Posted in colorwork

Experiment with stamping

While shopping yesterday, I discovered some fabric ink pads seriously discounted.

This is something I have been wanting to try for some time. I have done a little bit of stamping/printing using fabric paints and homemade stamps. I’ve never been quite satisfied with the process and medium. The fabric paints start to dry and clump before I have finished my project. This results in a lot of wasted paint. So I am intrigued to try stamping with ink instead.

First I made a color swatch using some square stamps.

I like the red, blue, green and magenta the best. When stamping yellow over blue, I noticed that the inks blended – a desirable trait for my work.

The instructions say to let dry 24 hours and then press for 3-5 minutes to set the ink. This morning when I pressed the samples, I noticed that they weren’t quite dry. But by this afternoon they seemed okay. I quickly made up some triangle stamps out of foam pieces with the idea of stamping an angular rainbow on white fabric.

This was fun.

Next I tried the ink on a pale gray printed fabric. While my stamping technique was a little crude, I thought that the result was okay.

My verdict: I’m glad that I paid so little for these ink pads. It took a lot of color worked onto the stamp for each press, and the color intensity on the fabric was lacking. I’m also not thrilled that it takes so long to dry. Do any of my fiber arts friends have a product that you would recommend?

Posted in hand embroidery, painting

Hydrangea in my Rearview Mirror

Before I say farewell to my study of the oakleaf hydrangea plant, I want to share the little study I made of the blooms. Above is a reference photo for the plant. The “flowers” open pure white, changing over times into shades of rose, rust and green. I say flowers in quotes, because the part of plant that most people identify as a flower – it has petals, after all – is really a bract, or sterile flower. The real flowers are in the tight little buds that you see at the top of the panicle. Here is a specimen, much dried up, that I took from my hydrangea.

Interestingly, there are some bracts with four petals and some with five. I did a drawing in colored pencil before I started making the fiber object, which depicts the rusty pink color of late summer.

My first thought was to make corner blocks for my quilt with images of the flower panicles. But after I had assembled the quilt and laid out the border, I decided corner blocks would not improve the quilt at all and might even detract from the focus. By then I had already started a sample block.

It is a sweet little object, just 4 by 4 inches. Made with hand painted cotton, block printed and embroidered. Perhaps I can use it in another project.

Posted in colorwork, painting

DIY Fabric Color – Pattern

Today I will be enhancing the fabrics I color washed yesterday with more color. I’m excited to try water-based resist, a product new to me. I will be using it on the pale pink strip of fabric, also pictured, above.

The product came with a little applicator. I quickly discovered that it was impossible to get the gloppy resist paste into the tiny opening on the applicator. So I moved on to using a narrow paintbrush. But first, I wanted to try some crayons, just to see if the crayon marks would resist the paint. Here is my swatch all crayoned and resisted, before I flowed in the paint.

I mixed yellow, orange and ecru Dye-Na-Flow paint to get a bright gold color.

Tomorrow we will see whether the resist worked. Next I moved on to the striped piece of fabric. I wanted to print it with the following item:

Any one who is related to a son or a grandson will recognize a foam nerf bullet. I will be printing with the back end of the bullet, which makes a very nice circle. Here is the fabric before and after printing with orange Jacquard Textile paint.

Before. (In this image the paint is still wet.)

I would say that this fabric is unique.

Addendum to this post: I thought you might be interested in seeing these fabric swatches after they were washed, dried and pressed.

I’m pleased with these swatches, but especially so the water resist piece. Even though the lines did not resist all the way through the fabric, the front of the piece shows the pink lines clearly. The only negative is that the resist hasn’t completely washed out of the fabric. I will probably need to give the fabric an additional soak.

Posted in colorwork, painting

Colorwashed Landscape


We are busy day today, getting ready for hosting company. So instead of working up a new fiber object, I thought I would share this colorwashed piece of fabric which I made a few months ago. How it came to be is somewhat interesting, at least to me.

I started with a square of white cotton poplin. Using slightly wavy strokes and starting at the top, I applied blue, purple, red and green. Before the fabric dried, I used the “scrunch” technique – crumpling the fabric in various places. This causes the paint to run and dry unevenly, resulting in the dark creases you see above. Immediately, I thought it looked like a view of the Rocky Mountains. Dark brown and black appeared in the creases where the red paint met the purple and green. This reminded me of the mountains in recovery from a forest fire. To enhance the effect, I printed on the fabric in brown and green with blocks cut in jagged shapes, to represent the tree trunks, both living and dead. I painted snow on the mountains. Then I used fabric markers to delineate the sky and a field of pink blooming fireweed.

This landscape feels to me as if it appeared by magic.