A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Monday, April 7, 2014

One Step Past Ann Johnston

Hi!  Judith here.  With my broken hand in February I wasn't able to post all the experiments that I did using Ann Johnston's techniques.  I am glad that I now have 3 days to show off some of the experiments and the next steps I have taken with some of the pieces.

This is a yard long piece of linen-cotton blend. It does not take the colors strongly so the color is more muted than it would have been on cotton. 

This is Ann's flat dyed ombre technique.  First, lay the fabric flat on a surface that you can dye on.  The fabric needs to already be wet with soda ash water.  Pour the dye mixture, in this case grape, on one corner or section of your fabric.  From there you just keep diluting the dye with soda ash water and move the liquid down the rest of the fabric using your hands.   Batch, rinse, wash, dry, of course.  As you see it leaves a very nice graduated color.  It is fine for cutting up to use in a quilt but a bit boring as a whole cloth piece.

I wanted to get rid of the bare white so I used the same method as before but this time I used a pale yellow.  I started in the opposite corner than I did with the grape dye.  Better but still boring.

 I decided to batik the fabric.  I used a lotus pod for the stamp and used red dye with a splash of fushia.  Wow, what a difference!  Two detail photos below.  The colors are accurate--just from different ends of the material.

The fabric is not finished. The middle is a bit too muddy to use as a whole cloth quilt.  I won't dye it again.  I think that would make it far too muddy.  Next step will be stamping.  But for now, I will let it
sit for a while till I have a better idea of where I want to go with it.


  1. lovely work Judith, thank you for sharing the techniques used. I really like the lotus seed print, I'd be very tempted to over dye with the ombre style method and some blue dye to give a mixture of blues and purple...

  2. How interesting! I took a lecture class from Ann back in 2000 at Houston...didn't know about this method. Thanks for the post!

  3. Hi. By batik, do you mean you applied wax or some other resist with the lotus pod stamp, then overdyed with the red? Thanks.

  4. Nothing boring here! Although I love what you did as you continued on, I think the second piece would, indeed, make a gorgeous wholecloth piece with some artful FMQing.

  5. I would also like to know what you used on the stamp.
    Looks lovely and soft, I agree it needs a bit more something.
    thanks for sharing.vivian,

  6. I used soy wax with the lotus pod as a stamp. I did this at Beth's house and she had several lotus pods so we chose one that had an especially flat head. Have you tried soy wax? Once you do you will never go back to using other waxes!

  7. I'm with you, Judith! Soy wax is fabulous... been using it ever since I was first introduced to it in 2007. Now i have to find a lotus pod! I love the pattern... always looking for things I can use to stamp on the wax. Thanks for sharing your projects!

  8. What a great post. You are so lucky to work with Beth. Hope I have a chance this summer. laura


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