Friday 8 May 2015

2015 #8 Fabric Tags {by Nicole Maki}

2015 Theme 8: Sprays

Hello Everyone, I’m Nicole Maki, a mixed-media artist from Portland, Oregon, USA. I’m so pleased to be sharing my project with you. Paper Artsy is a continuous source of inspiration for me and it’s a real honor to be rubbing elbows with artists I admire so much. 

My tastes run towards outsider art (Basquiat, Matt Sesow, Jesse Reno), urban style and graffiti and bright neon colors. That said, I make a lot of gifts and try to tailor my creations to suit the receiver. This is a real benefit as it keeps my work fresh and saves me from getting into a stale routine of my own favorite colors and images. 

I was excited about the theme of ’sprays’ as they are a tremendous time saver when adding and mixing color and their serendipitous nature allows your project to progress from a place of freedom.

Brush a thin layer of gesso onto muslin. Once dry, spray the cloth with blue, yellow, green and red spray ink. To help the colors blend, spritz lightly with water. For added saturation touch the tip of a fine paint brush loaded with paint to the wet spots on the cloth - I used Limelight and London Bus. Use the same sprays to color a few yards of seam binding.

{The uk equivalent of USA muslin would be a lightweight cotton, with a tight weave such as bleached calico or sheeting}

Once the fabric is completely dry, stamp images from Lynne Perrella Collection 034 using permanent ink. Layer the stamped muslin, batting and a backing piece of muslin and pin pieces of dyed ribbon into place. 


Sew around the image affixing the layers of your quilt together. This can be done by hand or machine. 

Cut the tags and bookmarks apart and fray the edges with your fingernail if desired. Add accents with gold paint and attach beads to the images and/or the ends of the ribbons.

Here is the bookmark in its new home. 

The tag looks great hanging from a bottle of wine, a perfect finishing touch for a gift. 

As a creative person I’ve often ran into the problem of expectations. When a friend’s birthday catches you unaware it’s not entirely acceptable for us crafty types to buy a card off the rack. People tend to happily anticipate a handmade treasure. But treasure-making takes time, something that can be in short supply. My remedy is to make several tags and bookmarks all at once. Then I can add one to a popular paperback or a bottle of wine and the recipient feels cherished.

This technique easily translates into art quilts, mug rugs, cup cozies and cuffs. What I love about it is that it can scale from being as simple as the ones shown above or made more elaborate with the addition of embroidery, buttons, hand-painting, beading etc.

You can find me at my blog, and on Etsy,

Welcome Nicole, and thankyou for such a beautiful and useful project. As you say this technique would work on all sizes. I can see gorgeous cushions made in this way. You chose perfect images to work with as they suit the jewel tones of the sprays brilliantly.

We would love you to join in with challenge #8: Sprays If you are inspired by any of our guests who blog with us over the fortnight, then please join in and link up your creativity HERE. 

All links go in the draw to win a voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store. The Sprays link will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, May 10th, winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.


Helen said...

wow, what a wonderful post. love the quilt (need to learn to sew...) and the bookmarks and gift labels are fantastic.

Sarah B said...

love the idea of spraying onto fabric - the bookmark is gorgeous x

Kathi said...

Nicole, I'm soooooo excited to see you and your wonderful artwork over here at Paper Artsy!

Your bookmarks are absolutely gorgeous. I love the color palettes, your stitching, and quilting. The gold highlights on the stamped images make the perfect finishing touches!

craftytrog said...


massofhair said...

Fab to see more sewing projects here on the PA blog. Your bookmark is beautiful :-) xxx

jojo79 said...

Fantastic project x

Anneke said...

Beautiful work!

Julie Lee said...

Hi Nicole and welcome! I love the idea of spraying onto fabric and how lovely these Lynne Perrella images look along with the ribbons and beads. xxx

Etsuko said...

Beautiful project! Wonderful sewing and fab multicolors. xxx

Hazel Agnew said...

Hello Nicole, lovely to see you on here at last! Loving your project of fabulous treasures! X

Miriam said...

love these tags - what a great idea

Kirsten said...

Such beautiful art treasures!

Lauren Hatwell said...

A really lovely take on the theme Nicole. You're right. They would make really lovely gifts. Lx

Lauren Hatwell said...

...IF you could bear to give them up that is :oD Lx

Ruth said...

Absolutely gorgeous reslts, fabulous fabric take on sprays, love the bookmark! Ruth x

Nicole Maki said...

Thanks so much, everyone for your sweet comments.

Stamping and painting on fabric are two of my favorite things. There is a softness to it that is really pleasing.

If any of you make something similar please look me up as I'd love to see your projects.

Thanks again!


Marci said...

Oh, these are beautiful. The stamps you used, the colors, the seam binding "tails", love it all.