How to Make A Fabric Picture by Hands

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You are missing from my heart...
You are missing from my heart... | Source

I am a fashion designer and dress maker. Then I use a lot of fabric materials. In my eyes, they are attractive and elegant, so that cannot deal with leftovers in regular ways, then developed my unique way: to make pictures, such as the one on the top.

Art---if you’d like consider my work as one form---can be in everywhere and everybody can become an artist: housewives use vegetables to make figures, gardeners use petals to make patterns, and I use fabrics to make pictures. To create such a picture, generally have two processes: creation and production!

The creation is the design of the project. My works derive from three resources: i) copied from some patterns with careful selection from online or somewhere else, ii) other patterns mixed with my own thoughts, like the one above, which is from the picture beside on the top, or iii) simply my own thoughts, like the one beside on the bottom. The production, as the name implies, is to make the picture out with materials in hand. The key in there is how to create three-dimensional sense. We all know that artists draw on the funtion of lines and colors to produce spacial visual effect, but fabric materials are all ready-made, which means you must use the fixed colors, plus layers, to produce the effect. So, we need good thoughts on it. Let us take an example to make it clear step by step.

The Case

Among the four photos below, the first two are fabric pictures that I made, and the last two are the original stone arts.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
QuietPeace
Quiet
Quiet | Source
Peace
Peace | Source
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Step 1. To Make Background Scene

When choose fabric material as the background, I consider the quality and the color. It should be heavy and hard, so that the ingredients can be neatly fixed on. In these two pictures, the background materials are hard man-made leather, then they maintain in a good condition when fixed on other parts by gluing or sewing. But in the one below, the background materials are a light satin with elastic effect. For the first thing, I wanted the silver color, but it turned out to be difficult to add other parts on. As a result, looks not neat. Besides, need to decide the size for a ready-made frame. Of course, you can choose to use more expensive customized frames. Do not pin contents on other materials, such as paper, because it would not be all made with fabric.

Sweet Dreams
Sweet Dreams | Source

Step 2. To Make Flowers

I use two ways to make those flowers: i) cut out ready-made flower patterns from fabric,such as the green one in the picture (I) below; ii) use different fabric to make one piece by piece. For both methods, should be so careful not to touch the edge, to avoid the fabric grains coming out, because it is hard to over-lock sewing such a small piece of pattern. So, it would be better to choose fabrics that do not play rough edges. For the first method, we need appropriate materials with careful cut. For the second method, we need to cut out petals and leaves piece by piece and match colors. In these two pictures, the pink and the yellow were made by cutting pieces, and the green were made by cutting out the ready-made patterns. To make stamens or pistils, if have vivid fabric things, we can use it, just directly pin it on, as the white one in the pink; if do not have such things in hand, then use needle and thread to make them out, as in the picture (II) below.

(I)
(I) | Source
(II)
(II) | Source

Which one of following could be your favorite artistic form?

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Step 3. To make birds, bee and tortoise, or other animals, like cat.

Same with making flowers, I use ready-made design on fabrics or create one piece by piece, but in my experience, it is better to make one with pieces for a better visual effect. Take birds as an example. We all know that birds wings are not a whole piece in one, but a bunch of individual feathers together. So, when I make a bird in only one color, such as a white pigeon, I cut out feathers one by one, then pin them together. Well, when make a bird in multi-colors, I can make it by pieces too, but I tend to use another easier way, i.e. make use of the special design on fabric. For instance, the birds I made in the picture are from a flower design of the black and white material in the below picture, in which you can see those white petal lines could be like bird wings at one part. Of course, the whole bird is still divided into pieces, i.e. the eyes, the head, the body, the feet, the wings, and the tail. For its spacial effect, we need to put thoughts on how to join them together: the flying one different from the landed one, the behind wing from the visual angle different from the front one, etc. When making a cat, fur material is needed. And sometimes, we need to use threads to make out things, such as cat beard, hairs, eyebrows, eyes, etc.

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Step 4. To Fix All Individuals on The Background

We can use glue, but I choose to sew them on, because it will be safer and no stains. First, need to decide their positions to consist of a complete picture. Then, sew them on piece by piece. The thread length showing on the front should be short to be almost invisible.

Step 5. To Make Words

If necessary by creation or design, we need to produce some words on it, such as ‘QUIET’ and ‘Peace’ in these two. I used threads to embroider them out, but in the top one, I cut out the sparkling part from a piece of fabric, as in the photo below, based on the pattern shape (e.g. the curve part can be an 'a' or an 'o') to create those words, which took a lot time to range them neat. Besides, you may want to put your name on. I sew mine, both in English and in Chinese, on every one that I made.

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Briefly, there are those steps, while the details need thinking and practicing, as well as personal understanding. As other artistic forms, this one also present joys, feelings, or emotions. For children, it will be much fun and joy, and also a good chance to help a creative thinking and improve the ability to observe and perceive things. It can be a simple way to express themselves, and the picture itself a meaningful gift.

Below are some works that I made. Hope you enjoy!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A Rose---out of my own creationI miss you---my own designPray in a harvest season---add my own thinking into an online picureChildhood Dream---my own creation, a gift for my two niecesMy Darling...---all copied from an online pictureA Rose for You Just for Being Such A Special Friend, Love, Hug, Smile---creation upon this sentenceThe Legend of Werewolf---out of an online picture with my own imagination. Happy to You---a gift for my older brother Happy Birthday---a gift for a friendBuddha's Words---creation out of those inspirational words
A Rose---out of my own creation
A Rose---out of my own creation | Source
I miss you---my own design
I miss you---my own design | Source
Pray in a harvest season---add my own thinking into an online picure
Pray in a harvest season---add my own thinking into an online picure | Source
Childhood Dream---my own creation, a gift for my two nieces
Childhood Dream---my own creation, a gift for my two nieces | Source
My Darling...---all copied from an online picture
My Darling...---all copied from an online picture | Source
A Rose for You Just for Being Such A Special Friend, Love, Hug, Smile---creation upon this sentence
A Rose for You Just for Being Such A Special Friend, Love, Hug, Smile---creation upon this sentence | Source
The Legend of Werewolf---out of an online picture with my own imagination.
The Legend of Werewolf---out of an online picture with my own imagination. | Source
Happy to You---a gift for my older brother
Happy to You---a gift for my older brother | Source
Happy Birthday---a gift for a friend
Happy Birthday---a gift for a friend | Source
Buddha's Words---creation out of those inspirational words
Buddha's Words---creation out of those inspirational words | Source

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4 comments

VirginiaLynne profile image

VirginiaLynne 2 years ago from United States

I love your fabric art! I've read some books on this and sometimes it is called fiber art or fiber collage. Your art is very unique and I am so glad you gave instructions for doing it.


Hui (蕙) profile image

Hui (蕙) 2 years ago Author

Thank you, Virginia, and glad you like it!


Hui (蕙) profile image

Hui (蕙) 2 years ago Author

Hi, VirginiaLynne, suddenly, I remember your comment here, maybe because today is sunny. Let me ask questions for you. Did you know what fiber art is before you had this comment? Did you see the word of "art" once in this blog? I just said "picture", and I use fabric waste to make them! When I wrote "everyone can be an artist" in the summary part, it means a passion for everyday life, and it is true. So, you North American people are really humorous, sick instead of funny. I thought you are a lovely teacher, a lovely mom having adopted children, but turned out you were that easily used by suburban fatuous perverts!!! I know who they are, but you do not necessarily know. How ridiculous is this?


Frank Poncharello profile image

Frank Poncharello 2 years ago

Wow that response to a comment complimenting your work is incredibly inappropriate.

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