Friday, October 26, 2012

Back with a vengance....and a great tutorial!

Hello SassyFans!

I am so thrilled to be back and blogging here on our SassyBlog - it has been a long hiatus! In fact, I imagine most of you don't even know me. I am the other half of the SassyPacks team - the daughter, the beginning quilter, the one who spends nearly all her time in our quilt studio saying "that seems too hard."  :)

I haven't been blogging here for the past year or so as I have been on sort of a personal journey - and a literal one, I suppose! I recently had the privilege of spending about 8 months living in Nicaragua, helping to open a clinic for women and children. While I got to take a little quilting with me, I just didn't have much time to blog here, so I am thrilled to be back in the US, where I can quilt and design and blog at will.

When I left for Nicaragua (if you want to see what I was up to, check out Clinica Verde), I basically ditched my old life - sold nearly everything and made a clean break.  Now that I am back, I am resettling into a more familiar life, and once again setting up a living space.  When I was pitching the remnants of my old life, the first - and I do mean FIRST - things to go were the cluttery things....knick-knacks, decorative items, candles, dust collectors, all of them.  Turns out, now that I am back, I am left with a home full of functional furniture and zero personality.  Thus springs the inspiration for today's tutorial - using your beautiful fabrics as wall hangings.

Those of you who are crafty will have seen a million tutorials all over the Internets on how to do this, but I have to say, I was surprised at how seriously easy this was.  Other than drying time, this takes less than 20 minutes!  All you need is four simple items -
  • An artist's canvas stretched over a frame from your local craft or hobby store (I got mine at Michael's)
  • Fabric Mod Podge
  • Sponge brush
  • A beautiful piece of fabric.  (I used a stunning panel from Free Spirit Fabric's beautiful Flower Garden line - if you love it as much as I do, we still have a few panels available in the store here)

For this project, I used just the blue side of the panel. The point is, you should use whatever fabric you love, want to display, and fits your room decor.

Lots of tutorials will tell you to first cover the blank artist's canvas with Mod Podge and then lay the fabric down over it, to essentially glue the fabric down.  Mod Podge is a super product - works as a glue and a sealant - and I found it really easy to work with.  That said, I chose not to go this route. I like to be able to move and reposition things easily, sometimes various times.  So for me, it was a better choice to grab my trusty staple gun and simply tack the fabric down to the wooden frame on the back of the canvas.  This allowed me to work the fabric as I went, and if I didn't love it, I simply popped out the staples and tried again.  You should take whichever approach you prefer.  If I had decided to glue the fabric to the canvas, I think I would still recommend popping a few staples in the back, to make sure the fabric stays in place.

So, Step One - affix fabric to artist's canvas, using either technique discussed above.  No matter which approach you take, you want to make sure to cut your fabric large enough to wrap around the edges of the canvas, to give the wall hanging a clean and finished look.

Step Two - using the sponge brush, cover the fabric in a thin coat of Mod Podge.  The Mod Podge will dry clear, but I recommend only applying a thin layer and using the sponge brush to really work the product across the fabric smoothly.

Step Three - let dry. Yep, that's it. Done and done.  Here's what mine looked like, while it was drying:

I gave this a couple of hours to dry, and then did a second coat just to give it a little extra durability and shine.  Once your wall hanging is good and dry, get it up on the wall and admire daily!  Here's what I love about this particular fabric and the way that Mod Podge gives fabric such a shine: I have this fabric hanging on the wall next to a really beautiful painting I purchased in Montreal, and they look GREAT together:

I love this - I love repurposing beautiful things, I love combining expensive and affordable items to make something fabulous, I love that gorgeous modern quilt fabrics give me a million unique ways to express myself.  This is just so simple - hope you love it as much as I do!

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