Home Collage Susan Carlson Cloth Collage Summer time Particular 6 of 16: Glue, Sure, Glue!

Susan Carlson Cloth Collage Summer time Particular 6 of 16: Glue, Sure, Glue!


Why Glue?: Cloth Collage By the Numbers #6

“Why glue?” or, “What glue do you employ?” have gotten to be a few probably the most requested questions I get. Once we printed the up to date with video put up under, again in January of 2017, it had already been learn over 10,000 instances because it was first printed about 9 months prior. Now, 5 years and a half years for the reason that Video Replace, the 2 variations of the “Why Glue” posts have been considered 25,000 instances! Cool! However this gluing put up has now been considerably surpassed by “Making a Sample” and it’s Video Replace—at 57,000 views. Very cool. Enjoyable information for decent days. By-the-way, “Making a Sample” was our #3 step on this Cloth Collage Summer time Particular sequence of posts.

Tom and I are utilizing a part of our summertime to give you a form of DIY Summer time Collage Camp—or a Winter Collage Camp for these of you within the Southern Hemisphere. We’re calling it “Cloth Collage By the Numbers,” addressing all of the steps of making a cloth collage quilt. We hope you’ll take part from wherever you might be on the planet—no journey concerned!

Pulling from six and a half years of material collage weblog posts as reference materials, we’re delving into that content material to offer you a summertime lineup that you could comply with together with. Initially of this sequence, there have been eight weeks left of summer season (not by the calendar however by the very subjective lens of the Maine local weather!) so every week we’ll ship two posts for a complete of sixteen within the sequence—until we re-discover extra related posts alongside the best way!

Posts from our Summer time Particular embrace; #1—selecting your picture (posted on July 7), #2—selecting a topic (posted on July 9), #3—making a sample (posted on July 14), #4—how to decide on material (posted July 16), #5—making a cloth palette (posted on July 21) to finally hanging your material collage on the wall (deliberate supply on August 27), we’ll cowl every step with no less than one earlier put up.

You could have learn a few of these posts earlier than, so this will probably be a refresher for you. The data can also be paying homage to data present in our on-line studying useful resource the Cloth Collage Grasp Class. If that’s the case, know that you just’re not imagining issues. A lot of this data is gathered, reorganized and expanded upon within the Grasp Class. For extra details about the Cloth Collage Grasp Class, click on the button under.


Why Glue?

Replace (Posted January 21, 2017)


Certainly one of our plans, as we delved into video, was to re-visit and replace a few of my extra widespread, technique-oriented posts with quick movies. It will additionally let me replace the put up itself with any additional data that I could have forgotten to incorporate the primary time round, or that was impressed by the feedback part for the put up.

The query was: Which put up ought to I select first? Effectively, an apparent selection can be one of the widespread.

Since I first printed “Why Glue?” in Could 2016 it has racked up properly over ten thousand views, making it certainly one of my hottest posts ever. Seems the only issues are generally probably the most fascinating and helpful to be taught.

And in case you have any requests for different blogs to re-visit, and even new questions you’d wish to have answered, please make observe of them within the feedback part under. Thanks.

Tips on how to Do It

Generally you simply should see one thing executed with the intention to perceive it. Tons of people that learn the unique “Why Glue?” weblog put up puzzled how a lot glue to make use of, find out how to apply it, how skinny to smear it, and so forth. So, appears to me, it is a good alternative to make use of video to clear issues up—drum roll, please.

For this reason Djinni will get shut in our bed room throughout video taping.

Reader Query: Hungry Bugs?

Now right here’s a query from the feedback part that I’ve by no means been requested. From Jeanne Marklin: “Have you ever any issues with bugs? That might be my concern—supposedly, they just like the style of dried glue.”

Effectively, I can truthfully say that I’ve by no means had that downside. I do dangle my quilts and I think about it could be simpler for bugs to settle in if the quilts had been rolled or folded in storage. Nonetheless, the query took me again to a school portray class the place we pre-treated canvas with rabbit pores and skin glue—a standard priming strategy of years previous—and one of many related issues is that bugs will be interested in the canvas, as a result of bugs like animal merchandise.

Pondering of that, I had a momentary panic. Famously, glue was once made from (and as I discovered, some nonetheless is) butchered horses. Since I eat a vegan weight-reduction plan, the mere risk that my beloved Aleene’s Unique Components Cheesy Glue may be constituted of horse or rabbit elements despatched me to Google the query.

So far as I might inform after following a number of hyperlinks, white craft glue as we speak is constituted of petroleum merchandise. I’m undecided if that’s fully reassuring both, nevertheless it appears to be freed from animal elements.

So, in reply to Jeanne’s query, we’re most likely protected from bugs consuming our Cheesy Glue collaged quilts.

A minimum of that’s what I wrote earlier than I Googled “Do bugs eat plastic?” And guess what, there’s a wax moth that does—in it’s larval type—nevertheless it appears to munch on Styrofoam, like insulation. It’s unlikely the skinny smearing of glue that holds the material in place will ever be engaging to creepy crawlies. And after utilizing the identical glue for about 20 years, I’m going to say it’s fairly protected for the quilts.

Reader Query: Needle Bother?

Maureen (no final title) requested: “When you’ve made your sandwich, do you might have any issues with the machine needle going by way of the glue once you quilt it??”

Versus the bug query, I get requested this quite a bit. They fear that the quilt will probably be too stiff for the needle. Aleene’s Cheesy Glue states on the bottle that it dries versatile (and I’ve discovered that to be true). Additionally, solely a little or no glue is required to carry down the material items till I get to the quilting stage. So don’t overdo it—use a “skinny smearing”. (See the video for an instance!)

Alongside the identical strains, others have requested if the needle will get gunky, doubtlessly messing up your machine.

I’ve come to the conclusion that that query is commonly prompted by the actual fact that “Cheesy” is used within the title of the glue I exploit and advocate. I consider “cheesy” refers back to the comparatively thick viscosity of the glue because it comes out of the bottle. It sits on high of the material (making it simpler to smear) and doesn’t soak in like a thinner glue may—which might create a darkened spot the place the glue has seeped by way of.

Once more for those who are stingy with how a lot you employ, the glue units up fully dry in a matter of minutes. It’s manner removed from being cheesy (regardless of the title!) by the point you quilt.

Reader Query: Discoloring?

Some have additionally puzzled concerning the potential for discoloration. Is white craft glue (aka polyvinyl acetate) acid free? A Google search answered that sure, it’s, principally. The quantity of acid is so negligible as to be a non-factor. The data I discovered was on different pure media, paper and wooden—and I’m going to imagine I can embrace material in that.

Aleene’s has an acid-free glue accessible nowadays (although not after I first began working this manner). I haven’t tried it as a result of I actually like what I’ve been working with. Moreover I determine I’ve been working with it so lengthy, if an issue was going to come up it could have by now. The very best proof is expertise. I’ve quilts from the Nineties—over twenty years in the past—that present no indicators of discoloration. A hundred years from now? I simply can’t say.

Djinni tries to persuade me she has eyes ready-made for the massive display. Nonetheless, on an earlier video out-take, she proved herself only a bit too playful and decided to not be moved. Bandaids had been required.

The Unique Publish (posted Could 7, 2016)

It’s so easy to explain my course of of making material collage quilts that most individuals get it straight away.

  1. Free-hand reduce material to form.
  2. Glue material to basis.
  3. Assemble high, batting, and backing, then quilt.

However wait…

Step 2 is glue material to basis? Glue? Actually?

Sure, actually. I get requested about it at lot and the questions typically fall into certainly one of three classes:

  1. Why adhesive in any respect?
  2. Why glue as a substitute of a fusible?
  3. How do you do it?

Why Adhesive At All?

The first purpose for utilizing glue is immediacy. Glue permits me to make use of material the best way different artists use paint. Seize a bit of material, reduce it, perhaps recut it, pin it, glue it. Completed.

A university collage. Lower paper and ink. An early piece constructed utilizing spray adhesive.

My first collages had been made from paper whereas I used to be in school. I used spray adhesive. I preferred collage quite a bit, even growing a small “library” of pictures reduce from outdated books and magazines. (Ah, the pre-internet days!)

So after I first determined to attempt glue as a software in material collage, I used spray adhesive. The quilt of my husband and his two school roommates, “Shock Me,” was made utilizing spray adhesive. It was what I used to be accustomed to and it labored advantageous.

“Shock Me,” 1991, 45 x 34 inches

Besides I didn’t like the doubtless poisonous fumes of spray adhesives. If I used to be going to be doing extra items, I didn’t wish to be respiration that stuff in. I figured that within the long-term it wasn’t the most effective thought.

Additionally, it was annoying to choose up each bit of material with the intention to spray the again of it. After spending the effort and time to get a bit reduce to precisely the suitable form and positioned in simply the suitable spot, I wasn’t loopy about shifting it once more. (This is similar beef I’ve with glue sticks, which some college students additionally think about using.)

In order that led me to attempt plain-old, white, craft glue. It’s non-toxic each for respiration and for contact. I quickly discovered {that a} tiny dab might be smeared on the middle of every piece whereas it’s nonetheless pinned in place. Press it down and it’s connected. I had solved each issues.

There are many white craft glues on the market. The primary one I ever used was Aleene’s. I nonetheless use it as we speak. Aleene’s has since come out with a complete line of various glues and different adhesive merchandise, however I nonetheless use Aleene’s Unique Cheesy Glue.

I’m certain a part of the explanation I nonetheless use Aleene’s Unique is simply plain outdated behavior. Nevertheless it does have two properties I actually like. Initially, the consistency appears excellent, neither too runny nor too goopy. Second, if utilized appropriately (extra on this later), it dries smooth and pliable (extra on this later, too).

Why Glue As an alternative of a Fusible?

Fusibles—iron-on mesh adhesives—have grown in reputation since I started making material collage quilts. Lots of my colleagues use fusibles. Since fusibles are already in a lot of my college students’ toolboxes, so to talk, they’re curious why I don’t use them.

Once more, the largest purpose is immediacy. If whereas I’m piecing I wish to have a dab of crimson, I rifle by way of all my reds (and all my materials that merely include crimson). I’ve a number of choices. But when I’ve to decide on head of time (limiting my choices earlier than I even get began), prefuse the material, then seize and reduce, that’s one step too many for me, for my rapid, serendipitous course of.

Moreover, I personal 1000’s of materials. Some chunks are folded neatly. Different bushels of scraps are stuffed into suitcases. If I had been to make all of it accessible for use as fusible, I’d spend an excessive amount of time making use of the fusible net as a substitute of truly creating.

Djinni cat says I personal too many materials to use fusible backing to all of them. These suitcases are stuffed filled with scraps I additionally use.

After which there’s the query of which facet to use the fusible to? I generally use the again facet of a bit as a result of it has precisely the shade of coloration I’m searching for.

Aside from immediacy, the opposite purpose I don’t use fusibles is due to how stiff they really feel. I apply a number of layers of material—4, 5, six or extra—particularly in elements like eyes, mouths and different facial options. Think about how stiff it could turn out to be with 4, 5, or six layers of fusible added.

When utilized correctly (extra on this later, I promise), glue dries skinny and versatile. My quilts nonetheless really feel like quilts. Regardless of my untraditional building and design, retaining that tactile flexibility of material is vital to me.

Fusibles are nice for many purposes (no pun meant). My pal Laura Wasiloswki is a member of a gaggle referred to as the Chicago College of Fusing. They do great work. Fusing fits their kinds. And isn’t having completely different kinds what it’s all about?

How Do You Do It?

Cloth collage—the best way I do it anyway—goes by way of as many as 5 levels of permanence, giving me a number of probabilities to alter, take away, reduce, cowl up, increase, and permit discovery.

  1. Putting reduce items of material on a basis.
  2. Pinning.
  3. Tacking with glue.
  4. Completely gluing.
  5. Quilting.

When I first reduce a bit of material, I lay it down on a basis—muslin or different cheap backing material. Normally I’ve sketched my design onto the inspiration. Once I work on my prolonged drafting desk, I’m working at an angle. Utilizing the cohesion between the material and basis, items keep put fairly properly simply by smoothing them down by hand. Once I was engaged on my upright pinning wall on “Crocodylus Smylus,” I used white flannel as a basis. That had much more “stickiness,” permitting me to nonetheless place materials quickly with out even pinning them most often.

Kiiora, our budgie, is bristling with pins throughout piecing. Quickly I’ll have to start out gluing.

Laying down the material on the inspiration is the primary degree of permanence. Subsequent comes pinning. Once I can’t put down one other piece with out risking shifting the others, I begin pinning. I’ve tailored my work desk with a homosote board. For my pinning wall I used 2-inch thick styrofoam insulation panels. When the work is flowing I’ll generally place material till I run out of pins. That may imply a whole lot of items of material.

I’ll then have to start out gluing.

Aleene’s glue bottle has a pleasant tip. I merely raise an fringe of the material and apply a small dab to the middle of the piece of the material. Discover I stated I apply glue to the middle of the items. I go away the sides unfastened at this stage. I could wish to come again and trim them down or slip one other piece below the sting.

As soon as the dab is in place, I smear it flat. This prevents the glue from soaking by way of the material and creating spots. I exploit solely a small quantity of glue, simply sufficient to tack it in place. This makes the piece secure, however nonetheless permits me to simply take away material if I resolve I need to.

As I maintain again material with my thumb and forefinger, I squeeze out a dab of glue close to the middle of the piece I’m gluing.
Utilizing the tip of the bottle to smear the dab. You can even use your finger.
One down. Squeezing out one other dab of glue.
Each items are actually tacked down.

As soon as tacked in place, it will keep this manner till piecing is full. Earlier than I start quilting I’ve a choice to make. Sometimes, I’ll select to position a advantageous netting or tulle over your complete piece. That is referred to as shadow quilting. The netting holds down all of the unfastened edges and prevents the quilting foot on my stitching machine from getting caught.

If I select to not use tulle (which is commonest), I now have to return and glue down all these unfastened edges.

Sure, it’s tedious. Thanks for asking.

“Dixie Dingo Dreaming” took me three days to connect all the sides.

When this stage arrived for “Crocodylus Smylus” (aka Stevie the Crocodile), I used to be fairly sure I might use shadow quilting (utilizing a layer of tulle total to simplify the preparation for quilting) simply because the duty of gluing appeared so daunting, however my husband, Tom, was in opposition to it. I stated, “Fantastic. In the event you don’t need me to make use of tulle, you’ll have to assist glue.” So he did.

It nonetheless took days.

Tom places his cash the place his mouth is—serving to me glue all of the unfastened edges on Stevie.

When it’s executed, the material is completely connected. It doesn’t transfer with out some actual work. Since Aleene’s is water-based, dampening the material with a sprig bottle can generally loosen the glue sufficient to raise. Normally it’s simpler to use new material proper over the outdated if a change is critical. And, by the best way, these collage quilts of mine should not washable. They’re artwork for the wall, to not be subjected to the washer any greater than a watercolor portray.

Catching all these edges is vital to me additionally due to the best way I strategy free-motion quilting. I don’t catch each edge after I quilt. As an alternative I exploit an total crazy, spiral, stipple sample. I purpose to hit each bit however not every edge. The glue additionally prevents fraying, appearing a bit like Fray Examine with out potential discoloration and scent.

An in depth up of “Crocodylus Smylus” exhibits the stipple-pattern quilting I exploit on most items. Whereas the quilting catches each bit of material, I depend on glue to carry down the sides.

Last Ideas on Glue

In order that’s the why and the how of utilizing glue for cloth collage. I didn’t arrive at this manner of working in a single day. It was greater than 26 years in the past now that I began gluing material. Again then, utilizing adhesives in quilting raised many an eyebrow. For some, I think, using glue was considered as “dishonest.”

Effectively, within the final three many years, the rise in reputation of multi-media fiber artwork basically has stretched the definition of what makes a quilt. Quilting is a standard artwork with an extended and cherished historical past. The standard strategies of establishing quilts must be and are being maintained. However the recognition of artwork quilts has created an explosion of various strategies and kinds. We’re doing issues now that may have been unthinkable with out experimenting with new methods of making.

The common-or-garden glue bottle has helped me to be spontaneously inventive. After all there are different, probably even simpler methods of utilizing material to create artwork. I see superb material artwork in exhibits and on the web on a regular basis.

Will I ever put aside my glue bottle for a unique manner of doing issues? Hmmm, not within the foreseeable future. However my work, and the way I work, has advanced over time, so who is aware of? I believe that staying open to new concepts and attempting new paths are key to the inventive course of. Or I could cling to the manner of working that I’ve grown accustomed to. It’s solely human nature.


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