In my last post I mentioned that I was going to try and use the fabrics that I found at home in an interesting way. I decided that the Japanese vintage floral cotton that my mom gave me was too cute as a group to make separate items out of them. My first thought was to quilt them together into a pillow or small blanket, but I wasn’t crazy about mixing all those prints sewed right up next to each other.
So I came up with the idea of making a wall hanging by appliquéing the fabric onto a thick, off-white piece of cloth, then embroidering directly over them in another color. I used photoshop to make an approximation of what it’ll look like with the photos of the actual fabric. The image will be printed out so I can use it as a guide when I put the actual pieces of fabric together. I’ll post updates on its progress. There’ll be fabric left afterwards for other projects.
Having plan like this is useful for a couple of reasons. I know how many pieces of fabric to cut of each print, which is nice since I’m working with remnants and I’d like to conserve what little fabric I have. I can also see all the colors come together and make sure I get the right color embroidery thread. I’ll also be able to remember exactly how I want the pieces and embroidery placed.
The appliquéd flowers and leaves will be blanket stitched to the base, while the embroidery (turquoise) will likely be done in a combo of split stitch and chain stitch. Thanks to futuregirl for the blanket stitching tutorial. I’m going to be adding beads to the embroidery as well. Haven’t decided on the scale yet. Probably 2′x2′ or smaller.
These are the drawings that I made for the embroidered flora & fauna. I might as well share them; if you use them, please don’t profit off of them and please either email me or give me a link to a picture of what you made :). Click for bigger version.
When I showed the plan to a friend for feedback she asked me for a tutorial on how to do this. It’s really easy if you know the basics of using “patterns” in photoshop. You need photoshop (or a similar program), a photograph of the fabric you want to appliqué, and a drawing pad (optional) to do this.
1. Draw the outlines of the fabric parts. I use a tablet, but you could use your mouse or draw it on paper and scan them in. This took a lot of copy/pasting since my flowers are mostly the same shape.
2. Open the image with the photograph of your fabric on it, and make a separate “pattern” for each type. To do this, use the select tool to select your fabric, then Edit > Define Pattern and enter in a name for your fabric.
3. Now select the negative space of your drawing, and select inverse so that the parts where the appliqués will go are selected.
4. Choose the pattern stamp, then select your pattern. You can now use the stamp to color in the outlines.
That’s it. Let me know if this helps you or if you can think of a better way to do it. Another easy method is using a mask, but the way I did it was quick and dirty and suited my needs.