A Stitch In Time

My Life In Words

Using Everything you’ve got.

Posted by debraroby on June 20, 2005

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but maybe not. When I paint or dye fabric, I always have an extra piece or two of cheap muslin around that I use as a rag. These pieces wipe up any messes during the work session, and wipe clean the jars, bottles, brushes and surfaces when I’m done. So there is no plan with these pieces.. and they end up with lots of color on them, but not in anything approaching a regular or necessarily pretty fashion.

This is a piece of “clean up ” fabric.

When you look at this, you might think that it has nice depth. But it’s never going to be something you could imagine using. It would go into your “ugly” fabric pile. (OK, lots of make gorgeous things from ugly fabrics. And this is kind of the point here.) This isn’t the first fabric you would grab when designing a piece.

But LOOK at the wonderful leaves made from this fabric. They have variety and depth that couldn’t be created easily except by using this kind of fabric. So try this technique next time you are dyeing or painting.  Posted by Hello


8 Responses to “Using Everything you’ve got.”

  1. Liz said

    Brilliant idea! I’d not thought of using fabric to mop up, although I have already kept the kitchen roll (paper used for mopping up spills) which I used, and then used it in my design boards. Those leaves look just right.

  2. Karoda said

    I actually like the colour of the clean up rag :) I like the leaves even better.

  3. Gerrie said

    Beauteous leaves. Is that a word?

  4. Schmata! It means “rag” in Yiddish, but I’ve always called the clean-up cloth a “schmata.” It sounds so much more… mysterious that way.

    Can’t you hear me selling dyed fabric at a quilt show: “No, I’m sorry, this is my schmata. It would cost you at least $35.00… *if* I were willing to part with it.”


  5. DebR said

    Yep, you’re right. Perfect leaf fabric!

  6. Jeri said

    awesome color…. I LIKE the wipe-up cloth as is, but the leaves are really spectacular! Very inspiring!

  7. Sonji Hunt said

    Ochre is one of my favorite colors. And is there even such a thing as a “rag” in art. I think not. I really like the shapes too.

  8. deborah said

    Some of my best dye pieces are the “Mop Up” rags. I have taken to setting aside a square yard of good PFD muslin or some special vintage sheeting just for this purpose at the beginning of every dye session. When I do the velvet scarves, the table moppers always come out the most interesting….

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