Monday, March 22, 2010

A Winter Of Surface Design

I promised myself a winter of surface design, and I've kept that promise; what a joy it's been! I've gone through a lot of yardage and made a lot of fabric that I'm now itching to sew into, but so far, this is the piece I'm most proud of.

35 1/2" x 48"

This length of fabric contains three layers of surface design. The first layer was hand-dyed in a jar, in MX fiber-reactive dyes. The second layer is a stamped image created with thickened black MX dye. The third (and last) layer, the one most recently applied, is a crackle finish which employed the flour-paste resist technique I tried out last week

The paste was applied, left to dry and then broken and crazed.


I used Neopaque textile paint in brown, thinned with water, to create the crackle effect.


I'm thrilled with it. The next flour-paste resist I do, I will pre-soak the fabric in soda ash so that I can use thickened dyes to paint the crackle- the hand will be more pleasing, I think, though the fabric paint is soft and pliable.

Disappointingly, this piece falls just short of the size requirement for the FABRIC 2010 : Handmade Designs on Fabric for Quiltmaking contest, but now I know how to recreate it on a larger scale, if I can.

So this weekend, I took my last ten or eleven yards of muslin, cut them into six pieces, and did this to them.

Two-and-a-half gallons of jar-dyeing love, filled to the very brim. Still pushing myself to work larger (after all, larger pieces of beautiful fabrics tend to inspire larger pieces of art), each of these six these pieces measures at least a yard and a half wide by 108" from selvage to selvage. 

Cotton muslin, pre-soaked in soda ash, twisted lengthwise with LOTS of great help from my husband, and soaked in six different dye colors starting with lemon yellow at the bottom, bright orange next, then fire engine red, magenta, deep purple and finishing with turquoise stuffed into the very top of the jar. 

As anyone who has slopped a large load of laundry out of the agitation cycle of a broken-down washing machine knows, dripping wet fabric can be physically challenging to muscle around. I'm managing nicely, although this stuff is heavy, and the fabrics are starting to come out of the washing machine and go onto the clothesline as I type. 


This morning I'm incredibly grateful for the wet studio- I could NOT have done pieces this size in the kitchen sink without risking a terrible mess. In the photos below, the selvage edges are those on the right and left of the fabric.

(folded almost double across my clothes line, this is the largest piece and the first one that went into the jar)

(the second piece into the jar)

(the third piece into the jar)

The other three pieces, in shades of blues and purples, are in the washing machine right now. I'll post photos of them in my next blog article

I won't really know exactly what I have until I iron them out and have a chance to really examine them but any other treatment they get will need to come later in the spring- the rest of the week will be devoted to making quilt sandwiches and sewing and hopefully, by the end of the week, I'll have a completed piece of quilt art.
In the meantime, happy creating!

24 comments:

JillW said...

The stamped and crackled piece is indeed fantastic. What did you use for the stamp?

norma said...

It's a beautiful piece! How will you bear cutting it up to use in a quilt?

Karen Newman Fridy said...

Wow to them all!! You're having too much fun...and getting terrific results!

Anonymous said...

Your complex cloth piece is gorgeous and I am sorry it could not be in the fiber show. It is truly beautiful. Your other hand dyed pieces are wonderful too.

Gina said...

Your fabrics are awesome! I can imagine how heavy they are too, when soaking wet. Have fun sewing this week!

alice said...

Beautiful fabrics! I love the 3rd piece in the jar. Looking forward to seeing what you do with them!

LynnDel said...

Mmmm... luscious!

Quilt or Dye said...

I remember that piece! It is the one with the pie plate stamp! Excellent finish on it!

Sherryl said...

These are stunning pieces Judi. It sure looks like you had lots of fun. You will have more fun when you can use the thickened dyes with the flour paste. Potato dextrin also gives interesting results. Once it sets up you can more intricate designs than with the flour paste.

Sondra said...

Dear Judi,
Great pieces! Wonderful work. I love what you did with the flour paste, I haven't done it with dye, only paint. Great idea. Thank you for sharing your work. Be back! Sondra

Terri Stegmiller said...

I'm totally in love with that piece of fabric at the beginning of this post. If I found a bolt of that in the fabric store, I'd buy the whole thing.

Vicki W said...

I'd be in the fabric store fighting with Terri for it. Your fabrics are beautiful!

Connie Rose said...

Very awesome, Judi!

Jackie K. said...

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!! Very inspiring fabrics. Can't wait to try some of these techniques now.

elle said...

YES! I luv that first one, and then... 8^) How much fabric can you stuff in that jar? whoa! My surface has a few ruffles on it but I'm thinking all kinds of creative thoughts. THANKS!

hmm, what kind of verification word? busts? You're not mixing up anything you shouldn't are ya? <>

Robbie said...

I'm behind in reviewing my dashboard/blogs!! Cool work as usual Judi!!! Love the fabrics!!!

Fiberbuff said...

Thanks for sharing your amazing adventures - it's very inspiring for the rest of us! Good luck making a new piece for the fiber show - may serendipitous awesomeness combine with your skill to make a winning piece:-)

Sue Bleiweiss said...

that stamped/crackled piece is awesome! The first few pieces out of the jar are pretty terrific, I can't wait to see the other ones.

Mandi said...

Very nice crackle effect. Gorgeous color!

Have you tried potato dextrin resist? I ask because I've tried it, but not plain flour paste resist and I am wondering how they compare and if it's just better to save the $ for the potato dextrin and use flour instead.

The potato dextrin gave very fine crackles over the entire surface (I applied fairly thinly). It looks like you have fine crackles, are they consistent across the entire piece?

I'm really curious about the possibilities with the flour.

Judi said...

Love your stamp and crackled piece. How many yards did you get in that jar or should I be asking how big is your jar lol? Those are some great pieces.

Darcy said...

Very cool. Very inspiring.

Darcy Berg
www.darcyberg.com

Jan said...

Your complex cloth is totally fabulous. In my experience, when I have soaked pre dyed fabric in soda ash, lots of the color came out. Just a warning in case you haven't tried that before. I really want to try your flour resist technique. Maybe today!! the sun is shining.

Mrs Moen said...

Judi; these are the most perfect fabrics I have ever seen; congratulations with a fabulous job!

Jules Rushing said...

I'm inspired!!! Great job, beautiful work!