Have you ever heard of sunprinting? No, neither had I till a few weeks ago when my friend in Sweden posted a picture on Facebook. I had to have a go after looking up the process on the internet and I'm really pleased with the results of my second attempt after a failure the first time.
Basically all you do is take a piece of natural fibre fabric like cotton or linen and pin it to a board, then lightly wet it with clean water. Mix a 50/50 water and acrylic paint or ink solution and paint it onto the fabric evenly making sure the whole surface is covered. It's a good idea if the colour is quite dark and contrasts well with the fabric, like the blue I painted onto the yellow or purple over pale blue. The dark blue silk on the left here didn't work as well, especially as I over diluted the black ink I was using.
Before you start gather a selection of flowers and leaves, making sure they are interesting shapes and a reasonable size to give an imprint and pin them to the damp fabric then put the board in strong sunshine for an hour or so till the fabric dries. The first time I did this I didn't pin down the flowers and there was a breeze so everything moved a bit! Apparently the wet paint moves from the shade of the flower to the brightly sunlit part and leaves the imprint uncoloured.
As you can see from the top picture all went well this time except the dark blue but it will still get used for something in the future. I have cut out the fabric now into squares and started to embroider them in the imprinted area.
This Love in a mist was the first one stitched while sitting in the garden with a fresh bloom as a model and I love the way it's turned out.
Here is the pale blue linen before it printed with some buddlea and hydrangea flowers as well as the love in a mist. I started to embroider one of the hydrangea florets but it took ages so I think I might leave that for a while and try the buddlea next instead.
So what am I going to do with these pretty embroideries, make a patchwork, frame them, or turn them into birthday cards for my family?
You'll have to wait and see!