Zest for Zigzags

It's so cold here (-15F with the windchill, -5F without) that I'd like to stay curled up under a blanket until spring, but instead I'm going to share with you a fabric painting project I tried out last summer.

Usually, I only show you projects that I'm at least 90% happy with. But I figure there are valuable lessons to be learned by our mistakes, right?

So the idea was to make myself a cute, trendy little zigzag pillow by painting fabric with latex paint mixed with a fabric medium. I used Liquitex fabric medium you can see here what I mean.
Being the cheapskate that I am, I made my own stencil. The cardboard box stencil DID NOT work. It was too hard to line up and make a straight zigzag across the fabric. By straight zigzag, I mean a row of zigzags that didn't slant across the fabric.

Next I got out a clear plastic report cover and layered it over a computer printout of my pattern. That worked. Sort of.
With a stencil brush I painted across the fabric.

Mistake #1: I should have measured and marked on the fabric where each row should go before I started painting.
As you can see above, some of the rows are farther apart than others and this really bugs me.
Mistake #2: I used latex paint. Even though it was the low (or maybe no) VOC, i.e., non-smelly stuff, my pillow still smelled like a freshly painted room. There are plenty of scents I wouldn't mind while curled up on the couch reading... cookies baking in the oven, a fig candle burning, coffee brewing, but a freshly painted room is not on the list. 

If I were to do this project again I would:

 1) Use fabric paint instead of latex paint mixed with fabric medium. Fabric paint is softer and less smelly. I could see how this would work better on a rug. For example, check THIS out! Wow. 

2) I would be more careful about measuring and marking the fabric with a fabric marker before I started stenciling. That way the lines would be perfectly spaced. Better yet, I'd spring for a store-bought stencil. Stenciling is so popular these days that finding a chevron or zigzag should be pretty easy. 

Speaking of mistakes... I'll leave you with a haiku I wrote about winter, which may also tip you off about my cold climate driving skills:

I spray my windshield. 
Ice crystals replace the dust. 
Quick! Hit defroster. 


Mariam said…
It's still really pretty though! I really like it. Your eye for color is really amazing.
Anonymous said…
I love the uneven spacing. Makes it much more interesting visually than if the spacing was machine perfect.
Vanessa said…
Hmmm. I know what you mean, but I still think it looks like I messed up!

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