Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Experimenting With My Versa Tool

One of my favorite things to do in the morning while drinking my coffee is to browse through back issues of Quilting Arts Magazine. I keep them in a pile in my family room (this drives my husband crazy!) next to the comfy sofa. Last week I pulled out the Winter 2005 issue. It is amazing how after sitting around for a while the issues seem new again. The article that caught my eye was on using a soldering iron to create marks on cloth. My daughter gave me the Versa Creative Tool and a heat gun for my birthday last year so I thought I would give this a try.

Step one was to put down a square of polyester felt and then put 3 layers of polyester organza over it. It is important to use polyester since it will melt together from the heat. I used black felt with a layer of white, navy blue and royal blue organza in that order. You then used the soldering iron with a very fine tip to first seal the edges and then make marks through all layers. On my first attempt I used felt leftover from my GD's 50's skirt and a sheer polyester print which did not work at all. The layers did not melt together and it was a mess. I gave up on that one and went and had lunch.

Determined not to give up I did this second attempt. I must say that as I was doing this I really didn't like it and almost gave up several times. It was hard to get the hang of using the tool with just the right pressure. Too much would burn through all layers and make holes and not enough pressure left marks that were not deep enough. When I was finished it still looked rather boring so I got out the paint. I used 4 colors on Lumiere's and dry brushed them on the surface. I put a layer on shinny pink sequenced fabric covered with another layer of navy organza on the back to get the pink color to show through the holes and then did some free motion quilting with metallic threads and added a ton of beads. I wish they showed up better in the picture. Now that it is finished I actually like it and have a couple of ideas on how I could use this technique in a larger piece. This one measures 8 1/2 x 11


Sherryl said...

This turned out really cool Judy. I did notice that different organza's behave differently to heat.. some melt, some scrunch up. Be aware that the fumes are hazardous. You should be using a mask and doing it in a well ventilated area.

TextileTraveler said...

Beautiful! You did a great job with this. There's something oddly relaxing to me about using a burning tool--maybe it's having to move slowly and carefully.