Sunday, June 25, 2023

Screen printing, natural dyes, and the Summer Solstice

This past Wednesday, June 21, 2023, was the Summer Solstice. It's the longest day of the year (in the northern hemisphere) with the shortest night. Did you take advantage of all the daylight to do something creative?

Screen printed fabric with natural dyes.

For my Summer Solstice, I was experimenting with screen printing, thickened mordants, natural dyes, and cotton lawn bandanas in a textile workshop called Pattern & Prints & Plants & Play, with Sarah and Emily of Homebody Textiles.

Iron mordant with cutch natural dye.

By using different mordants, the natural dyes react differently to produce the colors.

Three different mordants on logwood.

Mordants can be applied through a screen to create a crisp edge on the patterns. Or, brushes, sticks and other mark-making tools can be used to apply mordants directly to the cloth to create the designs.

Hand painted (left) and screen printed designs on cotton lawn drying outside.

The palette of natural dyes to add color were: weld, pomegranate, logwood, madder, cutch, and lac. Mordants of alum, iron, and titanium were mixed in various ratios and applied to the cloth to create pattern designs. Citric acid was used to discharge.

Color swatches of the natural dyes and mordants.

The following design was inspired by a stitch composition from my 100 Days of Fabric and Stitch Colleges Project. It reminds me of the summer solstice.

Hand application of mordants to cloth dyed with lac.

Blanket stitched circles served as inspiration.

During the half of the year that is now behind us, I diligently kept up with my Create Daily Tracker. The multi-colored boxes indicate the use of a variety of materials and techniques.

2023 Create Daily Tracker—June 25.

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Building a stash of scrappy bindings

Sometimes you just want to feed fabric through the sewing machine... without having to do a whole lot of thinking. If you want to do mindless sewing but still feel productive, “scrappy bindings” is the answer!

Prepping a batch of double-fold bindings for charity quilts.

Here's how...

Pull from your stash:

  • those lengths of fabric left over from past projects, 
  • orphan 2.5" precut strips,
  • trimmings from other bindings—the piece that was cut off after making the join,
  • long, skinny trimmings from wide backings,
  • the yard cuts you bought as a "good buy" but didn't really have a plan for.

Cut the fabrics the width you use for bindings (I cut bindings at 2.5" for charity quilts). I also cut the ends of the strips at a 45-degree for a bias join.

Sort the strips by color, value, or print... or just mix them up for a truly scrappy binding.

Chain piece the fabric strips together at the 45-degree edge to make long, continuous lengths. 

Press the seam allowances (I press to one side since I've joined the strips on the bias) and then press the strips lengthwise (wrong sides together) for a double-fold binding.

One of my kitty quilts received a scrappy yellow binding.

It’s good to have a stash of bindings at-the-ready for kitty quilts, kid quilts, and charity quilts... or whatever project you have that calls for a scrappy edge. I have a batch of kitty quilts that I’m working on. These scrappy bindings will be put to good use in the not-too-distant future.

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Virtual Q&A with Patrick Lose, hosted by
the Southeast Tennessee Shop Hop

Patrick Lose, fabric designer

Hey Quilters! The Southeast Tennessee Shop Hop is hosting fabric designer, Patrick Lose of Patrick Lose Fabrics (a division of Northcott Fabrics), for a conversation and virtual

Q&A with Patrick Lose
Thursday, June 8
1 pm Eastern / 12 pm Central

You're invited!

Take your lunch break and tune in to the conversation with Patrick. Contact any of these participating quilt shops to request a Zoom invitation to the Q&A with Patrick Lose session. 

Southeast Tennessee Shop Hop participating shops are:

The 2023 Southeast Tennessee Shop Hop passports are also available at these shops.

Mark your calendar

The Shop Hop is scheduled for July 13, 14 and 15, 2023. Tell your quilting friends and plan a trip to visit each of these shops to see what's in store. Pick up a block kit and shop for the newest fabrics collections, patterns and notions. Each shop has their own specially curated selection. Be sure to get your passport stamped while shopping at each shop to be eligible for prizes.

It's summer fun for quilters!

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