Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Use What Mother Nature Gives You!

The second week of February the ladies of StitchMap were, for the most part, snowed in just like most of the rest of you across the country. In order to relieve the doldrums we participated in a dyeing challenge -- SNOW PAINTING ON FABRIC. Oh my goodness but we had fun! We learned a lot about how the kids in the family were probably better at this than we were, LOL! It definitely turned into a family affair in many households. We would like to think it gave the kids a new found respect for the needlework preparations we all go through. At least that is how we justified doing it with them while they were out of school due to snow days!

We were free to use what ever fabric we wanted - most chose cotton or muslin. We could use whatever dye and colors we wanted as long as it could be put on the snow. Various dyeing agents were used: powdered food colorings, paste type food colorings watered down, acrylic liquid craft paints, acrylic paint from a tube watered down, powdered dyes and probably other colorings too.

First the work area had to be prepped. Most of us used a cooling rack spread over a cookie sheet or a roasting pan of some sort, maybe a sheet of plastic or a newspaper underneath (highly recommend - now that we know better, lol). The fabric was scrunched up and placed on the cooling rack in a tight wad - some of us soaked it and wrung it out first, others went the totally dry route thinking the snow would wet it anyway.

Then the kids (if you had them home) were sent out to collect the cleanest new fallen snow possible. At least a bucket full. Can you guess what the ladies of MAP who live south of the equator did in order to participate? They are in the middle of their summer right now. They defrosted their freezers and collected the frost/ice! Very innovative.

The snow was piled on the fabrics and the coloring of choice applied in the manner of choice: sprinkled, poured, plopped, squirted, spooned, you name it. We were fairly loose with the rules of the challenge.

Here is a picture of Cynthia G's two pieces of fabric, under snow with lots of coloring applied. More on her results later.

Tania W. chose to work with deep magenta and raw sienna acrylic paint watered down. She shares that she "plopped" the acrylic down on the ice using a cotton swab.

This picture shows her finished fabric piece after it was heat set in the microwave and ironed. Can't you just see cutting it into several different pieces that would be perfect for embroidering a tropical scene, a still life of flowers, a garden scene or some other design on? So much potential here.

Amy A. let her teenage son, Noah, help her make several pieces of snow painted fabric. Noah enjoyed working on the muslin and decided he would like to have some of the fabric made into an autograph pillow for taking to school and having his friends sign. Amy says she will make one for him out of one of the pieces they dyed together for the challenge.

Here is one of the pieces that Amy and Noah finished for the challenge. We wonder if this is the one Amy will use for Noah or herself? Can't you imagine a multitude of uses for this fabric? Great job!

And what about Cynthia G's piece? Well.....as Cynthia relates it, "...it was very promising until I nuked it to death!" Yes, she burned it up in the microwave! Lesson learned? Don't walk away when you aren't sure how long to set the timer for! But she did get her chance at the opportunity drawing for taking part in the challenge. The day of the drawing Cynthia's luck changed. She WON the prize! Congratulations Cynthia.


slavetobeads.1000markets.com said...

This was indeed a new thing for me and I will add this to one of my favorite things to do. I am afraid it could become very addicting too. Can't wait to cut it up and stitch away!!

PomieMommie said...

I wish I had been able to do this when we had snow. but after seeing the results, I am thinking of trying this with crushed ice!
Donna D