The Making of the Fabric Queens

This whole adventure began with the question of what to do with my collection of great scraps of fabric from sewing projects. At first I thought I could do some quilting. After trying to sew those tiny bits of fabric together in a particular pattern, I lost it! No patience for the detail and now I admire and fully respect the quilters out there making such lovely creations. So, what to do with my scraps? Well, a family member needed a painting to grace her wall and reflect the colors of her decor and she wanted a female figure. I began with the figure and decided to try using a scrap of fabric for her garment and it worked beautifully. This was the first official Fabric Queen. Now here is the process and it is fun to make. I used a 12″x 24″ canvas and less than 1/4 a yard of fabric.

Step one; Prepare the canvas with Golden Light gel molding paste for texture and let dry. Then paint two coats of Gesso over the paste to seal it. Let this dry thoroughly. I prefer to use oil paints and this prep gives me a nice clean surface with texture for the paint.

Step two; Draw the figure onto the canvas and block out the abstract background. Add vases or flowers in the sketch if desired. At this point I can paint the background and the black flesh of the figure. Let this paint set overnight. It won’t be dry but will still be workable.

Step three; Trace the garment and head piece onto tracing paper for the pattern. Pin the pattern to the fabric and carefully cut it out. Iron the pieces if necessary to make sure they are flat with no wrinkles. I use Elmers clear glue to adhere the fabric onto the canvas. This seals the edges so they don’t fray. Make sure it is evenly spread carefully with your fingers. Let this dry overnight.

Step four; Now I finish painting the vases, flowers with my oils and add the figures jewelry with gold acrylic. Let this finished piece dry for at least five days before handling. Some areas may take longer to dry depending on the colors used. These Fabric Queens are fun and are a great use for my extra fabric scraps.

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Marcella is a visual artist that made a leap of faith in 1995 and took an early retirement from a successful elementary teaching career of 27 years. She and her husband moved from California to the Atlanta area to continue as a full time artist. She has a formal education in the arts, and has been a creative visual artist for over 40 years.

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