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Archive for February, 2012

Sunday morning, my friend Christa came over to play screen printing with me. After my previous experiment with screen printing last fall, I was hooked. Except I didn’t like using paint. This time I wanted to try dye.

Christa mixing her dye colors.

Luckily, friend and fellow dye enthusiast, Kim of Follow Your Bliss Quilting, came to the rescue. She lent me already mixed dyes with sodium alginate and urea, screens, pull thingies, books on screen printing and more. Thanks Kim! A trip to Dharma might be in order for me, to purchase more supplies. Fun.

Christa deciding on her next placement.

Christa is a masseuse, and wanted to screen print some wall panels to hang in her studio. She chose a tree image, that reminded me of an african sahara tree.

Squeezing dye onto her screen.

While her fabric was soaking in soda ash (chemical to help bond the dye molecules to the fabric molecules), Christa painstakingly cut out her stencil onto wax paper (as I didn’t have any freezer paper on hand) with an exacto knife. Kudos to Christa for extreme patience and skill!

Pulling the dye across the screen.

When I asked Christa what color she wanted to make her trees, she exclaimed, teal!

Fabric and dye curing in front of the heater.

After the screen printing was done, we rolled the panels in plastic, to keep them moist and warm to cure for 24 hours.

Rinsing screen printed fabric in cold water and synthrapol.

And tonight, I got to rinse them out! They came out fantastic. I hope Christa likes them! Hem them and put a rod sleeve on them, and she will have two lovely wall hangings.

Freshly rinsed and washed panels drying.

Or . . . we could go back and screen print on them more!

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The February/March 2012 issue of Quilting Arts inspired today’s experiment: painting on fusible webbing. The article was called birds of a feather. The second I read it late one night last week, the neurons in my brain started firing. My mountain quilt! I’ve long wanted to put a Great Blue Heron in the sky, but wasn’t sure how to go about it. This might be just the thing. But before trying it on the mountain quilt, I needed to experiment.

For detailed instructions, refer to the Quilting Arts issue. You will need: acrylic paints, paintbrushes, containers and water, fusible webbing, a surface to cover your table, and an idea.

I wanted to play around with the Great Blue Heron, so I printed off a picture of one, lay it underneath my fusible webbing, and sketched/painted on top of it.

After letting the paint dry on the fusible webbing, I ironed it to a piece of practice sunset fabric. With great excitement I peeled off the fusible web backing paper, and . . . terrible! It looked terrible.

All blotchy and white and gross. Of course my boyfriend asks, did you read the directions carefully? Well, no. I’ve never used fusible webbing, just sort of knew how it works. And after reading the instructions, I found out you are supposed to let the webbing cool before peeling off. Of course.

So back to the drawing board, this time just a small square to give it a try and see if it would work.

And it did! I eagerly painted another Great Blue Heron, ironed it on another piece of sunset fabric, and sweet goodness, it looked lovely.

I quickly basted some batting onto the fabric, and quilted a few embellishments with my machine. I wanted to accent the beak and legs, and shape of the feathers. Then I thought I might make the sunset more dramatic with some yellow rays of sunshine.

I really love how it turned out! I think I will put a sleeve on the back to hang, and it will be a sweet little wall hanging. Here is a close up.

You might have noticed that I cut out the fusible webbing around the bird, after painting it and before fusing it. Because I wanted the bird to go on my sunset, I didn’t want the webbing around the bird to take away from the sunset. I really like the texture it comes out with, instead of painting on the bird to the fabric which might look flat, the fusible webbing gives it a textured rough look, almost like feathers!

Next, to do this again, but on the real mountain quilt!

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