Monday, August 26, 2019

Plenty to Go Around: Part 3
project: approximately 80" x 80"
follow progress on Instagram with #plentytogoaroundquilt

I have some more process photos to share with you! The first is the center flower.  You can see my pencil lines on the white fabric below.  I had to learn a lot for this project.  Usually, that darned tjanting tool drips a lot of dots of wax, so I had to up my skill level for this to work like I planned.  Also, the tjanting tool only holds a discrete amount of liquid wax.  It draws wax lines for a bit and then it runs out of wax, and you have to dip back into your container of liquid wax to refill it.  What is not obvious, is that when you first start drawing with the tool, the lines are thick, and as you get near the end of the supply in the tjanting, the lines get thinner.  It's all about temperature.  The wax is hottest when you first fill the tjanting, and that's when the lines are thick.  As the tjanting begins to cool, the wax lines get thinner and thinner.  To get an even thickness of line is really, really difficult.  So, though you may see a few wobbly and imperfect lines, I am quite proud that I was able to get close to a reasonably even line thickness.  I also learned how to stop and start my lines without them being too terribly visible, which is also quite tricky.  

Now that the lines are finished,
It is time to fill the spaces with dye:
This stage is the BEST part!! I love adding the color.  I also like the intense look of the dyes while they are wet, because once they have finished processing, they are always lighter.
Here is the finished flower, processed, and wax boiled out, hand trimmed with scissors and pinned to the center of the quilt.

This quilt is all about scale, and value, and repetition, and symmetry.  It will be fun to watch it emerge!

Next up, the fawns:
I opted for a light blue line (instead of white), for the definition of the fawns.  This translates to dyeing the background fabric a nice light blue first, then waxing, then bleach discharging. Here they are after the bleach and copious water wash stage, still pinned to the frame.
After bleaching, I drew in the details of the eye and the spots on the near-white parts of the body. Then I started with the dyes.  The dots and eyes were dyed first.  Then, I put extra wax on top to protect them from the stage where I dyed the body turquoise.  You may wonder what all the white lines are?  I was making some flower stems for later.  Not sure if this idea will work or not, but it's not looking too good at this stage.....we shall see!
Colors are: blue spots, brown eyes and nose, turquoise body, light blue outline, and blue hooves and black eye detail.
Here is the fawn after processing the dyes, and boiling the wax out, and sewn onto the quilt:
There will be four fawns around the center flower.  Stay tuned!

Monday, August 19, 2019

Plenty to Go Around: Part 2
project: approximately 80" x 80"
follow progress on my Instagram account: #plentytogoaroundquilt

When I last left off, I referred to the individual design motifs:  "Then it was time to start making all the pieces.  It took me about 12 weeks.  There were a total of 28 fat quarters that I drew, then batiked, and then dyed."

Today, I will start with the chickadees, one of my favorites! The fabric is created in my garage with batik and dye. These will be individually cut out, and then sewn, one by one, onto the giant white whole cloth background.  

This is the sketch on tracing paper, and the beginning of creating LOTS of paper cut outs, to use in the overall quilt design.

Next up: tracing the shapes onto white fabric.  This photo shows the first application of wax.  The darker grey areas are the places where I have put liquid wax (which has then cooled and solidified).  This layer of wax will keep the fabric under it white.
Making many, many, many duplicate chickadees.  This motif needed 3 fat quarters, one fat quarter per wooded frame.
Adding the first layer of blue dye.  It always looks darker when it's wet.  And, at this stage, it is hard to believe this will eventually look like a little bird!
This shows the next stage.  I am beginning to outline the areas that will be filled with navy dye.  The wax on the white areas is still there.
In the last stage of batiking and dyeing, I have added even more wax for the wing, and the underbelly.  I was a bit concerned that when I added the navy dye, it might leak (or drip, or spill) onto areas that I wanted to stay blue, so I protected those with the extra wax.  Below you can see the waxed wing and underbelly that look darker than the background.  In reality, they are still the same color as the background.  I have also added the navy dye to the head, and chin, and tail.  This is beginning to look like my little birds!  :)
Here is the finished product, dyeing complete, wax boiled out, washed, ironed, and individually cut, ready for basting and applique!
What is really crazy about this time consuming project, is that I could have, most likely, just cut individual pieces of fabric for each part of the bird, and sewed them on to create a bird image.  Yes, yes, I could do THAT!  However, the batik has a unique look, that I like, and I like doing it, so I opted for this route.  It will still be a long time before I am ready to add the birds to the quilt.  I am really looking forward to seeing this bird with the edges turned under and the beak defined!  Need more patience, can you send some? Thanks!!