Archive for the ‘Batik’ Category

Last Sunday our Out of the Box group gathered again to play with fabric. This time Margaret was showing us how to use soy wax to make batik patterns. She brought a pot full of hot soy wax and we played!


We tried using different found objects like lids and cookie cutters as stamps. We tried painting with paint brushes to make our own designs. I brought some previously ice dyed fabric to paint. We all had a hand at seeing how the wax felt and worked.


When I got home, I bleached my two pieces of fabric to lighten the background color. Then I ice dyed the fabric again to give a little more color. Kind of seems redundant now that I type it! My thought was to give the background a different color than what it had before.


One benefit of using soy wax is that it is easy to rinse out. Instead of the endless boiling required when using beeswax for batik, soy wax can just be rinsed in the sink! After rinsing and drying and ironing, I compared how the fabrics looked to when we started.

PicMonkey Collage2

They are definitely lighter than the original, with the batik patterns standing out! But I don’t think my second ice dye really gave much added color. I still like how they turned out!


I have two new fun fabrics to add to my stash, and a great new technique to add to my skill set. I look forward to experimenting with it more and collecting items to stamp with! How do you like to make patterns with soy wax?


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A few Saturday’s ago, our Out of the Box quilt group gathered in the morning to play with batik. Some of us had played with it before, some were completely new, and we all jumped right in.

IMG_6522I showed the ladies the batik method I learned from the book, Color your Cloth, where you take a cardboard box, stretch the fabric over it, and make your wax patterns.

IMG_6525Here, I did a simple repeating pattern of triangles, using a paintbrush dipped in the wax. I’ve had a thing for triangles lately! With the box, after you finish patterning the section, you remove the pins, adjust, and keep patterning.

PicMonkey Collage

Everyone was playful, trying different techniques and ideas. Margaret used found objects to stamp with, Cathy used patterned fabric, and Marilyn had some tjaps to try stamping on the fabric.

IMG_6519One of the stamps Margaret used was a canning jar lid!


I patterned two small pieces of fabric. The triangles I bleached after waxing, till the background was a lighter blue. The other, I did three layers, starting with a dark brown, adding circles of dots, bleaching, adding more circles of dots, and then bleaching out to its final color. Wherever the wax is on the fabric won’t change when you bleach or over-dye.

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Labor day weekend is county fair time in the Eastern Sierra. I love entering my crafty items in the fair, and also enjoy seeing friend’s entries as well. I didn’t enter any quilts this year, but did enter two of my batik fabrics and a set of patchwork coasters.

And the great news is – my underwater algae batik fabric received a Best of Division in the Beginning Fine Arts division! My sweet yellow daisy batik fabric on the right received a third place in the beginning fine arts division.

A set of my patchwork coasters made with hand dyed fabric received a second place in the clothing and textiles department.

And congrats to my crafty friends as well!

Lesley received a Best of Show with a knitted sweater.

Roberta received a Best of Show with this art quilt.

And Margaret received a first place with this art quilt, inspired by iced parfait fabrics she dyed!

Yay for another year of good times and beautiful crafty items at the Tri-County Fair.

Double rainbow at the fair on Thursday evening.

Here’s our view from the ferris wheel looking out over the fairgrounds and city.


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For the past two weekends, I have been batiking fabric. Take a moment and enjoy with me the finished product!

I made six colorful fabrics. Oh the joy.

We’ll start with my favorite, this sweet yellow flower pattern. It makes me smile just looking at it.

With its chocolate brown background, this pattern reminds me of an African mud cloth.

Here’s my underwater algae forest.

Interlocking circles.


And a vibrant plaid.

And now for some eye candy. The beauty is in the fabric.

Which is your favorite?

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Here goes Рmy first large size machine quilted quilt! As you may have noticed, I identify myself as  a hand quilter. So you may ask why am I machine quilting? I wanted to make my sister a quilt, and I wanted it to be a quilt that would be used and loved. She is a rock climber, raft guide, outdoor adventurer, and an EMT studying to be a nurse, so she needed a quilt that is sturdy and can travel. I want something she can throw in the wash a thousand times and bring with her everywhere. So I decided to try machine quilting.

Becca's Quilt

Sister's Quilt - Hand dyed batik fabrics, machine pieced, top ready to be quilted. (Winston is standing by for back up).

So this weekend I jumped right in. I’ve received great tips from quilter friends. Roberta’s advice – look at a square foot of fabric, and plan ahead where you want to start and end up. Kim’s advice – practice drawing on a white board with a pen in your hand, held like a fist.

Becca's Quilt Quilting

And here it is! The first square foot quilted.

I was surprised at how much upper body strength it takes to move the whole quilt around. I was pleased with how quickly it goes, and the effect of being able to quilt more densely. I can’t wait to continue. It won’t be long Sis!

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Last Tuesday, my boyfriend gave me a batik melting pot and wax for my birthday, how did he know it was what I always wanted?! So of course, with my first free moment, I plugged it in, grabbed some hand dyed fabric, and started playing.

Batik table

Ready, set, go, melted wax, paint brush, fabric, and a lazy Sunday morning.

I took inspiration from everywhere, the flowers blooming in my garden, the bicycles in the garage (wait until you see that one!), and Japanese quilting designs.

Japanese quilting design for Batik

This pattern is called pampas grass, a Japanese Sashiko quilting pattern.

I’m imagining discharging the fabric, so that after I remove the wax, there will be light green grass blades blowing in a field of white. I can’t wait. If only every weekend could be three days long.

Off to the fair tomorrow, to check out the quilt exhibit with some quilter friends

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Finished Batik FabricsAfter a week of boiling, rinsing, washing, dyeing, discharging . . . The fabrics are finished! I can’t wait to begin to use them in a project. Hmmm . . .

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Saturday afternoon, hand dyeing fabric.

On Sunday, I was invited to a batik party (!), so I had to get ready. Saturday afternoon I began dyeing fabric, six half yards in different colors.

Letting the fabric sit for hours, soaking up the dye.

After letting them soak overnight, I rinsed them out in the morning to dry. Then came the most fabulous part of all – and I will be getting my own wax warmer and batik wax soon! A few quilting friends and I sat down to paint wax onto fabric, and we didn’t stop for many hours! It was fun to see all the different patterns each came up with, and to see different personalities emerging in the art. I chose bold and large designs, waves and ripples and triangles and leaves.

After covering the fabrics with batik, discharging the dye to new colors.

Then, this afternoon after work, it was time to discharge. Basically, it just means bleaching your fabric, but whichever part had wax on it stayed the original color.

A sneak preview - how wonderful!

Some fabrics, I only dipped a few times. Above, the yellow was once green fabric, and the brown was once purple.

Fabrics with color discharged all the way

For these fabrics, I chose to discharge all the way, with the intention of over dyeing them another color. I can’t wait! Next steps, melting all the wax off . . .

Some of my inspiration and direction came from this fabulous book: Color your Cloth by Malka Dubrawsky.

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