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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Take It Further April - Day 2

Yesterday morning, I looked at this block and almost decided to scrap it and start from scratch. I just wasn't happy with how it was turning out although I do love how it pieced up:

April Take It Further Block Day 2

When I came home from visiting with my sister, I looked at it again and a famous quote by Henry Ford popped into my head. He said, "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, either way, you're right."

Then, one of my father-in-law's 'words of wisdom' came to me. "Can't never did nothin'!"

I decided to go with the flow and see what happened.

I grabbed my tin of Dyna-flo Dyes by Jacquard and painted those lace pieces. As you can see, that seemed to do the trick. It brought everything together and now I feel as if my mission to turn Autumn/Winter into Spring/Summer has been accomplished.

Judy asked me how to go about painting lace. It's actually quite simple. First, I use the Dyna-flo dyes (which are available at Michaels) because they come in small bottles and I only paint what I need each time. I never do a whole bunch at once.

Step 1 is to wet your lace. Lay it out on paper towels so the excess water is absorbed. After a minute or so, move the lace to dry paper towels. I like to mix several variations of colors. If you look closely at the Iris, you can see that there is some warm purple in there and some soft blue-purple. I just think this adds a more interesting look.

You'll want to water the dye down with a drop or 2 of water. Remember, you can add more color later if it comes out too light.

Because the lace is wet, it will pull the color in from the brush. Keep in mind too, that it will dry lighter than it looks when it's wet. Practice on a piece of cotton fabric first so you can see how the wet fabric absorbs the color from the brush.

Once the piece is done, you can let it air dry and then heat set it with your iron or you can iron it dry. Since I have nothing in the way of patience, I put my pieces in the microwave to dry. I start with 1 minute at 50% power. Then another minute at 50% power. Then I do 30 seconds at 50% power until it's dry. Textiles will burn, even in the microwave so it has be done a little at a time. And trust me, there is nothing that smells worse than burning lace!

Keep in mind too that natural fibers take the dye much better than synthetic fibers. Polyester is not a good choice for hand-painting with dye.

If you're wanting an old, antique look, you can add a bit of yellow and/or brown to your color. It's a matter of experimenting to get the look you want. Like I said, you can practice on a piece of plain cotton fabric to get a feel for it before you try it on your appliques.

Today, my goal is to find a butterfly that will show up on this block. I don't care if it's new or vintage but that's our quest for after breakfast.


Allison Ann Aller said...

Pam, my friend gave me some embroidered butterflies the other day...they are on my blog under the "Teacher comes to call" post. I will gladly send you one if you think it will work. It measures 3" X 2 1/4". If you want it let me know...

Allison Ann Aller said...

Oh, and the lace is just astoundingly beautiful.....perfect.

Judy S. said...

Hi Pam,

Coloring the lace made such a difference! Thanks so much for the info on how to do it....sounds like fun and really "tones down" the lace and makes it fit in...just what I was looking for.

BTW, those butterflies of Allies are great! Be sure to check 'em out.

patternnuts said...

Painting the lace really tied it all together, wonderfully!

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