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.
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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.