Friday, May 3, 2013

From paper to fabric

Last night, I was working in my journals.  Mostly I was using acrylics in spray bottles.
Some of these designs,I thought might make interesting quilts, especially the feather page(s) and the large butterfly (sorry, I did rotate these, but flickr seems to have ignored me)

And then, I thought, why don't I do some of this (stencilling) on fabric?
So today I did.
I got out the compressor and airgun
And started playing with stencils
These are the ones I selected.
This piece of fabric used quite a few stencils layered.  I love the coffee stain rings stencil, it very cute.
Here are a few single layers.  As you can see I am a bit partial to trees.
and this one is the piece of fabric I used for testing out the airgun - yum.
And of course, the piece 'd' resistance.....
This piece I did with feather die cuts and I really like it.  I think it might have to go on my design wall!

And now the nuts and bolts.  Using an air gun is not difficult, however most people think it is.  Getting the right connections,or plumbing is the biggest problem, and I am not going into lessons here because every compressor and air gun have their own little quirks.
BUT you can do this technique using fabric paint in simple spray bottles.  There are two provisos.
First, you must spray very lightly if you are using spray bottles.  It is easy to saturate the fabric and then it will bleed
Second, spray bottles are temperamental, you need to test the misting each time you pick the bottle up, on a piece of scrap fabric to look at the lightness of the paint and the fineness of the spray.  If there are problems, or the paint has settled in the bottle DO NOT shake it with the nozzle screwed on the top.  I always take the spray off and then shake the bottle either with a normal lid or by holding my finger over the top.
I know, from lots of experience that the main problem with sprays is not the spray top itself, but the paint.  It needs to be a certain thickness (or thinness) to go through the nozzle.  Most of the time when my nozzle is spattering, I just dilute the paint a little and then it works.  If the nozzle really is blocked, then you will need to pull it apart and clean and dry it.  I have a special thin paint brush I use to do this.  Again, there are several different types of nozzles for spray bottles and I only really know mine, which are cheap bottles I got on ebay.
So there are a few pointers, but don't let it put you off, stenciling is great fun and it's very rewarding to create your own fabric.