Discharge paste

I have tried to experiment with discharge paste before and was not too impressed with my results. My latest dye results were not my best either, so I thought I’d play with both. Nothing to lose, right?

The piece of fabric I used started as a black and white print. I did a single color deconstructed screen print over it and it came out very, very dark. I neglected to take a photo of the original!

I used stencils and discharge paste right out of the bottle and got a little bit of lightening of the darkest area.

I looked over the directions again and honed in on the possibility of adding water to the paste so that it was absorbed more into the fabric. Which I did and here are the results, in the same area of the fabric.

See any noticeable difference? I sure don’t! The discharge paste DID work on the fabric in many areas. Enough to make this an interesting piece of fabric.

I have another piece of fabric that I really, really did not like and I watered the paste down even more. After it dries, I’ll see if the paste had more of an effect than on this one, but overall, I don’t think that discharge paste is worth the effort for me! One more item I can clean out of my studio and pass on to someone else.

So now it’s back to working on items for my Artisan Showcase. I know I need to make some Christmas items. They were popular last time, but I’m not thrilled with making Christmas things. I opened up the drawer that I shoved all my Christmas stuff into and found this————-

A whole bunch of started items that only need some embellishment. Hooray! I feel like I’m almost done already now! Ready–set–go!

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Dye distraction

Yesterday was a fun day. I took a class in actual tie dye shape making. I’ve looked at videos about this but never really understood how shapes were made. Now I feel like I’m starting to “get” it.

However, I’m trying not to get distracted by yet more experiments when I have so much other stuff that I want to get finished. Here are some quick pics as I rinse my pieces.

Even the first rinse with a hose makes a colorful photo!

Basic mandala shape, and after rinse and dry.

Geometrics–Stayed very bright orange but all the black went away.

Don’t know what dye I was using…I just used what was already made up, so it’s pretty clear it wasn’t what I thought!

Kind of a flower–and this one got real pale, but it’s kinda pretty!

I know there is a lot more to be learned and practiced, but  I’m going to put them away for another day!

Finish is the name of the game right now!!

 

Camp……………..

Blue Lake is an absolutely beautiful campus. So peaceful and serene–before 1000 kids are here!

This is my view from the Fiber Art Studio back porch….

Which I am more in love with every year. And today they cleared off a few more scrub trees and more of that is planned for the fall! Beautiful.

Some of the kids have the first part of their project ready to use.

And you know that I love to dye fabric………..

Tomorrow, real sewing and embroidery. It’s hard when you are a beginner, but these kids are troopers! They will get it!

 

Creating fabric with…magic!

At least it seems magical to me to use water-soluble stabilizer for the creation of new and unique fabric. I gave a quick demo about it at quilt guild and was asked to write a blog with a few more details, so I’m gathering together a few of the blogs I’ve written about it. I’ll post this here and on the guild blog as well.

There are quite a few methods and variables, but the basics are simple…

lay down a base of stabilizer–I have used Solvy brand, in a heavy weight and a lighter weight and had success with both.

add threads, fabric bits, yarns, etc. over it

cover with another layer of stabilizer

pin, pin, pin and stitch over the top to hold it all together

aaaaand stitch, stitch, stitch

keep stitching….

wash away the stabilizer and use the fabric you have made!!!

Variations are infinite and I’ve gone into more detail on several projects on which I have worked. Here and here.

I had a great time making these large, funky flowers, using a flat background with a fusible interfacing base. The links to those how-to’s start with this one and continue here .

There are more variations and instructions while I was working on this project also.

I don’t have everything all neatly gathered in one place, since I don’t write blogs with the idea of a specific technique tutorial. I jump from project to project and write about what I’m doing as I’m doing it! The links posted here should give you a good idea of how this magic water soluble works. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask. I’m happy to share anything I’ve learned while playing this way.

Spinning around

Working on a little of this, a little of that.

My Wacky Quilters group met this week and we tried pulled string painting, on paper and on fabric. This will not be my technique of choice!

My first try, on paper, was about as expected…too much paint and kinda sloppy looking.

Until you get a feel for it, you can’t think it’s going to come out perfectly, but we helped each other sort things out.

I tried multiple pulls and multiple colors on top of some thick black and that wasn’t much better.

I went on to trying it on fabric. Several attempts…

This is not something that I like well enough to follow on the learning curve. I’m not going to devote any more time to it. But if something came up that I thought could benefit from this type of figure, I wouldn’t be afraid to play with it some more.

My luck is much better when I’m working with needle and thread! I always have some scraps and my embroidery threads in a corner of the living room and I stitch while we are ‘watching’ tv. I refreshed my pile of scraps the other day and decided that I would explore gingko leaves a bit again.

Little 8.5″ pieces, playing with color. Not sure that they will be finished in a hurry–or ever, actually. They are a great size to work up quickly and I believe they will lend themselves to some ‘what if’ experimenting with beads and/or paint. I thought I wanted the background to be seen through the stitching, but now…maybe not so much! I’ll probably stitch up a few more before I play any ‘what if’ games though. Very relaxing to simply sit and stitch and let life flow around me.

And look what I found! Brass stencils, like I used to use in one of my first jobs! Found enough letters to spell out

Gonna be some kind of wall art for my studio, not used as stencils. It just makes me smile!

Family dinner coming up to celebrate all our June birthdays and Hallmark Holidays. Looking forward to time spent with my loves…

Always something new

It doesn’t matter how often I work on finishing a project in a particular way, there is always something new to try.

I like to mount my small pieces on canvas and I most often simply glue the piece to the painted canvas. Couldn’t be easier. Sometimes I mount the piece on a background piece of fabric and stretch it around the canvas. That’s what I decided to do on the small piece I was working on.

And then I decided to try something new. I had read that some people use a fusible web to attach their pieces to the canvas, so I thought I’d try it. I ironed a line of fusible to the back of the canvas, right on the wood. One example I saw used fusible on the sides of the canvas as well, but I decided to start with this little strip and see how it went.

The rest of the process is usually to pull the fabric to the back and staple it down. The difference here is that I could pull the fabric to the back and iron it in place! I finished the corners with staples and I think I could leave it like this.

However, my motto is never trust the glue, so I’ll add the staples around the sides, too. This made the process much easier and faster though, so I think I’ll be using the fusible again.

Here’s how the piece ended up, with a close up of the beads.

On another project, I also used up every scrap I could to piece the back of the hockey quilt. This little scrap is all that is left of the darker blue hockey fabric.

The other chunk of lighter fabric that I had, I simply centered it for the back and built around it.

It’s ready to be quilted, but the urgency to get it done has abated now that I’ve actually used up that hockey fabric. As long as I get it done by the time hockey starts in the fall, I’ll be satisfied. Oh, and AJ was quite surprised. He said, “You never told me anything about a hockey quilt. Cool.”

I think I have to give up sewing for a day, though, and take care of some necessary chores in the yard and in the house. Boooooring, but must be done!

Wonder what will jump out at me for the next project…hmmmm!

Slow going.

Self discipline–I don’t have much of it. I was using up the stash, sticking to the idea that what went up on the design wall stayed there until a quilt was born. That just did not work with this batch of fabric.

It was a set that I picked up at a sample event and the featured fabric was the circle that was supposed to look like sun rays or a mariner’s compass. I have tried to make something of it before, as you can see, but didn’t get too far. I posted about this on FB and IG and someone commented on the “eyeball” fabric. Now that’s all I can see when I look at the group. And now that I think about it, why was I so insistent on keeping the group together, just because it came together in the same line? I’ve never done that much before–why start now? So this pile is folded up and back on the shelf until another time.

Time for FUN! Played a bit more with the new curves ruler. I was afraid that there was so much waste fabric that I couldn’t justify using it rather than a template.

There were instructions for cutting two concave pieces from a single square, along with a video and that helped a lot. This is the amount of waste, with two concave pieces from each square.

And the speed of cutting them quickly and precisely makes it worth while. The waste pieces are going to be headed for a new project, which I am starting to envision already!

So I got a few blocks put together and started throwing them up on the design wall. Very intense colors and not much value contrast, only color contrast. But I LOVE these fabrics and this is just how it’s gonna be!

After hoarding this line of fabric for years and not finding a pattern that I wanted to use, I previously used up a bunch of the blue. Of course now I’m going to be short on the blue to make this the size I’d like. BUT I’m using up the stash and however big it turns out to be is going to be the perfect size! Any extra fabric from this line will be on the back. Then this fabric that I have hoarded for years will be used, off the shelf and it will make me very happy!!