Monday, February 1, 2010

Busy Week!

I got a lot done last week and throughout the weekend, so lets dive in!

I started the week LWI some inexpensive muslin with some excess dyes left over from last week's silk experiments.

Pretty boring except for this one piece, which took on a look similar to indigo.


Better quality muslin would- naturally- have yielded better results, but I had the fabric, I had the dyes, and I wanted to use it all up.  These lengths of cloth will be prime candidates for stamping, stenciling and other surface designs sometime in the future.

Next, I played a bit with discharge paste on some of my previously hand-dyed fabrics. I've used the paste in straightforward color removal before, but last week I wanted to explore using it to replace one color with another. I stamped, stenciled and screened both plain discharge paste and paste mixed with textile paints onto this piece of previously hand-dyed, dark gray fabric.

 36" x 48" 

I found that I preferred stamping the paste on, rather than pushing it through a stencil. Initially, the paste used through my stencil seemed to sit where I'd placed it, but over time it absorbed into the fabric and spread out, leaving me with large, white-ish blobs. Disappointing, but a good lesson- I suddenly heard Melly Testa's voice in my head from an old episode of Quilting Arts Tv: "Work very, very dry."

I finished that piece of fabric off by painting deep red curved and circular marks onto it and then dyeing it a deep rust color.

It's unsuccessful as a wholecloth piece, in my opinion- it's too dark overall- but it has some really lovely details in it, so it's likely I'll cut it apart one day and use it in pieces.

I switched tactics and fabrics and, following Melly's example of working dry (though she was using thickened MX dyes in her demo, not discharge paste), I ironed a freezer paper stencil onto another smaller scrap of hand-dyed fabric. I squeegied the barest amount of clear discharge paste over the stencil, making sure it was absorbed into the fabric before gently removing the stencil. This worked to give me crisp, clean edges.

What I found really fun, though, was the neat texture you can get when you "color replace" a second image on top of an image you've already discharged.


Here, I've stamped a 50/50 combination of discharge paste and transparent red and yellow textile paints onto a dark green background. 


I chose these two colors to demonstrate the efficiency with which the paste works to remove the original color. If I had simply not used the discharge paste, and stamped red and yellow textile paints onto a dark green background, the yellow would have nearly vanished and the red would have read as a muddy brown. But because the (green) color has been removed, both the red and the yellow read clearly for what they are.  

Here's another example of using discharge paste to remove dye from a hand-dyed fabric (this time in an earthy green) and replacing it with two other colors- yellow and turquoise...

Using discharge paste to create surface design is simple and effective, and is probably going to become a staple in my technique repertoire. 
Continuing throughout the week with more textiles, I did one last experiment dyeing silk veils. Once again, I cut two large veils into 16 pieces, soaked them in vinegar, wadded them into meatballs and froze them.

The results were again quite lovely.


I'm now ready to dive in and dye ten very large silk panels, parfait-style. Look for a post about those (and the reason for my sudden interest in silk) in the next few weeks.

And remember the down-and-dirty image of this piece?

It has now become this...

... and is getting both hand stitching...

... and free-motion machine stitching....

I hope to have it finished by the end of the week or sometime next week.

Tomorrow, look for a post about my CitraSolv collage, Number 4 and for details about my new association with LQuilt

Until then, happy creating!


Eva said...

Great job! You must be in a creative flow. How joyful to even look at! Hope it is contagious.

Quilt or Dye said...

Thanks for the how-to information!

Dianne Robinson said...

I enjoyed seeing your process. I learn something new everyday, and you've started my day with a great idea. I had no idea I could mix dye with discharge paste. It's -20C here in Montreal so I will have to wait until I can open some windows to use the discharge paste.

Nina Lise@Mrs Moen said...

Your work in progress is stunning, I love the different layers and colour combo!

Cate Rose said...

Wonderful stuff! I especially like what you did with discharge paste with and without color added. What a great idea! I've never had that stuff work for me but it seems like it might be worth another go!

Rayna said...


elle said...

Whoa, you've been very busy. Things are looking good. I saved all the info for my next wet week!

Susan Purney Mark said...


wow, great results, you've inspired me to get into the dye room today!

Karen said...

Marvellous, thanks so much for sharing such beautiful fabrics with us.

queenopearls said...

Very cool results and how to's. Please enlighten me, if you will, what your process was on the frozen silk. I confess I am lost there. What were you doing, why and how.
I adore the mixing of discharge paste with transparent textile paint. Eureka! Brilliant!
Thanks so much,

Unknown said...

lovely work and marvelous how-to info. All very inspiring.

Judy Martin said...

I enjoyed reading the how-to on discharge paste mixed with dye. Thanks - shall go try that!