on a page because it focuses my thoughts and don't get a blank page block.  My prompts were: watercolor with salt, use your left hand to start and use circles. I drew my circles with my left hand then did the watercolor.

This page was drawn without lifting my pen off the page then colored in with watercolors. I also made it distressed looking by flicking paint everywhere, even on myself! The prompts I used were: draw a single continuous line all over the page, make credit card flowers and distressed or vintage look.

My final share for today was this page where I used the quote provided. I also used three of the daily prompts that Lulu Art have provided: Orange, use glitter on a page, and print out the words with a favorite font. It is hard to see the glitter but it is those white dots.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Trying to create rusted designs

 A workshop on the web lesson I completed was about rusting. I have explained this technique before, This time we used non rusting things to block the application of the rust.

In this sample I used a plastic stencil before I applied the rust. I was supposed to use rusting powder but I didn't have any. I used steel wool instead and it worked well enough for me. Later on I dyed the fabric too. I have added some braids and tiny gem stones to my finished textile art work.

For this fabric I tried to make squares using cardboard but it didn't really work out that way. I do like the way it turned out but if you want perfect shapes you need to make sure you apply the rusting powder or steel wool evenly. I added some hand stitching and a quote for a page that I will put in the journal that I will make next year. I am teaching my group how to make the fabric journal in February next year so I will post the instructions after that and hopefully some video if it works out. I also want to get back into to some painting and art journaling next year so keep watching this space.

Merry Christmas to everyone, I hope you enjoy spending time with friends and loved ones. I will return in the new year. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Tyvek is such a wonderful material.

Tyvek is a wonderful plastic like material that is used in various ways. The building industry uses it for insulation and it is also used to make those white coveralls that people use for protection. Textile artists like Kim Thittichai also talk a lot about wonderful ways to use it. I love the stuff because it is so unpredictable and I love experimenting with it.  I recently did a demo for my textile group on different ways you can use it.

My favorite way to use it is by creating bubbles with an iron. First I color it using Ranger's distress stains or a light coat of acrylic paint. Then I lightly iron it between two pieces of baking paper. I use the heat of the iron to make the bubbles but I don't press down on it. If you press on it you will get a flat piece of hard surface. You can also use a heat gun to shrink it but the heat gun makes it shrink a lot tighter than the iron does.

This was the piece I made for the demo with various techniques using tyvek.

1. The top circle was layered with organzas and painted tyvek then stitched. I used a heat gun to melt through the layers.
2. The bird was an old painting I scanned and printed out on a medium weight tyvek. I did it with an inkjet printer, not a laser printer that would melt the tyvek and ruin the printer. Later on I added some stitching.
3. Next to the bird I have a bubbled piece of tyvek that has some transfer foil stuck onto the ironed side. After you have ironed the tyvek to make bubbles, lay a piece of transfer foil on top and lightly iron again. The foil sticks to the tyvek like glue. When it is cool peel away the foil sheet and the color should be left behind. You can see in the close up below the foil on the back of the brown area. I also tried it on the front of the blue area. It worked both times. It is a shame you can't see how very shiny it is.
4. Below that is another layered and stitched circle. This one has straight lines for the stitching to see if it was different to the swirls in the first piece.
5. The flower circle was stitched and then I used a wood burning tool to melt away the petals of the flower.
6. The next two small brown circles were colored with the same brown distress stain. The top one was shrunken using a heat gun and the light brown one was ironed. You can see how concentrated the color becomes when it is heat gunned.
7. The next large circle was printed with a swirl pattern and then ironed. I thought it would distort more than it did.
8. Finally I used a die cut machine to cut out the small white flowers. They were about 1 inch (2.5cm) in size until I ironed them and they shrank. They did not shrink evenly but I quite like that look.

I have also used the tyvek on previous artworks that I have shared:

Both of these have tyvek as part of the textured backgrounds. I hope you find some inspiration and use tyvek in your art. You can even glue it onto canvas or in art journals. You may have to google to find out where you can buy it in your country. I got mine from the Australian online store, Thread Studio.