Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's not easy to resist this resist

I found this resist technique on the Quilting Arts web site, and have wanted to try it since summer. But I knew that I could do this technique in the house, unlike flour resist, where the rinsing and waste must be dispensed with outside.

You saw this photo (or at least part of it) on Monday. On the table are four torn pieces of bed sheet, one of my favorite fabrics to play around with, along with some light Karo syrup.

For the first part of the technique, we need to check the desk. On it is my heat resistant craft sheet and iron, along with a sheet of freezer paper. If you have never used freezer paper, there is a shiny side and a dull side.

As an aside, Pokey Bolton, the host of Quilting Arts TV (this show should be on your local PBS station), says every quilting artist (and quilter) should have a big roll of freezer paper. I couldn't agree more, but keep the big roll upstairs in my main floor craft room.

I cut several hearts from the freezer paper and laid them on the fabric shiny side down (facing the fabric).

I then ironed the fabric using the setting on my iron that matched my fabric type, adhering the hearts and co-incidentally removing a few of the wrinkles. You can see there are a few wrinkles left. I can hear my Grandmother now, saying my favorite "momism:" "The object is to take the wrinkles out, not put them in."

While I never got the hang of removing all the wrinkles, I was able to get the freezer paper adhered to two pieces of fabric. There are hearts on one piece and trees on the other.

Materials for this part of the project include:

Plastic bag to lay on your table
Pre-washed fabric (cotton, muslin, etc.), cut or torn to your specifications
Karo light corn syrup
Low tack masking tape
Optional: rubber gloves to protect your hands

Also on the table are two masks and some metal stamps which will be used at a later time.

The instructions on the web site said to pin your fabric to the plastic bag, but I'm no dummy. I didn't want any holes in the only barrier between my fabric and the table. Yep, this is one time you must use a drop cloth of some type.

The web site also suggested you could place another piece of fabric under the first, which might would give some lovely finished fabric.

Instead of pinning, I used low tack masking tape. You may use either tape or pins. It's your funeral choice.

Additional materials you will now need besides the fabric, syrup, and tape:

Brush of your choice
Optional: instead of the brush, you could use a pipette or eye dropper (not shown)

Begin slowly adding a few drops of syrup to the fabric directly from the bottle. Note what I said not what I did. I was paying more attention to taking the photo than I was to pouring the syrup.

By the way, I do not have spotted fever, although my hand and arm look like it. It's merely the lighting and the reflection from the pink plastic.

Spread or drip the syrup around the fabric using your brush or pipette. Note I got a bit heavy handed on the fabric in the back of this photo, and I tried to spread out the mess I made in the front fabric.

Once you are happy with the syrup, clean your brush. You will be surprised how quickly this syrup washes out of the brush with nothing more than hot water. In less than two minutes, you have a clean brush. Wet, but clean! I was thrilled with the quick and easy clean-up.

Again, according to the Quilting Arts web site, you now have a choice. You can either add your color now, or you can wait until the syrup has dried. The artist teaching the technique said she used only fabric paints and dyes and offered names like Dyna-Flo and Setisilk. I think those are the right names, but I don't have either of these paints and the only dye I knew would stand up to washing, was Staz-on. She also didn't say anything about how long to wait before adding the dye or paint to the still wet syrup. However, if you are adding the dye to the wet syrup, you should use a pipette or eye dropper.

So, after cleaning the brush, I brought my Staz-on reinkers to the basement studio and picked out four I wanted to use. I chose forest green, olive green, cactus, and sunflower yellow and stuck with the dropper on the bottles.

I began by adding many drops of cactus dye to the fabric. Not much happened except a bunch of tiny drops soaked into the fabric. To try to relieve that problem, I headed to my main floor craft room again and got a plastic cup I filled with 91% rubbing alcohol, along with an empty mixing cup. By the time I returned, some of the ink had dispersed a bit.

Although the dye was much lighter when I added a bit of rubbing alcohol, it was still quite vivid. I was very careful to stay as far away from the syrup as possible, allowing the color to bleed into the fabric.

My second color was forest green and I added it, also using a brush and rubbing alcohol. This brush got some syrup on it, so I immediately cleaned it after I was finished. Now I'm not sure, but I think the ink has seeped under the resist, so I'm hoping the dye and alcohol will break the resist (syrup) down enough to get what the author of this technique calls a "ghostly effect."

I chose to do this technique with only two of the fabric swatches because I'm not sure how I'm going to feel about the process. For the other fabric, I will wait till it is dry, then paint it using some kind of fabric paint. However, we must wait several days before the syrup is dry (although I read it will still be a bit sticky) and can be painted. At that time, we shall see which technique I prefer (if either). One thing I'm sure of. Although it is messy, this is the easiest resist clean-up I have found.

Please let me know what you think so far.

13 thoughtful remarks:

Annie said...

I shall be watching with interest to see how they both turn out. I'm itching to have a go too now :-)
A x

see you there! said...

I think I'd need to wear a big apron, LOL! Love your tutorials, can't wait to see the results when you are finished.


Nancy said...

What's more fun than working with messy stuff and getting something wonderful to use in your projects as a result? Will be watching to see what happens next.

Dosfishes at Sparkle Days Studios said...

Gooey fun looks like to me. Not sure about karo syrup though. Never did like that stuff. Be interesting to see it finished. xox Corrine

Nancy said...

Oh, this looks interesting and I'll be happy to see the end results :) I like your colour choices.

Whimsey Creations said...

I can't wait to see the rest of the story!

Marilyn Rock said...

Thanks for sharing this process....syrup? WOW! It looks like it's going to be an awesome result; can't wait to see what's next! I live vicariously through your processes, that you try,as I just don't have the space, here, to do everything that I'd like to. Love this! xxoo

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Knowing me...I'd need a Haz mat suit to do this technique! I am interested to see how it all comes out.

Monica said...

i think i would use the syrup to make a pecan pie and buy a resist. If it is just an experiment OK but if you plan to make something and live in an arid climate it should be OK.

elle said...

this I like. I'm all for easy, especially clean up. I wonder what the Canadian version of Karo syrup is? Bee Hive? But it is terribly thick.

Halle said...

Wow!! You are so brave! Never in a million years would I try this one. I don't like sticky. It's a tactile thing with me.

voodoo vixen said...

You do come up with the most amazing ideas and they seem to involve food products quite a lot!! Will be waiting eagerly to see what results you get from this!!

Tracey Potter said...

This looks awesome!