Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wax on!

There’s a good reason not to get rid of everything you no longer use. My chicken frying days are over, so the electric fry pan is now the wax melting pot. I’m using soy wax that melts at a fairly low temperature. What I don’t use is left to cool for the next time as you can see here.

electric fry pan2

This is my second attempt at batik. My first was a big fat fail due to the fact that I left out the important step of adding the soda ash to the dye bath. The soda ash acts as a fixative so the dye becomes permanent and usually the fabric is soaked in it prior to adding the dye. But soda ash tends to break down the soy wax, so it needs to be added after the wax has been applied and the fabric is in the dye. Then the fabric needs to be removed and rinsed after a fairly short time.

Anyway, these are the tools I used to apply the wax to the fabric. The little cutter was originally used to cut shapes from polymer clay and was round. I bent it to the shape I wanted and used a pair of pliers to dip it in the wax. I don’t look at common household gadgets the same way now. Anything is game to be turned into a dyeing tool.

batik tools

The pop can and the altered cutter made the flowers. The wax was applied on white fabric and dyed once.


batik flower

The square bottom of the glass vase was used here. I dyed the fabric very diluted black, batiked it and over dyed it with a stronger black solution. It’s a little darker in real life than in the photo.

batik squares

This fabric was dyed light yellow and over dyed after the wax was added.

batik circles

Drying outside! I really enjoy the batik process and will hopefully improve with some practice. The other two pieces were from a different experiment. 

hand dyed on the line

On the H2H front, this is what I have accomplished so far. Remember when I said I was going to use a pattern? Yeah, well I just couldn’t make my brain conform to that. It’s kind of like Captain Picard and the Borg. I just won’t be assimilated. I already had started to cut 2 1/2 inch strips, so I gave in to the flying geese urge. It was one of those days when I just wanted to sew and not think much and the result was a heck of a lot of flying geese. Then I made big flying geese and had HSTs left over to use. I’m pretty sure it will all come together somehow.


This is the start of a baby quilt I’ve been asked to make. There will be appliqued flowers (already cut with the fusible applied) in between the rows. This needs to be finished next week!

pink baby quilt

And just for giggles, chickens crossing the road. The people who live across the road and one house down from us own these chickens, but lately the crazy things have been exploring the neighborhood.

Question: Why did the chicken cross the road?

Answer: To show the possum it could be done!

That’s one of the four jokes I know.


And from Pinterest:


Hop on over to Sarah’s for the Whoop! Whoop! partySmile

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  1. My frying chicken days are over too. I became vegetarian and I have chickens for eggs now. How could I eat my girls?? Why are yours over?

    Your H2H quilt is lovely!! So light and innocent looking. For a little girl, I would think.

    And your fabrics look lovely. You seem to be having fun with them. Do you use them to quilt or what?

  2. I still use my electric fry pan for bacon and eggs and a german sausage, cabbage, and noodles dish. I look forward to see what you will make with your dyed fabric. WOW! Your H2H quilt is awesome. Hope you see your finished baby quilt. Very Pretty.

  3. Loving the batik action. I'm so excited you are enjoying this. I can't wait until I get to play... Love the black square fabric.... love it!

  4. Your batik experiments are fabulous! Always wanted to try this too so I love reading about how you did it. I'm so impressed with those flowers you made from the pop can! Fun to see your works-in-progress too. Fun story about those chickens! I don't think I've seen chickens cross the road in a long time. See lots of turkeys, though!

  5. That is so cool! I have never seen homemade batiks before!

  6. Love your batiks! And your H2H quilt is awesome - and now on my bucket list! That"s my daughter's favorite chicken joke (her first, when she was four) and I love that sign!!!

  7. Love the fabric with the squares - so simply modern. Your outlook towards patterns is wonderful. I too refuse to be assimilated. So refreshing!

  8. Which came first, the chicken or the frying pan? Okay, lame attempt at humor here...never mind.

    Love the chicken pic and the saying! Your wax resists are fascinating. I really like that overdyed yellow piece. I admire your cojones for making a quilt without a pattern. It's looking great!


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