31 January 2011

February Challenge is here!!!

As announced last week, the February challenge will be batik. This is a tutorial I did a few months ago on batiking using thinned fabric paint. You can use any colorant you'd like but you have to remember that not all paints will give you a soft hand. I used water thinned (ProChemical's) ProFab paint. SetaColor, Dyna Flow and other fabric paints should give you color with a soft hand too.
I was challenged to batik with dyes by my friend Marcella who owns Mace's store in Rockland, Maine where I buy all my hippie clothes. She came over one day with a yellow and a blue gauze shirt, handed them to me and said, "Dye these." Here is the result. With the dyes, the outcome of overdyeing will be unknown until the fabric is finished, wax removed and washed in hot water. On the blue shirt, I started with the potato masher (oval with lines) which appear blue - the color of the shirt at the beginning. I dyed the entire shirt Khaki (Dharma) and everyone said, "Why did you dye it brown?"  OK, so it was a bit dull but I like blue and brown. I hung the shirt and let it drip dry. When it was completely dry I used my oval car sponge with the center removed and dyed the shirt purple. I just let them soak in the dye a few hours then let drip dry. I did wring them by hand which gave me some lovely cracking of the wax. When I had ironed out the wax and washed in hot water and syntrapol, the brown looked olive. The purple/olive combo is my favorite combination of colors. Needless to say, I LOVE this shirt.
Why not get a "Goodwill" shirt or an old one from your closet and give batiking with dye a whirl. I am already planning a trip to Goodwill for my challenge piece this month. Pre-made silk scarves are wonderful and pretty cheap for a painted batik project. I will probably batik a silk scarf too. That same friend, Marcella, gifted me with an AMAZING antique potato masher and I want to do another scarf using it. so stay tuned....

23 January 2011

18 inches of snow

and we know what that means. Below are my snow dyes as well as some burlap my wonderful neighbor gave me.

I folded the 12" X 36" strips of burlap in four folds and laid on the bottom of the wire cloth, added the soda soaked fabric, snow and dye then after the snow melted I nuked for 6 minutes on high. Nice, Huh? Total serendipity.

17 January 2011

February Challenge is right around the corner

For the February challenge I thought I would choose BATIK. I have always loved batik fabric and when I read about this quick and dirty method* of using paints instead of dyes, I knew I had to try it. One of the times our group of FIVE met, we used soy wax and assorted “toys” to acts a s a resist and used many varieties if paint to batik fabrics. We all used silk scarves which we purchased online with fabulous results.

I love to “color” fabric whether with fiber reactive dyes, acid dyes or paint. This was yet another opportunity for me to create surface designs with color. The materials I used were:
  • Fabric – cotton, silk, rayon, whatever
  • Fabric paint – dyna-flow, setacolor, ProFab (Pro Chemical) which has a huge array of pearlescent colors.
  • MX dyes if you prefer – different process
  • Wax  (I prefer soy wax because of it’s biodegradability.)
  • Electric frying pan or other SAFE method of heating your wax.
  • Foam sponge or sponge brush
  • TOYS like potato masher, egg beater, metal trivet, or anything that can be dipped in hot wax and will leave a mark.

You will also need plenty of newspapers, an iron and some syntrapol or Prosapol.
If you are using MX dyes, you will also need soda ash.

*Article: Quilting Arts Magazine, June/July 2010 issue 45, pages 50-54.

13 January 2011

snow storm activities

First off, I decided to do 30 dyes (LWI) of the color wheel. I used many of the ones I made earlier in the year, that would be last year, so I went from primary to secondary in 5 steps giving me 30 colors. My back was killing me so today after the wash out (3 wash outs) I SAT DOWN to do the ironing.
The processing

Three batches - 2 wet and one dried
Waiting to dry out and be put away to play another day

These were all dyed yesterday while the blizzard flew and the winds howled
While washing these out, drying and cleaning the kitchen, I mean the wet studio!, I popped a few snow dyes on my metal cloth rig and let them sit. After lunch I nuked for 4 mintes each, washed out, dried and ironed EVERYTHING. Oh my aching back!!!!! BUT what a reward.

06 January 2011

Playing with Rosalita

Rosalita came over today to break up a boring week. We worked on her blog and created a new email account for her. We watched a few DMTV (Linda and Laura Kemshall) programs and did a "What if?"
Here are the results:

The top pic is dyna-flow color on Habotai silk with rubbing alcohol dripped on then when we got bored watching it we added salt.
The second piece was  cranberry red dyna-flow with water and then we sprinkled on some salt. Habotai is great for experiments because it dries so quickly.

 Oh yea. I forgot I dripped a few remaining drops of midnight blue onto the pink.

04 January 2011

a few last minute pieces

Today was silk day. I bit the bullet, mixed the acid dyes I had on hand (finally). I bring procrastination into an art form around some activities. I used citric acid crystals as a soak (10 minutes), then pole wrapped the silk and after wrapping in cling wrap, popped the working end of my pole into a steamer with a aluminum foil hat for the pole and a foil skirt covering the area of open space between the pot and pole as it protruded from the pot. Sorry no pics. It never occurred to me...
Here is a Crepe de Chine scarf I pole wrapped and dyed with Washfast (ProChemical) after citric acid soaking. It was blue but with some yellow to get the turquoise color and there is a suble splitting in the solid areas which is hard to see in these pics.

  Then I dyed this silk Haboti folded in fourths and dyed in a greenish chartreusey  olive. I like!

And last of all, I mixed up some deep aubergine and some more of this green but even more olive. I soaked the fabric, squeezed out, loosely arranged on a sheet of cling wrap and poured both colors on to it. I closed the wrap and popped in the steamed. All steaming was 10 minutes..

 One thing - no make that two things I like about the acid dyes. VIVID colors and done in 10 minutes. You gotta love that.

03 January 2011

First ever pole wrapped shibori

OK. I was pretty jazzed this morning knowing I would have a chunk of time to try this technique. It was a cross between just jumping in the cold water and ripping off the bandaid...Yicks!!
I stated out cutting a bunch of fat halfs. I use this technique to cut lengths of fabric to eliminate the long unraveling threads on the cut edge. I measure my length (1 yard), fold and make a diagonal cut ( 1/2 ") on the one yard line, then tear. No strangely annoying threads strangling my fabric in the washer. Sorry about the 2 blurry pics.

 Blurry but you get the idea. This is a real frustration saver. Can't remember where I saw this hint. Next I washed all fabric in hot water with Prosapol (Synthrpol). Next I soda soaked the first piece.
Then I laid out the fabric on my work table, folded fabric in half to make the fat half 18X22.

Then I wrapped the fabric diagonally on to the pole.

 I attached rubber bands at the top and bottom and slid the fabric down to the bottom and scrunched it up as tightly as possible.
I had some great nylon twine that would have been great but after searching my entire barn, I remembered a man dumped crushed rock right where I had laid it down. Won't be seeing that twine any time soon. I had purchased this beautiful hemp for jewelry making so since I didn't feel like running out to buy twine, I decided to use that. I was afraid the hemp might soak up the dye too much and ruin thew resist but I tried it first. I tied a loop to start

then threaded the end of the twine through the loop and made a noose around the fabric and started wrapping. At the end I made another loop about a foot from the end, wrapped to the end and threaded the end through the second loop and made a half hitch to secure it.

Then I applied the indigo colored dye (ProChemical) with a foam brush HEAVILY until it puddled on the table. I rolled it around in the dye to make sure it was soaked and put a plastic bag on the end.

This thought just jumped out at me from the universe: Why not heat up my Thera Pac for my neck (a hot rice bag) and place it around the dyed fabric to keep it warm and speed the batching. You have to realize it's COLD here in Maine so I was going for all the warmth I could get.
After only an hour, I rinsed with pretty hot water, cut the rope, unwrapped and removed the fabric. Then I washed it in HOT water and prosapol in a basin.
 and here it is dried and ironed

Here are some pics of Khaki that I wrapped straight. I don't think I like it and I found the ink on the pipe came off on the fabric.

 print from pipe.

I am doing more and will post future creations. This was fun...