Using stamps to create your very own fabric is easy and a perfect way to make yardage of fabric with unique pattern to use in a multitude of projects. Since I love creating pillows (it is the easiest way to change things up) I set out to create a neutral/brown pillow for the couch with lots of texture and scraps of hand stamped fabric.
I always make my own stamps or find something unique to stamp with. Typically I use craft foam and cut out shapes and carve into the foam with a wood burning tool. I have found that craft foam is cheap, durable and really great to use with fabric ink and paint. In addition I always try and find unique object or simple things that I can use as a stamps to repeat pattern across the surface of fabric.
For my neutral pillow I started by creating a few different stamps- the first was large chevron inspired pattern.
For my background fabric I picked up a set of really soft linen napkins in a natural beige- I really like stamping on linen.
When I am creating fabric that will get washed I typically use screen printing ink or fabric paint that can be heat set and made washable. I used the screen printing ink to "ink up" my stamp by applying paint to the surface with a brush.
And then started stamping onto the linen surface- note it can be challenging to get a stamped pattern perfect and often I personally am not going for perfect (I like when areas are faded or there are little drops of paint).
I added gold to the surface, again with fabric paint (Jacquard- Lumiere) made to be heat set.
I created more stamps and made another surface of pattern again with fabric paint.
After my fabric was dry and heat set, I dove into my scrap bin which consists of scraps of my painted fabric and scraps of recycled fabric and I picked out additional pieces that were in the neutral and brown family.
I cut up my scraps into all sorts of different sizes and pinned then to the surface of quilt batting.
Now, this is where I am different from other sewers and quilters out there- I sew and quilt everything on the outside with all of my stitching. WHY? I actually love the way it looks- stitching is just another way to add more texture. I love the look of stitching so much that I often say that if I could wear my clothes inside out to show the stitched seams I would!
Soon, very soon (like in August!) in you will be able to read about this process in full detail in my new book- Sew Wild.
But basically I pin everything down and then go to town free motion sewing on top of everything- sewing it all to the surface of the batting.
I used this piece of quilted and stitched scraps to create the front to a simple pillow, using another linen napkin for the backing, I stuffed it and added it to my pillow collection :)