Monday, March 17, 2008

Scratchboard felt

I made some postcards on my Janome Xpression this week. They may end up being coasters instead because I think they are thicker than the post office allows. But here is how I did it:

  • I chose a piece of canvas fabric for a base, about 12" x 20" roughly (I didn't measure it)

  • Using my Janome Xpression, I punched on random blocks of color using Harrisville fleece, filling the whole surface of the canvas

  • When there were no holes or thin places, I took thin layers of black wool batt and punched over the top until the colored layer couldn't be seen and the surface looked totally black.

  • With a rotary cutter, I cut the piece into 4"x6" pieces (I ended up with enough for 5 of them).

  • With the Janome Xpression, I punched the designs onto the cards from the back. This pushed the colored wool up through the black wool. If I was unsure of myself, I sketched my lines onto the back of the canvas with a Sharpie permanent pen first. I checked the front of the card often to make sure that I liked how it was looking.

  • With a steam iron, I pressed the cards flat.

  • I plan to iron on a backing.

They came out a little more muted than I'd like, but they are still pretty. I'd definitely recommend BRIGHT colors only, because the black mixes with the colored fleece a little and dulls it. Pressing with the iron is optional, depending on how the pieces will be used. They were much more fluffy looking before pressing. If I were going to do a wall hanging, I might not press it when I finished, to keep the texture. But I don't think it would wear well that way for a coaster or postcard. I also had bits of the canvas come up through to the top when I punched the designs. Maybe a water soluble stabilizer would work better, or a denser fabric for the base.

I am trying to get ready for the Artists' Clearing House at Crossings. It's only 2 weeks away.

No comments: