Sunday, October 09, 2005

Bleach Resist 101

I taught a class, yesterday, on the bleach resist method. We had a great time and I really enjoyed working with these super ladies. I learned to bleach resist a couple years ago and made the above quilt. The ladies that I taught the method to were as different as night and day, but they both had some great results. Shirley was extremely adventurous and just flung things all over the place and her resists were very, very artsy and full of her peppy personality. Janice was more reserved and orderly and her resists showed her more structured personality. But they both did great and their combined results were awesome. Teaching is one of my most favorite things to do- especially when we get to actually put into practice what we are teaching and learning. It's not nebulous or abstract. It's concrete- and that's where we did most of our work- on concrete!

Directions (in a nutshell): Fill a spray bottle half full of bleach and the rest with water. Kona cottons work great and it is the only fabric I reccommend to stand up the the caustic nature of bleach. I work with 1/2 a fat quarter at a time. Lay your 18"x11" fabric on a solid surface-like a driveway. Place barrier objects on the fabric (think two deminsional here-cheerios, salt, leaves, grass, things with an interesting silhouette. Or you can fold your fabric.) Lightly spray with the bleach solution. It doesn't need to be saturated. Varying the density of spray makes things interesting. Wait a few seconds to maybe one minute-depends on the color you are using and the effect you are going for. Remove the barriers-fast- and dunk your fabric into a bucket of cold water in which one cup of vinegar has been added. Hold the fabric up and say ahhhh! ohhh! How simple is that!? Wash them soon so that you can be sure you got any residual bleach out. Have fun!


Debra Spincic said...

I did this quilt layout for my son (Scott's Plaid is the name) and I really liked it! It made up quickly and looked masculine. Your quilt is a great example. Thanks for sharing about the resist. I am quilting a piece now that I did bleach resist with Soft Scrub Bleach and rubberstamped leaves. The resist is very delicate. I'll have to try your method too.

Scrapmaker said...

I have had people tell me that you also need to use some kind of Anti-Chlor product after bleach resist, but you use only vinegar and get good results?
Have you had any problems with the fabric holding up? I want to try this soon...

Your quilt looks great! Looks like fun was had by everyone! Wish I'd been there. Jen

Darcie said...


How fun! Just think of the world that you opened up to your students! That's what teaching/sharing is all about, isn't it.

Thanks for sharing.


Finn said...

I was wondering if that pattern is Scot's Plaid? Sound like Debra confirms my suspictions..*S*
It sure is striking in those fabrics.
What a fun idea..

Bonnie said...

Great pattern, it has alot of depth to it for a simple quilt, and it shows off the fabric so nicely!


Dawn said...

I've heard of this method but never knew how you did it! Thanks for sharing it! I can't wait now to try it. I've heard it will do interesting things to ugly printed fabrics also!

Sounds like a fun way to play with some of those old ugly fabrics on a nice day to me!