Day 4

Despite the fact that I paid for expedited shipping of my new steam generator, the tracking document shows a delivery date of Dec 28 and I must continue to find other “sewing” things to do.  Why couldn’t this have happened during the weeks I was on the road and not thinking of sewing?

I had a pleasant Sewing Day despite not having turned on a single sewing machine.

I started by separating the two sheets of freezer paper that had been ironed together yesterday forming my stencil.   This is one of the times when knowing what your machines are going to do is really important.  I knew the heat of my previous iron and how much time it took to make a good bond between the layers.  That’s important because if the layers aren’t evenly bonded the Cameo doesn’t cut the top layer.  OTOH, as occurred with the spare iron, too much bonding and it’s difficult to separate the layers.  Yesterday I made 3 new 12×30″ stencils . Today I was able to separate only 1 in its entirety.  The 2nd I was able to loosen only the edges and the 3rd ended up with a  hole the size of toast in the middle. To fix the unintended, toast-sized hole, I trimmed a piece from one of the test cuts.  This worked well and also inspired a good work around for the body of the piece.

My fabric is in two pieces each approximately 30″x52″ and eventually (I hope/pray) will become a vest.  The 12″x30″ stencils were not large enough to completely cover the area which needed paint.  (BTW the Cameo will cut  10 feet long but only 12 inches wide) For the intended vest back, I trimmed the margins from the stencil and butted  two of my 12×30″ stencils up against each other.  The possible vest-front needed a space of about 1″ between.  That left what will be the sides (under the arms) without a stencil.  Had I been able to free the 2nd stencil from its bottom layer, I would have sliced it into 4 pieces and covered the sides.  I didn’t want to make another stencil. I trimmed the test pieces and butted them together.

.But at least I had both fabrics covered where I intended to paint.

The mess I made was amazing

and that’s not even the half of it.

But now I got to the fun part which is me PAINTING.  I like fabric painting.   I took 2 semesters of watercolor painting several years ago at a college.  While I’ll never be a famous painter, the class did make me bold with mixing color.  I keep an open mind and intend not to create an exact color but rather something in that color range.  I have to confess that mixing my own colors appeases my thrifty (OK cheap) nature too. In this case I was mixing some left over screen printing paint with  acrylic crafting paint and Textile Medium.  I do have fabric paints. I prefer to use the crafting paints because they are thrifty and so much more readily available.  The Textile Medium converts nearly any coloring compound into substance that will adhere to fabric and survive through wear and wash.

I’ll also confess that I learned it’s not necessary to purchase expensive equipment.  I’ll make exception when it comes to brushes and will agree that the better the quality of paint the better your finished project will be. But for most of what I do, cheapo works really well

I’m using trash plastic as my pallet, a clean but previously used ice-cream stick to stir and a clean but previously used ice cream-cup for mixing paint.  My water container (which I really didn’t need) is a recycled plastic jar. My clean-up rags (not shown) are recycled T-shirts.  The textile medium has a minor value and I’m not sure how to classify the Martha Stewart pouncer.

I’ve found that when working with stencils, I like pouncers the best and the stiff round stencil brushes 2nd best.  I found these Martha Stewart’s a few months back and purchased them more out of curiosity than anything else.  I like using sponges too.  Several of my pouncers have a sponge at the bottom of a stick. Trouble is the sponges seem to come off and pounce on their own. (Maybe I’m too energetic?)  I was curious as to how these would work and if the sponge was replaceable or indeed if the idea could be duplicated on a cheaper scale. They are essentially a round lid with a round sponge stuck inside.  I paid $3.98 for a set of 5. OK not terribly expensive.  This was the 2nd  largest size and has about a 2″ diameter.  The largest is uncomfortable for me to handle (you have to be a painter and understand how a brush feels in the hand).  I wanted to cover as much territory as possible and so by-passed the smaller pouncers.  In its favor I will say it was easy to use and surprisingly cleaned up perfectly, as well as I can tell.  I used lots of water and a little soap. The sponge is well secured to the cap.  I rather expected the sponge to fall out either during use or during cleaning, so I’m quite pleased to state that it is cleaned, dried and ready for another use something that I can’t brag about when it comes to the pouncers-on-a stick. On the minus side, and this may be due to the weave of the fabric, I didn’t actually pounce.  It deposited little paint when used in the standard up-and-down pouncing motion.  I would pounce and then twist. (Oh dear I think this may require a video and I’m not up to making one of those.)  Pounce and twist. That was in between dipping the edges back into my pallet.

The same twisting motion when used in the pallet evenly picked up paint all around the sponge.

So yesterday I was trying to explain painting throughout.  Let me show the opposite first:

See above?  Mostly we paint/pounce in a bullet line. Covering everything from edge to edge with a thin coating.  It works wonderfully. Allowing the even spread of paint and may I say a little self-satisfaction as you guage the amount finished. But what I want now, because I’m not sure I mixed enough paint, is to pounce here and there over all the pieces that will need to be painted. So first application looks something like:

As you can easily see, there are lots of unpainted places.  I mixed more paint and made a second application totally obliterating covering the areas which I intend to become part of the vest

Interestingly at about this time DH showed up and asked if I intended it to be two different reds.  In the picture I see only 1 shade of red.  He also commented on the “smell” which I liked.

That’s pretty much it for a few days.  The paint needs to dry and I have other commitments.  But I promise to at least reveal the finished painting, whether I’m ready to make it into a vest of not.


PS when it comes to tools and painting, I usually cover my cut station with a plastic tarp i.e. a thick but cheap sheet of plastic.  I didn’t this time because I know that waiting beneath the Christmas Tree is a new Rhino Hyde cutting mat.