Discharge Dyeing and Magnetic Poetry

The theme for the February First Friday show at Stoneworks Studio and Gallery was “From the Bottom of My Art…art about what you LOVE”. I thought and thought for the longest time about what new work I would create for this show. I started to think about ideas that I’ve had in the past which I have not yet explored.

I got out a spiral notepad of little poems I had written years ago by using Magnetic Poetry. I love wordplay…it’s been a common theme throughout my life. I’ve been a freelance writer and a memoir writing instructor. I noticed long ago that I like to include text in my fiber art. I love Magnetic Poetry sets, and have several scattered on a new clean cookie sheet.

I haven’t done discharge dyeing for a long time. It’s like dyeing in reverse…you remove the dye from fabric using an agent such as bleach. I first did a test on the fabric I thought I’d use. I liked how it looked, so I cut up some 2.5″ strips of black fabric. I wrote each line of the poem on a strip with a Clorox gel bleach pen that I got at the 99 Cents Only store. Here are the strips after a water bath to remove the gel.

poem quilt


Then the fun part: auditioning fabrics. I decided to go with a commercially tie dyed fabric cut in strips for the front, hand dyed (by me) fabric for the binding, and a commercially printed fabric for the backing. As quilts go, it was pretty easy and straightforward. The machine quilting was minimal, only “stitch in the ditch” along the pieced strips.

Magnetic Poetry #1

Magnetic Poetry #1

I was pleased with the end result, and titled it Magnetic Poetry #1. I am now inspired to write more poetry with my little word magnet collection and incorporate it in my fiber art, with an eye to an ongoing series.

(If you would like to see the entire art show, here is the link to my public Facebook photo album.)