Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Discharge Botanical Stencils

I saw someone using discharge paste on one of the "Off the Wall Friday" posts, click here The Quilt Rat discharged a simple feather stencil. So I had an "A HA! moment." I would use discharge paste with all the botanical stencils I had just made. I got out a piece of black fabric approximately 18" wide, by the 40" length, and started placing the large assortment of stencils onto it. With the large variety I had made, I only used them once each. That meant I did not have to clean them after each use. I tried to vary the heights, overlap them a little, and filled in the bottom with extra leaves. I used "Jacquard Decolourant" discharge paste with a foam brush, to paint the stencils. Trying not to get my sleeve in the paste, I should have worked left to right, duh! I put each stencil into a flat aluminum pan with water, to soak, then washed them off when I was all done. The next day I did the rest of the fabric strip, I decided on a table runner, not just the 25" x 18" I had originally laid out.
After the paste was dry I used a steam iron to activate the paste. You can see how it goes from almost clear to gray to white. The steam helps get more bleaching action. But you don't know what underlying color the black is. I have seen black discharge to yellow, red, lavender, and green, they over dye odd colors. If you find one you like, go buy more!! Most of the fabric I've had has bleached to beige or rusty beige.
These two photos are after it has been ironed, it turns a white-gray, so you know it has bleached, but until you wash it out, you don't know quiet how much.
The whole strip, the top photo has been stenciled with product and ironed, the bottom has been washed and dried. You can see the color change after the washing, the final color is sort of a beige. It looked totally brown when it was wet, I thought I might not have ironed it long enough, but once dry it was fine. This is going to be so much fun to free motion quilt, rayon threads will give it some shine and glow. I'm going to call it "Midnight Moths." I can't decide if I want to add a border or not. What do you think? I've posted this on Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday, check out all the other wonderful quilt artists on her blog. Click on the button in the right hand column.


  1. Wow!! This is just beautiful. I would not add a border.

  2. Stunning!!! I like it just the way it is thanks for sharing the process

  3. Love this project! Love the stencils, too. You have so much talent!!!

  4. Thank you everyone for your kind comments. I can't wait to get it quilted.

  5. This piece is really beautiful. You did a great job. Discharging is one of my favorite surface design techniques, and I always love to see how others use it. I don't think it needs a border.