Heat and Shape: Mad Scientist/Artist at Play!

cycada song2Somewhere in my family background, there has to be a mad scientist somewhere. Either that or a wild woman who was brewing some very odd teas. 

I’ve been a dyer for over 30 years now. It’s not all of what I do. It’s never really been the focus of what I do. But my work would have been much less rich without it. 

I’m also incapable of measurements. Not in cooking, not in dyeing, not in any way. If you just can’t pour it in and hope for the best it’s probably not going to happen on my watch.  Soups and stews, yes. Much better at bread than cake. It’s all a dyslesics view of the measuring cup. It’s a sugguestion, a guideline. Don’t ask for accuracy.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t love  experiments.So I was delighted when I got a package of Heat and Shape. 

I’ve pasted in the information for you. Of course, it never occurred to me to do trapunto. 

Heat & Shape is a revolutionary heat-activated batting that allows the home crafter to create unique, 
rigid, three-dimensional fabric designs.  There is no need for water or messy chemical additives, Heat & Shape is non-toxic and is activated with only heat and pressure. Heat & Shape can be easily 
cut with scissors or a rotary cutter and, prior to heating, can easily be sewn through using standard
needles and thread.  Due to the nonwoven nature of Heat & Shape it will not fray at the edges like 
Woven stabilizers.  

Ideal as a hidden stiffener to add stability and crispness to handbags, tote bags and
placemats.  Let your imagination run wild with fanciful masks, costumes, millinery, boxes, bowls, flowers 
and ornaments.  Heat & Shape is mold and mildew resistant and is machine washable and dryable.

Quilt Heat & Shape into some of your favorite fabric, lightly steam and you have what we call
“Poor-Man’s Trapunto”; a beautiful stipple  effect as the Heat and Shape crisps and shrinks as you steam!

I found myself thinking, Leaves! So I cut a bunch of leaves and shaped them and veined them with the iron and the heat. As you heat them, they shrink and take on the forms around them. It’s like shrinking felt that can be molded and marked and seamed.

When I got done they were fearfully white. But they were polyester. It’s been a long time since I played with Rit, but Rit is one of the dyes that is formulated for all kinds of fibers. 

crockpot 2It was like my old college days. We used what we had.At that time Rit was it. Rit responds to vinger, salt and heat and I used a lot of both of those. I put it in the Crockpot and left it for two days. It remains to be seen whether the mix of purple and green made that brown or whether I singed them. But theydiyed leaves are very, very fall like.

dyed leaves 2

dyed leaves 3



They’re currently pinned to the Cidada quilt that is in process on top. I’m excited to see what they’ll look like with veining and stitching all over them.















You’ll find Heat and Shape at InnovativeCrafts.Com. Even though it’s polyester, we’ve proved it will dye with heat, salt vineger and Rit. Although, there’s a rumor that it could be made in rayon.  Which would dye with cold water procions. The mad scientist in me is completely overjoyed. cycada song detail


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8 Responses to “Heat and Shape: Mad Scientist/Artist at Play!”

  1. Karen Herriott says:

    Thanks, Ellen! Love the information that you share. Can’t wait to try this out!

  2. jeff says:

    Going to have to try this now that I know it is dyeable. Thank you for shaing this and looking forward tow hat else you share about in your experimentations.


  3. Lisa says:

    Wow — this is brilliant!

  4. Thanks for posting this! I had never heard of this stuff but am very intrigued indeed!

  5. Darcey Judy says:

    Love yourblog!

  6. Dear Ellen, it’s a while since I have visited your blog, but I am catching up.
    I recently got re-inspired to get thread sketching again after visiting an Adelaide artist whose work (like yours)is free motion stitching.
    Gosh that batting sounds fabulous!!I LOVE how you dyed the batting.What great colours.
    My parents used to do silk dyeing, so I still have many bottles of silk dyes. I have yet to use the RIT dye.It has been around for many many years.A good old standby.
    Gosh I wish I lived in America, and could visit your studio.Your work is brilliant.So rich!Gorgeous colours and sense of design.

  7. Linda Jackson says:

    Love this stuff. Thanks for sharing this and all the other wonderful information you share!

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