Material Girl: Artwork from Fabric

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

I have the most enoromous stash of fabric - vintage fat quarters, scraps of precious lace, linen, embroidered silk, organza, chirimen, seersucker - you name it... and some of my absolute favourites are the treasured snippets of Japanese cotton from both China and Japan.

I've had some fabric framed on Ella's wall for years, including a beautiful pink Japanese cotton with teensy cream rabbits all over.

Recently, at the Old Bus Depot Sunday Markets in Canberra, I had the fortune to come across the divine Wabi-Sabi stall run by Shuji Yamazaki. Not only does he sell incredible yukata and kimono but also absolutely luscious fat quarters of Japanese cotton, in a rainbow of colours (only $5 a piece!).

I couldn't resist snaffling a couple of squares for Ella, and decided to replace some old framed fabric - a teensy pink gingham and a whimsical pink floral paisley (above) - with a rich red and fuschia spring blossom fabric, and a pale olive green with little hopping rabbits.

This is so easy (and inexpensive!) to do and the great thing is - you can update fabric every year to suit your child's decor (or your own decor!).

You can either staple the fabric to a canvas frame found at craft or art supply stores, or you can use an old picture frame. Just remove the glass and backing. Iron the fabric until it's pin flat (you can also spray on a little starch to make fabric warping less likely).

Lay the fabric face down and place your frame on top. Cut around the frame leaving at least 6-7cm around the edges. Starting along one short edge, lift the fabric up and over the edge of the frame and staple in place with a staple gun (you can use strong tape, if desperate).

Do the opposite side of the fabric next. Then the other two sides. Finish one side completely before starting another and be sure not to staple too close to the corners so you can fold the corners in effectively.

For the corners, to save the fabric bulking up on the edge of the frame, fold the corner as shown below then pull the fabric up and over the fold. Staple in place.

Here is another view for greater clarity...

Look how beautiful these 'pictures' look - and how stunning on Ella's wall with her other artwork.

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