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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Swap number 2

The second swap for my Crazy Fridays class was "plus-sized inchies." Inchies are little bits of mixed media or fiber arts, one inch square; plus-sized inchies, then, are one and a half inches, an easier size to work with. The swap was for December (ok, this post is a little late) when I would be swamped with school work and Christmas prep, so I was glad to find a ready-made base in my stash. Many months ago, back when my PBS station still showed the Quilting Arts TV show, I followed their instructions to make a painted and stamped sheet that could be cut up for inclusion in other projects. I took a piece of batik fabric and ironed it onto fusible web. I then used a flower stamp and puffy burnt gold paint (regular stamp pads did not leave enough of a mark) to stamp on flower images. I created sort of a checkerboard pattern, and filled the squares in between with asterisks using a coppery red Shiva stick, and then added a hint of gold with another Shiva stick and possibly some gold paint (I don't remember). The grid was just perfect to cut up into 1.5 inch squares -- here are a few:

So all I had to do was embellish and finish them! I love beading, so I added a few translucent gold beads to each one, and made it unnecessarily complicated for myself by arbitrarily deciding that each one had to have a different pattern of beads. Some were embroidered directly onto the squares, others beadwoven into shapes and then sewn on. I then ironed the squares onto rust colored felt (with the squares upside down on a thick towel to protect the beads). The traditional (if this artform can be said to have a tradition) finish is zigzagging, but I could not bear to zigzag repeatedly around each of over a dozen squares, so I came up with an alternative -- copper tape used for soldering. The tape has a sticky backing, and the copper went beautifully with the other colors. I have no idea how it will hold up long-term, but they look pretty neat now:

The inchies I received from the swap:

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