Saturday, July 30, 2011

Grape Dyes and Sunprints: The Sequel

A few weeks ago I got together with my quilting buddies from the Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective and dyed fabric with grapes and grape concentrate.

 A little after that I experimented with sunprints of grape leaves.

Now I'm putting the two together.
The grape-dyed fabric was cut using a grape patttern and sewn onto the grape leaf sunprint

Can you believe that I actually stuffed a few of those grapes?  On the back, there is a piece of muslin, and after I sewed the lines for the grapes, I cut into the muslin and stuffed many of the grapes with polyester fiberfill. 

I added background paint to the grape bunches, then made three-dimensional wired leaves with the grape leaf sunprints.

This is the piece as it now exists, pre-quilting

 My next step will be to add trapunto and then quilt the piece as a whole.

I'm going to add this piece to a harvest themed quilt show soon to be mounted by the Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective.

Meanwhile, emboldened by the success of the sunprints, I tried a few more today, using the leaves of the birch tree in our yard.

If I decide to continue in this--ha ha, vein--I may use the sunprints to make three dimensional leaves to be part of this image:

How cool would that be?  The fiber images would be made from cloth stamped with the leaves of the same birch whose leaves have fallen into the birdbath in this photo.

I also tried to make an image of a cabbage leaf in all its tattered, lacy, purple-veined glory.

Why did that cabbage leaf give me only the most ghostly of images, all but invisible here?


  1. Dogwood leaves will be turning soon -- the berries are already getting big. The colors should be an inspiration. I can bring you some exotics if you feel inclined -- sweetgum, dawn redwood, katsura, golden raintree, among many others.

  2. Oooh! OOoh! but they have to be used soon after picking....

  3. Hey Girl,
    Like the combination of photography and natural dyes! Sun prints are the best!
    Not sure about the cabbage leaves. How long did you expose them? They're pretty dense, maybe you needed more time or stronger sun - what time of day?
    Keep on going!!! They look gorgeous!

  4. Thanks, Chris! I left that darn cabbage leaf outside all day, pinned to the cloth and foamcore. I used Pebeo Setacolor watercolors but with a lot of pearlescent. I've used Setacolor for sunprints in the past but I think the difference is the amount of pearlescent in this one. So I know I can still use Setacolors but not with so much pearl. Also, I contacted Jacquard and they said that if I wanted to use their paints for sunprints, I should use their Dye Na Flow.

  5. That will teach me to read more carefully!
    Yes, pearlescent is more opaque and probably blocked the light. Perhaps do that after you get the sunprint?

  6. P.S. Hope you saved that lacy cabbage leaf!