Friday, October 12, 2012

Leaf Printing

I have been printing leaves to see how they come out on fabric. I just painted slightly thinned acrylic paint onto the back of leaves and printed them onto calico, Bondaweb and polyester crepe. The ones on the calico and Bondaweb came out equally clear but the paint just sank into the crepe to give ghostly images.

Next I cut some of them out and bonded them onto a rectangle of calico. I had covered the whole piece of calico with Bondaweb first.
I added random squares and strips of sheer fabrics and then added some of the leaves printed on Bondaweb on top. I ironed them all down between sheets of Baking Paper.

Then I started free-machining around the leaves, picking out the stem and veins. I used a variegated black and white machine embroidery thread and I love the result. It is just plain black thread in the bobbin so the line of stitching looks quite broken up.

I tried to jerk the fabric backwards and forwards around the edge of some of the leaves to give a pointed uneven outline. You need to run your machine fast to do this else you risk pulling the needle out of alignment and breaking it on the needle plate.

I really like how this leaf came out too - this is a Bondaweb print on top of the sheer fabric. I think I like the sepia quality it has.
Once I had stitched all the printed leaves I had a go at putting some extra ones in freehand. I don't like them as much as the printed ones so I only did a few. It is really hard to get the outline and veins looking realistic.
I also really like how they look on the back in just the plain black thread!

I will certainly do more leaf prints on Bondaweb in the future - a possible inclusion on my Wasteland hanging that I am working up to.
Finally, I have made 50 of these this week! They are to sell at the Museum where I volunteer on the Halloween themed Open Day coming up. I used 15cm long black pipecleaners twisted round the base of a lollipop. I found a bag of old googly eyes but I reckon you could cut or punch circles out of labels and put a black dot on with a marker pen.

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