This week I finished up a small project that had been in my mind for a few weeks, and one which is a very different style for me.
Back in August, my friend Deb H. and I spent a day doing glue resist dyeing. Here is the original post. One of the pieces that I created was a simple vase of flowers and I knew almost immediately what I wanted to do with it.
The first step was to add some embroidery to the background. I used examples from a fairly recent article in Quilting Arts Magazine. The only difference was that the examples there used nice quality variegated threads and all I had were some cheap ones that I had bought some time back. But, I persevered and came up with a fairly nice background.
I felt that the vase and flowers needed to be highlighted too, so I trapuntoed them with 2 extra layers of batting.
I am NOT a paisley person, but this old fabric from my stash called to me and so I succumbed and used it as the final border.
The quilting was fairly straight forward, and I was happy to complete the quilt so quickly.
I took it to my local charity bee and, while showing them the finished product, realized that I didn’t like it because several of the threads were too light in color and the detracted from the background. So, while we were looking at another member’s quilt where she had painted many of the designs, I thought about using fabric pens and coloring over the “too bright” threads.
After yesterday’s rant about creativity, I spent a lovely morning with my friend Anita H. and had a wonderful time talking about (and showing off) our various projects. I always come away from my visits with her with LOTS of new ideas to try.
I then toddled off to Barnes and Noble for lunch and to look at some books on drawing and painting. After spending a couple of hours getting inspired, I flew home and got out the Set-A-Color paints that I had bought on clearance a few weeks ago.
My first step was to take 2 fat quarters of PFD fabric and lay them out side by side. I then wet one of them and started adding colors of paint. I added streaks of color to the wet piece and blocks of color to the dry one. The dry one ended up with a lot of white areas, so I took a blue paint and diluted it down a lot and then did a color wash over the colored splotches. I also added some extra water to the splotches to see if I could get them to run a bit….that part didn’t really work.
After they dried, I tool some stamps that I had on hand and used Elmer’s Gel glue to stamp a resist onto the fabric (I left the splotchy one for another day). I started out spreading the glue onto the stamp using a foam brush but quickly realized that my fingers worked better. After I had tried a lot of different stamp designs, I added some glue lines and dots to finish off the piece. The biggest problem that I had was that, once the glue dried, I could not easily tell where I had already stamped.
After the glue had dried completely (hastened by the 90 degree afternoon heat and my hair dryer), I prepared to do a color wash over the top of the dyed piece.
I was planning to use Set-A-Color paints, but the dark purple that I wanted to use was fairly thick (remember I bought them on clearance) and would have to be diluted, so I decided instead to use a Dyna-Flow paint that was already very thin.
After the purple paint dried, I washed the piece in very warm water, soaking out all of the glue.
The resulting piece is a fun example and I am pleased with my first efforts. I have learned a few things….. Firstly, I used too many different kinds of flower stamps. It would have looked more cohesive if I had stuck to only a few.
Secondly, the red paint was too different in color from the others as it tends to stick out more.
For my next try, I want to do basically the same thing, but use several different colors in the final wash and see if it will get a batik look.
It was nice to realize that, after Church this morning, we didn’t have any plans for the day, so Michael hit the deck to catch a bit of sun and I ran to my studio and grabbed the paints that I had bought this past week.
The first project was to get the border fabric ready for the Sunflower Quilt. I had bought a really cool abstract sunflower stamp and was planning to use it to spruce up the border fabric for the quilt.
My first problem was getting the stamp mounted…..the first piece of wood that I cut was slightly bowed and wouldn’t print properly. So, instead of making a trip to the store, I found an old stamp that I never use and mounted the new one on the top side of the old stamp….two for one!!!
I then started playing with paints, starting out with a brown Setacolor. It seemed to disappear into the fabric too much, so I decided to play with mixing my own colors (thanks to Maggi for suggesting this in the previous comments). I had read that you could mix all of the Jacquard water based dyes, so I started with Brown Dynaflow, added Copper Lumiere and then a small amount of the original brown Setacolor. I was mixing these in an old butter container and was trying to figure out what to mix them with. The light bulb went off and I grabbed a straw to mix with. Then I used the straw to drip spots of the paint onto the shiny side of Freezer Paper and used a sponge brush to pick up the paint and transfer it to the stamp. Here is the fabric with just a portion of it printed.
There were a few spots that I felt needed to be filled in a bit, so I got out the sponges that I use when I am doing a faux surface on my walls, and used it to fill in some more.
Here is the finished product (click on it to see the stamping)…..I am really excited about using it in my quilt!!!!
Now, I had this small amount of mixed up paint and I really did not want to throw it away, so I decided to take Melody Johnson’s advice and quilt worrying about the rules of dyeing and to just play!!!!
I wet a fat quarter of PFD (Prepared For Dyeing) fabric and put it into a bowl. I then added a small amount of water to the dyes and poured them over the fabric. After the fabric was well saturated, I took it outside, laid it out relatively flat and sprinkled Kosher Salt over the top. For the next 30 minutes I went out every 5 minutes and checked on the progress. It was fun to watch the color pool around the salt to achieve a mottled effect.
Here is the final result, after heat setting and washing again. It will be a great addition to my “Lights” section of the stash.
I still had some afternoon left, so I wanted to plan and play with the quilting that I was going to do on the sunflowers. I didn’t want to practice on the real piece, so I copied part of the image onto a piece of fabric, made my quilt sandwich and started quilting. I learned a few things with this practice……. first of all, I dont have to be really concerned about the design of the sunflowers….they seem to take care of themselves.
Secondly, I realized that it is going to take more than one line of stitching to make the sunflowers stand out……it is actually going to take 3, 4 or 5 times around them…..and with more than one color of thread. SO, I have decided to do some thread work on the piece before I sandwich it to quilt. Anyway, it promises to be a fun piece to work on and I can’t wait to get started!!!! But, it may have to wait a week or so because we have friends from Australia coming for a week-long visit starting Tuesday.