Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dye-na-flow and Batik-EZ shirt

Following the resist experiment I posted about last week, I decided to try using dye-na-flow and Batik-EZ to create a shirt from a Jacquard Tutorial I found on line.  I didn't follow the instructions to the letter, but did my best to use them as a guideline for my project.  I may go back and add a little after studying the results, but here is what I have so far:

The instructions said to iron on freezer paper to the inside of the shirt, to avoid having the dye-na-flow bleed through.  I tried this, but found the result to be very awkward to work with, so I removed the freezer paper and inserted foam board that I had covered in plastic, then used spring clamps and T-pins to anchor the fabric before I applied the Batik-EZ.  I did one side of the shirt at a time, then allowed the Batik-EZ to dry before I moved to the next side.  Once I had all the stenciling done, I applied the dyes.  The tutorial from Jacquard said to do one color, then do some more stenciling, then apply another color.  I ended up putting all 3 colors - yellow, green, and blue - on at one time.  The front was the first side I applied paints to, and I wasn't quite sure how much water to apply before painting on the dyes... I got a lot of dry brush strokes before I added in some more water.  After that, I brushed on sufficient water before the dye-na-flow to allow it to blend better.  Live & Learn!  The last thing I did was insert smaller pieces of covered foam board to the sides and sleeves in order to apply the dye-na-flow.  I got some overlap, but I think it came out pretty good for a first try.  What I do know is this is something I can't see doing for my shop... way too lengthy a process to make it cost effective.  However, I do think I can add the stenciling to dyed shirts, and plan to try that next.  Stay tuned for more adventures!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Comparing resist mediums

On my 'to-do' list for awhile has been an idea that I wanted to compare different resists to see what their characteristics were, and what kind of results I would get using them side by side.  Yesterday and today, I finally got a few moments, and did this experiment:

From top to bottom, the resists used were: Batik-EZ, Jacquard water-based resist, and soy wax.  Once I applied the resisits and let them dry completely, I brushed a little water over the fabric and immediately followed with dye-na-flow, using a foam brush to apply.  Then I misted a little with water, and allowed the piece to air dry completely.  Once it was dry, I rinsed to remove the Batik-EZ and water-based resist, then dried again.  And finally, I used a hot iron and newspaper to remove the soy wax, then heat set the dy-na-flow.  
Comments about each resist - Batik-Ez was fairly sticky to apply.  I used a stencil and stencil brush, then washed all in hot soapy water.  When the brush was dry, it felt stiff, so I washed again after soaking in water.  
                                               Jacquard water-based resist separates and needed to be stirred a good deal to get it mixed well before I applied it.  The resist felt like it was greasy to the touch, and I had to wash off the brush and stencil quite a bit to remove the residue.  
                                               Soy wax - I am used to using this as a resist, but noticed that the shapes I got were less sharp than with the other 2 resists.  And of course, there was the issue of having to iron it out in order to avoid washing away some of the dy-na-flow.  My main purpose for this test was to see if i could achieve comparable results with Batik-EZ and/or Jacquard water-based resist to what I am used to getting with soy wax, and I am happy to announce that the results were good from all 3.  Ranking by ease of use, I think Batik-EZ was slightly easier to use than the Jacquard, and more convenient than the soy wax.  But in a pinch, I think any of the 3 would get the job done.  A bonus of the first 2 is that they are easier to remove than the soy wax.
I plan to do more testing using different application methods, and will post results as I get them.       

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Laptop Cover

First off, I need to give full credit to Beth Berman for what you are about to see... check out her wonderful post here.  You will find a great post describing an ipad cover she made for a friend!  I fell in love with it, and decided to try my hand at making something similar for my new laptop.  I dove into the fabric stash, and came up with a combination of hand dyed fabric and commercially dyed/printed fabrics, then I set out to make the quilted piece for the cover.  I spent several visits reviewing Beth's work and analyzing the process she used to construct her cover.  Finally, this morning I was ready to assemble my cover.  I hemmed the top edges of the cover.  The straps were made and attached to the cover, then I stitched up the sides.  I then discovered that I had not made the cover wide enough to allow the laptop to be placed inside... oh, no!  I quickly e-mailed Beth for ideas, and she came up with the perfect solution!  I quilted 2 strips - one to be added to each side of the cover.  I ripped out the seams on the sides and part of the hems on the top edges. Then I aligned  the strips of quilted fabric with the sides, edge to edge.  I used my zigzag stitch to attach the strips, then I covered the zigzags with a strip of fabric with raw edges folded under.  I re-measured the width, trimmed off the excess fabric, re-hemmed the top edges, then  seamed the sides.  Aah... now it fits!  Here are pix of the front and back:

I really like how this came out!  I used 'flip and sew' to attach the fabric to batting and backing.  Then I used free-motion quilting to enhance each piece.  I still need to attach a tab with velcro, but I think I'll leave that for tomorrow... thanks again to Beth for all her help and inspiration!  She's a very lovely and talented lady I met on  "...And  Then We Set it on Fire".   If you haven't visited yet, you should check it out!  Lots of inspiration to be found there! 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Great day!

Ever have one of those days when you were "in the zone"?  Well, that's what it's felt like for me today.  I have been trying some new techniques, and working on some products for a potential sale to a gift shop, and it just seems like things were falling right into place today.  First off, I have to thank Beth from Maine for her post here about a playdate she had with a friend... they used textile paints on scarves that they had batiked with soy wax.  I have had some problems with trying to overdye silk scarves after dyeing and using soy wax... the next dye bath didn't take, and I have been told that it is very difficult to overdye silk... something about not as many places in silk for the dye to bind to compared to cotton.  Very frustrating!  But today, I tryed Dy-Na-Flow fabric paint for the first time, and I'm overjoyed at my results!
The scarf was dyed first, using Procion MX dyes.  Then I applied soy wax to resist the next layer of color.  I used a pattern similar to one Beth mentioned in her post, only I applied the wax with a foam brush in a basket weave pattern... Beth used an antique potato masher on her scarf.  The photo above shows the scarf laid out on my work table with plastic and newspaper underneath.

Here is the scarf after I applied the Dy-Na-Flow.  I used black, and applied it with a car-wash sponge that I cut down to fit into a margerine tub.  I used my rubber gloves, thank goodness, because paint is just as hard to get out as dye, and I definitely would have had black hands if I hadn't worn the gloves!
I let the paint dry, then I used a hot iron and pressed it between sheets of newspaper to remove the wax and heat-set the paint.  Then I washed and dried again.

Here it is!  I'm so happy with how it came out, and can't wait to do more projects with Dy-Na-Flow!  Thanks, Beth!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Autumn Leaves batik - final dyeing

After I took the picture I posted yesterday, I left the piece to batch overnight.  Early this morning, I decided I wanted to add some more layers of color to the background to add to the visual interest, so before I laundered the piece, I used a sea sponge and added some Palomino Gold, Copper (my mixture), and a little more Dark Brown.  Then I batched for several more hours before I rinsed and laundered the piece.  Here it is now:
The piece was still wet yesterday when I took the picture I posted then, so it appeared that the background around the leaves was darker.  Once it dried, it became lighter.  Today, after adding the additional colors, I see a little shading and more of a variegated background, which I like much better.  So now, I think I'll keep it up on the design board for a little while to decide what I will do next: finish as an Art Quilt?  Stretch, mount and frame?  I have finished similar pieces using traditional quilted and free-motion stitched methods, but I think studying it for awhile will help me to see where it takes me.  One thing I'm glad of is that I tried using batik to block out the leaves before dyeing the background.  It's nice to have a more muted background than I get if I pre-dye the piece with the autumn leaf colors, then cover the leaves, then overdye the background.  I'll post more when I have taken the next step on this piece.