Friday, April 04, 2014


Hmm, you guys weren't much help with my last question about quilting sequence, but I figured out that I could fuse the extra squares and rectangles to the background regardless of whether I quilt the extended rays over them or not - kind of a "duh" moment. Guess I was trying to avoid stopping and starting if I decided not to quilt over them. At any rate, before doing that, I decided to take the extra square I have and test printing on it. My sunburst stamp is similar to the kaleidoscope so I thought it might work. I tried my brown and black stamp pads and neither looked right (that's the black on the right in the above photo). Then I wondered if a blue ink would blend better and cracked open a Speedball printing ink called denim. That's it on the left and it definitely printed darker than I expected. I like the idea of echoing designs in those added fabrics and think if I could find a blue ink more like the background blue, it would make the whole piece more complex and interesting. On the other hand, I'm am wondering if I'm making this too complicated, chancing taking away from my main design rather than enhancing it. Is it time to leave well enough alone, seeing the added fabrics as extensions of the kaleidoscope block, pieces broken off, the quilting over the top the only tie-in needed? I'm beginning to think so.

So that's one distraction keeping me from proceeding. The other is my loathing of waste. I just wanted to test a little of the denim color, but when I peeled off the inner seal, it was coated with quite a bit of paint. I simply couldn't throw it in the wastebasket. But what could I print with it?

I took a quick look around the studio and my eyes lit on a truly ugly piece of "art fabric" that came out of my friend's stash - The camera couldn't capture it well but it has a very muddy look with colors that really don't go well together. I won't name the artist, but she was in an art group with my friend, and I did get to know her a bit. Loved her quilts, not so fond of her surface design. So this piece of fabric had gone in the pile destined to become fabric baskets. What the heck - perhaps some stamping would improve it. And I must say, it did. I could see incorporating this into a tote or handbag sans cutting. I may stamp something else in those blank areas as well. But mostly I am showing you this so you can see how far that bit of ink on the seal went. This is where I had to start dipping into the jar to fill the last bit in the upper right corner. It also gave me the opportunity to hone my pouncing skills with the foam brush - much better than the last time I tried that. However, this was NOT what I was supposed to be spending my time on today, not not not!


Wil said...

How about using the same stamp with bleach?

June said...

I rather like the repeated "sunburst" -- the repetition actually in some ways simplifies because it continues the other design with a twist. And I definitely like the not-waste fabric you printed:-)

I wouldn't complicate the sunburst much more, though. I think the quilting could be very simple.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Oh Wil, that is indeed a good idea. One thing I was thinking was that if it was kind of pink maybe that would also be better. Discharge might give a ghost image. Alas, my bleach pen is so old that nothing discharged on my little sample. Either that or the fact that the fabric has been treated with Retayne is keeping the dye from bleaching out. Wish I had more of this fabric to experiment with. More thought has me fairly sure I should just proceed without adding any more design detail. The quilting will have to carry it. Thanks for your input.

Wil said...

Instead of a bleach pen, just use cleaning bleach and a foam brush. I never worked with Retayne treated fabric, so I cannot tell you if that is blocking the bleach.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Truth be told, Wil, my cleaning bleach may be nearly as old. I remember the first time I tried discharging with bleach. I think I dabbed it on or perhaps misted it on black fabric to which I'd ironed a freezer paper stencil. I watched carefully because I was told the discharged happened quickly, but mine was like watching paint dry it discharged so slowly. Only later did I learn bleach loses its punch over time.

If I wasn't on a bit of a deadline, I'd experiment more (or buy some fresh bleach!).