First Quarter Challenge Part Two

The First Quarter Challenge is all about adding mixed media to surface design. I wrote earlier about adding poured paint to the surface of felt and cotton fabric. It took several days for the poured paint to dry but it eventually did.

Here are two photos of the poured paint on felt piece. The photo on the left is when the paint was still wet and the photo on the right is when it was dry. Quite a change for sure. It isn’t quite as hideous as it was.

Here’s a comparison of the cotton piece, left is wet and right is dry. So the pieces do change quite a bit as they dry. If you try this, don’t get too attached to a pattern that is still wet.

I peeled the felt and cotton off the canvases because I wanted to add machine stitch to the fabric. One lesson I learned is that I should have pulled the felt/fabric off the canvas when it wasn’t bone dry. It did come off but both pieces were really glued down to the canvas.

Here are the two canvases after the felt and fabric was removed. The one on the left is from the felt and the one on the right is the cotton. I am considering whether I will add more paint to the one on the right as it looks very “galaxy” like. But I haven’t decided yet.

Here’s the back side of the felt on the left and the cotton on the right. It’s interesting how different the front is from the back side. I considered stitching on the back side of the felt but I really didn’t like the look of the white paint. It reminds me of bird poop and I just couldn’t get that out of my mind. So I stitched on the front side.

The felt was very stiff and pretty thick with the paint on it but I used a size 90 embroidery needle on my machine and free motion stitched some simple organic lines. I used orange and blue green threads. If you click on the photo and enlarge it, you can see that there are more than three stitched lines. I used straight stitch and zig zag stitch. It actually stitched much more easily than I thought it would. The needle did make some awful noises when it hit a hard piece of thick paint but it didn’t break the needle or even cause much issue with thread breaking. I probably should change that needle though before I sew something else. I decided to keep the stitching fairly simple and not spend an enormous amount of time on this piece. It isn’t the worst or ugliest thing I have ever made but it certainly isn’t a masterpiece either.

Here’s the back after stitching. I do think this side adds a bit more excitement to the piece but I still see bird poop.

After stitching, I stapled the felt back on to the canvas. Not bad considering how ugly it was after I poured it. You can see how much surface texture there is in the close up. The paint certainly gives the felt a different look. So I may try this again. If so, I would try a finer felted surface such as merino to see how it accepts the paint.

Now I have to decide what to do with the piece of cotton. Should I add stitching to this one? Or should I cut it up and applique it to another surface? Or should I make it into a small bag? It’s only 8″ x 10″ so the bag would be small. But it has a nice feel to the fabric because the paint gives it some ‘body’, almost like leather. What would you do?

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16 Responses to First Quarter Challenge Part Two

  1. Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

    With only a piece of felt and cotton, you got a lot of options. I like the canvases after you pulled them off as well. I love the marbled cotton. I’d leave it that way although I’m not sure what I’d do other than frame it with a couple of matching mats. Looks like fun, I’ll have to try it.

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Marilyn! It is a lot of fun and I really enjoy paint pouring. It’s just what to do with it afterwards as it all has a tendency to look the same, just different colors. I’m trying to figure out ways to take it further. But give it a try, you’d enjoy it.

  2. Lyn says:

    The results are wonderful! The green stitching really is the icing on the cake and the felt looks good on the canvas.
    The marbled cotton has to be used for something – it’s too pretty to hide in a pile of ‘ufos’.
    It could be cut into a few different size squares or circles perhaps, then appliqued onto a ‘normal sized’ fabric bag?

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Lyn! I did like how the stitching came out on the felt and it is a nice contrast. I am definitely doing something with the cotton but you must have seen my studio, piles of UFO’s everywhere 🙂

  3. Karen Lane says:

    Great results! I particularly like the back of the felt piece….the texture is wonderful. I might be tempted to add some stitch and then cut up the cotton piece, back it and make it into large brooches.

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Karen, it turned out better than I hoped when I was pouring. The brooch idea is an excellent thought. I will have to consider that for sure.

  4. tracey2008 says:

    So much to take in Ruth. I see Galaxy too, really nice! and I definitely do not see bird poop on the other piece! I really love the last piece, I love blue and green together. I don’t know if you make cards for selling, but that would be my route without a doubt. I think it would look superb in an aperture card. I think I am just obsessed with cards at the minute….I like Karen’s suggestion of brooches too, that would look quite striking. Great experiments.

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Tracey. The galaxy piece is actually gone now. I did another poured paint piece and had extra paint so I poured that canvas too. Cards is an excellent idea but I have too many cards right now. No one seems to be buying them at the moment. 😦

  5. Interesting, you could have had 4 pieces after taking the pieces off the canvas. I am wondering how the paint will wear if its a bag. Will it eventually crack and peal off the fabric? next week or next year or never. I like the card idea. Do a little stitching on each and pop it into an aperture card as Tracy said.

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Ann! I don’t know for sure about the paint peeling but it has sunk into the fabric and you can crinkle it up and it doesn’t crack. I think it won’t peel. Still haven’t decided what I am going to do exactly.

  6. zedster66 says:

    Wow, how different it was when it dried! Both pieces look great, and the canvases too, I think I’d have attached the finished piece to a new canvas. I’d probably just re-frame the cotton piece too and put it on the wall 🙂 Are those thick green lines made by machine with embroidery thread? Or is a machine embroidery needle different?

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Zed, I agree the changes when it has dried are pretty remarkable. The thick green lines are made with standard cotton thread on the machine with a zig zag stitch to give the changing thickness. Machine embroidery needles look like regular needles, the difference is in the way the needle is constructed, size of hole for the thread etc.

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks 🙂

  7. Flextiles says:

    I don’t know what birds eat in Montana, but their poop certainly looks different from London birds – I can’t see any resemblance! 😉 The finished piece certainly has a remarkable texture, and I love the bits that remained after peeling it off the canvas too. The turquoise stitching gives the whole thing a lift.

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Kim! It’s the white parts that looked like bird poop to me. I’m sure Montana birds eat different things than London birds though 🙂

  8. Pingback: First Quarter Challenge – Part Four | feltingandfiberstudio

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