Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dare to Be an Artist—Art Quilt and Tutorial

After making my first Zetti-inspired ATCs a few weeks ago, I felt the need to go bigger. The little ATCs (2.5” x 3.5”) seemed too small to show all the detail. I also felt, for the first time in a very long time, inspired to do a series from my Zetti ATCs. Fortunately, I had designed them in Photoshop at 5” x 7” with a pretty high dpi, so enlarging them was not a problem.   I wanted to translate them into fabric and combine them with my own fabric designs, which I printed at Spoonflower a couple years ago. This is the first piece I did. Another Zetti art quilt is finished, and two more are cut and pinned.  I haven’t decided if I will keep them as separate pieces or put them together into one big piece. Here is a little tutorial if anyone is wondering “Hmmmm…how the heck did she make that?”

 1-Find images you like, either of your own, or some royalty free clip art. I used two Graphics Fairy images http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com/, the teacup and the bird, and combined them with some of my original artwork that I scanned—a small painting called Mystery Woman of the Flowers and a pink monoprint. I also used a b/w harlequin on the left, which is a pattern from adobe illustrator, and the b/w positive/negative “expanded square” on the right, also known as a notan, is my own design.

 2-Combine the designs in photoshop or similar program. I used a soft brush eraser to take out the background from the teacup and bird, arranged the bird on the edge of the cup, and arranged the cup on the head of the mystery woman. I put the pink monoprint in the background and the notan and harlequin on the sides.

 3-Add any words you choose in fonts that please your eye. I added the words in photoshop.

 4-I was working in photoshop and saving it as I went along as a TIFF, which allowed me to have different layers for each image that I could adjust as needed. When I was done, I saved the image as a jpeg.

 5-The artwork I made for the ATCs was 5” x 7”, and I wanted to make the art quilt larger, so I increased the size in photoshop so that it would fit on an 8.5” x 11” paper in my inkjet printer. My printer cuts off about ¼” on all sides, and about ½” on the bottom, so I sized to 8” x about 10.25” so that nothing would be wasted. [NOTE: You can also do a drawing or painting that is about 8.5” x 11”, scan it, and print it out of an inkjet printer.]

6-I flipped the enlarged jpeg image in photoshop, then printed the flipped design out on Avery t-shirt heat transfer sheets.

7-I trimmed the white edge, and ironed the design to 100% kona cotton—heat only, no steam.

8-After it cooled, I peeled away the backing. You can also use printable cotton or silk sheets, but you do not need to flip the image. With the t-shirt transfer sheets, the finished design feels thick and rubbery, but the colors are brighter than with printable cotton or silk. NOTE: Please do NOT iron the design once you have transferred it to cotton. It will melt and be ruined!

9-Next, I chose strips to edge the piece. I used 1.5” pieces of various cotton fabrics and puttered with them until I found an arrangement I liked, then pinned them together.

10-I used some felt-like batting behind the design and a piece of cotton to back the quilt and create the “quilt sandwich”. Next, I carefully pinned all the layers together.

11-I used a zigzag stitch to connect the middle to the fabric strips, a straight stitch to quilt the middle, and a random curvy stitch to add a little visual interest and give it loft.

12-I trimmed the piece and used a machine blanket stitch on the outside edges.

1 comment:

Nina Marie said...

ohhh this is interesting - I might have to come try this when I stuck for an idea. I would like to invite you to link this up on Friday to my Off the Wall Fridays - where art quilters are linking their weekly posts to share what they are doing creatively - this would be a great addition! We find it super motivating and encouraging!