Copper mesh may not be at the top of your quilting supply list, but it’s a great addition to your art quilt tool box. Yes, you really can stitch through copper mesh (and thin copper sheeting) without damaging your sewing machine or needle! In today’s lesson, we’ll create a patina on the copper mesh with Liver of Sulphur and then turn the embellished mesh into a small art quilt.
~ Birch Leaves stencils[Cedar Canyon Textiles]
~ Liver of Sulphur [www.DickBlick.com]
~ Small spray bottle
~ Stamped copper wire mesh [hobby or art supply store] ~ Masking tape
~ Spray adhesive like 404™ [Spray and Fix] ~ Dust mask
~ Artist’s fixative like Krylon™ [hobby or art supply store]
Additional supplies for small wall hanging:
~ Double fold black bias tape, ¼” wide
~ Three fabrics to coordinates (one for binding)
~ Backing fabric
~ Sewing machine
~ Walking foot for sewing machine
~ Black thread
~ Thin batting
~ Copper leaf button (optional)
Dilute the Liver of Sulphur according to the directions on the bottle. Place it in a small spray bottle and label with masking tape.
Tape the copper mesh to a plastic surface. Work in a ventilated area or outside.
Spray the back of the stencil with adhesive and let dry. Press the stencil onto the copper mesh. Mask off any areas with tape that you don’t want to use. (In the photo above, the mesh appears to be on top of the stencil, but it’s not. It’s just that the stencil is very translucent.)
Wearing a dust mask, spray the openings in the stencil with Liver of Sulphur. Let dry and then wash the copper with soapy water and dry, being careful of the cut edges. Spray the copper with artist’s fixative on both sides to protect the copper from further color changes over time.
Bonus! — Create a small wall hanging from your stenciled copper mesh.
Wall Hanging Step 1
Cut the copper mesh with an old rotary cutter to the desired size. Encase the edges of the mesh with double fold bias tape, mitering the corners and leaving a tail of bias tape. Sew along the inside edge of the bias tape all the way around the copper piece. Use a “sharp” sewing needle (it will not be damaged) and a longer stitch length.
Wall Hanging Step 2
Layer a background fabric, batting, and backing fabric. Pin or use fusible batting with steam to hold the layers together. Add a smaller accent fabric to the background, sewing 1/8” from the edge of the accent fabric through all the layers.
Wall Hanging Step 3
Lay the bound copper piece on the accent fabric, extending the tail of bias tape to the edge of the background fabric. Topstitch the outer edge of the bias tape all around the copper piece and on both edges of the tail.
Wall Hanging Step 4
Bind the edges of the wall hanging and hand sew a copper leaf or other embellishments on. Sew two small rings on the back for hanging.