Finding the Perfect Marbling Colors

Finding the perfect colors for each hand marbled pieces of fabric can be a challenge.  Generally I find myself using a combination of six colors.  The tricky part is that the paints I use are opaque (Solid), translucent (see through but not clear) and transparent (clear).  Each color is printed on a colored background.  I am using Burnt Orange for this example.1_Burnt_Orange_Fabric All of my paints are in clear jars.  A fair amount of fiddling around and trying different combinations of paint follows.  My favorite combination is dropped onto the clear marbling base.  Sometimes that can change the look of the colors.
2_Colors_on_Base

The hand dyed fabric is the gently lowered onto the base.  They are lifted and rinsed.
3_Wet_Marbled_Fabric

I discovered it is hard to photograph wet fabric.  The water reflects the light, just like a lake or pond.4_Wet_Marbled_Fabric_CU

Opaque colors tend to stay the same, translucent colors may darken or appear to mix with the fabric color, transparent color allows the hand dyed color to shine through.  More fiddling with the combination maybe required at this point.
5_Marbled_Fabric_Curing

The colors often change once they dry.  The hard part is waiting fifteen days for the paints to cure.  No trying to rush them or the colors do not adhere properly and all of the work is wasted.
6_Marbled_Burnt_OrangeThe cured fabric is washed, dryed and ironed.  It takes about three week from start to finish.

Guardian Spirits by Joy Hegglund

Nothing makes me happier than seeing my hand marbled fabrics turned into wonderful, brilliant, amazing creations.  A couple of Summers ago I received a this photo from Joy Hegglund.  She had taken the photo on Hornby Island, BC, Canada.  Joy was excited to be taking a class from Kathy McNeil and she would be using this photo.  Kathy was kind enough to recommend my hand marbled fabrics to her students.  Joy wanted a range of grays dark to light and a selection of blacks.  I started experimenting with a gradation of grays, dying them and then marbling.  Joy had planned ahead, so I was able to get her hand marbled fabrics to her in plenty of time class her class.
Joy_Hegglund_Origional_Phot

Earlier this week another photo arrived of the completed quilt, Guardian Spirits.  Congratulations are in order as Guardian Spirits has been accepted into International Quilt Festival, Houston 2015.
Guardian_Spirits_Full

It takes my breath away.  I love seeing the original photo and then Joy’s creation.  Is it just me are do I see faces in some of the rocks?
Guardian_Spirits
Guardians?
Guardian_Spirits_EXOK, I had to show off my hand marbled fabric.  I am in the middle of adding new color and updating existing colors to my web site.  Take a look!

 

Diamond String Quilt Revisited

Mariana Foliart was in my booth at Quilt Fest in October 2104.  She was admiring my hand marbled fabrics and all of a sudden she looked at me and said something to the effect of “I’ve got it, I know just what to do”.  I asked “Got what?”  She said, “You will see”.

In May 2015 during a wonderful visit to the La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum with my sister, we found Diamond String Quilt.  The original (on left) was created in 1890 it’s maker is unknown.  Marianna was so taken with she decided to make and updated version.  The original quilt was made using silk, due to age and the chemical processes use on silk during the period (1880 – 1890) the black silk varies in color.  I was so excited to see that mariana had used my hand dyed marbled fabrics to create that vintage look.
Old_and_NewDiamond_String_1

Diamond_String_2

Diamond_String_3New

A Job well done.

Marbling Begins

I have been busy dying fabric to marble.  I have two large piles of fabric dyed, thought I had best get started on the marbling part.  Here is a glimpse into the marbling process.  River Rocks – this is how the marbling base looks after I drop the paints onto the surface.  The paint expands and I can drop the fabric at this stage or carry on.River_Rocks

 

The first step in moving the paint and creating a design is always Gel-Git which means back and forth.  It is the foundation for most marbling designs.

2_Gel-Git

Followed by Cascade.  I use a selection of custom made rakes and combs, different widths 1/4″  to 3″ gaps.

3_Cascade

I can go several ways at this point, this piece turned into Dragon Wing.  This is one of my original designs and the name is because everyone sees some sort of wing it the design.

4_DragonWing

 

The first three days of color are Cerulean, Purple and Teal.  The colors are always darker when the are wet.  Some colors are opaque, others are transparent, that may call for adjusting and fiddling with the colors a bit.  I also have started using a clear Iridescent paint, because it is clear it allows the  hand dyed fabric color to shine thru for more drama.

5_Cerulean

 

Room for twenty pieces per day.

6_Purple

 

 

They get to drip dry over night, followed by a two week rest to cure.7_Teal

Falling Leaves Jacket

Kimono_Jacket_FrontFalling Leaves is one of my favorite jackets, it is easy to wear and it has pockets.  It is also a paintstik project that evolved, it started as a simple jacket and ended up rather dramatic, never fails to attract attention.
Kimono_Jacket_BackThe original panels are the ones you see on Hand Dyed Gold fabric.  I uses a wide variety of leaf and vine stencils, Matte Sap Green and Meadow Green with a light wash of Iridescent Copper on the edges for the panels.  Below is a close-up of the back panel.
Back_Panel
The black (Left Side) of the jacket is were it received it name, I was walking in the wood with the dogs and saw the leaves falling and knew that was the way to finish the jacket.  The same paintstik colors but on black this time.
Falling_Leaves