About Me

My photo
I am a wife, mama and grandmama getting through life by hanging on to a needle and thread.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Experimental Design

I have been experimenting dyeing cotton fabric with Sharpie permanent markers and rubbing alcohol this week.  I first tried drawing directly on the fabric with the markers and then dripping the rubbing alcohol on the fabric and that worked alright, but the ink didn't blur as much as I had hoped it would.  However, I discovered that when I pressed another piece of fabric on top of the first one, I ended up with a wonderful subtle
print.  In the interest of not wasting fabric, I decided to try drawing a design on a paper towel, then I dripped rubbing alcohol on the paper towel until the paper towel was saturated and the design was blurred.  After that, I placed a
piece of cotton fabric over the paper towel, pressing gently so the ink would be absorbed into the fabric. (Do make sure to protect your work surface with plastic and wear rubber gloves during the dyeing process or you will end up with a very colorful counter top and fingers to match!)  I let the piece dry thoroughly and then heat set it with an iron. (Take note that rubbing alcohol is flammable, so make sure the piece is completely dry before you expose it to a heat source!)  As I was ironing, I was trying to decide what to do with my tiny "work of art"...a quilted postcard seemed to be the obvious answer (especially since I had a quilty friend with a birthday this week), but I think the possibilities are endless with this technique!


13 comments:

Noell said...

How cool! Love it!

"Lois Grebowski" said...

Isn't it fun???? I played with that a while back... it was fun and sooo darn cool!

Needled Mom said...

What a beautiful piece!! I am going to have to give the technique a try.

Rene' said...

Love this! I've tried something similar with crayons (using the iron to melt the wax) but not with much success. I'll have to give your method a try.

Barb said...

This is really interesting.....it does look like fun!

Cheryl said...

This is neat !!! I knew about this with markers and alcohol but have not tried it yet. The owner of Heartfelt told me about it ,This will be another project to try soon .
Thanks, Susan for posting this .

Terry said...

I'd love to try this sometime! Your little postcard is wonderful! :0)

Kathy P said...

Looks great! I knew you'd have success with this! Looks like another AAQI quilt is in the works!

jovaliquilts said...

What a great idea! I'd never heard of doing this, and I really like the result.

Carol G said...

I read a blog post recently about doing this with silk scarves but I tried it on cotton like you. And I discovered that a secondary piece of cotton yields a better look. But I love your idea to use a paper towel and not waste the first piece of fabric! I'll have to try that.

Barb said...

Very interesting...please continue to share as you play with this technique! I helped an elementary school class with the crayon technique, but not what you are doing...WAY COOL! Enjoy your weekend!

Deb said...

Susan, that is lovely, what fun it would have been experimenting. Will the iron be enough to set the pen if you wanted to wash it. I was thinking how lovely it would be if you made a set of placemats like it. So personal.

Joanne Lendaro said...

very cool! love the postcard!

Blog Archive