Wednesday, August 08, 2007

How to 'save' a piece of fabric...

Every now and then I manage to multitask somewhat successfully. I've been trying, rather hard, for the last 3 or 4 months to unlearn the multitasking that I mastered when the children were smaller - there just doesn't seem to be the need for me to do so many things at once any more.

Today, however, it struck me: "Ah - I could set up some fabric resist work and let each step dry while I quilt more rows on the panto quilt that's currently on the machine!"

Tossing my previous 'one task' mindset to the wind, I pulled out a piece of fabric I painted about 2 months ago (a FQ that I was never really happy with), some freezer paper, plugged in my iron and set to step one...

Step one: cut out some cutie-pie freezer paper shapes and scatter them across the fabric. Iron them on.

Step two: dampen fabric, paint pre-mixed dye over the shapes. Spritz water on to soften any 'hard' edges of colour. (I used some Dye-na-flow, the same thing that was used to paint the original stripes). Panic when you realize that the dye is creeping under the freezer paper, then surrender yourself to the process. And press the heck out of it to stick the freezer paper back down. Go do some quilting until this stage is dry.

Step 3: add more cutie-pie cutout shapes from freezer paper.
Overlap a bit so that the shapes look like they belong.

(There are about 3 times as many small flowers as there are big flowers in this project. I didn't plan that, it just worked out that way.)

Step 4: Paint over top of the resist flowers. ( I used Tsukineko inks for this step, mostly because I feel I have better control with them. I also used my paintbrush with water to encourage the ink to bleed out in a semi-controlled way. I gave up any hope of a really crisp image from my resists. And reminded myself that I'd already surrendered myself to the process in step 2.)

Step 5: Go quilt some more until step 4 is dry.

Step 6: Use some scrap fabric as a stamp and stamp randomly on the fabric using the leftover pre-mixed dye from step 1.

(The scrap fabric looks cool, too. It's currently drying. It's like bonus hand-dyed fabric. Two for one, you could almost say.)

Step 7: Peel off all the pesky cutie-pie cutouts. Heat set the whole works thouroughly.


Go quilt some more while deciding what to do with the newly revived fabric!


PS: isn't that better than those hum-drum stripes?


Vicki W said...


Elaine Adair said...

Your lovely end-product encourages me to pay more attention to this dyeing, discharging, spritzing, fading, bleaching, dying process. Very pretty!

EileenKNY said...

That fabric is so cool!!! I love it. I'm gathering my stuff together for a QU dyeing class I'm taking in Sept. Maybe someday, I'll try the resist method. Where did you learn about it?