Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mixed media jewelry - tutorial

A couple of people asked for a tutorial on the mixed media jewelry, so I've put together an outline. There are so many possibilities here that I've just gotten started and I'm sure everyone else can come up with variations on these basics.

Stiff interfacing (I life Stiffy from )
scraps sorted by color
Fusible web
Fabric scraps (and paper scraps if you like)
Fabric paint (I used Jacquard Lumiere)
Embellishments (beads, buttons, more fabric, etc.)
Jewelry findings (earring hooks, pin backs, etc.)
Sewing machine, thread, basic sewing tools

Cut a piece of stiff interfacing to a comfortable working size (I used about 8x10)

Apply the fusible web to one side, following manufacturer's instructions. Allow to cool completely and remove paper, if paper-backed.
fused fabric base

free motion quilted
Sort your fabric and paper scraps into groupings you like, and arrange scraps on interfacing (fusible side up). It's easiest to do this on your ironing surface, with a piece of parchment paper or press cloth under the work. Try not to leave any gaps between pieces, but don't overlap, either.

Cover with parchment paper or press cloth and fuse down.
stamped and painted

If you have scraps of fabric with fusible already applied, you can cut them into shapes and lie on top of the piece, then fuse them down at this point.

Allow the bases to completely cool, overnight is good.

(Note, I prepped several bases, then moved on to each step with all of them, made it easier to allow for cooling/drying time, the idea for fusing the fabric came from an article in Quilting Arts magazine.)

quilted, painted and cut into pieces
Choose a thread that you like with the fabric combination and free motion quilt closely over the entire base. Simple patterns, like swirls and meanders work best, as you will be cutting the piece up. Have fun and use different colors and different designs.

Prep an area for painting and stamping. Choose contrasting or complementary colors and stamp designs across the base. I used the heat moldable stamps and created simple stars and swirls. You can also paint between the designs or instead of stamping. I like the Lumiere paints as they have such a rich effect.

finished pieces
Allow to dry completely (overnight is good) and heat set.

Apply fusible to the back side of the interfacing and fuse on a single piece of fabric (or paper) for the backing. You could skip this, but it gives a more finished look to the pieces.

finished earrings, using commercial findings
Cut out your shapes! I used a ruler and rotary cutter to cut squares, then cut strips from the bases for smaller pieces. You can cut freehand, or draw or trace the shape on the back of the piece. Save your scraps as you can layer and stack them to add dimension and texture.

Seal the cut edges of all the pieces with paint or glue (this is the most tedious part). Allow to dry completely.

Embellish and add findings. You can glue or sew on beads, charms, buttons, scraps of the fused materials, bits of fabric, thread, whatever you please.

Wear and have fun!

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