Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Meet the Supplies" #4: Shrinky Dinks

When I first started planning my "Meet the Supplies" series, I was particularly excited to do a post about my collection of Shrinky Dinks.  Yes, they still make Shrinky Dinks!  And they are even cooler than I remember from when I was a kid! You can buy bulk packages of blank sheets, and at 50 sheets for 22 bucks, it's a fairly cheap art material especially since you can literally use every last scrap.

Okay, enough shameless shilling!  Once I was reintroduced to them, I found that Shrinky Dinks are a perfect mixed media quilting element for one important reason.  Oh, they're fantastic on a number of levels, but the thing that makes them IDEAL for attaching to quilts is that you can use a 1/8" hole punch to create holes which will shrink during the curing process to be just the right size for stitching the piece to a quilt by hand.  I imagine you could also use your machine to attach them using the same stitch you'd use to attach a button.

Sadly, I have actually been prevented from making new shrunken artwork for the past two years by the fact that the oven in my new apartment does not have a window in its door.  It's been super annoying, but fortunately I was able to make a whole lot of tiny beautiful objects before moving.  Here they all are!

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Leaves traced from a book called "Kbach: A Study of Khmer Ornament," which I got for free and which has proven to be a wonderful visual resource when I'm trying to come up with patterns
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I keep them in this box, which as room for SO MANY more!  Time to get a toaster oven just so I can shrink more art?
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Teeny tiny stars.  These things are about 1/4" across
Here are a few of the stars that have already made it into a quilt.

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Shield designs in various shades of blue and purple
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More leaves traced from the Khmer Ornament book.  These were outlined in silver, which didn't look quite as nice once it shrunk - turns out silver pen can lose its sheen in the oven.
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Star buttons
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Little petals or leaves - I haven't figured out yet what to use these for.
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Fun pastel buttons with red leafy designs in red Sharpie
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This is an example of the cool effects you can get when you use a pair of decorative scissors to cut out your Shrinky Dinks before shrinking them.
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Bold buttons in red and yellow

Some striped Shrinky Dink buttons in a quilt, arranged to form six-pointed stars

Two of the Khmer leaf designs ended up in my SAQA donation quilt.

And, the best thing in my collection, MONSTERS!  I spent an enjoyable several evenings while visiting my parents drawing all kinds of little monsters.

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So Many Monsters!
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MORE Monsters!

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