Monday, July 25, 2011

More Progress on Words

There is still little change on my design wall because I am still working on my cutting table.  And there is considerable progress on my colorful interpretation of the 1000 Words piece.

I have found that it's best to leave the paper on to stabilize it, but I just couldn't resist removing a little of it to see what it looks like under there.

To see other people's design walls, click here to go to Judy's blog.
I always think I should save the pieces from the pattern.  But what for?  So I can make it again?  

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Can't Resist Resists with DeColourant

The main reason I wanted to play with deColourant was because I thought it would be great to use it with the pantry resists I have been playing with.

I took some hand-dyed purple fabric -- this fabric was dyed with blue and magenta dyes and has a really mottled purple thing going on.  Alas, I didn't do a very good job of rinsing the dyes out (it's been on my shelf since I first started dyeing and I didn't know as much about color and getting the excess dye out of the fabric as I do now.  And yes, I did fix the piece it was cut from.)

I smeared on some rice flour paste, let it dry, then painted on a thin layer of orange deColourant.  There was purple colored goo all over the plastic underneath the fabric.  I'm wondering how much this affected the action of the deColourant.

This is the back side after I hit it with steam and before I removed all the rice paste and deColourant.

 And this is the finished piece.  It's a little darker than it looks in the photo.  And some of the areas that I thought would be orange, just look kind of turquoise. Again, that might be because all of the dye wasn't rinsed out initially.

The other piece I tried was an over-dyed orange bit of cloth.  It was initially a really ugly shade of pink and I overdyed it with golden yellow to get a shade of coral.

I used the same rice flour resist as in the top piece and painted on the purple deColourant.

I ironed it with the steam iron and got some nice purple marks.

So then I did three pieces with plain deColourant and three different uncooked resists.  I used glutinous rice flour, potato flakes and AP flour.

This is from the same fabric as the top piece above.  After I rinsed all the excess dye, I covered it with a mixture of glutinous rice flour mixed with cold water.  After it dried, I painted it with plain deColourant, let it dry, then hit it with steam.  The discharged areas are a gorgeous turquoise.  There are some pinkish areas where there was more magenta dye.
 For this one, I whisked potato flakes and a tablespoonful or so of liquid laundry starch into cold water, then spread it on pretty thickly with my putty knife.  No cooking this time, but it took forever to dry in the humid weather.  I wound up bringing it in the house and letting it sit for a couple of days before I painted it with plain deColourant.  I like the patterning, but the color is kind of cold looking.   I think it needs to be overdyed with orange.
This was some plain black Egyptian cotton I bought at Joann Fabrics a couple of years ago thinking I would use it for discharge experiments.  I covered it with AP flour whisked into an equal amount of cold water.  Then painted it with deColourant.  I love that it discharged to white.

All of the uncooked resists and deColourant came out of the fabric easily.  I let them soak in a bucket for a couple of hours, then ran them through my washing machine.  I really like the plain deColourant with resists, but I haven't figured out how to get the special patterning with the deColourant that I get with dye.  I think that's because the resists that I've used dissolve slightly with the dyes and because the deColourant is more of a gel, it doesn't get into the little cracks and crannies as well.  So I guess I need to experiment some more.

 I'm not sure I will bother using the colored deColourant with the resists again.  I think I could have gotten the same result with thickened dyes, paints, or inks and the deColourant is more expensive and more steps than either of those.  But I will use the plain deColourant.  I like that it doesn't change the hand of the fabric like paint would.  And it rinses out easily -- even on top of the resist paste. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Working on Words

Because my design wall looks much the same as last week and because I'm working on my cutting table, this is a photo of my latest project.

It's related to the project pictured below -- only in color.

And I've mostly finished the thread work on this one.  Now I'm trying to decide how much ink and paint to add.

This is the appliqué project that was just a bunch of stems last week.  It's moving along -- although veeeerrrrry slooooowly.

It almost seems that cutting out and pinning take longer than the actual sewing.

For more design walls, click here to go to Judy's blog.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Discharging with deColourant

A couple of weeks ago, I ordered some deColourant color remover.  I couldn't wait to try it with the kitchen resists that I've been playing around with.  But I had cleaned up and put away the table in the middle of the family room (for some reason my family insists on hanging around in that room and the "laboratory" table took up most of the space).  So I had time to do just a few experiments until the outside-experiment weather happened.

 I was really excited about using this stuff.  I have long wanted to play around with discharging fabric -- I even purchased some stuff that stops the action of the bleach -- but because I like to breathe, I never found time to get bleach and use it.

So this stuff seemed heaven-sent.  No harmful fumes, no noxious odors, and it rinses out easily with just soap and water.  In fact, if you change your mind and don't like the design, you can rinse it out without it discharging!

Because it is activated with heat.  Specifically, steam from an iron.  Cool beans!

I had to do a winter block in brights (!), so I pieced together some brights, then, using a  trusty Stewart Gill stencil, I applied this stuff to my pieced block.

I let it dry, then hit it with the steam iron.

Wow!  It really does work!

And the smell is tolerable.  Not really pleasant, but didn't necessitate a run to the oxygen tanks (no, I don't really have any oxygen tanks, but if I did, I would have had them standing by -- just in case.)
 I went over the discharged tree with some pale grey thread to make the cream-colored discharged area look more wintery and cool.  And I was finished.  And the recipient really liked it.

I also tried out the deColourant Plus.  It has color mixed in with the remover.  I opted for the lime green/orange/purple group.  I really like the orange stripes on the turquoise fabric.  I was a little worried because before it dried, the edges had a bright purple color.  But it turned orange when I ironed it.

I liked that I could mix the colors with each other and with the plain deColourant.  The bottom stripes on the turquoise piece are orange mixed with plain.  I did the same thing with the purple at the bottom of the black piece on the right.  
I swirled together the green with some of the plain and got this piece.  Both of the black fabrics are Kona black.  I was really surprised and happy with how well it replaced the black.

But I really want to try it with resists.  That will have to wait for my next post.

Monday, July 11, 2011

It's the Wall with Blocks

My design wall for this stormy Monday in July is full of projects.  On the left are my 2011 BOM blocks -- minus the ones I took to the group last Thursday -- they're pictured below with the everybody else's blocks.  

At the top is the Surface Design Round Robin piece that I'm thinking about.

On the right is an attempt at dyeing a one-color gradation.

And in the middle is my piece for "1000 Words" -- look closely to see the progress on that.

These are the NY Beauties from Thursday's meeting.  Mine aren't sewn together because I'm going to use them in the corners of the quilt.  I really love the layout of the one in the upper right corner -- she didn't want all that brown in the center, so she flipped them around.  I love this one!

In the lower left corner is a block from someone new to the group -- she's catching up.

And these are the fan blocks.  Of course, mine is the eye-popping bright one in the upper left corner.  I fussy cut the suns in the base of the fans and the center blade of the fan is a cat fussy cut from the same fabric.

Sorry about the fuzzy photo -- I wish I had a better camera.  Oh sure, blame it on the camera....

To see other design walls, click here to go to Judy's blog.  

This is a sneak preview of another thing I'm working on.  I'll have more about this in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Round Robin Moving On

I am participating in a Round Robin Surface Design from "...And Then We Set It on Fire" blog.

I received this rust-dyed fabric and stuck it on my wall for a couple of days.  I regularly experiment with my own fabric, but this was someone else's.  Yikes!

After a couple of days of cogitation, I covered it with rice flour and after it dried, I painted it with thickened teal dye.

I was not happy with the edges -- they're empty -- so I mixed up some golden brown and stenciled on some leaves to make the whole thing come together.

The reason the edges were empty is because I had to tape down the fabric to smear on the rice flour.  It's been my experience that applying color to the edges of flour-resisted fabric causes major gloppage in the dye color, so I erred on the cautious side and left them empty.  I like the stenciled leaves.

This is the finished piece -- it's been sent on to the next person in the group.

And this arrived this week.  It's been rust-dyed and over-dyed.  There is a lot of subtle color going on here, so my usual heavy-handed use of color won't do.  Hmmmmm....

Monday, July 4, 2011

New Project for the Design Wall!

This is my design wall for today.  You may notice that all the previous stuff is still there, just shifted around to make room for that big whitish blob.  It's my latest work!

I'm making a piece to be displayed at a showing of the play "1000 Words" next winter/spring at the Overture Center in Madison, Wisconsin.  The show will move at some point to Milwaukee.  "1000 Words" is a play about the photographer Walker Evans, his purported progeny, some missing photos, and some quilts.

I've been dragging my feet about what to do because I didn't want to run afoul of copyright laws, but I really wanted to use one of his photos.  So I found one that was in the public domain and I dyed up some cotton sateen to look like an old stained photo.  I think I'm going to do a whole cloth piece using inks or paints and thread.  I might make a colorful one too -- we'll see how this goes.

This was taken at the Belle Grove plantation in Louisiana around 1936.  I was drawn to all the angles -- it reminds me of an M. C. Escher print.

To see what others have going on on their design walls, click here to go to Judy's blog.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I Promised News

And ye shall have it...

"Pieceful Tigers" won an honorable mention at the NQA Show last month in Columbus, Ohio!  These  photos were taken at the show by my cyber-friend, Jeri.

I finished another Nook bag -- this one has a pocket for the cable and plug thingy.
 With the aforementioned apparatus next to the bag.  I used elastic at the top of the pocket so it doesn't gape open when it's empty.

I pieced the back.  The strap is adjustable.  I'm writing up the pattern for this.  Stay tuned...

I'm pretty sure there was something else I was going to say here, but I can't think of it right now.

So -- Happy Fourth to all my American friends!