More discharge printing

Back to my default occupation – screen printing. My stash of greys is seriously diminishing. This is a good thing. My new set of prints definitely need overprinting either with dye paste or textile inks. They don’t have any depth. My first task is to get out all my thermofaxes and see if I have some that will add the extra dimension the fabric needs.

Discharge Cloth June 2020

Some real work – heavy stitching. That is much more intense than I usually do. I actually enjoyed doing it. The top has two layers, cotton strips in bright colours, black and white as the under layer, covered by dyed organdie. It was a nightmare to get the organdie which is pieced to lie straight but it quilted really easily. The image below shows the start of cutting back the organdie to reveal the layer below. Still a lot more cutting back to happen. It is a slow process.

Zulu Bracelets

A beautiful rose from my garden. The roses are loving this hot weather after a very wet spring.

Keep well and safe

Two more weeks of lockdown

It has been another two weeks of lockdown. It has its ups and downs, for me and everyone I know.

The ups – I had a corona birthday. I thought it would be very subdued but my husband excelled himself. I woke to this banner in our bedroom:

He also sourced 3 virus t-shirts – “It is my birthday party and you are not invited”, a martini glass with “quarantini” below and a Mona Lisa image wearing a mask. I have kept all my cards and plan to bind them into a book as a historical memory of the odd time we are living through.

I have been doing a lot of techie work – tidying up websites and building a new one. Creativity with fabric has been slow to put it mildly. I have started my SAQA donation quilt, a 12 by 12 inch piece – due for July 1st. It had to have a corona theme and here is the fabric:

I cut a paper stencil and applied it to a permanent screen with my scribble on it. It was a surprising result that I am really pleased with. Discharged, of course. And now I have a jug of formusol to do more printing with. But I had better stitch this mini quilt first.

So much time, so difficult to concentrate on being creative

We seem to have been in lockdown for so long and currently little sign, we will get out soon. It makes being constructive quite difficult. I get more visits in my studio than usual – all household members, coming for a chat and to ask where something is.

So last week, I switched to my default activity – screen printing and discharge. I love to decorate fabric and screen printing is fun. Doing it with discharge paste means no soda soaking of fabric beforehand.I have more than one pile of fabric that I am not sure I like the colours of so I have discharge printed some of these. The prints with less discharge will be easier to use. I am considering over dyeing some of the fabric with lots of white as they kind of look dirty!!! May be just vintage.

I have also started to listen to audio books – somehow the radio with its overly cheerful DJs has lost its appeal. Currently I am listening to Becoming Myself: A Psychiatrist’s Memoir by Irvin Yalom. Very New York – I love the accent. But an interesting memoir of another time and world.

Please keep safe and well,

Thioux moment

I am supposed to be doing all sorts of admin jobs at the moment but needed a break so I am playing with Thioux or as my packet says Spectralite.  I have some as it is an ingredient of Indigo vats. But I had never used it to discharge.  I have now and I am surprised that I have any black cloth left. I love the effect!!

Thioux IKEA 1
Thioux IKEA – over cooked this one. I will need to work back into it.

Thioux IKEA Moth
Thioux IKEA Moth – the effect is like a moth with its wings folded

Thioux Makower
Thioux Makower – a different fabric

Have a go – very easy – 1 part Spectralite to 4 parts soda ash and heat up til almost boiling and throw in the scrunched up and bound fabric. Take it out before you think is discharged as it looks only part discharged when it is actually ready.


Current project

I have begun a new project for an exhibition in October. The title of the exhibition is “Unfolding Stories” so I am making patches which were intended to become a book. As usual, I haven’t worked out how I am going to construct the book and am not actually sure that is the right format for the patches but here are the first two patches:


Discharge day with Mandi

Yesterday, Mandi came to play for the day. She doesn’t usually work in black so discharging was mostly new for her.

We had thick and thin bleach, Jacquard Discharge paste and thick and thin formosul.  The thin bleach was very cheap bleach – I think mostly water as the results were not good.  Lesson – don’t buy cheap bleach for discharging fabric!!  Mandi was good and sampled all five with a number of different fabrics – I just played with some larger pieces and credit carded one in formosul and one in thick bleach, both on linen. Here are the results with some small cut offs:

Hopefully, Mandi will blog her samples – here is her address –

Now for some sewing!