Piece of Mind

As I reported earlier, I’m busy piecing together the top to my January 8th art quilt. Haven’t come up for a name yet for the project. This is bottom 3/4 of the quilt, it measures 62″x52″:

So, once everything is pieced together, I will use reverse applique to cut out shapes from the top. I will need a vertical border on each side of the top. I don’t think a horizontal border is necessary, but 2 verticals will be nice I think. I dyed some yardage today, so I’d have enough for 2 strips for either side; the quilt will be about 7 feet tall when done. I want more saguaros, to connect the political message with the unique nature of Tucson, and what’s more unique than a saguaro?

In this quilt, I’ve used only 8 colors of procion dye: 2 yellows, 1 red, 4 blues and gray. By sticking to the same palette for the entire project, there is more unity and I get variety by mixing the primary colors in different proportions.

For the border fabric, I took an 8 foot length of sateen, scrunched it up in a large plastic tub and poured different color dyes to create a gradation of sunset-type colors:

The fabric turned out okay, but it needed more Ooomph.

The most interesting hand dyed fabric is dyed several times, to create layers. To try something different  I screen printed a color remover onto my dyed fabric. I used thiourea dioxide, an easy to use chemical, much safer (for people as well as for fabric) than bleach, and followed the directions (somewhat) on the link just mentioned, which describe how to add the chemical to print paste. The bigger containers below have plain print paste, which I always have in the back of my fridge so I can screen print at a moment’s notice.

Here you can kind of see the saguaro shapes screen printed onto the dyed fabric, with debris from the storm in the background.

You know, the directions in the link I mentioned state to steam the dried print paste (a steam iron is fine) to set the color remover. I didn’t do this. I just let the fabric sit and dry out in the hot, hot sun for 30 minutes and after this, I tossed the fabric in the wash. This is how it looks:

I really like the effect. I’m going to dye it more tomorrow. Here’s how it looks “auditioning” as a border on the left side of my pieced top:

So far so good! This was a very productive day, but I felt sad about my palo verde tree: it’s going to have to go. Here’s what it looks like now, it’s falling over a bit more, just a few days ago it was completely perpendicular to the ground!

Looks like I’m going to need a chainsaw. Or, more accurately, someone to use a chainsaw for me!

Author: Clareannette

I love working and making art in the Sonoran Desert!

One thought on “Piece of Mind”

  1. Cool, the cactus gives your quilt theme good context and I dig the new colors.
    My hubby could chainsaw that down for you if teleporting was plausible these days 😛

Leave a Reply