26 June 2008

Playing with Materials

One of the best things about managing a quilt shop with a large art quilt department is playing with all of the materials that are out on the market. Yesterday I spent a little time working on some new samples to show how some products look used in an art quilt.

Inkjet-Printable Shrink Film Sample

I created a page in PhotoShop, made a background layer with color and texture, and then added copyright-free clipart images of bees. I printed the page out onto the shrink film, cut it into squares and punched holes in the corners using a hole punch. Then, off to the oven to shrink them down to size. What fun! Watching them as they shrink is the best part. Last week one of my students brought a big box of all different kinds of wooden cigar boxes to class to share. I, of course, scooped up a couple to alter. In the bottom of the box there were a couple of labels that had torn off the wooden boxes. I used a scrap of one in the bottom right corner of this piece.

Distress Ink Sample

I masked off a rectangle in the middle of my background with freezer paper and rubbed a light green distress ink pad all over the fabric. I removed the freezer paper and added collage elements, sewing and glueing them in place. To accentuate the line between the distressed section and the plain section of the fabric, I sewed a fairly wide, loose row of zig-zag stitching around that edge.

I found some really neat frames in Ikea yesterday. The openings are only 5.5" square and they're less than 1/2" thick. Perfect for displaying little samples and giving them some substance and a clean finish. I'm in the midst of a shop makeover right now, cleaning, adding new displays, re-arranging merchandise and just generally re-thinking how things are presented. I do this just about every summer to keep things fresh and exciting. I had a display inspiration involving apothecary jars, wooden spools, styrofoam balls and pretty fabric the other night - I'll have to show you the results - it actually came out the way I was picturing it in my head!


Natalya said...

I wish I could come and play...

Carol Sloan said...

I love shrinky dink, don't you?

Vivien said...

It's like Shrinky Dink for quilters! I'm going to have to try this!