PURSuE Your Art with Fibers

Reported by Donna Lannerd

Okay, I just have to start out and say I have a yarn and thread stash, a fabric stash and now a paper stash (thanks to all the stamper and scapbooking friends I’ve been making). But for trying out this unique purse I let my fibers be my inspiration. So far, I have only seen this purse using papers like the amazing pieces in the gallery on the PYA website.

When I first got my hands on this boxy piece of plastic with nice little pockets the first thing came to mind was it was just another purse for putting pictures in but after sitting down with it and imagining what I could do with it I decided I didn’t want to put pictures in it at all. After all the name is “Pursue Your Art” and the one thing I would love to do some day is to create art quilts. So far I’ve only had time to take classes and try out a few techniques without really creating something whole. One of the techniques I recently learned was how to make fabric out of threads, yarns and snippets of fabric.

So, I made panels of fabric using my yarns, threads and fabrics. The basic technique is to arrange the fibers on a piece of Solvy by Sulky, lay another piece of Solvy on top and then sew through every thing with a coordinating thread. When you’ve pretty much sewn the heck out of it, you dissolve the Solvy in water and allow your new fabric to dry. This first photo is the close up of the main fabric (already in the purse) I made for the background.

This photo is two of the inserts I made. One is another collection of threads while one uses fabric as a base to sew the threads to. I did place both of them in between the Solvy before stitching. One of my favorite things that came with the purse was a little hard plastic template that you can use with your rotary cutter. That is how I got these perfect rectangle shapes that fit precisely into the pockets which I kept rearranging until I got it just right.
One of the problems I had doing this was getting the slightly bulky fabric around the inserts and still fit inside like I wanted. I was hoping to cover the edges so they wouldn’t show but the new fabric is thick so I had to trim the side pieces of fabric to fit in. After trimming the fabric I used glue attach my fabric to the panel inserts. My fiber choices and the black inserts blend very well so I lucked out since the inserts look like part of the design. I’m not sure if this is the way to go and I am still tweaking my methods. If I was using just plain cotton fabric I would have used a fusible web to apply the fabric to the inserts.

Once I put the inserts covered in the fabric back in place I simply inserted the plastic liner that will keep the items inside the purse from catching or harming the art. Then it was time for the handle which ended up confusing me a little bit. It is basically one of those chains made from little metal balls you find hanging from a light bulb or key chains but with larger balls and cover in a sturdy plastic. I had a hard time getting the ends off to run the chain through the purse handle holes. Once I was able to do that I got it on and seems quite secure.

So here is my fiber “art” creation using the purse. I would have to say I think the best part of this purse it is so much FUN! I could play for hours upon hours trying out new design concepts. Maybe next time I will add some photos printed on fabric and embellished with stitches. If you would like to make a similar purse and you don’t sew you could use glue to artfully attach fibers to either fabric or to paper.

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One Response to PURSuE Your Art with Fibers

  1. Avatar
    Anonymous August 31, 2007 at 8:35 am #

    Awesome idea. Like you, I have tons of fabric and lots of specialty yarns. This is a great idea!

    Micki Harper
    Wathena, KS