Fun With Fabrics

Fun with fabrics is not a thing I ever thought I would be writing about on my website! Just ask my needlework teacher from school days🥴

Although I am into many different arts and crafts, fun with fabrics has never really been a part of my arty crafty repertoire.

I’m all about paint, glue, paper, pastels, inks – anything that makes a mess really 😆.

However, that all changed when I attended a class recently to learn how to make Art Quilts – now, I am truly hooked.

My very first art quilt made with tutor Anne Robson at Studio 2, Wooden Roots, Rendlesham UK

Having fun with fabric in an arty way is something I had never really considered until Anne Robson’s class came up at Wooden Roots.

But more about that in a later post when I hope to have finished a couple of Art Quilts made from my own paintings (which I have transferred to fabric).

I know lots of people wonder how they can do this, so I will be sharing with you how I have managed to print my own designs onto cotton and how you can do it too.

fun with fabrics
One of my pastel images printed onto cotton fabric ready to make an art quilt.

The possibilities for fabric art are endless when you start to dream up ideas of your own.

Until I discovered the arty possibilities of having fun with fabrics (when I took Anne’s four week course), I had always been envious of people who could sew really well, but didn’t think it was for me.

But last year, one of my YouTube viewers sent me a beautiful gift that she had sewn herself and, I did start getting a little curious about crafty possibilities with fabrics.

Leslie Gilbert is one of the 9.5 thousand subscribers over on my YouTube channel Rainbow Lane.

First she sent me a cute little Mug Mat and then, she very kindly made me some bunting with my channel name on.

Rainbow Lane Bunting sent to me by Lesley Gilbert
This mug mat may just have saved my wooden table from more mug rings!

Lesley is no stanger to fabric art.

After she sent me these beautiful gifts, I learned that she makes all sorts of things:- mug mats, gorgeous quilts, taggy blankets and amazing fidget lap quilts for people living with dementia.

Take a look at some of Lesley’s beautiful work in the slideshow below.

As you can see, her work is very neat, bright and colourful.

I absolutely love the personalised taggy blankets; I believe these ones were orders that Lesley had completed.

And the fidget lap quilts/muffs are a brilliant idea for those living with the effects of Alzheimers/Dementia.

Thanks to Lesley’s kindness in making me such a lovely gift (which I will be showing on my YouTube channel very soon), I did start to get the glimmer of an interest in sewing.

So when I saw the Art Quilting course that Anne Robson was teaching, I was way more open to having a go than perhaps I would have been and, I booked myself onto her course.

Although I am a very clumsy and inept seamstress – no, really I am! – I am enjoying adapting what I learned with Anne to present my art in a very different way.

It’s making me think differently about what I am creating and I’m loving it.

Anne and her helpers getting everything ready for the class.

As I said earlier, I am currently practicing the sewing skills I learnt in Studio 2 at Wooden Roots, Rendlesham, here in the UK.

I won’t be sharing the actual methods we were taught for making the quilts because that is something Anne has developed in her own style and is the best person to teach it. Besides, I will be learning this art for a very long time to come!

However, I will be sharing with you the trials I have had with my sewing machine and what I am doing to overcome them.

These are the two Art Quilts I am working on at the moment.

What you see below is a very different use of what I was taught on the course – for example, you will notice there is no layering of fabrics.

I’m not quite ready to start layering at home with no tutor on hand! So I am using my own printed art work as one whole piece to begin with and I will quilt the lines I have drawn.

Cheating? Maybe. Will it be as effective? No – it will be a completely different look. And it might turn out to be terrible! I’ll show you how it turns out – even if it turns out badly – I promise!

I have already had problems with what I want to do but think I have found the answer – so I hopefully, (finger’s crossed!) I will be back here with my results in a week, month, yearwhenever! But I will be back 👀 🤞

My artwork printed onto cotton and ready to start quilting.
Another one of my pastel abstracts printed and ready to be qulited.

Meanwhile, my fun with fabrics will continue in another of Anne’s classes.

She is teaching a 3 hour workshop on February 29th near Woodbridge in Suffolk, on how to make a tote bag.

Fancy learning to make one of these?

We will be supplied with the ready cut fabric in a choice of vibrant and exotic fabrics and given step-by-step tution in how to make a fully lined bag.

And as with all Anne’s classes, it will be a fun and sociable affair 😍

If you are local to Suffolk, click here for booking details.

Check back here in a couple of weeks to see how I got on with the tote bag class and hopefully, my two art quilts will be finished too.

And I would love to hear from anyone who is dabbling in the world of fabrics and making art – so if you are having fun with fabrics, drop me a comment below and tell me what you are doing – see you again soon!

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