Friday, June 25, 2010

Trusted rusted busted pants

Part 2

Well, hmmm... rusting my trusted pants didn't turn out anything like I expected.  I don't know exactly what I expected, but I didn't want them to look like I'd been sliding around in the barnyard.  Ah well, they have now reached the "nothing can hurt these pants" category, and nothing can stop me now!

Photo 1:  The first wrapping didn't produce much rust, probably because I had twisted the fabric too tightly before wrapping the rust pole.  The main spot of dark rust that resulted was right in the crotch, not a spot where anyone wants a big brown splotch!

Photo 2:  The back of the pants after a vertical roll around the pole on two separate marinate-in-rust occasions.

Photo 3:  The front of the pants showing the bleed through of the rust from the back.

I am going to do to the fronts exactly what I did to the backs, and then some around the hems, and  wash-wash-wash, and then figure out how else I can bust these rusted trusted pants.  Progress (or regress) to be reported here.  I'm thinking paint, buttons, fringe, "interesting pockets."  Someday, maybe very soon, someone will come across these in a bin of tossed clothing and wonder...

Fusing experiment

It's been awhile since I worked on my Mosaic Quilt, now dubbed "Z's Under the Trees," due to travels, my garden, midday heat in the studio, and other distractions.  The main distraction was that I wanted to outline the details in black thread, but not being sure how it would look, I didn't want to ruin it without doing a test of the technique first.

To test it, of course I had to make another mosaic quilt.  This one is from a photo of flowers I took on the island of St. Thomas a couple years ago.  They were against a blue wall, but I took out the blue in Photoshop, because I didn't want to use up all my blue ink when printing.

After printing the photo (11x14), I taped a firm but translucent interfacing on top of the paper, leaving the details of the photo perfectly visible for fusing on my bits of randomly trimmed, hand-dyed fabrics.  I chose to trim curves on the pieces representing the petals and leaves.

Next step:  Stitching.  I took off the paper before doing any sewing.  I wanted the stitching lines to be loose, not exact.  Easy peasy, I can do that!  I used very thick thread I had on an old spool, and my Janome 6600 handled it just fine.  The interfacing was firm enough to work as a great stabilizer, and the tiny bit of puckering was easily pressed out.  I fused on thin batting and did echo quilting with monofilament, and zigzagged the edges - OK for an experiment, but definitely not great, as far as I am concerned.

Here is the finished test sample. I think I will dabble with adding a bit paint here and there.

As far as adding black stitching lines to the much larger Z's Under the Trees, I am going to go ahead with it, but with trepidation, especially on the face details.  Maybe will use a color other than black in those areas.

QuiltArt at 15

Curved Stairs

This is my submission for the QuinceaƱero.

Techniques/Materials/Methods:  My own hand-dyed cottons, paper pieced, fused, beads, paint, angelina, free-motion quilting.  From an original photo by Allen Hrenyk, used by permission.

"Curved Stairs" includes fifteen levels on which I've FMQ'd the numbers from one to fifteen, in addition to the words I put on the banisters. It includes some of the techniques I've been inspired to use through reading the many helpful messages from the Quiltart list. Without Quiltart, I probably never would have tried dyeing or painting fabric, and now I know it's tons of fun! I have only been a member of Quiltart for about four years, but I benefit from all fifteen years, since I can search the archives for answers to my questions on just about any quilt-related topic. Feliz cumpleaƱos,!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rusting the trusted pants


Some dark spots appeared on the rear of my favorite comfy pants, making it appear I had l sat one haunch upon some tiny spots of fresh tar. Not so good, couldn't even wear them to work in the garden.  Several attempts at spot removal were unsuccessful, so the next direction for a problem like this is the If You Can't Beat 'em, Join 'em philosophy.  I enjoyed so much my first rust experiment that now I am expanding into clothing (remembering that perhaps there will be a discomfort factor due to the rust, but that remains to be seen).  This is all experimental.  I don't know how it will turn out!

Since my first experiment went so well, I am using the same rusty iron rod and the same vinegar I used last time.  First I took my dampened pants out of the washing machine, where yet again the black spots had not come out, and painted both sides of the pants with vinegar.

I twisted the pant legs.  The smudges on the pants are due to my having handled the rusty rod, and loose bits of rust sticking to my hands and transferring to the fabric.  Oh!  Idea!  I could probably scrape this rod and make myself some rust paint.  Hmmm...

I coiled the twisted pant legs around the rod.

I covered everything with a couple of white plastic bags and recycled some previously used painter's tape in order to keep the fabric in close contact with the rusted rod.  Now I will let it stew in its juices until I have a chance to get back to it, early next week.

I haven't tried twisting or coiling before, so am curious as to how the rust pattern will look.  I anticipate at least one, possibly two, more rounds of rusting on these pants.  We'll see...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fabric postcards

Here are the faces of a couple of the fabric postcards I sent off yesterday. I kinda like the Dad's Day one!


After making my pile of fabric postcards, I had scraps of Peltex left over, too small for anything else, so I fused fabric scraps on both sides, quilted, and chopped into Inchies. Next step: satin finish all the edges.

This is a great project for finishing up dibs and dabs of threads on all my old wooden spools. For instance, I have lots of "Belding Corticelli Pure Silk size A" and lots of nylon, including an old spool of "Heminway Bartlett Made for xxPont" (Dupont?) Nylon 490 that sold for ten cents. I have no idea how old it is, but I am guessing at least 80 years. I love having - and using - old threads for Inchies! Sure, I have a few battles with breakage; uncooperative threads get moved to the bobbin.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fabric postcards

This stack of postcards represents a portion of the cards I took to the post office yesterday for mailing. I goofed when putting on the stamps, forgetting that some went to Canada, some to Australia, and some to the United Kingdom, in addition to all those going to the USA. When I got to the counter at the PO, I laid out all the cards needing extra stamps, beyond the 64 cents already stuck on them (20 cents extra due to the non machinability of the cellophane envelopes), the postmaster immediately called an additional person to work the counter so that all the people lined up behind me wouldn't be ruining their lunch hour.

He happened to notice I had forgotten to write a note on one of them -- don't know why I didn't notice the big blank spot! -- so I will mail out the 29th in the swap today. In addition, I sent out a birthday fabric postcard to my mother, and am creating a Father's Day and friendship card today.

It's been an "fun and educational," as they say, but I don't know that I will do a big swap again. I put a lot of work into mine, and there are so many other projects I want to get into! I have enough of a collection now, I think.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What color is the Golden Gate Bridge?

This color, April, 2010. It always looks a little oxidized to me, except when it's wet. Dusty orange-orange-red might be a good name for it!