Sun printing fabric

For the first time since I came back from the Art-is-you Petaluma retreat, I finally got some creative work done. It was easy to the point of being fairly mindless, so that helped. I’d do it again all day today if it was warm and sunny, but alas, cool and rainy weather has set in for a few days. I don’t really mind because I have lots of projects for indoors too.

This was pure play. I’ll probably cut these fabrics into pieces for patchwork or stitching. The smaller piece is linen and the others are cotton. I used Setacolor paints and the blue was Golden fluid acrylic, but any transparent acrylic would be fine. Acrylics have to be heat set, so when the sun went behind the clouds I popped them in the dryer on high for 30 minutes. I’ll iron them and wash them (in that order) before I use them.

I didn’t iron the cloth before I painted it because I like the effects that the wrinkles in the cloth make. I took the cloth directly from the wash to a freezer paper covered table in the porch. You can cover your surface with plastic, too. The main point is that the cloth needs to be wet before you begin painting. The objects will not print over dry areas – I tried that to see what happened.

Lynda at Bloom, Bake & Create has a lot of nice posts with photos of her experiments with sun printing. She also uses Dye-na-flow paints, which is what I’ll use next time along with the Setacolor paints. She also wrote an article for Quilting Arts magazine about ice dyeing that got my attention this year.

Sun printing fabric

Then I painted with some brown and green to tone down that pink and kept going…

Sun printing fabric

Then I switched to my favorite palette of blue and green on unpainted sections…I should have re-wet these but they still came out nice.

Sun printing fabric

Sun printing fabric

Now that I understand the process better I’m really going to have a ball with this.