*Tutorial by Catherine @ CathGrace for her win of the RIT Dye challenge of season 14*
And then gently roll over the Lego base plate, you can get a feel for the amount of pressure you want to place on the roller, as you go. I moved the plate around randomly so that sometimes it was skew, and overlapping where I had already rolled. I covered the whole yard of fabric this way. (My other two base textures, not pictured here, are the suction cups on the bottom of a $1 store, rubber bath mat, and just rolling on the surface of the fabric with the foam roller, alternating the amount of pressure.)
Here’s what the pink and green fat quarters look like once smeared and waiting to dry. By the way, the print table has a couple of old flat sheets pinned to it, so that my canvas surface doesn’t get contaminated with dye. (I only mention this now, because in just a second the color is going to change to a clean sheet, and it’s a TOTALLY different color.) Anyway, after I let these two colors dry, I removed them from the surface and set them aside for 24 hours. I repeated the smearing process with all 12 fat quarters, in 12 different colors.
After 24 hours, I thoroughly rinsed all of my fat quarters; it takes rinse, after rinse to get the water to run completely clear, (and I used synthrapol to help wash all the fugitive dye out of my fabric) and then I still put them in the washing machine to run through a wash cycle. YOU DO NOT WANT ANY DYE LEFT TO BLEED OUT LATER! After drying my fabric, I pinned 2 fat quarters to my print table, (the red one shows the rubber bath mat suction cup texture) that is now newly adorned with a purple sheet, and got ready to print my pigment. I used a speedball pigment in a pearl white color.
The images I screen printed on top were my own, and the screens are made by a thermofax machine (I am recycling screens from another project, so I did not make them recently) A thermofax machine takes the carbon found in a toner printed image (like the sort of toner used in an old copy machine) and burns through a plastic coating to a screen layer, to make a screen that can be used very much like a screen print that has used a light reactive medium to burn in an image. The same effect could be achieved by stamping on your fabric if you aren’t able/brave enough to make a screen!
I had 12 different screens that I could use for my fat quarters, and I used the white pigment for all of them.
Once everything was printed and dry, I cut up all of my fat quarters into 5.75″ squares (you can get 9 per quarter) and then took the remainder to make even rectangles.
I randomly mixed up all of my colors, and sewed my squares into 9 square blocks. In order to be permanent the pigment needs to be heat set. I didn’t heat set the pigment before now, because I knew I would be ironing my squares once sewn together, so at this stage, all the pigment was set too.
Next I cut my 9 square block into 4 separate squares, by making a cross right down the middle.
I know that this sounds like a lot of steps (and it is!) But in reality, if broken down into steps, it’s not that hard to do, and boy is it really satisfying to have a quilt top made entirely from my own fabric!!! I hope that this tutorial helps you see that it is really possible make your own textiles, and use them in projects!!!
Thanks again for all your votes, I am excited about the finals!