April 25, 2008

Refrigerator Art

Stop. Don't scroll down. Let me explain. You'll spoil the surprise if you peek......let me start this way:

In the United States, in Wisconsin, in some small city, on my street, in my home, there is a little known art gallery known as the "refrigerator door". It's the very first art gallery for my children's creations. I have five children, so not everyone's pictures got to be on the refrigerator at once, but it was surely an honor to have one's creations displayed for all to see who came to visit.

Now, my children's children have been proudly displaying their works of art. If you want to know what a big deal this is, know/remember what I am talking about, it's a little like when you open this page and see your creation on the page for all the visitors to see.....that "little person" in you lights up with glee.......


What I have for you today is how to transform those wonderful art pieces into embroidery. First, I made an inkjet transfer of the artwork and put it on muslin. Make sure that you make the transfer reversed if there is lettering, so that when you apply it, it is legible. Then, because I am not schooled in embroidery, I wanted to have the quilt batting to hide my embroidery trail, so I sewed on a border and tacked the quilt batting to it.


Then, I began a wonderful experience of embroidery. I cannot tell you the pleasure it gave me to trace those little crayon strokes of my granddaughter's. I was quite surprised.


The only two rules I gave myself were to try to mimic the colors as much as possible, and to embroider in the direction of the crayon stroke. I think this gave credibility to making the crayon drawing into the embroidery piece. I used a chain stitch most often because it filled in easily and I could blend other colors if I wanted to. Being an embellisher at heart, I really had to resist adding things like extra design, or beading.......I used self-control and stayed true to the drawing....lol. Now I will show you some detail of the work.





After much deliberation, I decided to make the piece a wall-hanging, though the possibilites included a tote panel, doll quilt or framed in picture style. I used DMC number 8 cotton perle embroidery thread. I like the ease of not having to separate strands, but the colors are much more limited. I am not a quilter, so I must admit I put this together without that knowledge, but I am fairly happy with it. I wished I was a quilter after I sewed it. However, I cannot wait to see Gabby's face when I give it to her for her birthday today. Truly, it would even be a great "Gramma" gift! Hope you enjoyed it!

29 comments:

  1. OMG! That is so cool. This would be a great project to work on with my kids for Christmas presents for their Grandparents!

    Thanks for posting this!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow what a lovely piece I am sure your granddaughter will love it

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is so beautiful. I, too, had planned to turn my children's pictures into embroidery but I never really go round to it. However, seeing this makes my fingers itch!

    ReplyDelete
  4. "First, I made an inkjet transfer of the artwork and put it on muslin."

    Can you explain how you did this? I'm not familiar with this technique of using an inkjet transfer.

    This is such an awesome idea! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. YOU are the ultimate grandma!
    I think this is just adorable!
    I would totally do this and I can see my husband rolling his eyes at me lol.Our grand daughter just turned 1 year old and I will completely keep this in mind.
    You did a wonderful job!

    ReplyDelete
  6. So adorable and sweet these embroidery! It´s a very special and unique gift, for sure!!! I LOVE doing projects with my son´s drawings and I totally understand the feeling you described... it´s almost touching dealing with their lines, their dreams, their life´s impressions stamped there, isn´t it? I´ve done a dino on a bag for my son (posted in my blog) and now I´m embroydering a T-shirt!
    Beautiful job!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love this! What a fun thing to do, and I bet it makes the kids feel really special!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Absolutely the coolest thing EVER! I loved your description of tracing the crayon strokes. It's so full of thought and joy. You must be one special mom and grandmom.

    I'm so glad that you shared this with us.

    ReplyDelete
  9. WAY COOL!!! I can't wait to get some drawings in the mail. I will have to email my grandkids and maybe they can make something for their moms for Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a wonderful project and gift for your granddaughter! I love the quilty wallhanging -- just perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Zay: If you have a home printer chances are it is ink jet. If it is, then when you look for transfer paper in Office Supply stores, Craft stores and some Fabric stores, check to see that it is for ink jet printers. Usually it comes in a package of three sheets of 8.5" x 11". Sometimes they are called t-shirt transfers, but then make sure you can use your dry iron to make the transfer to the muslin. (Some require special machines, you don't want that.) I used Coastal Everlast Inkjet Transfer Paper. I got it from www.coastalbusiness.com but to order from them you must buy 50 sheets. Maybe one of my tutorials in the future would be this process....I am still experimenting with them. I hope this helps. What's important is you want the transfer to be as soft as possible. I scanned the drawing in my computer (flip it, or mirror image it) and printed it on to the transfer paper, and then heat pressed (I have a small press, though you can use a dry iron) it to the muslin. Hope this helps. Feel free to email me.

    ReplyDelete
  12. oh, and thank you all for your wonderful comments! I was so nervous about this post! Hugs all around!

    ReplyDelete
  13. SS!!!---which means Simply Superb!!! Iam out of words..

    ReplyDelete
  14. Fell in love with this when I saw it on your Flicker site! Thanks so much for sharing the process!

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is so cute, I try to make one like yours!

    ReplyDelete
  16. that is so sweet!!! i LOVE children's drawings! they're so imaginative!

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is a wonderful idea. What a great grandmother you are!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow, you are talented. I have no idea what those stitches you used are called (I wish I did)...but it came out amazing. YOu indeeD are talented. Thanks for sharing your genius with us!

    Kimmie

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks so much for the sachet pattern over on Feeling Stitchy - I have been looking for that special something to make for my mom for Mother's Day and this is it! I LOVE your blog - I think I tell you that every time I comment but it's true! Nan

    ReplyDelete
  20. Love this idea, going to propose it as an idea for a Mom's craft group at my abode now that our scrapbooking addiction is subsiding. I will post some funny antique embroidered piece in inherited on my blog next week.
    snikerdoodle.typepad.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I did something very similar to this for my daughter's gift to her Kindergarten teacher. My daughter's teacher had taught her how to draw several things; we chose to do a horse for this project, then I stitched it up according to her color specs and we framed it in a wooden frame. It was fun for everyone!

    ReplyDelete
  22. that is awesome. great job.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wonderful! One of the sweetest things I have seen in a long time!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh my goodness, that is such a wonderful heartfelt idea! Thank you a thousand times!

    ReplyDelete
  25. what a wonderful idea. now i know what to do with all of that art i've saved. thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  26. This is an incredible idea. I absolutely love it! Kudos to you.

    ReplyDelete