Technique of the Week #36 – Batik Wax Resist

Project Hours: 6 hours
Design and Materials: 1 hour
Execution: 5 hours
Ok.  I threw in the towel on this one because I am really, really bad at this technique.   I did 4 different batik designs, and this is the only one that came out remotely decent, and I still don’t care for it.
I used real batik wax that I got a year ago at one of the IQF shows.  I got a melter pot just for the wax.  I used a tjanting tool.  I practiced. The wax was smelly and I was very patient.
I did not use PFD fabric, which may be problem #1.  I did not let the wax soak into the fabric well, which was definitely problem #2.  I also tried what someone recommended and very lightly ironed the back of one of the pieces (not pictured) that just ran my design into a giant puddle of wax onto the fabric.  Into the trash that one went. (Note:I normally never condone throwing attempts into the garbage… sometimes you can save a bad piece, but these could not be saved, they were that bad)
I used Setacolor paints instead of dyes, but I don’t think that was any issue here.  You can see that it ran underneath my batik lines, so that would have happened either way.    
I am NOT good at batiking.  I really suck at it.   So, you know, I guess it’s good to know that right?
Right after I chucked (literally) 3 of the other pieces in the garbage, I signed up for a Soy Wax Class at CREATE, which is coming here to Chicago in August.  I hope to be a LOT better with soy wax than this crazy wax I have.

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Technique of the Week #35 – Gelli Arts Gel Plate Monoprinting

After a brief hiatus, “Technique of the Week” is back for a couple of weeks to show you some cool stuff! My plan was to eventually finish all 52 weeks, so here’s week #35!

Project Hours: 2 hours
Design and Materials: 1/2 hour
Execution: 1 1/2 hours

On my list of Techniques to try for this series, “gelatin monoprinting” stuck out at me for a long time and I was not inspired on getting it started.

Then I got this new product called the Gel Printing Plate from Gelli Arts.  After seeing the video on how to use it, I was hooked, and could not wait to try it out on fabric.

Here are all of my supplies and my Gel Plate ready to go.  I used regular cotton fabric (my favorite Southern Belle white from Springs) and SetaColor paint for fabric.

I started off simple, by adding a smidge of paint and rolling it out on the gel plate with my brayer.  In between colors, I rolled off the paint onto regular computer paper.  It worked really well, even when using a light yellow next.

I eventually got fancy by adding 2 colors to the same plate and also over printing.

Here’s some of the papers I made too!

This was so much fun, but not seconds after I cleaned it all up (with water- super easy!) and put it all away, I realized I didn’t print an Octopus for my TOW themed quiltlets. I pulled it all back out and played again!  It took about 10 minutes for set up, and 15 minutes to clean it all up.  Super easy!  No gelatin molds to cook, refrigerate, break apart, etc!  I was so glad this product came along so I could try this. 
To get your own, check out the Gelli Arts page!   

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Technique of the week #34- Mokume Shibori

Project Hours: 10 hours
Design and Materials: 1 hour

Execution: 9 hours 
This is my dye project for “…And then We Set it on Fire”, a technique group I am part of for this year and which you can follow along on our blog.  I have put up more about how I did this technique there.  Go check it out!

I had the Quilting Arts Dec 2009/Jan 2010 issue out for this technique because I had the pleasure of meeting Enid at the Houston Quilt Festival.  In this issue was the last technique and this one.  Both fairly easy to do.

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Technique of the Week #33- Water Soluble Printing

Project Hours: 3 hours
Design and Materials: 1 hour

Execution: 2 hours 

This technique is by Susie Monday, and her directions are in the Dec 2009/Jan 2010 (last year’s) Quilting Arts issue.  I also watched her Quilting Arts TV segment this week and was inspired to do this.

My drawing was made on some thin cotton that I stretched into a hoop to use as a screen of sorts. I used Caran D’Ache Neocolor II water soluble crayons I got from the art supply store. I drew this Octo very heavily and then slathered on a mix of matte medium and GAC 900 which is a fabric medium by Golden Acrylics. 
The first screen is always the crappy one, but this one that I quilted was screen #2 that I pulled.  The medium mixed some of the colors but I liked that.  This did have a little bit of a stiff hand because of the matte medium, but it was a fun technique that I will try again.

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Technique of the Week #32 – Electroluminescent Wire

Project Hours: 5 hours
Design and Materials: 1 hour

Execution: 4 hours 
To say that I love the electronic convergence of tech and textile is an understatement.  I don’t just love it, I LURVE it.  Love love love it.
So when I saw fashion students using electroluminescent wire in garments, I just HAD to try it.  EL Wire is readily available on the internet, and if you saw my little video with Pokey Bolton, you know I found some by typing it into the almighty Google machine to locate some. 
That piece was in my gallery show and some other places, but it was really my trial piece.  I didn’t know what to do with it, how to get it to stay in shape, etc.  i have perfected it now, and while I can’t give away all my secrets (yet) on how to do it, I know you’re all smart folks and can come up with some amazing designs of your own.
Sticking with my octo theme for the year, this little bugger is done with 3 feet of El Wire, and it’s an 8 inch piece.  Almost all of the time was spent on shaping and sewing down the wire. It’s a flexible tube, not unlike your iPod cord.  So take a look at that cord and imagine bending it into tight corners, etc and you will see the dilemma here. 

But, oh, when it’s done, it sure looks pretty all lit up.  The swirled background gives him an eye in shadow when he’s lit up.

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