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.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Here comes the sun printing month

Lynda from Bloombakecreate here.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve been so looking forward to the sun and warm after our long winter! To celebrate we will spend the month of June exploring different ways to sun print. I hope you will play along with us.

For those of you who haven’t sun printed, it is so much fun. But in addition to being fun, it’s so easy. So what is sun printing? Sun printing refers to printing techniques that use sunlight as a developer or a fixative agent.
My first introduction to sun printing was several years ago when I purchased a Sunprint kit.  The paper was embedded with blue molecules that were sensitive to ultra-violet light.  You had to be real careful since even light from a window could prematurely expose the paper. The process involved placing an acrylic sheet on top of the paper with the printing objects in between. The area of the paper exposed to the sun faded from blue to white. Here is one of my experiments from back then. 

You can still buy this paper and also fabric and clothes that are treated. However, we aren’t going to spend time on that. We’ll be talking about different products that are more cost effective (cheaper) than that chemically treated fabric or paper.
So how does sun printing work without that special paper or fabric? As I mentioned earlier, it's real easy. We'll go into it more in detail in upcoming blog posts, but wet fabric is painted and then covered with objects (botanicals, stencils, lace, etc). Once out in the sun, the water evaporates from the exposed surfaces of the fabric. The covered areas are protected and stay moist. While the sun works it's magic, the water from the covered fabric moves to the drier exposed fabric, pulling the paint pigments with it. So once the fabric is dry and you pull off the objects, the fabric is the original color. It’s truly magical and I am amazed every time I sun print.
Pulling off stencil to show image

This month we have three guest bloggers who hopefully will inspire you to get out in the sun and play! Their posts will start next week.

First up is LuAnn Kessi. After more than 20 years as a traditional quilter, LuAnn began playing with surface design techniques five years ago. Her favorite fabric to buy is a bolt of white cotton so she can dye it, paint it, hot wax it, tie it, scrunch it, screen print and lots more.  She turns these newly created fabrics into art quilts.  LuAnn lives on a cattle ranch in Western Oregon and works in her studio, the Thread Shed. You can catch up with LuAnn and her wonderful work at http://luannkessi.blogspot.com/.

Robbie Payne will blog the third week of June. Robbie lives with her hubby, Bob, a 2 year old Bichon named Kalee, and a Blue Front Amazon bird.  She retired in 1999, and started a new “day job” of creating art work using fabric, paints, beads, and anything else she could find. She admits she gets bored easily which has led her to try lots of different mixed media techniques.  "I enjoy painting and creating my own fabric and just had to purchase Solar Fast when it was first advertised!  I hope my experimenting with Solar Fast is of interest to you and leads you to try this product as well!" You can see some of her art work and what she calls "failures" on her blog at www.RobbiesPawPrints.blogspot.com.   She also stays off the golf course by doing her art work, which makes her hubby very happy!

Last up is Sue Andrus.  Sue is a textile artist inspired by flowers, gardens, and nature. She has had several art quilts and garden photos in special exhibits at the International Quilt Festivals, and other shows. Sue grew up in rural Western New York, and moved to Towanda, Pennsylvania with a degree in horticulture. She worked in the floriculture industry for nearly 30 years while beginning her art business and raising three sons. Not finding just the right colors of fabric in stores, she began painting and dyeing her own fabrics, and now uses them almost exclusively in her art. Sunprinting fabrics with leaves and flowers bring her two main passions together - Gardening and Fabric Art. Sue's many gardens contain plants collected over the years and supply most of the materials used for her sunprinting, as well as inspiring new art pieces. In addition to Art Quilts, she designs and creates gift items including jewelry, fabric covered journals and photo albums, tote bags and more using mostly her sunprinted or hand dyed fabrics. You can check out Sue's art at

It's going to be a great month! I'll be back in a couple days to tell you about the first sun printing technique. Stay tuned!


  1. Yeah... here comes the sun! What a fun idea to dedicate the month for experimenting. I look forward to your creations.

  2. I look forward to it. I never did sunprinting.

  3. Can't wait - I just need some sun now!!

  4. Even though there isn't ant sun here, it will be great to see what they all do!

  5. Vicki, We'll be doing a post about that later in the month!

  6. Gill,Liesbeth, and Carol, thanks for dropping by. It's going to be fun.

  7. Really looking forward to this, Lynda! We have lots of sunshine, so I just need to stock up on fabric, make sure I have enough fabric paints, and stuff to block the sunlight... woo-hoo!

  8. Wishing you (and all of us) lots of Sunshine! Looking forward to this month!

  9. How timely! I'm going out today to do this! First I'm going to try my new Jacquard Solar Fast products, then play with some paints.


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