This gorgeous Tyvek Leaf was made by Josie, one of the Louth Textile Group, at my Tyvek Leaf Workshop last Friday. The addition of stitching and beading has transformed it……absolutely beautiful! Please keep the photos coming in as and when you finish your leaves.
Last night I was invited to deliver my Tyvek Leaf Workshop to 24 creative ladies from the Louth Textile Group who meet once a month at the Conoco Rooms above Louth Library. Time was going to be a little tight with 24 participants and less than two hours to make our leaves but all of the ladies rose to the challenge knowing that they would have to complete their project at home.
We began by colouring our Tyvek using our chosen medium, either felt markers, fabric paint, acrylics or watercolours. While this was drying the ladies made their wire leaf framework.
Every leaf was a different shape and there were some interesting colour schemes taking place………
It was a fun night which went all too quickly…..I wish I had made the time to take more (and better) photos! With no time at the end for a “show and tell” I’m hoping to receive images of the finished work, complete with stitching and beading, when the group meet again next month.
Many thanks to all the ladies for making feel so welcome.
Yesterday I spent a very enjoyable day in the company of a lovely group of ladies, the Spalding Embroiderers, who meet at Pode Hole Village Hall in the Lincolnshire Fens. The group had booked me to do a workshop for them, giving me free reign to decide what we would be doing.
I wanted to offer them something completely different and something I was pretty sure they wouldn’t have done before. I settled on putting together a workshop to make my Tyvek Leaves. Tyvek is a wonderful product to work with as it has so many possibilities when it comes to colouring, shaping and distressing.
It felt a bit of a risk as it would involve so many different stages and I wasn’t sure how the group would take to shaping wire frames using pliers. I needn’t have worried, their enthusiasm and positivity was terrific and the hall was filled with conversation and laughter all through the day! In fact, putting together this workshop has reminded me of how much fun I had designing my first leaves and it’s been great to get back to making more of them.
The leaves worked out beautifully. As you can see, everyone got their leaf to the stage of it having been distressed with the heat gun but unfortunately we ran out of time to get the holes embroidered so they will continue with that at home. I hope to receive photos of some of the finished leaves as and when they get done.
A big thank you to all the Spalding Embroidery ladies for making me feel so welcome and for being such wonderful, enthusiastic students! I shall look forward to seeing you all at our next workshop.
I’ve been playing with the Tyvek again and this time I had a go at machine stitching the fabric, using the embroidery foot and a metallic thread, onto a metal framework which I made in the shape of a leaf. I tried colouring it with different mediums and discovered that acrylic paint and felt pens seem to work just as well as the fabric paints. I love the lacy effect that can be achieved when heat is applied and, having seen the way the shadow is cast on this photo, I am thinking that using this technique I could make some beautiful votive’s.
It’s a fabulous book packed with the most inspiring illustrations imaginable and great ideas for creating all manner of things with different types of fabrics. Chapter 5 is all about using ‘manipulated methods’, distorting fabric to create form and texture, and includes a beautiful photograph of what looks like decaying seed pods. The caption says they were made from fine-weight Tyvek but, although I loved what I was seeing, it didn’t mean a thing to me! This changed a couple of days later when I was visiting Crafty Notions in Newark and, lo and behold, there on a shelf near the felting supplies, I spotted a bag of Tyvek…fate or what? It seems I was meant to try this stuff out!
So, for the uninitiated, what is Tyvek? Manufactured by DuPont, it’s an extremely durable, man-made fabric, available in different weights. Being light-weight but very tough, breathable and water-resistant, one of its most popular applications is in the construction industry. Other uses include industrial packaging, signage and protective workwear. Its characteristics make it an ideal choice for crafting as it can be coloured using fabric paints, acrylic paint or felt pens. It can also be die-cut, laminated, embossed, printed onto and stitched, but the real fun begins when you apply heat to it. This will cause the fabric to shrink and bubble and, if you apply sufficient concentrated heat, holes will appear creating a beautiful, lacy effect. I found you can produce some fabulous distressed effects using a heat gun, clothes iron or soldering iron (I didn’t have the latter so I simply held a piece of wire in my pliers and heated it over a gas ring!).
Anyway the result is shown below…my take on the Tyvek seed pods. The first image was taken after holding the pod over a gas ring, supported on a spatter guard. The second photo shows the pods after I used the ‘Papermania’ heat tool on them and then added more holes with my home-made soldering iron (hot wire) and added gold metallic thread across some of the larger openings. My mind is racing with ideas for more ‘manipulated’ projects and I am wondering if I can find a way of combining Tyvek with felting….watch this space!