NEW! Fiber arts on fabric covered boxes, Cartonnage



In this post I invite you to look beyond traditional cartonnage using commercial fabrics! There are tons of wonderful fabrics out there in the stores…..but …..and what if your inner artist wish something more…… what if we decide to have even more fun combining techniques to make a wonderful unique box or journal cover, that could also be called “a piece of art”?

That’s what the artist inside me was whispering for a long time…… my eyes always catch attention to pieces of fiber arts till the day I decided that it was time to give it a try! I did lot of researches, watched so many videos, read books, took classes….. Tried, failed and tried again……. Well…. That’s what I want to share with you today. I hope you like what you see and why not even get inspired and give your artist a try as well?

I already made one post talking about hand dyed fabrics, but was not where all have started! Last year I made some pieces using hand dyed, quilting and applique, and you can see them in this post here. After that, I stopped for a while and now I came back to try again, my goal was trying to find my style, one style that I could be comfortable with and have so much fun during the process.

Again, my goal is to start from a white piece of fabric and make unique cartonnage projects from there!


Ok, so, my first trying this year was to hand paint some fabric and make some stitches over, using free motion quilting. To coordinate with these pieces of hand painted fabric I used some commercial fabrics. Here is the result, and also check the quick following video to see the whole process!



Actually I liked painting on fabric, but not really painting the flowers….. I didn’t feel comfortable painting the flowers. I think it is not my kind of art…… or at least I will have to practice a lot to have better paintings…… so, I had another idea. I would try to paint the background and then add some fabric appliques with free motion quilt over! That idea looks more comfy to me! Then, I did it, again, I used some commercial fabrics coordinating to make the cartonnage projects.

Below you can see the result! I got inspired by the nature I am surrounded up here in Michigan…..lake, boats, wonderful sunsets! I really liked what I made this time!



Here I was when I took a class for fabric dyeing….. it was just a right time for it! With this opportunity I could start dyeing my own fabric and not use commercial fabrics for these projects anymore! I was so excited! I loved the class, and you can see details of what I made in this post here. Also in the video below you can check what I did.



Now I was ready to make other pieces combining all the techniques I wanted: hand painting, hand dyeing, fabric applique and free motion quilt. I got so happy and excited in all parts of the process….. I couldn’t believe the final pieces were made from white fabric and cardboard! Isn’t that great?

In the pictures and video below some of the pieces were still made with commercial coordinating fabrics (the black ones), but the other ones are my hand dyed fabrics. I put all together because they are the same kind of pieces.



And then……the last and for sure not least! The complete pieces the way I was imagining…… all handmade from a white piece of fabric! Hand painted and hand dyed fabric, fabric applique and free motion quilting! No commercial fabric at all (other than the white one)!



I really loved these ones, I believe I found my style! I had SO much fun making these pieces and I am so glad with the results!

I will continue making traditional cartonnage projects with commercial fabrics, but once in a while I will have fun making these arts!! I want to say a huge thank you to my friend LYNN HODGE for all of her enthusiastic ideas and for sharing a lot with me! Never will thank you enough! And also for Sue Cortese, the great teacher that teaches me correctly how to hand dyed the fabrics! You both made a big difference in my arts!

And how about you? If you would start combining techniques to your cartonnage boxes what would you make?