If you're feeling adventurous, and ready to go beyond sewing to explore customizing fabric, you've come to the right place! Surface design is the perfect way to make a sewing project truly unique . . . because what's better than something that's not only made by hand, but made using one-of-a-kind fabric! I came across this Quilting Daily blog and immediately got excited about this simple tutorial by Rose Hughes.
|Fabric painting with crayon resist by Rose Hughes
Time to get out your crayons—the kind kids use, nothing fancy! As you mark the fabric, the crayons leave traces of wax behind along with the color. The wax then acts as a resist when fabric paints are applied. The crayon color, glitter, or metallic shine remains on the fabric once it is pressed, adding color and sparkle to the overall design. Are you having a "why didn't I think of that" moment?
Here's Rose's tutorial, from the April/May 2012 issue of Quilting Arts Magazine.
- Crayons (consider ones that are glittery or pearlescent)
- Fabric that has been prepared for dyeing
- Paint, water, and mixing containers
- Wax paper
- Wide paintbrushes
- Rubbing plates, carved stamps, and other textures (optional)
1. Choose 4-6 crayons from the same color family. Place your fabric over the sandpaper face up on a firm surface.
2. Using the crayons from your selected color family and pressing firmly, draw lines of varying sizes. Overlap the lines if you like, and fill in some spaces. Keep in mind that the paint you apply later will adhere in the spaces where there is no resist, so leave some areas free of crayon marks.
|Layers of crayon rubbings
3. Once you are satisfied with your marking and have covered the whole piece of fabric, it is time to add additional interest with paint. Place your fabric on a piece of wax or freezer paper slightly larger than your project.
4. Mix paint for the background of your piece by adding approximately 1 teaspoon of paint to 1/2 cup of water. Stir the mixture thoroughly.
5. Using a wide paintbrush, apply the paint straight across the top and work your way down covering the entire piece of fabric. Allow the piece to dry thoroughly.
6. Add additional layers of paint if you wish, varying the type for more interest. Non-diluted pearl or iridescent fabric paints may be applied on the piece to add additional texture or designs.
7. Once the painted fabric is dry, place it between 2 paper towels, and press with a hot iron to remove any excess wax. Continue pressing to heat set the paint for the time indicated by the paint manufacturer.
That's all there is to it! Once you start using crayons for coloring fabric, you're going to find it hard to stop. In addition to of all the wonderful (addictive) colors, crayons are inexpensive and easy to find. Try drawing, stamping and rubbing with crayons to give your fabric a one-of-a-kind look and feel.
In addition to amazing artists and helpful sewing tips, Quilting Arts magazine is a wonderful resource for a variety of surface design techniques. Some are simple like this one, others more challenging. Either way, if you like surface design, you want this go-to resource as part of your sewing library, so subscribe to Quilting Arts today.
P.S. What surface design technique is your favorite? Please share your tips and suggestions below.