Sunday, September 19, 2010


I'm thinking about a new piece of fiber art I want to make, and trying to figure out how to best approach it.  This is one of my favorite parts of making art.  I want this piece to be large, at least 4 feet long and 3-4 feet wide.  I'm going to try using the C.June Barnes method of stitching the piece on wool batting then throwing it in hot water to shrink it, as you've seen me do in a few previous posts.  The challenge here is can I make a piece that big using this method?  When this fabric comes out of the dryer, it usually is kind of wonky on the edges, not laying flat.  The other problem (challenge) is that I want some parts of this to remain flat, such as the buttons I did in the other pieces.

In this case, I want a long line, or two or three to roam around the piece.  I've been thinking about how to do this for the last couple of weeks when I had to stay off my foot.  I came up with a couple of ideas.  The first involves Foamies , which are pieces of foam sheet you can buy at Joanne's. I found some thick ones, about 8mm that were about 3" x 8".  I thought maybe cutting them in strips and laying them out on the fabric, then stitching around them like I do the buttons might work.  As you can see above, it does create a line of interest, but I'm not sure I want a broken line.

So next I tried a ten by fifteen inch sheet of this stuff, only 3mm thick.  I cut a long strip of it and sewed it i place This worked ok, but I would have to butt them up against each other to make them long enough.

I was talking to my husband Ted about the best way to go about this and he suggested fiberboard.  Fiberboard is used by glass artists to dam up the edges of their glass while it is in the kiln. I'm sure it has other uses too, but I don't know what they are.  I wasn't sure it would withstand the washer and dryer, but I made up the above sample and it worked out just great.  This stuff comes in long roles, so I can cut any size piece I need.

My next decision is to figure out if I want to leave the edges unfinished, and maybe apply it to another piece of fabric, letting the wonky edges do their thing, or try to contain it with a backing.


Fran├žoise said...

That looks promising. I'm looking forward to seeing what's next. And you are sharing equipment with Ted now! :-)

Gerrie said...

How convenient - to have a husband who is an artist! I love how you are working through this.

Diana Parkes said...

Good luck with your new piece. I love these early stages of starting out, such a lot to consider...