Thursday, January 24, 2013

Preparing Fabrics for My Project

I've been busy creating fabrics for my newest project. I want to do a series of quilts with the theme of prayer flags. There are a lot of beautiful commercial fabrics out there, but I want to create my own for this series. Maybe I'll stick a commercial one in here or there, though. What I need are fabrics to put in the sky area. I'm not going for a totally realistic look for this series. I want to express the idea of the prayers being sent to the Gods via the wind. So what I did was start with 100% cotton muslin and a poly/cotton voile. I prepared a gelatin plate in a large cookie sheet (I had to lock the kitten outside during that process...he's still being trained to not jump onto the kitchen countertops).
Then I wanted to use the paints I had rather than purchase more. (I've decided to use up my stash before I buy more paint of any kind.)  I had  Jacquard blue textile paint, Jacquard russet paint, Jacquard teal neopaque paint,  regular white acrylic paint, Golden Gac 900 Fabric Painting Medium  Mixing the combination together gave me a desaturated light blue. (Using the acrylics with the Gac helped not make the fabric too stiff.) They say not to mix different product brands together, but this one worked for me.
I used a brayer to put the paint onto the gelatin plate. Sprayed it with a little water. Took a toilet paper roll and smooshed it a little to make it more of an oval and then made marks with it in the paint. Put the fabric over it and took a print. Sprayed more water on the plate and took another print with another piece of fabric.
I repeated but this time used a cardboard edge to draw streaks in the paint instead of making ovals with the toilet roll on the plate before printing.

with ovals from toilet paper roll
with streaks from cardboard edge
with ovals
with streaks
I mixed up gray paint and repeated. I repeated all several times on different fabrics.
I found that I didn't think I could use these for what I had in mind. Then I thought that if I spread some white Shiva Paintstiks on them I could blur up the marks and make the patterns more mottled. When I was digging through the bin looking for the paintstik, I saw a rubbing plate and had an ahah moment.
See below how I added the rubbing with white paintstiks. I don't know if you can see from the photos, but I used a stencil brush to blur the patterns to make them more subtle. Now I think I can use the fabrics as backgrounds with the theme of spreading prayers. I have torn the fabrics up and made a layout and will look at it over the next few days to be sure I like it. But I think it is promising. Man... this blogging thing is kind of scary... to share unfinished work. Because usually I make a lot of changes before a work is done.
streaked and rubbed
with ovals and rubbings

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