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Foamology 101: How to Turn Favorite Embroidery Samples into Instant Wall Art

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We'll start off by saying Foamology™ is not a subject you'll learn at University, but this innovative décor product would be perfect for decorating a dorm room. Foamology™ is a new product from Fairfield; a company that knows all about fillers and foam. It's a dense foam pre-cut into a variety of sizes and shapes. These resulting tiles are available in both rigid and soft styles and feature a stickybase™ self-adhesive back for easy covering and wall mounting. We were asked to take a look at the product and immediately saw it could be a fun option for displaying embroidery design stitchouts, turning thread art into wall art to decorate your home. 

The entire Foamology™ line comprises four types of foam. We're concentrating on their Soft Design Foam, but you may also want to check out the Cushion Foam, Household Utility Foam Sheets, and Acoustic Foam.

Foamology™ Design Foam comes in a variety of shapes and thicknesses but they all have stickybase™ on the back. This self-adhesive backing allows you to both apply fabric to the foam and mount the finished piece on the wall. Simply peel, wrap, stick, and you're done.

The two main things to remember about this product are 1) the adhesive back makes it easy to wrap fabric. They say "as easy as wrapping a present." We found it even easier than that (no bow!). And 2) there are a lot of different varieties. You can get the tiles as individual pieces as well as multiple piece kits for doing wall groupings, like in our nursery wall art project below.

You can certainly use these tiles for a super basic project, like mounting a single piece of fabric. Many of today's designer collections are so gorgeous, it's hard to cut into the fabric for a project! Save a section of your favorite motif, wrap it on to a Design Foam tile and stick it right to the wall in your creative space where you can enjoy it every day (and still make the rest into a project).

We took this basic idea and pushed it a little further. Top-of-the-line sewing and embroidery machines can do stunning, sophisticated embroidery designs, but it can be difficult to come up with just the right project on which to use such elaborate and large embroidery. Why not turn your favorites into custom wall art? 

We did two very different applications of our "embroidery artwork" concept: an elegant panel design and an adorable nursery triptych with patchwork accents.

We show you a few photographs of our steps, but your best bet is to watch the Foamology™ videos. In just a few short minutes, they take you through the easy assembly for each of the Design Foam options. 

Shop now

Once you see how quick and easy Foamology™ is to work with, your next question is bound to be: Where can I get it? 

       

You can find a full selection online from Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. Right now when you shop on their website, you can choose from 33 different kinds of Foamology™ at great prices.

Elegant Panel Design

INSERT ONE OF OUR BEAUTY SHOTS OF PANEL

We used the 12" x 36" x 1" Soft Design Foam tile. This particular shape comes as a set of three tiles.

The embroidery we chose is from the built-in designs on the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 15000. It is a 6½" square embroidery created for the MC115K's SQ23 Hoop.  

After embroidering the lovely center floral square, we created a lettering frame around the embroidery that picked up words featured within our accent fabric.

Free design download

This lettering frame was designed by Sew4Home sewist team member (and digitizing designer extraordinaire), Michele Mishler and is offered as a free download, courtesy of Fairfield and Foamology™. 

Click here to download the Lettering Frame by MM Embroidery Designs. The download is available in the six major embroidery formats. For more wonderful designs by Michele Mishler, visit MM Embroidery Designs at Oregon Patchworks Mall.

Cutting and wrapping

To fit the 12" x 36" x 1" Soft Design Foam tile, our embroidered panel was cut 16" wide x 13" high with the embroidery design centered. The top and bottom accent fabric panels were cut 16" wide x 14½" high. The three panels were seamed together with a ½" seam allowance. This sizing allowed 2" on all sides for a nice wrap around the side and onto the back stickybase™. 

NOTE: If you are unsure of your sizing, err on the side of a bit more rather than a bit less when figuring the extra fabric needed for wrapping. 

As you'll see from the step-by-step Foamology™ videos, the standard wrap is done "like a present" from the front around to the sticky back. 

Because of the weight of our finished embroidery, we discussed options with the folks at Foamology™ and decided on a "backwards wrap." This is an option for heavier applications. We used the stickybase™ self-adhesive as our "front" in order to give the embroidery the increased stability it needed to display flat against the foam. 

The finished fabric panel was carefully centered then smoothed into place across the foam tile, working from the center towards the outside edges. We found it helpful to first center the fabric panel on the tile before removing the protective strips covering the stickybase™. Measure from all sides to make sure your panel is even all around; we then put straight pin "cross hairs" at each corner as reference points. 

Remove the protective strips, line up the cross hairs at each corner, then smooth the panel into place across the foam tile, working from the center towards the outside edges. It's not a permanent bond, so if you make a mistake, you can pull the fabric away and try again. 

Once adhered, the tile should be flipped upside down.

We used a modified corner wrap to reduce bulk and a fabric spray adhesive. 

At each corner, cut a 45˚ slash from the outer point almost up to (but not quite all the way up to) the corner of the foam. You want about ¼" -½" left at that inner point for full coverage at the corner. 

Fold back the two slashed "wings" so they align with either side of the fabric, creating a neat 90˚ opening. 

Lightly spray the bottom edge of the foam with fabric adhesive.

Fold the bottom edge of the fabric straight up and over so it covers the corner well and is secured in place against the sprayed adhesive. 

Repeat to wrap the top edge.

Lightly spray one side edge, including the corners of the top and bottom folded fabric. 

Fold the side edge of the fabric straight up and over and press down with your fingers to adhere into place. 

Repeat to secure the remaining side edge.

We used peel-and-stick mounting tabs to stick our finished panel to the wall. 

Adorable nursery triptych

This three-piece nursery wall art design was created using the Soft Design Foam Pattern Cut Tiles. We used one 12" x 18" x 2" On The Grid Pattern Cut Tile for the center and two 12" x 12" x 2" Criss Cross Pattern Cut Tiles for either side. 

The foam surface of these tiles has been pre-sliced into perpendicular or diagonal sections. The cuts go deep into the 2" thick foam but not all the way through. Your fabric pieces can be simply tucked into the groves with the flat side of a table knife to create a patchwork effect without any stitching or glueing. 

The Criss Cross tiles are cut into both 3" squares as well as triangles. A handy grid on the back of the packaging shows the sizes to cut your fabric in order to achieve a variety of patchwork finishes.

 

The On The Grid tiles are pre-cut into 3" squares, which can be wrapped into a variety of squares and rectangles. Again, templates on the packaging provide cutting guidelines for various layouts. 

Our cute embroidery motifs are by Michele Mishler from her custom Monkey Shines collection. This collection is available for purchase from Oregon Patchworks Mall

Center name panel - 12" x 18"

The embroidered center panel has a finished embroidery size of 5" high by 16" wide and a fabric cut size of 8" high x 24" wide.

The top and bottom accent patchwork features two paper-pieced flying geese units at the center top and center bottom. We do not have a paper-piecing tutorial currently on Sew4Home, but recommend the Learn to Paper Piece video from Connecting Threads

If you are familiar with paper-piecing, rough cut the fabric into two 6" squares of turquoise, then cut these diagonally to make four triangles. Rough cut one 9" square of white fabric, then cut it diagonally to make two triangles. These pieces will create your two flying geese blocks. 

The remaining blocks are yellow and white and orange and white half square triangles. The yellow and white are 8" squares. The orange and white are 5" squares. We do have instructions on how to create half square triangle blocks in our Quilting Basics Series

Working from the center out to the edges, tuck the fabric pieces into the grooves with the blunt side of a knife, wrap the excess fabric around to the back and mount. Don't forget to watch the dandy step-by-step Foamology™ videos for additional folding and wrapping hints. 

Particularly important is the need to cut all corner points on the diagonal prior to tucking into place. This reduces bulk and helps create a sharper edge. 

Side accent panels - 12" x 12" 

The embroidered centers of each of the outer panels have a finished embroidery size of 5" x 5", rotated 45˚. The lettering font used was 40 mm Brassplate. Once embroidered, the center panel was cut into an 8" square that was tucked into place on an angle – as a diamond. 

On each tile, surrounding the center diamond are four paper-pieced flying geese units. As above, rough cut the fabric into four 6" squares of turquoise fabric, then cut these diagonally to make eight triangles. Rough cut two 7" squares of yellow fabric, and cut diagonally to make four triangles. This is enough for four flyer geese units; repeat to create another set for the second tile.

The remaining areas on each tile are filled in with four large and four small triangles. Cut two 8" squares of white fabric, then cut diagonally to make four triangles.

And, cut two 12" squares of orange fabric, and cut diagonally to make four triangles.

Tuck each fabric unit in place, working from the center out. Wrap to the back and mount. 

Shop now for Foamology™ online at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. They have a full selection and great prices, as well as links to all the video tutorials. 

Contributors

Embroidery & Patchwork Design and Stitching: Michele Mishler  
Sample Creation: Liz Johnson

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Comments (1)

mwlipari said:
mwlipari's picture

Great ideas. Love to see new projects and new products.

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