Thursday, October 4, 2012

Rusty Nails

Wet PFD, vinegar and rusty nails and clips.

I spread out the nails and clips on the plastic.
Then covered it with the wet fabric. And then poured
some vinegar over the surface.

After one day.

I soaked the piece in salted water.

Hanging to dry.
The whole piece.

A friend of mine was inspired by a recent Quilting Daily post about a surface design Round Robin.  So she conned, er invited a bunch of us to participate.  I decided to start my piece with some rust dyeing.  I had done a trial of that a couple of summers ago.  Of course, I can't find the instructions that I used nor did google bring up the one that I used.  So after reading several other tutorials, I decided to try the vinegar method.  The previous time it used kosher salt.  I first wet thoroughly a half yard of PFD.  I spread out a piece of plastic (a used plastic birthday tablecloth from the dollar store).  I scattered a bunch of rusty nails and clips over the plastic.  I then layered the fabric over the rusty items, pressing down to make sure that it was touching as much as possible.  I doused the fabric with white vinegar.  I used the plastic tablecloth to cover up the fabric.  I didn't want it to dry out too fast.  I put some rocks on the corners, I had it outside so that the sun could keep it nice and warm.

I checked it that evening and it had dried out a bit, so I spritzed it with water and covered it up again.  The next day I checked it and it was still wet.  Later in the afternoon I decided it was dark enough.  I threw all the nails and clips into the bucket for the next time.  I rinsed out the fabric and then I put it to soak in a small bucket of salted water.  I did not measure the water or the salt.   I let it soak for several hours.  Then I rinsed it again and let it soak overnight in plain water.  Very little color was in the water in the morning.  The hanging to dry photo has a better view of the real color.

So now I will press it, put my initials in the corner and mail it off to the next person.  Our group likes to do the "no peeky" rule in round robins.  So I won't be able to show what I will do to everyone else's piece.

This is my Off the Wall post for this week.  Check out what everyone else is up to at Nina-Marie's blog.


  1. I made a piece I'm really proud of with some rust-dyed fabric - two, actually - and I LOVE yours! Whomever is getting that piece is a lucky person!

    1. I will be the one who gets to keep the final version of this piece of fabric. It will be interesting to see what everyone else adds to it.

  2. ohhh this looks like it was fun - might have to try it when I feel like have a little fun too :) I read the robin robin piece in Quilting Daily too - so I'm glad to see how you did it!

    1. I thought it sounded fun. But I don't really have any paints or dyes or other stuff. So I need to put in an order to Dharma. And since I wasn't able to take the surface design class at Quilt Fest 2 weeks, I am really going to have to come up with some ideas. Time for google!

  3. Really nice! I usually put my rust dyed stuff in the washer on quick wash with a coin size amount of dish soap. It reduces the vinegar smell and softens the hand.

    I did some shibori on some of my pieces and dipped them in an indigo vat. Wonderful - the contrast of the orange and blue.
    Sandy in the UK

  4. This turned out fabulous Sylvia! I really, really like it. It will be fun to see what it looks like when it gets to me and what I will decide to do to it. I received Kaye's piece the other day and I need to look at it for a bit before I decide what to do next. The journal she provided with the piece is beautiful too. Figures huh! haha

  5. I remember doing this exercise at Quilt University at the Chicago Quilt Festival a few years ago. It was so much fun to unroll the fabric and find the beautiful prints that had developed. Thanks for repeating the process here for us! Please share the end result also.

  6. I have never tried rust-dye before but after reading about it in your blog I think I must try it. Very beautiful!


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