Even More Sun Printing in Alaska

Two inches of rain fell in 12 hours in Anchorage.  Once the sun reappeared, I was outside sun printing again.

DSCN0183The 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.

DSCN0179Two other experiments were not quite as amazing, but nonetheless produced fabrics usable for my purpose (quilting).

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.DSCN0177

The photo above shows it after about 45 minutes, when the blue color began appearing.  I moved the light slightly, gave it another hour or so, and here is the result:DSCN0185

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.DSCN0181 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: DSCN0184 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.)DSCN0182

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!DSCN0180


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