Sunday, April 25, 2010

A few experiments with paper cloth

I've been a little ordinary old paper lately, and I've been taking an interest in cloth instead.  To this end, I've taken a few basic sewing and quilting classes - not with the idea that I'm going to become a real quilter (not sure that I have that kind of patience - I think quilter would turn into quitter fairly soon.) Not really with the idea that I'll become a real seamstress either - I am perfectly fine with purchasing my clothes.  There is no such thing as anything being "sew easy!"

I never learned to sew at my mother's knee (I can't recall her ever sewing other than when she complained about having to sew my brownie patches onto the uniform).  So to make up for this lack of prior training, I've been taking classes at my local Joann's Fabric with the patient Miss Brenda. Me and the other eight year olds that can outsew me any day.  I'm still pretty intimidated by the women at the fabric counter, the bobbin on my machine still makes me feel a bit uncertain, but I'm slowly learning the nomenclature and thinking of small (very small) things to make.  My goal is to make an art quilt - something nicely impractical. What's the difference between art and craft - how useful it is!  Well, no, that's not really my definition, but it's funny.  In the case of an art quilt, however, by the time you've got all that stuft stuck on there, it would cower in front of a washing machine.

Anyway, to that end I've been reading the book Stitch Alchemy and have found some inspiration in the idea of making "paper cloth" which is basically muslin or similar cheapie fabric saturated in gluey water and then covered in paper strips.  You let the stuff dry overnight, and then collage and embellish - just like regular paper.  This I can deal with.  You can see a couple of examples of what I've been up to with this in the pictures.  I think this has distinct possibilities!

I'm a little concerned that this is definitely in the impractical for regular use category, as I think the dye/ink/paint will most likely run right off the second its exposed to water, but I'm going to experiment with covering it with spray-on sealant, and with sticking gel medium on it, and maybe decoupage medium.  See what sticks, so to speak.  It's some fun, very non-intimidating to make stuff though.  And it's almost like paper - paper I can deal with!

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