More sun printing!
`This pat weekend I needed to clean up all of the sun printing paraphernalia out of the garage. There's a lot of it that I didn't want to bring back in the house so I decided to see if I could use up most of the remaining paint. I really don't see myself doing any more sun printing for a while and I'll buy any specific paint that I need when that time comes. The paint I had was in my stash over 2 years. I spent a couple more hours painting and printing and here are the rest of the fabrics that I made.
I'm including 2 photos of each set of fabrics with one as a close up. These 4 are more pasta and lace. I kept all of the lace fabrics in my supplies but I tossed all of the pasta. All of that pasta has been in my studio for many years and I'm surprised I hadn't attracted a lot of bugs.
More buttons (that I did not toss out), gears that I collected from my old asthma inhalers and wood snowflakes that a friend gave me. Estelle is going to be upset that I had forgotten about the gears, snowflakes and keys (below). I only found them after they left from the first sun printing session. The plastic gears in asthma inhalers are very cool but I'm glad to be cured of the need for them!
Keys, spaghetti, foam shapes and another piece of lace.
After 2 session fo sun printing I have a stash of 32 fat quarters! This will hold me for several years of postcards and other little projects.
Time to get back to quilting.
There was no time for a newsletter or shop post yesterday because there was fun to be had! I haven't done sun printing in a couple of years and I wanted to use my stash of paints. So I invited my friends, Estelle and Marcy, over to sun print with me.
While sun printing is a lot of fun I do have some issues working with paints and have gotten to a point where I don't really do much with fabric paints anymore. I can use them outside and that's what we did yesterday. My goal is to use up my sunprinting paints and to not buy more unless I have a specific project in mind.
Sun printing doesn't actually require the sun. It works by drying out the fabric and wicking the paint/liquid out from under the mask. The sun helps by drying the fabric faster but a dry hot cloudy day works well too. We lucked out with a sunny and very hot day. Our fabrics processed quickly. We used all kinds of things for masks as you will see in my fabrics.
This set is mostly done with lace. Lace is great for sun printing. The two in the upper left are done by painting the fabric and then folding it up. As it dries the fabric wicks to the top of the folds.
The two like this will likely become project bags.
This lace is from a curtain panel from the thrift store. Doesn't it work great for sun printing?
In this set I used buttons, another lace panel, pasta and leaves.
Button prints are great for lots of different projects like postcards, notion bags, coasters......anything but quilts. I have a bag of buttons that I set aside for just sun printing.
This one is probably my favorite. I think the original fabric was a sheer shower curtain liner cover. It might be a sheer curtain panel. Whatever the source, this will be great for a postcard background.
Pasta is a surprisingly good mask for sun printing. I like using these fabrics for making potholder and kitchen things. I've had 4 bags of pasta in my stash for at least 8 years and they still don't have bugs in them.
We have so may walnut trees on our property that I wanted a couple of fabrics with walnut tree leaves. I love how these turned out.
Here's the stack ready for heat setting.
We had a fun day and I love the results but I'll have a moment of honesty. I don't use these fabrics as often as I should. I still have a small stash of sun prints left from a few years ago. I have learned that using them in a quilt is not a good idea. I made my Maine quilt from all sun prints and the fabrics do fade with washing. I will only use these for small projects and postcards.
After our session I still have some paints left so I'm thinking about going out Friday and doing another session to use up the last of my paints and then I will cull some of my sun printing supplies. It's time to downsize this little hobby. I've decided that I prefer playing more with thickened dyes than with paints. I did this same downsizing exercise with my metallic paints in 2019 and I have a nice stash of metallic painted fabrics that I've used in some postcard designs. Now I'll have a new stash of sun prints and a little more breathing room in my dye studio.
Restocking the Drawer of Magical Things
Remember when I made these cards and I talked about the pearl painted fabric that I pulled out of the Drawer of Magical Things (DMT)? While rooting around in the drawer I realized that I was low on these metallic fabrics that I made YEARS ago.
I don't do much fabric painting anymore because I'm so allergic to the VOC offgassing of things like paint and grout. When I do those things I have to wear a respirator and will still have issues. I get asthma and everything smells of burned wood for 3 or 4 days. It's gross.
But occasionally it's worth it.
It's been so long since I painted fabric though that many of my paints were about to dry up. I decided that I needed to use then while I could still revive them. Fabric paints are water based so all you need to do is add water to them and mix really good to get the lumps out.
Since I couldn't dye yesterday I pulled some fabrics from the stash and tried to use up a lot of paints. I mostly use Jacquard fabric paints. They have some terrific metallic and pearlized paints.
I wrote a tutorial for this several years ago that you can download here. If you intend to use metallic painted fabrics in a project that will be washed you will want to read this post on curing the paints.
This is a great way to revive old fabrics that you don't like anymore. Yesterday I just pulled out some hand dyes from my stash.
They start with damp fabric, scrunched or pleated and then I get busy with multiple layers of paint. I rearrange the fabric between paint applications.
Here are my results from a very fun day.
I love the pleated effects. Most of these will be used in future postcard designs but they are also great for little projects like book covers or zipper pouches.
Since I used the pearlized fabric for my postcard I wanted to make sure to make more of that so have 3 white/near white fabrics.
Mostly, though, I did scrunched versions in lots of different colors. I've got no plans for any of them. I just had fun and used up a lot of paint.
Eighteen different fabrics in all! That was so much fun. Everything will smell like burned wood for a few days but it was worth it.
The DMT is restocked and now it's time to get back to the Groovy quilt.
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I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.