Thursday, 4 May 2017

Fabric and Fibres ~ Stamps and Stencils ~ New Challenge

Hi everybody ! Wow the months are rolling by. I can hardly believe that we are in the fifth month already ! Hey Ho, at least it means that it's time for a new challenge over at Stamps and Stencils. Cec, is our very talented host this month and she has chosen, 'Fabric and Fibres'. This is what Cec has to say.........
Let's add some fabric and/or fibres to our creations this month.  You can use linen, burlap, organza, wool, lace, ribbon, rope to name a few.  The list is almost endless but whatever you add, make sure there is some stamping or stencilling (or both) on your creation as well.

This is a challenge that is dear to my heart, as I've always had an interest in textile arts and have recently been experimenting with stencilling and dyeing fabrics. I put my interest to the test by making this 'prayer flag', using layers of 'tea dyed' and stencilled fabric. This is how I got started........
Firstly, I made a 'tea bath' by boiling up some teabags in a saucepan. I then assembled a variety of fabrics and pieces of cotton lace, and placed them in the saucepan. I let them boil together for about 20 minutes. I left the teabags in, as I thought it might  create random patches of colour, where the tea was stronger. This is how the fabric looked once it had been rinsed and dried......

The fabrics yielded a variety of shades of 'pinky brown'. The colour was stronger on the pieces that were 100% cotton, and much more subtle an those that had a percentage of polyester. One piece of fabric I had put in, was 100% polyester, it remained untouched by the tea. I absolutely love the colours and the vintage appearance the fabrics now have. After deciding on which fabrics to use I experimented with different arrangements of the layers and once satisfied I set about stencilling some backgrounds.....
Here is the main background piece. I used a small circle stencils with a mixture of Deco Art Media Fluid in Burnt Umber and Yellow Iron Oxide. When it had dried, I decided that it was a little darker than I had intended, so I brushed, a thin coat of white gesso over the stencilling in order to tone it down a little.
I used some gorgeous sparkly paint, to stencil this strip of fabric. It's called Starlight and it's by Imagination Crafts. I am seriously hooked on these paints, they are certainly the most twinkly ones I have in my stash! 
I then stamped up a variety of images on to a paper napkin and experimented with 'transferring' them onto the stained fabric using matte medium. I found that the tissue didn't completely disappear on the fabric that was darker in tone. As the prayer flag is to be hung outside, I decided to go with the little bird and used a piece of pale muslin cloth. 
In order to stitch all the layers together, I secured each piece with a little squirt of re-positional fabric spray. This saves a lot of bother with pinning and keeps everything secure. I then stitched around the pieces using contrasting thread. This creates another element to the design, a bit like doodling with a pen. I used self coloured thread and a close together zig zag stich to secure the bird panel. The fringed border was made by ripping a piece of fabric into strips without going all the way to the very top. The picture probably explains what I mean...........
To finish off, I stamped out my message of 'Peace' and sewed this to the flag. I then tore a long, thin strip of fabric and sewed it to the top, so that the flag can be hung in my garden.........
I have so enjoyed making this project and I love the finished piece. This could well be the first of many. So thank you Cec ! If you'd like to join in with our 'Fabric and Fibres' challenge, hop over to the Stamps and Stencils blog with this link, where you'll find the challenge details, as well as Cec's amazing canvas and the superb projects from the rest of the design team. We would love to see your creations ! x


  1. Wow, this is fantastic, love the "tea bath" vintage colours of the fabrics , the whole piece is stunning

  2. Stunning prayer flag Toni ! I love tea dyed fabric it adds such a vintage feel and couple with your stamping it looks amazing ! Sue C x

  3. absolutely stunning piece Toni - I really love this - your use of fabrics is amazing. Beautiful! Hugs Rachel x

  4. Love your flag with its neutral colour palette and the wonderful stamping that makes up the focal point. I cleaned some kitchen cupboards the other day and tossed some old teabags, which I am now regretting.

  5. Toni, this is just amazing! I love your bird image transfer and gorgeous tea soaked layers. The fringe is amazing and really brings the piece to life. Love it and so will our readers. Hugs, Autumn

  6. Gorgeous and a great tutorial too! Thank you :)