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Mon 11

Sun Printing on Fabric with Memory Box Die Cuts
by Anne Thompson

Friday here in central Maine was a gorgeous day--sunny and warm with a breeze to keep the bugs at bay-- as I ventured north to Farmington for a sun printing lesson with artist Mary MacFarland.  In preparation, I die cut multiples of many Memory Box images from thick and thin white and black cardstocks. 

Here's what three of the pieces look like when finished.


Mary provided a variety of fabrics to work with--cotton, linen, taffeta, and more--and a huge selection of pre-mixed translucent fabric paints.  We worked outdoors on a large picnic table in the shade.  I chose a fabric from my class packet (a scrap of old linen tablecloth), placed it on a piece of laminated board, and painted it however I wanted. I chose a kind of rainbow look for this one.  While it was still wet, I placed the SOARING BIRD die cut on the fabric and added more paint on top to help anchor it to the fabric.  I also sprinkled some kosher salt on the purple section.  Then I put the board in the sun to dry.


I repeated this process several times, using a variety of fabrics, translucent fabric paint colors, and die cuts.  

Once they were dry, I peeled the fabrics off the boards and removed the paper die cuts.  Then I hung them on the clothesline with everyone else's until I had finished all of my pieces.


The final step was to heat set them using a hot iron at the ironing station inside her studio.

This piece will hang on my porch with my prayer flags.


Some of the other pieces will become pockets on garments  or may be incorporated into quilts or fabric wallhangings.  I may also over-paint on some of them with opaque fabric paints or add accents with fabric markers.

Here's a closeup of one where I used the FLORAL CLUSTER.


There are many resources and specific directions online for sun printing both on fabric and on paper.  I remember years ago making sun prints with my students using those blue paper kits.  I'm thinking that may be my next sun printing adventure so I can use them on greeting cards.  Thanks, Mary!  

Happy Crafting!

Anne Signature




Oh this looks like fun and another creative way to use dies!
Question: what is a prayer flag, are you referring to the Buddhist prayer flags?
just curious, I haven't seen one in my area.

Hi, Cynthia. This was soooo much fun! I didn't wear gloves but most of the paint has worn off by now. :-) I do have some Buddhist/Tibetan prayer flags on my porch. When I was going through cancer treatment I made another set of prayer flags (ten of them strung together) that I also have hanging on my porch. I used Memory Box stamps and fabric paint on muslin squares and added words of affirmation and quotes that were important to me using fabric markers. This new flag represents many current issues with a wish for peace and kindness and civility. Thanks for your comment and your question. Anne

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