Tag Archives: fabric painting

I Crave Color

Winter finally got around to northeast Ohio and has been busy dumping lots of snow and wildly gyrating temperatures on us Buckeyes. One day it’s 40 degrees; the next it’s 10 degrees. My nonessential activities shrink in such weather, so I devote myself to adding color to bits of fabric.

So far I’ve used Marabu fashion spray paints and Jacquard textile paints, but hope to take on Dye-na-flow paints and a gelli plate as well. My base fabrics, none larger than a fat quarter, were previous failures and some vintage linens. With the exception of one stamp, I used stencils to create my designs this go-round. Most of my stencils are from Stencil Girl, which offers a large selection of all sorts and sizes. (No paid promotion, just my opinion.)

Large leaf stencil applied with Jacquard and spray paint on top of painted dye failure.

Marabu spray paint over thermofaxed linen

Marabu spray paint on stencil over dye print

Vintage linen stamped with sprayed on paint
Two colors of Jacquard paint through stencil over thermofaxed damask
Spray paint through lace curtain and stencil over commercial fabric

Spray paint and Jacquard paint through stencil over silk

As you can see, some of my experiments have splotches. Spray paint is hard to control and can drip. I’m not showing other attempts that either were good for nothing but the trash or need more layers. Now I need to figure out how to use my creations. Of course, I could always have them printed out and make yardage from them.

Linking to Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday.

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Filed under Fabric Printing, In Process

The Fabric Lab Is Open

Summer used to be a time to await the Good Humor ice cream truck and scrape Japanese beetles off rose bushes into milk bottles. (Yes, I’m that old.) Now it’s a time to use fabric coloring products that are messy and need good ventilation, which means an open garage.

So far this summer I’ve used up last summer’s old dyes (stored in the beer refrigerator,) made spray paint with Inktense color blocks, and used place mats as stencils. Some things went right and others went wrong. You just don’t know until you do the work.

The dyeing results were unexpected, as I confused my jars of alum and soda ash, and soaked my fabrics in alum. So, the results were rather pastel though I was using red. In fact, the only vivid colors were on silk and my hands. I should note I was overdyeing fabric.

Videos of different ways to use Derwent Inktense blocks inspired me to experiment. First, I used this video to make spray paint with shavings of the blocks shaken up with water. Using a plastic place mat as my stencil, I sprayed with two colors onto Pellon 830.

Then, I used the spray paint covered place mat to stamp onto another piece of the non-woven fabric. The runniness in some areas was caused by my attempt to see if matte gel medium would darken the colors. It didn’t, but it did make the color run.

Through related Inktense links I found a video for inking stamps with the blocks. Actually, you wet a side of a block with water and rub it over the stamp. As you can see, some colors worked better than others on fabric scraps. The bit on the left is another Inktense spray experiment.

Finally, I tried out what Target called a charger as a stencil. It seems to be made of plastic coated cord that’s woven into a circle.

I used a Marabu fabric spray paint in brown and leftover Ranger spray inks. As you can see, I found the sprays were a bit clogged and I didn’t get a consistent spray on the Pellon non-woven fabric.

I also sprayed onto silk scraps and some kind of semi-sheer curtain fabric. Here the fabrics made the colors bleed, while the nonwoven fabric just sucked them up. And that’s why you experiment before the actual project.

My last fabric lab project will be monoprinting, I hope. I have the supplies, but need to find the right combination of weather and time.

I’ve linked this post to Off-the-Wall Fridays.

 

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Filed under dyeing, Fabric Printing, Project Ideas

Play With Surface Design

Well, it was actually play with paint, but surface design sounds fancier. One of my goals for 2017 was to build on fabric I had printed with thickened dyes at a workshop last fall. For no reason I can explain, the dyes faded a lot on some of my fabric when I washed it, especially ones made with a soy wax resist.

soy-wax-1I had three that looked a lot like this; the vibrant greens had mostly washed out.

A recent paint play date gave me a chance to improve them. Participants brought a wild assortment of objects to print with. Some were ad hoc such as springs, cat toys, chop sticks, bubble wrap, and rubber door stoppers; while others were purpose made, such as stencils and fancy foam brushes. I availed myself of many of these tools, plus empty toilet paper tubes, truly the Swiss army knife of printing.

silk-screen-with-paintThe results are definitely more colorful than what I started with. I may add more to them at the next painting session.

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Filed under Fabric Printing, In Process, Techniques

Readymade Resists

Quite by accident I found out that white on white printed quilting cotton acts as a resist when painted or dyed. I dyed some fabric pieces that I thought were plain white but weren’t, and I was delighted with the results.

My first cheater resist featured tiny flowers, which aren’t quite my cuppa, but they do stand out.

overdyed-purpleThen, a friend found white fabric woven with polka dots that showed up wonderfully when dye was applied. Here I used periwinkle dye.

overdyed-periwinkleBy this time I began to seek out white on white fabrics I could color. At a store in the middle of Ohio corn fields I found white fabric printed with cracked ice patterns. I used Pebeo Setacolor to paint a strip of it. The white fabric behind the aqua is the original fabric.

overpainted-setacolorThe popularity of white printed on white fabric waxes and wanes, so you might not find plentiful possibilities right now.  Here’s what eQuilter offers at present. However, I suspect if you investigate your stash you may find you already own some examples.

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Filed under dyeing, Fabric Printing, Techniques

Signs of Spring

I haven’t seen freshly cut branches of pussy willow for years, but to me they mean spring is just around the corner. When I was young my aunt would always fill large vases with the branches and I loved to stroke the soft catkins.

When we decided to use the word March for an art quilt group challenge, I immediately thought of those catkins. Then I remembered a small table cloth with matching napkins I had saved from my parents’ house. They were embroidered with pussy willows.

When I unearthed them I recalled why I never used them. The fabric is an unpleasant synthetic. I have no idea what it is, but the set was a wedding gift to my parents circa the late 1940s. I think the embroidery thread is rayon, but the golden yellow cloth doesn’t feel like rayon, and I don’t want to try a burn test on it while the house is closed up.

I’m sure vintage linens collectors will be horrified, but I cut out the embroidered motifs, fused them to gray fabric and stitched them down.  Since that looked bare, I added branches and the outline of a bird’s nest.  Then, the branches needed adornment so I painted catkins and embroidered the brown bits at the stem with perle cotton. I topped off my efforts with yellow dots on the catkins to represent pollen.

Now it’s a new pillow, backed with some Martha Negley fabric I love but could never figure out how to use.

Pussy Willow Pillow

Pussywillow Pillow Back

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Filed under Art quilts, Completed Projects

A Surprise Bonus

I had Setacolor green and cobalt blue paint left over from my sky painting, so I decided to paint silk organza with it rather than toss the paint. I mixed a turquoise shade, layered mop up cloths and failed experiments under the organza to sop up excess paint, and splashed the paint on.

To my surprise, the cloths meant to sop up the extra paint turned out well. The silk organza also turned out fine, but the payoff was those throw away cloths.

painted fabricHere’s a pile of them, topped with the painted organza.

painted drip clothsThree of the cloths from different layers.

painted on painted damaskA failure with iridescent paint made much more usable with turquoise.

Some of the cloths weren’t great so they have returned to the ugly duckling pile in hopes they’ll become swans in the future.

 

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Painting the Sky

After many postponements, a friend and I finally got together to paint fabric using Mickey Lawler’s techniques. Following Mickey’s book and DVD on Skydyes, we covered damp white cotton fabric with Setacolor fabric paint. Here’s our paint mixing table and our sponges and brushes.

Setacolor paint mixingOne lesson I learned was that colors really lighten up as the fabric dries. You’d think I would know this from dyeing, but I’m a slow learner.

Painted landscape wetPainted landscape dryThe sky is actually more nuanced than the photo shows, but I had expected a less pastel result.

Here’s another example, this time using Mickey’s scrunching technique. The fabric on the left is my mop up cloth.

Scrunched fabric and mop cloth wetScrunched fabric dryOne easy technique I enjoyed was sponging paint on with light taps. I made a winter sky that didn’t seem to lighten as much as the pieces above.

Winter sky landscape wetWet

Winter sky landscape dryDry

We did learn we could use a bit more practice, as what seemed effortless on the DVD wasn’t so easy. What a surprise!

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Filed under Fabric Printing, Techniques