Thursday, September 25, 2008

Prairie Treasures Quilt Show

I will be vending at the Prairie Star Quilters Guild show this week-end. Come and see Rust-Tex fabric in the cloth, because it is so much better then on the internet. Follow this link for more information:
I will bring the same rust dyeing supplies that I carry in the store at and MORE!!! If you let me know you are a reader, I will give you a free gift.
(There is no picture of the day as my hard drive failed and EVERYTHING has to be reinstalled...sigh...)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Another Question

To answer the comment left on the last post, "Is there something you can do to the tannin effect so that it doesn't wash out if you want to overdye it? I tried soaking my tannined piece and it started to soften around the edges. Any advice?"

Tannin is used in natural dyeing as a premordant so I am surprised that it is washing out. Rust dyeing is sensitive to ph levels. If you are soaking it in soda ash in preparation for procion dyeing that might be what is causing it to "soften around the edges."

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

More Crystals

It seems I am fated to grow crystals this week in the Rust-Tex Dye Studio. All day yesterday there was a strong dry wind blowing and it was HOT. We finally had our first 90F day of the summer. I was out to the studio (read: deck) every hour to rehydrate fabrics. I was getting frustrated until I remembered there is a way to utilize those weather conditions by making what I call "Copper Hills" fabric. I have not used the copper solution since last fall and it was STRONG!!! These little crystals formed at the top of all the ridges. Most the copper color rinsed out and the fabric was less than spectacular.The best thing to come out of the Rust-Tex studio yesterday was the picture of the crystals.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Blue and Gold

In the bright sunlight and hot weather on Labor Day, I exposed a maple leaf from the yard to blueprint fabric. Today I wanted to see what would happen if I tried to rust dye veins on to it.
Two things I was totally unprepared for happened.
First, some organic matter fell out of the tree overhead, a seed pod of some sort, which caused a stain on the fabric. Keep your eye on the circled area to see how that developed over time.
Second, the salt traveled to the edges of the fabric and started forming into crystals!!! Remember how we use to grow crystals by mixing bluing, and some other household chemicals together and putting it on coal?
(Oh, dear, did I just give away how very old I am?)
Anyway...this picture shows how the piece looked after I removed the wire. I wanted a record of it in case all that nice blue color washed out.
But it didn't!!!
I found I can combine rust dyeing and the wonderful colors of cyanotype.
The thin wires didn't rust at all. That wire must have had some kind of coating on it. Don't worry I can add them with free motion quilting or "thread painting" as it is being called now.
I like the glow the salt and/or iron oxide made as it discharged the blueprinting chemical. Click here to link to directions for growing crystals with bluing

Monday, September 01, 2008

Labor Day Already?

Can you believe it is Labor Day already? Where did the summer go? If this is September 1st, Quilt Expo in Madison, WI must be right around the corner. I will not have a booth there this year as my quilt, Ground Zero and I are going to be featured at the Mendota, IL quilt show that Saturday. However I will be presenting a 1 hour lecture for Quilt Expo on Thursday at 2:30 called, "Capturing Memories on Cloth". It is how I took paintsticks with me on vacation to capture names of cities and textures of various cultures on a pre-hemmed silk scarf so I came home with a finished product, not another UFO.
You can register for this lecture by clicking here.
You can see all the lectures click here. They are alphabetical by lecturer's last name.