Friday, February 4, 2011

More Resists: Rice and AP Flours

Or:  Further Adventures in Robbing the Pantry

This time, I was inspired by my friend, Karen, at RabbitsEatQuilts.  She has been playing with flour resists and I really liked her results.  So I decided to try it myself.

I mixed up some cheap all-purpose flour with water -- a 1:1 ratio.  That is, one cup flour to one cup cold water. I whisked it together, and using my putty scraper, I  put a thin layer on my fabric.  I let it dry and then painted over it with thickened dye.  Batched it overnight and then soaked it in a bucket of cold water for a couple of hours before I washed and dried it as usual.

I really like the pattern of the cracks -- the squiggly lines were done with a chopstick in the wet paste.

I should have used more dye in the thickener so that the whole thing was darker.

Like this.  The lines on this were made with a plastic fork in the wet paste.  I used a lot more dye when I mixed up the paste and got way better color.

I also tried some rice flour.  When I was at the store buying cheap AP flour (not the stuff I usually bake with), I strolled through the Asian section and found a bag of rice flour.  I thought, "why not?"  The first batch I mixed up was the same ratio as the AP (wheat) flour.  It was too runny, so I dumped in some more of the rice flour until it was a spreadable consistency.

I like the crackled pattern better with the rice flour.  But the second time I mixed it, I had trouble getting the right consistency -- I'll have to experiment some more with that.  It doesn't spread as easily as the wheat flour paste and when I drew in it with a chopstick or fork, it tended to get lumps and globs.  Much more than the wheat flour.

Again, I like it better with the more intense color, but the marks from the fork aren't as graceful as in the flour piece -- because the fork kept sticking in the paste.

Bottom line:  I like these flour resists much better than the potato stuff.  No cooking, quick mix-up, and, best of all, it rinses out of the fabric easily.  They dry a lot quicker too.  I did soak the fabric in a bucket of cold water for a couple of hours, but there was not the gooey mess that the potato left.  Also, this time of year I have to work in the house, so no nasty potato smell is a real bonus.

I had some thickened dye left over, so I set some fabric on a piece of bubble wrap and brushed it on.


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

WOW---do I ever like these! Wish I would have thought of using my flour that got buggy for a resist instead of dumping it.
But that tidbit is stored in the grey matter for the future!
These really are great..... :-)


Laura said...

I've tried the flour resist before, wasn't thrilled with it, but I love the look of the rice flour piece you did. I'm going to have to head to a "fancier" grocery store than the one I normally shop at to find rice flour over the weekend!

Vicki W said...

These turned out great!

Quilt Rat said...

Okay so this is going to have to go on my list of things to try..... your results are fantastic!

BTW......what do you mean "nasty" potato smells? I LOVE potatoes!!!!

Robbie said...

Love the darkest pieces. Really nice! Great texture look to them.

Beth said...

I think I like the bubble wrap one the best... reminds me of snake skin. The colors you used aren't your usual colors....

Anonymous said...

These turned out really well!

Karen M said...

I really like the effect of the fork. And the finer crackle of the rice flour, too. Let us know what the secret is when you figure out how to get consistent results with the rice flour, OK?