Using Hand-Dyed Fabric like Paints

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I think I’m the luckiest quilter in the world. My best friend’s mother has an addiction to dying fabric. She gave me all of these hand-dyed “scraps”. Yes, I used the verb, GAVE. I feel like a kid with a new box of crayons!

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When she gave them to me they were in various bags, folded in different ways. I had the best time sorting them by color using one of my favorite tools, the Ultimate 3 in 1 Color Tool. I use it all the time to match my colors both for fabric and embroidery thread.  I used this tool to make this wall quilt of my precious little cockatiel, Sammy.

I started with a photo of Sammy. I printed it out in black and white on my printer. To get his shape for the fabrics, I turned the photocopy over on my light board and traced simple shapes of his eye, cheek patch, gray and yellow feathers.

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I then traced the shapes onto fusible webbing. I have found the best webbing for machine and hand stitching is Pellon Wonder Under 805. Good stuff. I cut out the shapes and matched hand-dyed fabrics to Sammy’s coloring.

I picked found scraps from a previous project to be the background and fused him to it.

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Then, my favorite part. Thread painting! I added stabilizer to the quilt top and stitched using thread colors that would match Sammy’s feathers and added contrast and depth.

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Voila! A finished Sammy art quilt.

Now off to discover what else will come from my rainbow of fabrics!

Artfully sewing,

Angela Jean

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