Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday WOW – September 28

Working on the Comfort and Joy (designed by Pat Wys and BJ Laird) Block of the Month quilt again . . .


and guess what?  I finished it!!!!


How about that?  Even the hand work, which was mainly eyes and text.  Once it is quilted, I have a few buttons to sew on.  I think I like it!

Here’s a couple of close-ups.



I’ve been working on this quilt since March, so you could say I’m really glad it is finished!  For now it will go into the pile of tops.  You know, I really need to get some of these quilted!!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Silhouette

Today, the chapter was about etching fiber.  Also known as Devore or burn-out, the process uses a mild chemical solution to remove fibers from selected areas of the fabric. 

The first step was to zigzag stitch around all the areas to be etched.  I used a polyester thread, since the solution works on plant fibers – cotton, rayon, linen, etc.  Once that was done, the solution goes on straight from the bottle with a small tip.  It is a bit like a gel, so it was kind of hard to maintain an even amount.  Fortunately, that doesn’t seem to make a lot of difference.


You can see here that the gel has dried and leaves darker areas.  Now it goes to the ironing board to apply heat.


The solution will turn brown which is good.  Black would be bad!  After some experimenting, I found using a stiletto along the stitching line helped break the fiber and pull out pieces.  Yes, apparently the thickness of the solution makes a difference.  Those areas you can see that look a little “weak” were the hardest to get a clean break.  And be prepared to have a LOT of lint and mess!

I used a water soluble stabilizer, so rinsing that off also took care of a lot of fuzzy areas.  I ironed it dry, although I’m not sure that was the best way.  I couldn’t wait for it to dry naturally, though!

Now, I have to decide what to use behind it:

P9250010 P9250009

 P9250006 P9250004

What do you think?  Which background would you use?

This was fun.  Would I do it again?  Well, I am already working on another one.  Of course, I think the stitching is the most fun myself.  Here’s the next piece.


When I applied the etching solution, I tried to make sure it was nice and thick everywhere.  Of course, that means it takes longer to dry.  Ha!  Something to look forward to next time.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday WOW – September 21

This has been a busy week so far.  Isn’t that always the case when you go on vacation?  Anyway, I am not getting quite as much sewing time as I’d like.  What time I do have, though, I am trying to finish up the Comfort and Joy quilt.


I’m ready to start on the final border.  There’s a lot of appliqué and several options, so I’ve been reviewing directions and cutting out pieces. 


Next time I work on it, I just might be ready to actually stitch!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Salvage

Hi there – I’m back!  And remember I said I had something cooking?


This is rusty pieces of metal (salvage . . . get it?) wrapped in fabric and soaked with a vinegar and water solution.  I wrapped it up in plastic last Sunday and it has been waiting all week.

I have to say that the hardest part of this method was to find rusty bits.  Sarge does not tolerate rust . . . on anything!  I got a blank look when I asked for help, but after a little discussion he figured he could find someone with rust of some kind.  And a bit later he came home with a handful of nuts and bolts.  Oh boy!  Were they rusty!!!


So, this is what I found when I unwrapped the package today.  It was still dripping wet!  I rinsed the piece under warm water and hung it to dry.  I may wash the piece with detergent, but the water and a little rubbing really removed most of the rust.  Here it is drying on a hanger:

P9180011Doesn’t that look interesting?  The (mostly) blank space in the middle was where I placed a jar lid.  Since it has been sealed for food use, there wasn’t any bare metal.  I thought I’d try, anyway.  Here are a couple of close-ups:


Doesn’t that look like a rabbit’s head?  His eyes are kind of wild and there’s something weird going on with one ear, but I definitely see a rabbit!


This one is more abstract.  I didn’t try to arrange the pieces, so abstract is very appropriate.  And, I’ve already got another piece cooking:


Who knew that rusty, gross bolts and washers could be so much fun?!  I wonder what’s in store for next week!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday Sampling

[WARNING.  This is a long post with lots of pictures.  If you have a slow internet link, go get something to drink.]


Oh boy did I have fun today!  The process-du-jour was Discharge Dyeing.  I chose a couple of solid fabrics and a couple of tone-on-tone fabrics.


And then I tried several methods of discharging.


First up is the Bleach Pen.  This pen comes with a narrow tip on one end and a brush-like on the other.  In that first photo you can see this strip that I traced through the stencil, the small orange square that I used the brush end through another stencil, and a black square on which I wrote free-hand.

The bleach needs to dry completely, so I moved on to Comet Cleanser (with bleach).


I brushed the cleanser through this piece of netting and also through a stencil.  Again, the solution needs to dry completely.  Waiting is the hardest part!

So, I moved on to discharge paste.  I poured a small amount onto a platter and dipped several stamps into it.  The paste is kind of a thick gel and can also be painted with a brush.  I tried some of that, too, but apparently forgot to take a photo.  Don’t have a photo of the discharge paste bottle, either!


As you can see, it can be difficult to see where you have put the paste, especially as it dries. 

Oooookay.  While we’re waiting for all that to dry I’ll let you know that Sarge and I are taking a trip this week, so there will not be a Wednesday WOW and perhaps not even a Sunday post (although) I do have something “cooking” that could be ready for when we get back).  Everything should be back to normal by the following week, so come back then.

Now then . . . back to our discharge batches.  The bleach pen and cleanser need to be rinsed thoroughly with a mild detergent.  I used hand soap and then threw them in the dryer.  The discharge paste is activated by using a steam iron.  Let’s see what we got.

P9110017  As it happens, this photo shows all three methods.  The green appears to have been an over-dye.  You can see the general shape of the stencil, but there was a lot of “creep” from the bleach pen.  It looks pretty cool,though, so I’ll count that as a win.  On the brown piece, those dots were done with discharge paste.  The rest of the fabric was heavily coated with cleanser. . . with less than stellar results!  Not a win!


Even less impressive is the bleach pen on that scrap of orange.  I mean there is NO SIGN of any bleaching!  This is one color-fast fabric!






Okay, this is more like it!  Both of these are discharge paste.  The keys are a stamp, and the other piece was done with a paintbrush.



And this one!  Three different stamps were used on this.  It takes a lot of practice to get the paste/gel just right on the stamp.  But I think there are some real possibilities here.

And watching how the color just disappears as you steam-iron it is really, really cool!






Since the discharge paste did so well on all the other fabrics, I had to try the orange again.  Much better.  I may return to this later.


Oh yes!  Remember that freehand writing I did?


It says “Love, Inspire, Create”.   What?  You can’t read that???  Well, maybe I’ll have to work on this one a bit.  And I will be doing some beadwork and/or embroidery on this next one as well.


This will be the page in my sample book.  I do like the discharge paste.  Good thing, because I have a full jar!  That flower up there seems to have potential for something larger.

There you go.  This was a busy day, but a fun one.  Remember, I won’t be here Wednesday and maybe not Sunday.  But I’ll see you all the following week.  See ya!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wednesday WOW – September 7

Heavens!  It’s September already, kids are headed back to school, and it will be autumn before we know it.  I’ve got several quilt tops that need to get quilted this fall.  I guess it is about time to start!

First, though, I managed another finish today:


I got borders put onto the Mystery quilt I’ve been working on the past six months.  I was working at the local quilt shop, so did not get a chance to hang it up for an “official” photo.  But here it is, draped over the ironing board.  I haven’t measured it yet, but those borders added a bunch – and took forever to sew on!


I was able to get a couple of blocks done for the next quilt, just not nearly as much as I’d planned!  Ah well – it’s not like I’m getting paid by the number of pieces!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunday Studies

Last week I did not get very far in experimenting with Lutradur, so I decided to continue this week.  After all, who knows when I will take time to do this again?


I printed several motifs on the gessoed lutradur.  While I was at the computer, I also printed onto the piece that was “glued” to paper!


You can still see the lines from the paper, but the print was very crisp.  I cut some motifs with scissors and some with a woodburning tool.  The tool melts the lutradur and, since it is a plastic fiber, leaves a rough, hard, edge. 


The piece with paper left a very slight burnt brown color on the edges.  Hardly noticeable.

I tried a couple of fabric paints.  The light purple above is Dye-Na-Flow, and I used some Lumiere on one of the flowers.  I was concerned about setting the colors with an iron, but I did some testing and found the lutradur does fine at iron temperatures.  One thing to keep in mind, tho, is that inkjet printing is not water-fast.  It’s probably best to paint the lutradur before printing, but with careful brushwork it can be done after (you can see the difference between the left side – not careful – and the right side – careful – below).


So this is the page I ended up with.  For the text, I painted a strip of lutradur with Dye-Na-Flow and then adhered it to a page for printing the same way I did with ribbon a few weeks ago.  In fact, I think that strip was the most successful part of my experiments!  Probably because I had already learned what does not work!

So, I’ve printed, painted, stitched, and fused lutradur and I’ve got a new material for my fiber collages.  I wonder what comes next?