Yes. On Quilting Arts, Judy Coats Perez showed how to use tea bags in art quilts! After they have been used, dried, opened and pressed, they can be drawn on or colored. They are a very filmy sort of paper/fabric, and can be affixed to fabric with a matte medium and a foam brush. The same artist even figured out how to run them through a printer (attached firmly to paper) and print on them!
So when my wonderful friend Sherry was here recently, we got out tea bags, paper, muslin, water soluble crayons, markers, and an old ironing board cover printed with flowers. I added some free motion stitching, and a few dots of gold foil, and – Voila!
The water soluble crayons are another thing I learned about on Quilting Arts, and I like them very much. You can shade with them, color over color, and then with a paint brush just dipped in water, blend the colors together. Lots of fun.
Happy New Year! I am starting off with a project I do about twice a year – make scrap blocks, and then quilts from those. I take my scrap basket out, and start sewing fabrics together, helter skelter, any colors and designs next to anything else that looks like it will fit. After sewing two pieces, I press seams, then square things off, and sew on more strips as necessary until I get a block that is 8.5″ square. My scrap basket usually yields upward of 200 blocks at a time!! That is roughly equivalent to 10 yards of fabric.
No two blocks are alike, which pleases me, and the process can be a trip down memory lane as well, as I remember what each fabric was used for, or where it was purchased.
Then, those blocks go into quilts for either Rainbow Hospice, or Project Linus. Each quilt is unique, as each block is something new. Hospice wants smallish quilts, lap sized, so 12 blocks are used for each one, with a white sashing, and a colorful border to finish it off.
Occasionally, I quilt a phrase into the border of a quilt destined for Project Linus – “Hope you like bright colors”. My fantasy is to someday see or meet a young person who has one of these quilts.
There are some scraps left over from this process also, so I donate those to the local elementary school, park district or day care center.
Here is one example of one of my scrap block quilts.