Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunprinting and a Useless Tree

I hate this tree.  It is beautiful for exactly three days every year.  The rest of the time it drops nasty fake fruit everywhere that the kids track around everywhere in the house.  Even though there's a No Shoes In The House rule.  The leaves that it drops are too small to rake and its low hanging branches threaten to decapitate anyone mowing the lawn.

It is in the perfect place to provide shade for the back patio, except that it's a fake fruit tree and not a shade tree -- too short for shade.  So why not chop it down?  Because for a couple of days every year, I can use it for sunprinting.

When the petals from the flowers fall onto freshly painted fabric, beautiful things happen.

Rain was forecast for the entire weekend and I figured it would knock all those wonderful petals off the tree and onto the grass.  What a waste.  But to my joy and amazement, today was beautiful and sunny and not too windy.

So I got out my paints and my fabric and got my DH to help me move my table out onto the lawn under the tree.  Of course, the neighbors probably thought I was nuts: shaking the branches so that the petals would fall onto my painted fabric.  "What in the world is she doing now, Martha...?"

Or maybe they already thought that from the dye experiments that decorate the front yard.  "Look, Martha, she's at it again..."

These are the results -- heat-set with an iron, but not washed.  I always let them cure for a day or two after the heat-setting before I wash them  --not sure that it makes a difference, but it can't hurt.  Washing them gently with a little Synthropol makes them soft.

I never use fabric softener on my fabrics because I never know what I'm going to do next -- dye, paint, fuse, stitch -- I like to keep my options open and fabric softener limits those options.

Yep --those are my toes -- it felt like summer today!

And if I need it, I can get shade on the front porch -- as well as spy on the neighbors.

"Look, Martha, she's sitting there reading a book and drinking..."  Hmmm....


Beth said...

WoW! I love the blue and green one. Not much in the creative space for me lately... but the garage is so neat and clean!!!

Happy Happy SPRING!


Quilt Rat said...

Great results.........warm days, sunshine, fabric, paint, book, porch, DRINK........sounds like a perfect day!

Chris said...

What a great idea. The colors are lovely. How did you get into dying your own fabrics? You get such nice results, I might just try my it out for myself.

Karen S said...

Chris -- I started dyeing and painting fabrics because I could never find exactly what I wanted in the stores. You should try it -- it's great fun!

Anonymous said...

I smiled through your whole post!! Keep the tree its WAYYY worth the beautiful fabric your getting!! Makes me wonder if the tree is getting a good giggle out of the whole thing too
LOL awesome fabric!!! Definately ONE of a kind!!

Martys Fiber Musings said...

I'm with Lori...keep the tree. It's beautiful as is your delightful dyed fabric. And, if it weren't for you and your fabric antics.....who (and what) would the neighbors talk about!

imquilternity said...

You are too funny! I love that tree, even it it's only beautiful for 3 days. Of course, I'm not the one having to live with it! Great sun dyeing prints!

SueWis said...

Is that a Mulberry tree? We had one and I hated it. It was right on our way into the house and my kids were at the age where they just traipsed right through those nasty purple smooshed berries. It fell down in a storm, right on our roof, and I was not sad at all. Oh yeah and birds ate them and left purple droppings all over the place. Ahh, bad tree memories.