Friday, May 6, 2011

Buttons and Things- Discharge

Quilt #28
Buttons and Things

A New Year's resolution - 2007.

At the beginning of January, 2007, I decided that I would try to make one journal quilt a week to experiment with different techniques on a small scale.  I had made a few journal pages (see previous posts) and really enjoyed the process but hadn't made any since September, 2006.
I had fallen on some ice and broke my wrist on December 2nd, 2006, my arm was still in a cast, but I needed to do something “quilty”. It could not be too complicated as cutting was a challenge, but I could use the sewing machine.


For this quilt page, I opted to experiment with discharging (removing colour from the fabric). I chose bleach (Javex) and a dishwashing gel (Cascade) as a discharge medium.

I chose some blacks as well as couple of coloured fabrics and found that some discharged better than others and some do not discharge at all. 

 Also, although most fabric discharged to a brown and/or beige, a few provided surprises discharging to other colours.


I added a bit of water to the bleach so it wouldn't eat through the fabric, but used the dishwashing gel as is.

I found that the bleach gave nice crisp straight edges and more even colour while the dishwashing gel, being thicker had softer, more mottled and uneven edges.

I made a couple of square stamps from a sweet potato, and using the bleach, stamped a grid on a black and dark blue print that had discharged nicely. When I thought there was enough dye removed, I rinsed in clear water and dried.

I added some embellishments to the squares, clothes labels, small bright scraps of fabric and yarn. A rummage through my Mom's button tin produced some old worn metal buttons and odds and ends like a little buckle, a snap and a zipper tab and a dismantled earning part.

Back - this is the original fabric that was discharged on the front

A simple grid of metallic copper thread between the squares and a buttonhole stitch for the binding completed the quilt.

NOTE: I have discharged more fabric since and have used vinegar or a product like Bleach Out to neutralize the bleach.

Made on January 6, 2007.

I think spring has finally arrived in Kenogami, we still have ice on the lake and patches of snow here and there.  I'm really ready for summer, it has been a long winter.

Off to work in the garden,

Have a nice day,


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