Artful Patches

From an Oil Spill to Art

A couple weekends ago I was over at my parents’ house cooking dinner with my mom when I gracefully drizzled some olive oil not over the cherry tomatoes that I planned on putting on the grill, but rather down the leg of the jeans I was wearing. Bummer. And, of course, it was my favorite pair of jeans. I know olive oil and I know it’s reluctant to leave pretty much anywhere you put it, so I was pretty sure my pants were ruined. I tried washing them when I got home, but the oily spots remained.

Flash forward several days later: I was perusing the pages of Sewn by Hand by Susan Washinger (Lark Crafts, April 2011). This is a really inspiring book that features twelve sewn projects—no sewing machine required. I was in love with the idea of a project book in which all of the projects were made using an old-fashioned needle and thread. I love sewing by hand and the projects in this book are supercute. So anyway, I was thumbing through the pages when I came across the Pretty Patches project. Eureka! A bulb exploded in my head when I remembered the “ruined” pants. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before because for months I’ve been wanting to somehow alter a pair of jeans—do something creative with stitching or paint or something—and so now here was my perfect chance; I had nothing to lose.

When searching through my fabric scraps for cute or pretty fabrics to use as reverse appliqué patches to replace my oil-stained spots, I realized I had the perfect solution: one of the fabric pieces I had just recently painted in Roxanne Padgett’s Luscious Layers class at Artfest. So out came my scissors, colored floss and needle (and circle template) and the fun began. I also added a bit more stippled paint to really enforce the painted-canvas theme (I couldn’t help myself; at least I left the bleach in the cupboard).

I’m very happy with how my little patch project worked out and I will try to remember that alteration is always an option next time I spill food on what I’m wearing.


* Find great books, DVDs, downloads & more for mixed media artists!

* Sign up for your FREE email newsletter for great tips, projects & more…

* Download free mixed media desktop wallpapers!

You may also like these articles:

This entry was posted in Editor's Picks, Mixed Media Blogs and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Artful Patches

  1. katzenjammy says:

    Gorgeous! Reminds me of Desigual designs, but without the steep designer pricetag.

  2. Tonia Davenport says:

    Thanks, katzenjammy! What was especially fun for me was using fabric that I had already painted on, so the whole thing truly felt like my own creation.

  3. mweymank says:

    You should have tried putting Dawn dishwashing liquid on the olive oil spots before you washed them. It has saved many a tee shirt from oily food drip stains! On the other hand, if you had, you would not have had such cool jeans!