Tuesday, June 12, 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons....

In this case, I could not find a suitable border fabric for my latest 1600" quilt.  In case you have forgotten, a couple of weeks ago I posted about the 1600'" Quilt I had created during a session of Saturday Strippers.  Here is the link if you have forgotten.

My problem was that I wanted a patterned fabric for a border and couldn't seem to find one that would work.  Of the three solutions I suggested then, I finally decided to go ahead and try to make my own fabric.

With that in mind I cut samples of three different black fabrics I had in the house and applied a little sprayed bleach to each of them.  Friends convinced me that one of them looked pretty good and I went off to make more.

I laid out the black fabric on the driveway and laid old clothesline, a dog tie out and some pine needles on it.  I then sprayed it with a 50% solution of bleach and water.

One hour later this is what it looked like.  I sprayed it a little more and proceeded to wait for more magic to occur.
 After two hours, this is how it turned out, with the ropes and pine needles removed.
After a quick bath in 1 teaspoon of sodium bisulfate (Pro Anti-chlor from Pro Chemical and Dye) and 2 1/2 gallons of warm water, to neutralize the bleach, I dried it on the clothesline 
I had used to make the patterns and strung up among the trees in the back yard.  Once dry, I applied it to the quilt top and this how it turned out:

I think it turned out well.  I am now looking for an opportunity to lay it out on a large surface for basting because I have lots of ideas on how to quilt it.

This bleaching technique is definitely something you should add to your skill inventory as it it is so useful when confronted with dull, solid color fabric.  The plain cotton curtain over the window of my back door is now covered in various loopy designs after I used a bleach pen on it and some wonderful bright pink rayon yardage ended up with a bunch of lemon yellow speckles after bleaching using a spray bottle.  And check out this wonderful little quilt where the leaves seem to be floating on air.

BTW Paul says this quilt is a little girly because there is some peach in one of the fabrics.  I guess I can keep this one for the dogs and me to use because we don't care if it's a little girly.

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