Tuesday, July 10, 2012

fern fabric

While the palm trees of Southern California (in my old life) were beautiful- I do have a soft spot in my heart for the wild ferns in Oregon- boy have I missed them! The Pacific Northwest is home to about 40 different species of ferns and it seems everywhere you turn you are able to find these gorgeous green beauties! I couldn't resist creating my own fabric using a variety of ferns from our yard and a few simple surface design techniques from my book Sew Wild.

The first technique is a glue resist- all you need is Elmers Glue, a paint brush and ferns (any leaves or anything with texture will also work).

I covered the ferns with glue and then pressed them into the surface of fabric- it left an imprint (almost like a stamp) in glue. I covered the surface and then let the glue dry completely.

Next, I painted over the top of the fabric with dye.
Once the surface was dry, I heat set my dye with an iron and then washed the fabric.

The glue washes away and in its place you have a beautiful imprint of the ferns.

Picture 4
Next, I used the ferns as a stencil and as a stamp by placing them on the surface of my fabric and then painting over the top.

I also covered the ferns with dye and then pressed them into the surface to leave an imprint

I covered my fabric with layers of fern stencils and imprints.

Of course I couldn't resist putting my fabric to use!
I cut it up and used all of the pieces to create "scrappy" place mats,

I sewed all of the scraps together with lots of free motion stitching.

And just like that I created a set of place mats for our dining room table!



madebymevwg said...

I really love your placemats!!! My husband loves ferns and we have a lot of them in our garden (in the Netherlands). I think I will try fern-stencilling and stamping too.

dawn said...

How fun to make and turned out so pretty. What a nice idea to make for your new home.

Saw the Lucy's hike post and just love the pictures, so cute all 3 of you are. She will love hiking thru there in a few days, running ahead of you probably,lol

So glad your enjoying being back home.

Ar. Niraj Dubey said...

another inspiration turned into classic ! just loved it !

Diya said...

Wow very creative ! and impressive it looks .

Anonymous said...

Brilliant placemats! I love ferns.

JO said...

I love your IDEAS!Wonderful!!

Eveline said...

Wow, you've only just moved house and you're already making such amazing fabrics and placemats!

Teddi said...

alisa, it's such a lovely example of your art aesthetic! your own unique art style & point of view. :)

Anonymous said...

Great ideas and a wonderful handmade touch to your new home!

Terriaw said...

What a cool idea! I love the way this turned out. Thanks for sharing your techniques and for inspiring me!

Unknown said...

you are my creative goddess!

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous. I love coming here to see what you're up to.

Lalav said...

There are two feminine qualities I envy: your skills, and Nicole Kidman's hair.

This fabric is amazing.

clara said...

Very cool! Great idea! I like them!
A big hug!

Anonymous said...

In your free time, you need to make tons of the placemats and put them up for sale. lol
I chuckled but, I am very serious.
They are just amazing. The colors are amazing just like you.
I don't know much about Nicole Kidmans hair but, I too, envy your skills and how and the world you find time getting anything done with Lucy at her age.
Moving must have given you a 2nd and 3rd wind. I can feel the vibs when I open up your email.
It is like a breath of cool and soothing fresh air coming off the page. I know one thing for sure, there is no limits to your talents.
Charlotte, North Carolina

Yvonne said...

This post meda me finally order your book sew wild, can`t wait `til I get it in my mailbox!!

ladydazy said...

Your placemats are truly beautiful. You are truly talented!

Unknown said...

Those mats are gorgeous, this is so pretty and simple and I love it! (:

FFXIV Gil said...

Shifting must have given you a 2nd and 3rd breeze. I can experience the vibs when I start up your e-mail.
FF14 Gil
Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn Digital Collector's Edition

lemanicreative.blogspot.it said...


Tasty Destination said...

Love this idea!!! Looks so pretty! organza fabric

Unknown said...

I agree with everyone here - so beautiful. One clarification - you note, "Next, I painted over the top of the fabric with dye. Once the surface was dry, I heat set my dye with an iron and then washed the fabric." Are you using dye or a fabric paint such as Dye-Na-Flow?


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