Monday, May 12, 2014

Fabric Water Proofing in the Sewing World

The season of winter has passed and a few months of spring, summer and fall will be coming soon! We get to come out of hibernation and spend time outdoors. This is also the season for the few sewing enthusiasts, to consider updating their outdoor furniture. Do you update your patio furniture covers?

One of the problems faced with being outdoors are the elements of weather. It can get humid, wet from rainfall and/or morning dew along with exposure to the sun and can quickly damage the fabrics on our outdoor decor. It's time to pull out some available products specific to handling the elements of weather especially water-proofing.

Water proofing products are in the realm of science and chemistry with the production of designing a product to withstand water (A great career to consider, if I may add!) Many artists understand the importance of including steps, to safeguard the longevity of their work and slow deterioration. Products that can help provide that shield of water-proofing can be found in marine, crafts, RV, furniture upholstery, and auto store sections. There may be other outlets, please leave a comment to let others know! Thank you :)

A point to keep in mind with adding any chemicals to our projects is the surface will change and these products will or can be, costly. Remember to take a scrap piece of fabric and test the product FIRST. Allow your scrap to thoroughly dry and again, check the results. It's best to find out early if we are going to like the final results or try another product. Maybe a good time to ask if there are 'sample' products in smaller ounce bottle?

The following are products that can be found and are available in a store near you or online. Checking reviews and researching product sites, new reapplications of spraying, appears to be necessary after some time has passed. So, we must pay attention to eventual 'wearing off' of first applications of water-repellants, to our outdoor projects but they are re-newed after new applications. Now, that's great news. How many of us are guilty of 'falling in love' with our fabric choices?

One product brand that's recognizable amongst us 'artists' is Mod Podge. They have a product called 'Plaid Fabric Mod Podge'. It is a glue and sealer in one. Apply a thin coat to fabric with a brush and it's washable in cold water, air dry or gentle cycle dryer after 72 hours of air drying. I rather like air drying since there's a distinct 'aroma' that's quite lovely but that could just be me, since I live in the forest?

A second product is 'Thompson's Water Seal Fabric Seal'. It's specifically designed for outdoor decor such as cushions, umbrella's and pillows. It will prevent color fading and mildew since it has 'UV inhibitors and sealant' to block moisture. It's not designed for 'high foot traffic' items nor certain 'synthetic' fabrics. It allows fabrics to 'breathe' so it doesn't cause discoloration, stiffness nor stickiness. I think they've sold me!

A third product is 'Aqua Armor' and is availabe at Amazon, for online shopping. It provides water-proofing protection for many types of fabrics. It has been used on clothing, awnings, fabric gazeboes and patio furniture. It won't cause discoloration, no stiffness, provides water-proofing, allows fabrics to breathe. Research into reviews shows that it may require several coats and the spray pump nozzle may clog. There are MANY other water-proofing products available.

Fabric sealants for water-proofing has found it's way for many home uses. In depth research finds those products made with silicone provide the best water repellant qualities. We know it's used in bathroom construction therefore must be a great product. There is also one more method!

A few may not want to be using chemicals for water-proofing their projects. Another method is the use of bee's wax. Use a double-broiler method to melt and mix approximately 1/4 c bee's wax and 3/4 c olive oil. Once melted, remove from heat, let cool and harden. Spread this mixture on your fabric or item to provide water-proofing protection. This is only one alternative and am sure there are many other 'recipes' to choose. A last note, there may be discoloration due to the oil, so again, do a TEST on scrap piece of fabric first! most of all, have FUN! :) 

Extra Reading

Knowledge in Video

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments, share your own observations, share with others who may be interested. Send a Email if you would like to place a Order today or to say, Hello! Visit the Galleries! I hope you visit again.

Article (C) 2014, all rights reserved. Gin G. creates and posts articles online about Crazy Quilts, business development, second income idea's. Gin G. Is a graduate in business development, Nursing, and passionate about arts and crafts.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Crazy Quilt Gatherings

The world of crazy quilting is fun and a fantastic outlet, for allowing freedom of expression and creativity. As we know, creativity refers to the ability to 'make something that has not existed before' through intelligence and skill. Quite a few of our world's wonders, small or large, can be credited to collective works, of a team behind the scenes. Why not round up a circle of friends, to create a crazy quilt?

A few quilt block swap activities can be found and seen online. We can also start up our own quilt block swap or donation, by sending an invitation to our friends and family. An invitation to create and contribute one or two crazy quilt blocks, for the assembly of a full quilt. After all, contributions from a collective can prove to 'speed' up the completion of a crazy quilt project.

Immense pleasure can be found working alone on a crazy quilt project, indeed, but, maybe there's a special occasion coming up. Gifting with a crazy quilt, by a group of friends, could prove an interesting surprise. Use of teamwork in personal or professional settings, has proven to provide benefits on quick completion of a project. In following this example, a group could have a full size crazy quilt as a gift in a short time.

The idea of creating your own quilting circle, can be quite useful towards providing a handcrafted one-of-a-kind gift, for any special occasion, civic or alternative holiday. Who says we can't start our own tradition for a holiday? Suggestions for new traditions is always an option for friends and family. A visit to your local library and research into non-traditional holiday alamanac's, may prove to be a fun group activity.

Setting up your own crazy quilt circle could also be useful for fundraising activities. A beautiful crazy quilt, can be quite an attractive and popular item for auction. Donating the quilt to a charity or non-profit, to raffle or auction off, can be a rewarding experience. Raising awareness of your skill may draw attention and too many requests, so thoughtful and shrewd consideration may be required, so not to be taken advantage or over worked.

The design of your crazy quilt can be a group decision. Share and exchange ideas for, choice of colors, design ideas, size, length, number of blocks per person, purpose of creating the quilt. Let the event, holiday or tradition be your guide to follow, but let everybody's personal creativity flow, for each quilt block. Once the blocks are brought together, layout of the blocks can also be a group decision or left to one, to produce the finished quilt. Once complete, it will be a surprise for the whole group.

Gathering a small circle of friends, into an informal quilting circle, can be a great activity for producing a crazy quilt. A step further may include setting up a Crazy quilt guild which is a somewhat more formalized group. This could be set up as a non-profit organization with memberships. Cash donations may be gathered for hosting classes, advertising, galleries, raffles, educational resources, and their own shows.

A quilting circle can be a formal or informal group but the goal of enjoying the creation of quilts remains true. Discussing a long term vision of your existing group would be best to explore the possibility and next step of action to consider. For now, enjoy your immediate quilting circle and have fun with your project.

Learning in Motion 

Extra Reading

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments, share your own observations, share with others who may be interested. Send a Email if you would like to place a Order today or to say, Hello! I hope you visit again.

Article (C) 2014, all rights reserved. Gin G. creates and posts articles online about Crazy Quilts, business development, second income idea's. Gin G. Is a graduate in business development, Nursing, and passionate about arts and crafts.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Crazy Quilt and Applique are like Sisters!

The beauty of a crazy quilt can be quite breath taking and examining the details will reveal the amount of work that's gone into that quilt. There are some truly fantastic crazy quilts out there too as every artist is a unique individual. As I have said before about sewing, it can be quite therapeutic. It fills that downtime for those days when not in the mood to go visiting, or out. Just put on some music or the radio and work on your latest upcoming creation. So, how is sewing like a family?

A family as we know is a group of people that care for each other and don't have to necessarily be blood related, as adoptions and guardianships do take place also. In the world of sewing, we can find many 'relations' such as quilts, clothes, bags and totes, accessories, home decor, to name a few. These are all assembled together with fabric of all sorts and thread, either by machine or hand, en masse or by piece.

Crazy quilts, done traditionally, are sewn onto a foundation as are appliques and both are done for design and color. Appliques goes one step further and doubles as artistic embellishments. These can be added by purchasing a pre-made applique piece or from creating your own. They are available in a huge variety of designs too. We can find embroidered pieces, bejewelled with beads or sequins, in lacey designs, children and adult designs, or created with use of fabrics and in many colors.

Appliques can be ironed on or sewn down onto a piece whether it's clothing or, in my case, a crazy quilt, to add a decorative embellishment. A theme can be created with appliques to tell a story for children and/or adults with use of current or past, favorite trends. An embellishment adds decorative beauty along with creating a conversation with friends and family. What sort of theme do you think your family member would enjoy?

Inspiration for creating an applique can be found all around us. It can be based on themes from television, movies, music, holidays, emotions and over all likes and/or dislikes. One can draw their own designs, add an extra 1/4” edge, sew this raw edge under, by hand, then sew it onto your foundation. If purchased, you can sew it directly onto the foundation without worrying about raw edges. Another method is to use a satin stitch on your machine to edge your applique to hide the raw edges. Design ideas are limitless.

Extra Reading Resources

Make and Use Applique Templates

Buy an Applique

Machine Applique

The Applique Society

Learning in Motion


The world of a seamstress is full of art and color, love of the trade and hardly a dull moment. For the non-sewing persons, you do have the option to ASK for the services of the seamstress and yes, for a price, since it is labor and time that's required. Once you purchase the service, deliver your assigned task (i.e., sew an applique), then you just wait till your seamstress calls for pick up. Take a look in your local paper and telephone book to check for seamstress services and call for a quote. Contacting your local seamstress can provide an alternative to updating your clothes vs purchase of new ones and may prove cost saving.

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments, share your own observations. Visit my galleries for inspiration. Send a Email if you would like to place a Order today.  

Article(C)2011 GG9909, all rights reserved.