Monday, July 11, 2011

scrappy pillow

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 :)



susie said...

your blog has inspired me to take up sewing! if i can create pillows anywhere near as gorgeous as yours, i'd be ecstatic. i LOVE how how you use visible stitches in so much that you do...

marjorie rose said...

I'm with susie. We have a sewing machine in the garage that's dying to sew. This project turned out so good! I like that you're not overly particular about the details because the beauty is in the textures and coordinating colors.

Bethany @ A Fish Who Likes Flowers said...

What beautiful pillows! And the fabric stamping turned out so cool and unique! I might have to give this a try. Thanks for the inspiration!

Roben-Marie said...

Love this! It is beautiful!!

Leslie Tucker Jenison said...

Love this post, Alisa! Your photography is gorgeous, as always.

bojana said...

alisa, i love your blog. i love stamping on fabrics and sewing and i recentrly started using craft foam for stamps. it really is very easy material to use.

debi said...

You are such an amazing artist!!! thanks for all of your inspiration!

Lisa said...

very cool! thanks for sharing your process!

sunspot said...

Quick technical question - I read *somewhere* that you can let the fabric with fabric paint sit for 2 weeks and not heat set it. After that length of time it will supposedly be "cured" and not need heat setting. The idea of ironing every part of the fabric for 2 minutes or even one just dives me crazy with the thought - It's already hot here in Texas.

Any thoughts, Alisa? anyone?

Anonymous said...

So unbelievably gorgeous! xox Corrine

HollyM said...

Wow! I love your pillow! It would take me days to create all the stamps and prints. Do you use the extra thick foam sheets?

Shay said...

Your pillow is gorgeous, but you already know that blah blah blah....what I'm really curious about is the black and white painting (?) you have hanging behind your sofa. What/where/who is it?

Lyric said...

Alisa - your "neutral brown" is the most colorful "neutral" I've seen. Love it!

Sunspot - fabric paint will eventually be "cured" by leaving it. The heat setting really softens it and melds it with the fabric. You can toss it in the drier on high heat for a while and it does much the same thing.

jackie said...

It looks v. much at home. I like the tip about the linen napkins.

Elizabeth said...

heel erg mooi!

MarleneMAZ said...

Love the pillow and all the great fabric you made.

Jane LaFazio said...

oh I love this!! your pillow is beautiful and the linen napkin idea is genius. pure alisa genius!

Adrian said...

A wonderful selection of color and pattern to make that pillow a treat for the eyes. Thanks again for the inspiration for another practical but beautiful, original creation. And that kind of sewing is always, always fun!

Ansley said...

love the pillow. i want to see more of that black and white word painting above your sofa!! said...

This makes me want to drop everything I'm doing and stamp and sew! Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

Anonymous said...

I was looking at the blog about the big painting and thought what a cute pillow and then as i continued you talked about the cute pillow. I just wondered if you use fun foam as the substrate under the stamps pattern (the black stuff under the white stuff)?
Just a little idea you can use the napkins and placemats, stamp and they make great handmade wedding gifts for the happy couple. And just a little aside for Sunspot, I hear that it is hot enough in Texas that you may be able to heat set by leaving the fabric outside. Diane

lawrenbc said...

LOVE it! I just pre ordered your Sew Wild book/CD on Amazon and can't wait!

P.S. hope all is going well with your pregnancy! Not much time left before the big day. I bet you guys are excited!

Karena said...

Wonderful!! I will try this out thanks to your instructions!!

Art by Karena

Unknown said...

Goood job! I LOVE to print fabric! I can see that you love, too!

cxw said...

I think I became addicted to your blog ! I'm reading it and pinning it like crazy ;-)

Unknown said...

I sincerely love your couch, pillows, large written canvas & throw. It looks so together, yet so whimsical. I don't think I could ever put all that together. Unfortunately I have a "matcha matcha" brain disorder. I'm working on changing but it may take some time!
Your admirer!


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