Saturday, July 22, 2017

More Sun Print Results

While the weather is so hot, sunny and almost intolerable, I am making prints while the sun shines.  I love the experimental nature of this artistic process.   It is fun to use stencils, fabric folding/wrinkling, and objects as masks.

Stencils

Folded and Wrinkled 

Stencils and objects as masks

Objects as masks. Also plastic canvas as a mask
In the last one, I used some colored wooden shapes.  Some of the color leached into the print.  I love the effect.  I hope it doesn't wash out.
These will not be washed until they have set for at least a week to ten days.  Even though I am heat setting them with my iron, I will give them the "passive" time to set also.

The plastic grid is designed for a type of needlepoint, I think.  Originally it went into my painting supplies as a grid to spray paint through in art painting.  As I was digging for texture materials to use with sun printing, I found this package.
There are several sheets in it.  After seeing how well the circle grid printed in my previous session, I wanted to experiment with it.
Today I have two more pieces basking the brilliant Alabama sunshine. One of them is largely covered with grid... but what if..... (those are magic words when you are being creative, you know.)
What if I put objects on top of the grid as a mask?
Later today, I will know.
I also cut a mask from a styrofoam plate, using an exacto knife.  My blade is a bit dull - so if this works, I will need to add exacto blades to my shopping list.

There are other objects around to mask also.  This photo shows that it was already working. Notice the lighter areas around those lower pieces?
For this I had two strips that I cut off the larger piece, so I placed them side by side and used them as one.  It is all a grand experiment - so why not?

I love playing with color and fabrics.  What are you playing with these days that is making you smile?
I am smiling every time I see these.


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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Sun Print Results- and a Pineapple

The sun printing was pretty much a success.  The process pictures were in the previous post.  After the hot July sun had baked the paint into the fabrics and they were fully dry, I removed the texturing materials.  The pasta wanted to stick a bit but everything else was very easy to remove.  Note to self: Have containers ready to put all the bits in when you remove them from the fabric.
I was very happy to see that everything printed pretty well, even the transparent pieces.  So here are the results.

This fleur-de-lis stencil printed amazingly well. You can see the pasta around the edges of the fabric also.
These two stencils also printed with a delightful clarity. The glass stones, pasta, and buttons printed nicely too.
The colors on this piece didn't bleed into each other as well as I wanted, but everthing on it printed well. Just look at the plastic grid.
But the back side of the piece is better in my opinion.
The colors are a bit softer and you can still see the grid nicely.

I also added a surprise piece.  It was a surprise to me too.  While the others were out getting sun-baked, I took another piece of fabric and wet it, then I poured two colors of paint on it and rubbed it around with gloved hands.  I folded it, twisted it a bit and placed it on a bush to dry. (I didn't have another board ready - so I improvised.)  Here is that result.
Front. And yes that is silver sparkle on the fabric.
Same piece different orientation. Shown from the back.
I have a book called "Transforming Fabric" that says that you can sunprint the wrinkles in fabric. I had to try it - and I love it.  Of course as I was heat setting it, I kept trying to iron one of the wrinkles out - but it is just the color and not a real wrinkle. I would say that particular wrinkle sun printed perfectly.

So you can see why I say it was a success. The multi-colored piece with the grid is a bit stiff to the touch so I don't think I will use it for a bed quilt. But the hand is nice on all of the rest.
Will I repeat this?  I am sure I will.  I don't think I will use the Lumiere paints for it. They tend to leave a "glitter" on my hands. I am afraid that will rub off on things as it is used.

The Golden Liquid Acrylic artist paint did amazingly well. I have many colors in that paint.  I will eventually add a few Dye-na-flow paints to my tool box for this.

Now the pineapple.   I tried the "canned pineapple" again.  This time I made the rectangle 3" by 4" - last time it was 3" by 5".  I also used two widths of colored strips.  Once again the process was "interesting."
You will notice that I ended with white corners even though the strips that radiate to the corners are the colored strips.  The truth is - the white was right there so I used it.  I think I am working toward making a "Pineapple Surprise" quilt. Now what else do can I do to mix up the pineapple block?   Ha ha, wait and see what I come up with. For now it is a mystery to me also.
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 possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

SideStep - Sun Printing

As you may know, I am fascinated with fabric dyeing and embellishment.  My friend Vicki - Colorways By Vicki Welsh - has a tutorial on her site about SunPrinting fabric.  This is done with textile paints, texturing materials, and of course, the hot sun.  Since we are due to hit 90 F today - or higher - with little chance of rain, it looked like the perfect time to try it.

I mixed my paints in glass jars that I have saved - a carry over from my art supplies.  I used used three colors of Jacquard Lumiere paint in blue, purple and green.  I also used one Golden Liquid acrylic in Quinacridone Magenta (again from my art supply stash.)

Here are my pieces out in the sun with the texture materials on top of them to create shapes - hopefully.
This one has various texturing materials including: elbow pasta, glass floral thingies (that is the technical name. ha ha) wooden cutouts and some single hole button things along with a plastic grid and a medicine bottle cap. 

Stencils, glass floral things, pasta and buttons

This one has just a stencil and pasta.
I am really curious to see how/if it works using these paints. It should, but I wonder if it was wet enough.  I am also wondering if the glass things will work since they are transparent.  Time will tell.
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Sunday, July 16, 2017

What If - Canned Pineapple

Never one to let a sleeping dog lie,  I had to push the pineapple block just a bit farther. The process I am using for the Pineapple blocks intrigues me.  The two words that push my creativity into gear are so simple:  "What if..."
So What if  the pineapple block center wasn't square but rather an oblong rectangle?  What would it look like and how would the process work?  I was expecting an oblong block that was pineapple like. But the only way I knew to find out for sure was to just try.

I cut a center piece that was 3" by 5" and started. It wasn't long until I said "well that is strange." Instead of having dog ears to cut off, two of the four corners were square.  Hmmmm..
So I cut them off as if they were dog ears to carry the pattern along.  The block was more square than I expected also.  On the last round, I left the corners square and just added triangle pieces on the two angled corners.
You may notice that the brown strips are narrower than the red strips and the white strips. That may account for a bit of the change from rectangle to square.  Maybe I should make another and use strips that are all the same size.  Hmmmmmm......

My name for this block is "Canned Pineapple" - you know, it isn't as good as fresh, but it is still usable.  Honestly, this was more difficult because I had to remember where to sew next.  On the regular pineapple block, it is easier to see where you are going and what comes next.

Hmmm.... my art teachers said "You should work in a series."  Does this count as working in a series? I think so.  Ha ha.  I think putting all my pineapples in one basket (quilt) will make a real crazy fun quilt.
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Saturday, July 15, 2017

It Wasn't Beginner's Luck

When I can repeat something for not only the second time but also for the third time, I am sure that Thursday's block wasn't just a fluke or beginner's luck.  Yesterday I pulled out some spare layer cake blocks and made another pineapple block.  Today, Saturday,  I used some 2 1/2" strips and some yardage to make another one.  This block is actually fun to make.
For today's block, I cut some 1 1/2" strips of Kona Snow and sub-cut some 2 1/2" strips. Some of the strips I cut in half for 1 /14" strips and the others I cut a 1 1/2" strip and a "waste" 1" strip. (scrap for string piecing maybe?)

Here are the two blocks
You may notice that the center in one is square with the edges and the other is on point.  After making the batik block I noticed that it was different than the first one I made.  The difference is in the number of rounds made before adding the corners.
Another thing you may notice is the difference in contrasts.  The "light" fabric on the batik reads as a light medium and the red reads as a medium so the contrast is poor. It is still a nice block but it isn't as eye catching because of it.   On the other one I used a yellow/white floral for one round of white and for the corners. It does change the design a bit, but the yellow contrasts well with both the red, blue and snow.  So it adds a bit more to the design while keeping the graphic POP that makes a pineapple block so appealing.

It is simply too hot here in my area of Alabama to do much so I am taking the rest of the day as a "lazy" day.  I have some books on my Kindle that will pass the day nicely.
Have a great weekend.
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Thursday, July 13, 2017

A Proper Pineapple Block - and some Dyeing

After the paper piecing debacle yesterday, I was determined to make a proper pineapple block.  This time I did it by a more traditional piecing method.  This was cut/sew/trim and repeat.  The good part is that I got a pineapple block that I am happy with.
The best part is that I can now repeat it if I want to make more of them. And now, I can change sizes and alternate colors if I desire - because I know how it works.  Yaay!

I also have been playing with fabric dyeing again.  My goal was to mix a couple of specific colors.  That was a semi-failure.  I was going for Mint Green and Lilac Purple.   I think the Lilac is pretty close - close enough that I am happy with it and I have the formula written down.  The mint green - ha ha!  It isn't even green.  I had found a formula online for a color that looked close on the chart they showed.  Mine is blue not green.  Sigh!  I did a "re-do" that is still soaking.  I think it may be close but it isn't what I consider "mint green."
When I was dyeing these I also played with the concept of dyeing shades of the same color. In person you can see that the purple is three shades, but it didn't translate so well in my photo.
The other has a less defined shade variation.  I suspect that I should have made a wider variation in the amount of dye to water in these.
Still, here is the "not mint green" blue batch.
The one on the left is obviously lighter but the middle and right one are very close in value.

The fact is, I don't consider any of this a "failure" - it was a great learning experience for me. The fabrics are certainly useable for quilting so nothing was wasted.  I declare it a "win."

In case you are wondering, I watched both of the pineapple quilt block classes on Creativebug.  I used the traditional version to make this block.  Since the improv version uses the same technique with only a few variations, I feel sure I can do some improv ones if I want to.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Pineapple Soup

They say "When life hand you lemons - make lemonade."   So what do you do when life hands you pineapples?  I decided to make Pineapple Soup.
After seeing several pineapple quilt blocks on various blogs,  I decided to try making one myself.  I downloaded two sizes of paper piecing patterns. I printed them and decided the 6 inch one would be the one I tried, so I printed an extra one of those.
I started - got the center and the pieces around it done- but on the wrong lines because there was an extra line on the pattern that is only there for placing your first piece.  ARRGH.
Take two.  I did better and got the first few rounds on before I messed up again.
Fine!  I will take the pineapple start and do some improv sewing around it.
I am calling it "Pineapple Soup" because it isn't all pineapple but it did start with pineapple as the main "ingredient."  Right?
I am sure it will be fun  to put in a quilt made of orphan blocks.

Will I try the pineapple again? Maybe I will.
I see that there are two pineapple block classes on Creativebug.  One is the traditional block and the other is an improv version.  That sounds more like my style.
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Sunday, July 09, 2017

Shirt UpCycle

Having retired just over three years ago,  I still have shirts in my closet with the work logo on them.  It isn't appropriate to donate them to charity, a thrift store or even give them away as I worked in a position of "public trust."    So, slowly, very s-l-o-w-l-y, I have been finding ways to upcycle them.  It is easy if the shirt is a solid color.  But one of my favorites, an oxford cloth narrow stripe, was managing to elude a solution.    Saturday yielded an epiphany for me.

In June of 2016, I got a book titled Crafted Applique - New Possibilities by Lara Bucella.  I had used that method to do part of a previous shirt upcycle.  This time, I decided to do the entire piece using Crafted Applique.   I sat at my computer with Electric Quilt 7 (EQ7)  and planned the design, printed templates and got excited.   I prepared the fabric.  Then, today (the next morning) I cut out the templates and finished it!
I really love the two small circles of hand dyed fabric.  They add a nice depth to the design.
Previously, there was a logo like the one below in that spot.
And, yes, that logo photo is yet one more polo shirt that needs to be upcycled.   As I like  a shirt with a pocket, this upcycle will probably be planned to add a pocket to it.  If you go to the  previous shirt upcycle, you can see how I added a wonky woven pocket to the green shirt.
Now I quietly wait for the next strike of inspiration from my muse.
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Friday, July 07, 2017

Joining Up

After  a nice holiday break,  I am getting the quilt pieces joined together.   Half of the quilt is joined and it looks great.
Click to enlarge
The parts that I made with hand-dyed fabrics are some of my favorites.  I will certainly use more hand-dyed fabric  in future quilts.  It just adds a nice bit of depth and visual texture to the quilt when it is used. 

At this point, I am wondering if I should tell you that I have made a huge mistake.  Yes, I did.  I have run out of the white fabric that I used for the sashing and I need it for the joining strips. By matching the joining strips to the sashing, they are disguised a bit.  I try to match the strips on the back also, but with this one, that just won't be possible. Each section on the back is a different fabric. There are eight  sections -so that is eight fabrics.  I wasn't thinking ahead when I used the last of the particular fabric in stash for several of them. So the back will have some variation in the other half and particularly in the strip that will join the middle bit.  That bit will cross four sections. If I can piece it just right -and if I can find enough of the backing fabrics to make it work - I may hide that  center joining on the back. But it isn't likely.   No worries!  It will simply look like a thin sashing strip.  These things happen when a quilt has been in the UFO stack for over two years.  😊

I have ordered more white fabric that I will use for the front - and as a bonus, I can dye what is left over.  

The moral of the story?  If you have a UFO- put the rest of the fabric needed in a special place and MARK which UFO it is for.  (But I probably won't remember that one myself.) 
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Saturday, July 01, 2017

All Quilted - in Pieces


The project that I started in April 2015 is finally all pieced and quilted in pieces.  Each piece is one eighth of the quilt (approx.) That is eight blocks and sashing.  Here it is on my queen sized bed. There is overhang on each side and when it is used there will be overhang at the foot.  (I don't cover the pillows or have it under them.)


Now I will make joining strips and finish it into one big quilt.  Then I will bind it and say "Finished! and it only took me two years and three months!" This is, if I finish it in July.

Just so you know, Craftsy is having a Fourth of July sale.  All Craftsy classes under $20.  ⇦Just click that link. It is my affiliate link so I get a little credit when you use it.

The Creative Bug offer 1 Month + 1 Class For Just $1 is still active also.  Read what I wrote about it here.



Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.