Sunday, March 07, 2010

how to

make a burnt quilt. to celebrate my 400th post here is a quick run through with a bonus video of me glamorously burning a quilt at the end :)

step one a fire proof backing - i usually use wool - either felted jumpers or jackets or in this case, wool blanketing. this has been dyed with eucalytus leaves using india flint's methodthen strew the surface of the base with chopped up bits of synthetic - i use a mixture of polyester organza and tulle. i also mix in some small bits of silk, lame, sequin waste, wool and silk fibre and other bits and pieces that won't necessarily melt but will add depth and texture to the finished product.
when you have a thick enough layer then carefully cover the lot with tulle and or organza and pin like mad. if you don't pin enough, especially around the edges, your bits of synthetic will shift and fall out, which is a Bad Thing.

carefully transfer the quilt over tot he sewing machine and free motion quilt your heart out, making sure that you cover the entire surface of the quilt and don't leave large gaps, unless that's part of the design. if there are large expanses of unquiltedness then the synthetic layer will just drop off when you melt it.
take the quilted piece OUTSIDE and use a respirator as the burning process can be quite fumey and it's not worth risking your health to make art. at bets you'll get a headache and at worst, who knows but those fumes are likely to be carcinogenic. so it's worth investing in a good respirator that's designed to fend off chemical fumes.

so appropriately garbed and ventilated, work over the surface of the quilt with a heat gun (you can also use a soldering iron but i find the heat gun much quicker). don't use the sort of thing that takes paint off walls - that will melt your entire piece and possibly set everything on fire - which we don't want. take it slowly and melt things down as much as you want.

and here is the finished product - it measures 149 x 43 cmand here's the film of me in action (note i am in a well ventilated outside laundry, well supervised by the CWA)


Marie Barnard said...

So beautiful! I love your work.

The WestCountryBuddha said...

Brill. The chickens seemed pleased with your demonstration; I noticed that they weren't taking notes and seemed to be waiting for a handout.

Thank you for that - most enlightening and entertaining!

arlee said...

GO Felicity--i just got new speakers so that was quite a way to start the day :}

Lynn said...

I am awe struck by your process and the results. So beautiful. My newly purchased heat gun says it can remove paint. What kind do you use and what is the difference?
Love your ventilator. So fashionable.
Love the chickens too, great touch!
Loved the movie.
Love your work. Oh I think I said that already!!!! I am a fan.