Archive for October, 2011

As you might remember, I shared a past post on printing photographs on fabric. I was inspired by the fall colors and early snow on the mountains. This week I started to play around with the fabric, and getting caught in the moment, finished the quilt in two days!

The quilt measures 16″x18.5″, and features blooming rabbit brush, fresh snow on Mt. Tom, and Aaron’s new cross bike. Winston made it into the quilt too, can you spot him?

This is one of my favorite fabrics in the quilt. Classic Owens Valley view of Mt. Tom off in the distance. I had fun with adding stitching to the image, enhancing the fence and mountain snow.

Close-up of the snowy mountains. Didn't that turn out nice?

Detail of the fence. Notice how the thread mimics the wood grain, so sweet!

I played around with repeating the bike's shapes with stitching around the quilt.

I think this will be a quilt to hang at home, and imagine it will always remind us of our bike rides here in the Owens Valley.

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Today my friend Margaret and I set up our workshop in her garage and played around with screen printing fabric. Such fun to try a new technique, to play with color, and spend time with a good friend catching up.

Yesterday, I purchased some old wooden frames from the grocery store, found the staple gun and duck tape in the garage, and assembled three screens.

Then to screen print, I cut out images on paper. Here, I chose a simple bird silhouette.

I put the paint at the top of the screen (see the blue line?), and then pull down across the “stencil” with a scraper. The paint will cover the part of the design where there is no paper. Sweet!

Here, I used some of my hand dyed fabric, and am screen printing a brown tree.

After letting the brown trees dry, and cleaning off my screen, I went over with a second pass of gold trees. Wow! Doesn’t the gold just pull the whole piece together? This might be my favorite piece of the day.

So that was screen printing with paper. Then we tried screen printing with soy wax. It is kind of like batik, but different. I drew a design on the screen with soy wax, like you would with batik, but instead of putting the design on the fabric, you put it on the screen.

This was interesting, because here I learned and realized that I painted what I wanted the screen to be, I didn’t paint a “stencil.” Basically I got my positive and negative confused. It required a bit more paint, but I actually like the results on how it came out. Very different!

At first, I wondered why I wasn’t just doing traditional batik. But the thing is, this allows me to use the same screen many times to repeat the same pattern on the fabric, without having to redraw the design by hand each time. If I was trying to print many yards of fabric, this would be much faster. So I did!

I need to let these fabrics dry for 24 hours, heat set with the iron, then lightly wash and rinse. Then I’ll be ready to sew.

Next time I want to try using dyes instead of paints. Off to Dharma to purchase some sodium alginate!

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This weekend we went for a lovely fall ride. The colors of the valley were stunning: clear blue skies, white topped mountains, and yellow blooming rabbitbrush. I had fun taking lots of pictures.

I started imagining a sort of fabric collage quilt, with different views and scenes from our ride mixed together. When we got back, I treated some fabric with chemical, in order to print photos on fabric with my inkjet printer.

You let the fabric sit in Bubble Jet Set 2000 for five minutes, then hang and air dry. Then I ironed to 8 1/2 x 11 freezer paper, trimmed to fit, and printed like normal paper!

The fabric really absorbs the dye, so you have to edit the pictures in photoshop, increasing their saturation, almost to the point where they look fake. The colors fad though and look normal once printed. Next, I need to heat set (iron) the fabric, and rinse before sewing. I love how clear and crisp the images look on paper. I can’t wait to start stitching!

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This weekend, I started on a baby quilt. I chose a simple, modern pattern in earthy colors that were gender neutral.

Saturday, I cut and pieced two yards of fabric into stripy strips.

Today, Sunday, I cut the larger blocks and pieced the top. I love the way the color values play together.

Since the fabric is almost solid, I think it will highlight the quilting nicely. What pattern to use? I’ll think on it awhile.

Note: the quilt pattern is from the book, Modern Quilt Workshop.

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