Thursday, September 11, 2014

3-D Fabric Leaf Method #1

Dimensional Fabric Leaf - Method #1

Over time I have experimented with creating dimensional fabric elements to embellish my fiber art works.  Some of these have worked well and made their way into several of my art quilts.  You might want to try this process to add a tactile element to a quilt that teases the eye and begs to be touched.

I started with a blank, white remnant of white cotton blend fabric.  The following pictures show how I added color to that fabric; however, you might wish to start with an already colorful commercial fabric. 
Diluted Setacolor fabric paint was added to dampened fabric with paint brush
Diluted fabric paint was brushed onto the damp fabric
The fabric was folded in half, right sides together after fabric had dried and was heat set
A leaf shape was drawn onto fabric with a chalk marker
A final leaf shape was drawn with the chalk marker
A length of butcher's string was laid over vein line
Supplies used to affix butcher's string
(Note:  Because the Liquid Stitch that I had on hand and become thicken and gloppy, I used a paint brush to apply it to the fabric instead of unsuccessfully trying to squeeze it through the tiny hole in the bottle cap.)
Liquid Stitch was "painted" onto vein line with a stiff brush
Butcher's string was applied to all vein lines
Two layers of fabric were secured with pins
A cutting line was drawn with pencil
The leaf shape was cut out of fabric on cutting line
This is the leaf shape removed from the fabric
The leaf form was stitched along the chalk outlinewith 2" left open for turning
Tips were clipped to remove bulk
A thumb was inserted between layers to begin turning process
A finger starts the turning process by pushing it through  the 2" seam opening
After turning right side out, a bone folder was used to poke out corners
After turning, the leaf form was ironed flat

This is what the leaf figure looks like after it was ironed flat
The 2" opening was closed with hand stitching
Both fabric layers were pinched around butcher's string vein and a needle was inserted
Small stitches were taken along the length of the butcher's string vein
This demonstrates two completed veins
This is the top view of two completed veins
This shows all veins completed (front of leaf form)
This shows the back side of leaf form after veins were stitched
At this point, I felt that the leaf form could benefit from more color than had been achieved with the very thinned down Setacolor fabric paint.  I used a green and an orange Derwent Inkense watercolor blocks to add more color.
Derwent Inktense Color Blocks
Color was floated with application of water applied from an Niji water brush
Completed Leaf Shape

 In the next few days, I hope to carve out time to write up another method for creating dimensional leaf forms.

(Note:  Although I purchase many of my art supplies from Dick Blick Art Materials and from Dharma Trading Company, both of which are referenced in links herein, most of these items are also  widely available on-line from other sources.)
Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
 Sometimes wonderful things happen.

© Linda Friedman 2014.  All rights reserved


  1. This post was very detail and informative. Great step by step photos.

    1. I'm glad you found the post informative, Mia.

  2. I love the look of the leaf. Thanks for great photos that show the process.

    1. Thanks for your feedback, Eileen. I'm glad that the process photos made sense.