A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Extreme Texture-Finishing Touches

We have already covered  the three main techniques for adding technique: puffs, scrunching, and cording.  Now we are just adding some finishing touches to balance the design in the piece and to add any last minute pop.  Take a good look at your  piece and decide where it needs something more.  While you probably can't add any more cording under the fabric, you could add more on the top.  Probably you can't add any more puffs but you could add buttons or beads.  I bet Kathy would add some buttons!  I added more stitching on the scrunched fabric but wanted something more.  Here are a couple of things I added.

Here is a picture from yesterday to show off some embroidery stitches.  Notice one of them is very 3-D.  It is a button hole stitch that builds up  The other is just a decorative stitch that plays with the texture.  Remember the goal is not to necessarily show off your embroidery skills as much as to add to the texture in another way.  If  you want to learn a few more embroidery stitches to use in your piece, please go to Sharon's blog, Pintangle.  Believe me, she is the queen of embroidery tutorials!

Still staying with my hand dyed embroidery thread, I gathered scrunched fabric that had not been stitched down and stitched it with an overcast stitch.  I really like the way it looks and the variegated thread really is exciting I think.  I chose to only add this technique around the puffs.  Kinda makes them look like octopuses don't you think?  Do notice that I chose not to overcast all the wrinkles.  I liked having both the overcast wrinkles and the loose ones.

This picture also show a third way that I secured the cording on top of the fabric.  I simply stitched it with an invisible stitch.

I thought the orange side of my piece was a bit flat looking.  It did not have any cording or puffs on it.  I thought the variegated orange thread would not pop.  I did not want to add buttons or beads because I had not used them elsewhere in the piece.  I finally decided to thread paint with variegated blue thread.  That helped to tied the orange side to the blue side of the piece.

Once you are satisfied with your piece, it is time to decide how to present it to the world.  Your edges are probably quite wiggly.  Want to be really brave and leave it that way?
 I wasn't that brave and decided to trim the edges to a bit more straight.  Here I am half done.  I did not use a straight edge and my finished piece is only roughly rectangle.  That was the choice that I made. Did you ever think you had so many choices when making a piece?

To finish it I decided to sew a false back on it. Other choices you could make are 1) o put a backing on it, add a little quilting to all three layers, and then finish the edge; or 2) put a facing on it and mount it on a stretched canvas or atop another quilt. ohhhh!  Think of the super extreme texture of a quilt on a quilt!

 To sew a false back, I laid the piece face down, front to front, onto a fabric I thought would complement the front.  Sometimes when I face a wall hanging, I like to use a complimentary color that will peek from the back.  I debated using an orange to peek from the back on this one.  I auditioned it but felt a blue one that was less visible was more successful.  I had put a lot of work on the texture and this time I did not want the back to steal any of the attention.

Sew all the way around the piece about a 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch from the edge.  Do try and round the corners a bit to make turning easier. "WHAT?" you say, "How do you turn it when you have stitched all the way around?"  Good question.  You carefully lift a pinch of the back fabric and cut it.
 I choose to cut it across the piece a couple of inches down from the top.  After turning the piece right side out, I will iron the piece while carefully rolling the edges so nothing of the false back shows, then fuse the cut closed.  You won't see the cut once I add the  hanging sleeve.  Some artist prefer to make a smaller cut and hide it with their fused label.  Either works.

Now I would love to see your extreme texture!


  1. Thanks for your great tutorials. I'll give it a try.

  2. Wow! This is incredible! I have to find time to try this! Your tutorial is jam packed with wonderful tips and techniques, and I just love the result!

  3. okay, I was NOT loving this on the journey, but I must say the end result really works! Well done!
    Sandy in the UK

  4. Sandy,
    Thanks, Sandy! I got the results given the choices I made from beginning to end. The techniques are easy and kinda fun. I hope you will try it with something more in your color and pattern preferences, if those were part of the problem for you.

    I would love to see what you make! It is the benefit of art play in groups that everyone starts out with the same techniques and end up with such different pieces. At least for me, it opens up my mind to even more ideas.

    I have a piece of polyester that I dyed using the dispersion dyes. Talk about ugly. I thought I would try the extreme texture techniques again with that fabric and see if the results are different with polyester rather than cotton.

  5. A refreshing approach with great esult! I love it, will start this weekend with my piece. May be I'll add some wool and machinefelt it as well, endless pssibilities!

  6. This is so fabulous!! Thanks Judith for the challenge

  7. I can't wait to try this! The colors are fabulous and I love the tactile effect!

  8. I couldn't resist playing along! Here is my beginning. http://still-life-pond.blogspot.com/2012/11/extreme-texture-playing-along.html

    Thanks for all the work on the tutorial.

  9. Beautiful, just got your message on Art Quilts Around The World. Yes, happy to have you aboard!
    Chris will contact you by Monday about how to get on our 'behind the scenes' Facebook page. I will add you to our members list. Perhaps send me your email and I'll see if I can Friend you from facebook. Not sure how that works.


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