Two inches of rain fell in 12 hours in Anchorage. Once the sun reappeared, I was outside sun printing again.
The piece above is Kona PFD fabric from JoAnn fabrics. It combines the shibori technique with the sun printing chemicals (purchased from www.blueprintsonfabric.com). I used a long stitch and machine-sewed 5 lines the length of the fabric. I pulled the bottom threads to gather the fabric–just like you do when creating ruffles. I then soaked the fabric in the cyanotype chemicals and put it out in the sun. The next photo shows how it looked when I brought it in, before removing the threads, rinsing and ironing.
While it was still very cloudy, I wondered if artificial light would work. So I put an Ottlite (full-spectrum) bulb in a shop light, clamped it to my husband’s bike and set a piece of chemical-soaked fabric beneath it–with foliage on top, of course.
The purplish color in the upper-left leaves indicate that something went wrong, but at least I have experienced first-hand the possibility of sun printing indoors (which I’d read was possible).
I found some transparency film made for a printer different from ours, but used it nonetheless to print “The Holstee Manifesto,” which I love. I placed the transparency over a piece of chemical-soaked fabric and set it out in the still-hazy sun. First I did this with wet fabric, which is how I normally sun print. Then I did it with dry fabric. (I dried the chemical-soaked fabric in a closet, then ironed it sandwiched inside a press cloth in a room with the curtains closed.) Here are the results: The fabric on the left was wet when it developed; the fabric on the right was dry. It was hot (70 degrees?!) and sunny when I did the fabric on the right, and I believe I overexposed it: Here’s how it looked after I brought it in. (It’s the piece on the left.)
It should be dark blue and the masked areas should be light, but you can see that the whole thing is a faded lavender; obviously it improved after rinsing. Well, I was busy weeding and sort of forgot about it. It still is serviceable in a quilt–as a medium-dark-blue fabric with faded text.
Speaking of quilts, I am taking Rayna Gillman’s quilting class here in August, and I need to have a UFO to slice and recombine. I have no UFO, so I’ve got to make a quilt top! I plan on simply sewing squares of sunprinted fabric together: I certainly have a lot!
I’m including one photo for the benefit of knitters who are waiting for me to dye more self-striping yarn for my etsy shop. I’ve begun creating the 60-foot skeins needed for creating the self-striping yarn. Later this week I will dye yarn!