Thursday, July 1, 2010

Good Day, Sunshine!

Living in Minnesota, one knows to take advantage of warm sunny days before winter inevitable returns! This week, I had ample opportunity to do just that! 

What do you do with a sunny day with nearly no breeze? Sun printing! This was inspired by a trip to JoAnn's, where I found their yard decoration/summer decor at 60% off. I immediately grabbed a bunch of the really neat looking metal pieces, with sun printing in mind.

I diluted some Dye-Na-Flow colors and got to work. You should know that the more you dilute this paint, the less it seems to "sun print" - I left mine out for about 45 minutes and got fairly light results. Next time, I will wet the fabric first, which should make the undiluted paint go further.

I laid the white fabric on top of paper bags on my deck. Then it's just a matter of painting them, then laying whatever objects you want to use for blocking the light. Then it's just patience. You do have to check back to make sure the wind doesn't catch the fabric and fold it on itself, or you will end up with strange sun print marks!

The colors in this butterfly piece were nearly blinding in the bright sunlight!

I don't like wasting things, so when I was done I poured the paints into a couple of cups, then stuff fat quarters in them. 

Of course after all that time out in the hot sun, you need to rehydrate - yummy lemon water!

I waited until the fabrics were dry, then brought them in to heat set with the iron, as you can see, some of them turned out quite a bit too light due to diluting (lesson learned!) but the lighter ones should make some pretty background fabric.

My favorite piece by far is the butterfly! I look forward to quilting it up as a whole cloth - and I see heat set crystals in its future.

If you get a nice sunny calm day, I recommend you give this process a try! Things to remember:

1. JoAnn's summer decor is on sale!
2. You need a calm day (preferably no wind at all)
3. Wet the fabric first - and don't dilute the paint
4. You will need patience!

But wait! What about those fat quarters in the cups? What happened to those? I left them in the cups outside until the next day - and I just ironed them out and took some snapshots. Keep in mind it's dark here as I write this, so the pictures aren't as bright as I'd like. Here they are!

I absolutely fell in love with the green one, and the picture really does not do it the justice is deserves! I can't wait for another lovely day to work outside with the sun printing again!

1 comment:

  1. I wish we had a JoAnns close by. But I bet I could find something fun at home to sun dye. Great blog. I shared your blog addy with the Northern Lights Machine Quilters Guild on Tuesday. I told them to check it out cause it is really well written and that you were a friend. I even printed the addy on little pieces of paper for them.