Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Here are my first attempts at making 2" pink squares for the Pink Artist doll challenge by Monica Magness.

The pictures were from magazines and I used fusible hem-webbing to capture the image. I wet and rubbed off the paper and then fused the design to gingham. I then used fabric markers and Sharpies and a gold gel pen to color in the images and shade the edges a bit to blend them into the fabric.

The words were clipped from some law texts I'd rescued from the trash heap. The other trims and threads were things I had hanging around.

I backed them with the same prequilted fabric I used for the TIF piece. It provides a nice body to them and isn't too thick.

Last week I printed out two pages of faces for an experiment with a variety of small faces on each page. I coated one page with acrylic gel medium from Golden. I layered several thin coats, letting it dry in between. Then I let it dry for about 24 hours. I soaked it in cool water and rubbed off the paper from the back. The dried gel stretches so you need to be careful to work on a smooth, flat surface and mostly in a gentle circular motion to keep it from stretching too much. When it dried, I could see spots where I'd missed paper bits so I wet it again and rubbed some more.

The images are embedded in the clear gel. I know I can use the medium to glue them onto paper or fabric. I'm not sure how the gel will hold up to stitching. I plan to cut them apart and use them in projects as yet unknown (maybe some more pink squares).

I learned this technique back in the 70s in college. I made a collage from magazine photos, trimming them carefully to avoid overlap (so there was no glue on the back of the paper). I coated my collage with the medium and built up several layers. After removing the paper, I used this as a negative to make a photo-etched plate and then printed my etchings.

The second half of my experiment was to take the second page of images and iron on Wonder-Under, then remove the paper. It wasn't a failure in that I learned what doesn't work. The Wonder-Under was just too light and fell apart when I tried to remove the paper.

I've seen this someplace on the Internet and Bond-a-Web was recommended, which appears to be the same as Wonder-Under. Of course I can't find the site now! I know the technique works from using it with the hem tape and the hem tape was a lot heavier than the Wonder-Under.

I have since learned there's a heavy-duty Wonder-Under that would likely be better. Since I already have the regular, I plan to experiment by layering a few sheets together.

I want to get this to work because I like the aged and worn look the fusible gave to the images. The gel images are exactly like the photos. So I'm off to experiment some more.

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