Sunday, May 27, 2018

Even More Eclipse-Inspired Quilts, with No-Bleach Discharge

It's nine months since the one-in-a-lifetime lunar eclipse last August, 2017, and since then, I've made a bunch of eclipse-inspired quilts, here and here. Below is number #3, a small piece measuring 6.5" x 8.5", all batiks, with 1" squares as the background....
Number 4, at 15" x 22", more batiks...
...For added atmospherics, I threw on some sparkly gold tulle...
...and purple netting from a vegetable bag....
Finally, #5, the piece I wanted to make from the beginning, 
It measures 12.5" x 7", and was inspired by the photo my friend Anne took of an Atlanta sidewalk during the eclipse. 
At a glance the photo shows sun shining through leaves, but at a second glance, you see the sunlight is shaped like tiny moons. To interpret the scene, I used a process called "discharge," similar to bleaching - removing dye from colored fabric  - with a product called deColourant* which is safer than bleach, for fibers and for people. 

I began by sewing together strips of brown and purple batiks to serve as the background. With an x-acto knife, I cut tiny moons from freezer paper. Ironed that stencil onto the patchwork, and applied two kinds* of deCoulerant - one that removes the dye, leaving white moons, and another that removes and replaces the dye with gold. 
I moved the stencil several times, after waiting for it to dry between applications, to cover the whole piece.
 Once dry,  I  pressed everything with a hot iron, which triggers the dye removal.
 Peeled back the freezer paper, washed out the fabric, and let it dry.
 Just for fun, I added leaves, flower petals, and an eclipse.
I laid the top onto batting and backing fabric (the purple-and-white batik you can see along the bottom and right), and strewed the leaves and petals about. With a temporary glue stick, I swiped some of them and stuck them in place.
 ...Then carefully laid a piece of dark purple tulle on top and freemotion quilted around the moons, leaves and petals.
I cut the three layers even, and satin-stitched around the perimeter a couple of times with purple thread. A purple marker took care of remaining white bits.
 And there it is, all done! It has a nice sculptural look around all the internal shapes. I think I'm finished making eclipse quilts, but you never know!

*The deColourant product recently changed ownership and formulation. The plain and metallic gold versions I used for this quilt are no longer available. Learn about the new products here, or for an informative PDF, click on: "deColourant and deColourant Mist FAQs". 


  1. oooh! a new art supply to play with! I've used bleach as a discharge (sorry, I guess that word is taboo according to Jacquard) but always wondered about it eating the fabric after awhile. I am going to start a 100 day project in a week or so doing a leaf a day (print, stamp, sketch, applique, fmq and now maybe, dare I say the word? - discharge! )

    have you ever thought of doing a 100 day project? I'm starting on 6/11 and have made a facebook group for anyone to join in and play along. no rules or police. just have to think of something you want to and can do once a day for 100 days. good way to learn or get better at something. search for 100 days project for quilters on facebook if you are interested.

    1. Carol, I DO want to do a 100 day project! How do I join?