Sunday, August 30, 2009

Post-fabric painting housekeeping

I love fabric painting, but alas the day comes when I have to do the boring "housekeeping" stuff. If it hadn't been raining on Thursday, I would have probably said "To heck with this" and painted some more fabric instead! But instead I was a good girl and hand-washed all the fabric I painted this month to remove any salt and leaf bits and excess paint. Then I ironed everything on the pretense that this will heat set it. (I say "pretense" because I don't think I actually hold the iron long enough in place to really do the job, but in the long run, time sets these Setacolor paints, so at least I have less wrinkly fabric.)
IMG_8184 Heat setting with an iron
Some tips on ironing painted fabric:
Don't use your good iron, because you will probably get paint on it. I have an iron reserved for craft use (fusible webbing, image transfers, etc). I also covered my ironing pad with blank newsprint so I didn't fuse paint to that either.
Here's how my iron looked after taking on some red fabrics. You can buy a tube of iron-cleaning goop in the sewing notions section of the store, but I recently learned a tip from Sharon in my book arts group. Save all your used dryer sheets, and after all the fabric softener stuff has been shaken out in the dryer, you can iron them to scour gunk off your iron. You may still need to do a heavy duty cleaning later on, but this is a fast and easy way to clean and keep ironing. (And then you can save those freshly flattened & paint-stained dryer sheets for art projects!)
IMG_8189 Hung out to dry
I'm not a very enthusiastic ironer (is that a word?), so my fabric was still slightly damp when I decided I was finished, and I hung it on a drying rack. So that's all done, phew! And now I have some new fabric to play with!

Belatedly blogged for Fiber Arts Fridays

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sunprinting on Fabric

After last week's blog post about fabric painting, I managed to do a little sunprinting on Saturday. "Sun printing" is a bit of a misnomer because apparently it's not the light but the heat that causes the effect. The faster the paint dries, the brighter or darker the color sets. The paint underneath the objects (leaves, washers, doilies, etc) dries slower so the color is faded.
IMG_7996 Second coat of paintIMG_7997  Laying out leaves for sun-printing
I took the fabric I had salt-printed (if that's a term) on Friday, which was still stretched on a frame, and painted over the whole thing in purple. Then I laid out leaves that I had pressed in a phone book and put the whole thing outside to dry.
IMG_8001 Is it done yet?
Impatient? Who, me? The fabric was nearly dry when I lifted this leaf to see how things were going. And here's the final result:
IMG_8002  Peeling off the leaves
Here's a Setacolor Soleil sun-printing tutorial at the Michaels website, though as I mentioned last week, the Michaels stores near us put all their Pebeo Setacolor fabric paints on clearance earlier this summer and don't carry it anymore. I mix my fabric paint 1:1 with distilled water.

Here's a tutorial from Simply Quilts about the salt technique. This was from an episode featuring Indiana quilt artist Phil Beaver who does some amazing applique with his hand-painted fabric.

Blogged for Fiber Arts Fridays

Friday, August 14, 2009

Fun with fabric paint

I've been wanting to get some fabric painting done this summer, but weather and time never seemed to coincide. On Wednesday afternoon, I looked at the bright sun shining on our back deck, and decided I would put off all the other stuff I had to do. Of course by the time I dragged out all my supplies and mixed my paint a huge cloud covered the sun! Sigh....
I like to use the Pebeo Setacolor (transparent color) fabric paints, which work well for sun-printing. (Our Michaels store used to carry them, but it all went on clearance earlier this summer, which at least let me restock my supplies.) You can see some examples of sun-prints in my Fabric Painting set on Flickr. On Wednesday, it became too cloudy and humid to get a good sun-print effect, so I focused instead on jazzing up some boring fabric. The unpainted fabric visible next to the paints above was a white-printed beige cotton fat quarter. The white design somehow acts as resist, and when you paint over it in a bright color like red, the pattern just pops!
I also experimented with some fabric scraps from a friend who makes vintage-style clothing. This pale green fabric needed some stronger color, and it was fun to discover that the floral pattern on it also stood out when painted a brighter green.
I also salted one fat quarter on a stretcher frame. Add rock salt while the paint's still wet (left) and then as it dries the salt sucks the color into flame-like organic swirly patterns (right). Here are a bunch of experiments laid out to dry in the back yard:
Now when's my next free sunny day???

Blogged for Fiber Arts Friday

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Glimpse at My Fiber & Fabric Storage

IMG_7969 Some fiber storage
I haven't been very good at keeping up with Fiber Arts Fridays this summer, but a couple of weeks ago, Alpaca Farmgirl suggested sharing pictures of our fiber stashes. Above is my yarn storage, and if you click on the link to my Flickr, there are notes on the photo explaining what's what. I don't have any fancy handspun to show off, because most of my variegated wool yarn was bought on store-closing clearance. And I mainly use it for ATC borders and my rare bouts of needle-felting so one skein will last me for years!

My storage arrangement isn't pretty - lots of plastic bins because I used to work in a basement room that had damp carpets in heavy rain. Now I'm above ground-hooray! These are some of my fabric storage drawers:
IMG_2880 Crafting 365, Day 194
If I'm actually working on a project, they don't look this neat. I have larger pieces folded or on bolts in the hall closet, but that's a photo op for another day!

Someday, my sewing area will be neat enough that I can photograph it with pride. Someday.....

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I'm in an Etsy Treasury!

Thanks to fellow birthday girl Meg at ME2Designs, I'm in my first Etsy treasury where I'm not an invisible alternate! What a fun birthday gift (and from a complete stranger)! My featured item is my La Sirena mini-art quilt.

I'm celebrating my birthday today by doing several loads of laundry and cleaning in the morning and then taking a workshop on making "Interlocked Double Accordion Books" in the afternoon at the Bay View Book Arts Gallery. My husband took me out to dinner at La Estacion last night (a great Mexican restaurant in an old train depot) so tonight we'll have leftovers and lounge around watching all our DVR'd TV shows from the week. Such excitement!
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