Thursday, August 24, 2017

Back in the Saddle -- Dyeing Saddle That Is!

I haven't done much of anything in the way of sewing, painting, picture taking or dyeing in the last couple of weeks as I had a house full of family!!  Both my daughters and my granddaughter came from far reaches to be here for my birthday.  It is the best present each year but does tire me out!  My eight-year old granddaughter loves to craft, draw and paint and I can't wait until she is a little older and we can do some more sophisticated things.  She is a little sweetie and sad that I see her so  infrequently because she is on the other side of the country.

I had cut and ironed some fabrics to do some more mandalas some time ago so yesterday was the day to apply some dye.  I did a lot of the small 11 x 11 pieces this time but did include a few of the 22 x 22 inch ones.  I used my drop clothes on the bottom and on the top as usual and I really think this helps the process tremendously.  The ones on the very top take on a lot of the water from the melting ice and so there are many more very light areas.  I think it helps to even the color on the intermediate pieces.  I don't wrinkle them up for the most part and pile them two and three pieces deep so altogether in many cases, the pieces are 30 layers of fabric deep.  I use a  lot of dye though and it seems to go through all of them easily as the bottom pieces are always richly colored except on the sides where I haven't spread the dye far enough.  I might be interesting to just stack some pieces 30 deep and see what happens -- next week!!  I am also going to trying some very time consuming accordion folding of fabric as well measuring the folds accurately before ironing them in.

This is a grouping of 12 of the smaller dyed pieces.  You can see a lot of grape used here!

This is the aforementioned granddaughters wearing one of the dresses I had dyed for her for last Christmas.  It is one of the Dharma blanks and is cotton velour.  Her favorite colors are turquoise and purple.

I had quite a surprise though.  To me, they looked just awful when I put then through the first two rinses (cold water and then hot water in buckets in the basement). They looked like they had very little differentiation of color, were extremely dark and I couldn't see any of the blue I had used.  Whenever I don't do things for awhile, my results are usually disappointing, so this was not at all unexpected.  I was truly surprised when they came out of the washing machine and looked ten times better!! 

 I varied my process a bit today.  Usually, I wait until the ice melts the day I do them, nuke them for 4 minutes to make sure the dyes set and then wash out.  This time I did them yesterday morning and didn't attempt to do anything until noon today so they had a good 24 hours of sitting.  I was going to nuke them anyway but inadvertently started washing them out before nuking (old age strikes again)!!  Turns out it was okay!  I just randomly put the up on the wall to photo and this is group 2.

This is group 3 followed by 4, 5, and 6 which seems to be one short!! Somehow one is missing and I think it probably never made it into the dye bath. 

This is one of the three large pieces.

This is the second of the larger pieces.

This is the third of the large pieces.

The next three are closeups of three of the smaller pieces pictured in the groups above.

 After seeing how nice they turned out ultimately, I may just do some more of the small pieces.  I also want to do some more of the 22 inch pieces as they make really nice pillows.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

A Day of Painting

How is this for the background for a day of painting?  Right on the Erie Canal in western Upstate NY.

What a lovely day and nice group of ladies to play with!

I was able (to my surprise) to share some techniques that they hadn't used before which were pretty simple but were because of my long time ago experience with painting with acrylics on fabric.  I don't think I even have much on my blog about painting with acrylics and I have had the blog for ten years now!  So it was a re-introduction to me and also was a little tricky as I hadn't used the type of paints that I used yesterday.  All this was complicated by the fact that I had left most of my paints (I thought) down in NC.  I found  a bin full of paints though, a lot of which were dried out, they were so old.  They were full bodied paints or paint concentrates and acrylic extender.  Fortunately I still had some textile medium as well.  

This is Stephanie giving me a hard time but I caught her after she started laughing at her antics.  If you look closely at the piece she is working on, you will see a piece of polyester fleece underneath it.  This is perhaps my best contribution to painting on fabric with acrylics. I discovered I didn't like the kind of plastic-y feel that the fabric had when left to dry on a piece of plastic (how I was taught).  I tried putting another piece of fabric behind it but if it wasn't ironed, it left marks on the fabric above too.  So I finally settled on poly fleece -- no wrinkles and easily washed and wicks just enough of the paint away.  I especially used it when I was doing the dyed fabrics where I wanted the salt effects.  

This is one of Stephanie's fabrics where she painted with greatly diluted acrylics and then put sea salt on top and set it out to dry.  It will be even more gorgeous after she irons it.  It is amazing how ironing changes the look of these painted pieces.  I don't know which paints she was using as we had quite a variety to choose from.

I think this is one of Sue's but maybe wrong there.  She was using a lot of white on white fabrics and the effects on several were stunning.  It was tough to take pictures as the wind was blowing the pieces all over the lawn!

This is one of Janet's that I just loved!

A technique that I demonstrated was a monoprint technique using "fun foam", something many of the fusible things at Joanns are made from.  Basically the fun foam is glued to a piece of plexiglass and then you paint it and then use it as a stamp.  I learned this technique using dyes in a class with Ann Johnston.  We did a lot more mark making on the stamps in her class.  I was using full bodied Golden acrylics here which did not want to dissolve more in the water so it was a bit difficult.  I generally use the Golden Fluid acrylics when doing marbling and "water color" techniques with paints.  I have quite a large selection of these full bodied acrylics so will have to figure out something!!

The next three were done by applying the paints over a dampened piece of fabric (I used the cheapest of the Joann's cottons here as I had a whole bolt).  I then just randomly added colors in kind of stripes across the fabric.  Then I accordion folded it and added a pearlescent paint to the edge.  These were not as successful as pieces I have done in the past but are okay.

 Again I was using the full bodied acrylics and trying to water them down enough.  I also added a goodly amount of textile medium to each of the colors (I only used primaries except for one purple).  A few of the pieces of salt we were using obviously landed on some of these pieces as they were lying folded up on their edge.  That accounts for the whitish spots.

This was a piece that I had just painted and happened to take a picture of while it was sitting there.  After I got it home, I decided that it could use  a little salt treatment so I spread some sea salt on it and spritzed it with water hoping the colors would move a bit.  All of these six pieces were done with dampened fabric by the way.

This is what the piece looked like after it dried (overnight a part of the next day) and was ironed.  Think there was almost too much movement!!

The salt was applied here right after I painted it.

This was probably my favorite for the day.  I think these will all turn into cosmetic bags.  The surprising things were that the hand of the fabric was stiff but not intolerable and the backs were almost identical to the fronts which really surprised me.

This is a closeup of one of the stamps on the monoprinted piece.  I just globbed a paintbrush end to add the little bit of pattern on top of the monoprint.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

August RAFA Meeting

I can't believe I forgot to take my camera to RAFA this month!!  So all these pictures are from my phone which is okay but not great in this lower light.  This is a quilt by Beth K.

This quilt was done by Marcia B and uses a variety of silk fusion or silk paper fabrics that Marcia created.  Wonderful texture -- inspires me to do some more of that as I have the ingredients as I did this many years ago.

This is one of several pieces that Regina created at QBL this year.

 One of the projects that the group was undertaking was the making of houses to be exhibited at the Global Murmurs exhibition.  This was one of the two houses that Maryanne created.

This is the pattern that Julie had shared with us and told us to embellish freely.  The base for it is Timtex -- a stiff interfacing.

Maryanne overachieved and this was her own design for a house!

Caren shared a piece she started at QBL.  It is of course wonderful as her pieces generally are!!

I showed the pieces that I shared in the last post.  

Because of the lack of a camera, I missed on taking many pictures of projects.  Darn...