Monday, December 1, 2014

Blue Twig Studio - Dec Review of Products and Project Step-Outs

As part of Blue Twig Studio's Design Team, I will be reviewing products and doing at least one project each month. For the month of December, I am reviewing the November Fabric Club Kit.

Products  Reviewed and Used for Project:
Blue Twig Studio's November Fabric Club Kit. 

Included in the November Fabric Club Kit:
  1. Five fat quarters (18" x 22") of Tim Holtz's Eclectic Elements fabric line. 
    • Two are a snakeskin design, one in blacks and the other in brown shades. 
    • The third has various streets, such as 179 Times Square, P'kway Queens Plaza, Metropolitan Av, 8th Coney Island, Kings Highway in shades of browns and tans.
    • The fourth piece are logos of various hotels around the world in tans, grays, and browns. Examples are the Ritz Barcelona, Hotel Barker in Seattle Washington, Hotel Merkur in Nurnberg, Hotel Mount Everest in Darjeeling, India, Raffles Hotel in Singapore, and so forth., 
    • The last piece has various numbers and fractions, going in different directions in shades of tans and browns.
  2. Two 125 yard spools of Heavy Dual Duty XP Coats and Clark polyester thread in chocolate brown and black. 
  3. Three 1 1/2" four-hole wood buttons with mottled shading of tans, rusts, and browns. 
Other products that I used to create my project (a 8" x 10" wall hanging) include:

     *  Jacquard Textile Paint in 123 White. You could use gesso or any other paint brand. I used the Jacquard, as I had been using it for another project and already had it out and easily available.

     *  The shimmering gold acrylic ink from a Daler-Rowney FW Shimmering Colours Set of Acrylic Artists Ink.  (Could use another brand of shimmering or glittery paint.)

     *  Other fabrics including gold lame, silver lacy tulle, and brown tulle. These add texture and interest. (Any fabrics could be added.)

     *  Wine and yellow silk threads fibers(Any fibers could be use , i.e. Angelina fibers, fancy yarns, wool felt… Also could add hand-stitching to for texture and interest.)

      *  Timtex interfacing.  Timtex is 100% polyester for consistent thickness and texture. It's firm yet flexible. It's perfect for shaping into 3-D craft projects. It's easy to cut, mark and sew. Machine wash and dry. It can be bought in packages or by the yard. (Could use any interfacing, batting, a piece of flannel, or canvas.)

Project Step-Out:

I first cut a piece of Timtex interfacing to size (8" x 10"). Then I used the street name fabric to cover the back of the timtex. I folded the edges around to the front and stitched them down with the black Coats and Clark thread included in the kit. Next I added a label that I hand-wrote with a black 0.03 micron. Sakura pen and stitched that into the lower right-hand corner of the back of the wall hanging.

Back of 8" x 10" wall hanging with "Faces" label.
Now I was ready to create my wall hanging. I laid out pieces of all five fabrics in various sizes to create a collage and stitched these to the front. I didn't put the fabrics in any particular order. I added part of the selvage edges to show they were Tim Holtz's fabrics, and also, just for fun.

Step 1. Collage of all five fabrics stitched randomly to the front.
I fused a piece of the lacy silver tulle and three flame-shaped strips of gold lame to the collage. Then, I stenciled the three-quarter view face stencil using Jacquard textile white paint. I added the hair with more white paint and a brush.

Step 2. Add gold lame and silver tulle. Stencil face and paint hair.
 She needed some more color, so I chose the shimmering gold DR acrylic artists ink to add gold eye shadow and gold to her hair. It looks better in the collage, as you can see the gold shimmer, which the camera did not pick up well.
Step 3. Painted gold shimmering acrylic ink to the eyelids and hair.
I sewed on the buttons for a necklace. Then I added metallic beads in various sizes (6, 8, 11) on either side of a large raku face bead for a barrette in her hair. Finally, I laid out various strands of a variety of neutral colors of pearl cotton and couched them with three small Chinese coins and size 11 beads.

Step 4. Attach buttons, beads, pearl cotton and Chinese coins.
 Finally, I used an awl to punch 3 holes in the top, attaching a small 10" mesquite branch (about 1/2" in diameter) with gold ribbon for the hanger of the wall hanging.

Final mixed-media, collaged wall hanging, 8" x 10". 

Product Review:

I was thrilled to receive the November Fabric Club Kit, as I love Tim Holtz's Eclectic Element fabric line and haven't had a chance to buy any of his fabrics, as I could not find them at any local quilt stores in the Phoenix, AZ area. I think fabrics with words and numbers are such fun to create tote bags, messenger bags, and/or purses. But better yet, they work well for collage quilts, modern quilts, backgrounds for pictorial quilts, and/or mixed-media art work. I created an 8" x 10" mixed-media wall hanging with the kit. I have enough fabric left to make a small quilt or a small purse. I'll let you know what I create when I get to it. (With upcoming holidays, it will be a few months.)

I had a problem with the buttons that you need to be aware of. They can NOT be sewn on by machine, as the hole spacing is wider than the industry standard for buttons. I'm glad I always check the hole spacing before I just hit sew, or I would have broken a needle and possibly thrown off the machine's timing. A note with the buttons stating that they have a wider hole spacing than the industry standard for buttons would have been nice. So beware when buying buttons to check the hole spacing before just stitching on your sewing machine! 

The thread states "heavy", but I could not find the size (30wt, 40wt, 50wt?) on the spool anywhere. My 80/12 needle worked, but the 90/14 was better. To hand-sew the buttons, I had to use a larger hand-needle than I normally use for hand-stitching, as well. A size 9 worked well.  Again, it would be nice to have the size of thread put on the label, so you are not guessing what size needles (machine or hand) to use with it. (I did use both the brown and black threads for sewing the project.)

This wall hanging can be seen at Blue Twig Studio after Dec 3rd. I hope these step-outs give you some direction to take for your own  mixed-media, collaged wall-hanging.

Keep creating!


  1. Beautiful and inspiring! I love the colors.
    I am having strange problems with connecting to your blog from my tablet, I am sorry for not visiting often but it's technical stuff.:) Love your work!

    1. Thank you! I'm sorry you're having technical problems, but glad you visit when you can! I enjoy reading your comments and appreciate the encouragement!