07 Mar

Fabric Marbling

On Saturday I gave a workshop for the quilt guild on marbling fabric. I’m no expert, but I’ve done it a few times for myself and for other quilty friends, so i figured “why not?” The guild was hosting a retreat at a “camp,” so we had a cafeteria, a large lanai, and all day in which to work. Great conditions.

I pre-prepared 20 yards of fabric, about 15 colors of paint, and 9 gallons of “goo” on which to float the paint. That was a lot of stuff to carry with me, but a few 5-gallon buckets did he trick. Four trays to work in was just about right for the 14 students we had. There was just the right amount of waiting and watching each other (good for inspiration) without feeling like you were standing around bored. Though, with six pieces of fabric each to marble, we exhausted the goo in a few hours. Unless one has a very light hand and paints that float perfectly, there can be a lot that sinks to the bottom. As the goo is depleted with each “print,” you can dredge up more and more sunken paint. I made 6 more gallons of goo at our lunch break which kept everyone going until we had used up our fabric, but if I were to do another workshop I’d mix two rounds worth of goo beforehand or limit the class size or number of prints each person could make. Six opportunities each is good though because there were lots of chances to try different patterns and color combos.

Unfortunately, I did not remember to bring my camera to the workshop. It’s too bad too because we had a great time and color was flying everywhere! We had a great group of ladies who were willing to “go with the flow,” and just play. I took home the leftovers and did a little more marbling this morning. I realized that marbling could be just the right technique for the 12×12 theme I came up with: Kilauea. My results above are not as deep and rich in color as I wanted so I’m going to try some over dyeing with Procion dyes this week. We’ll see what happens.