Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Irish History and Blessings, St. Patrick and a Kirigami dye project

Today is Day 9 in our 10 day countdown to St. Patrick's Day.

"May the Lord keep you in His hand
And never close His fist too tight."
- Irish blessing

Here's a leprechaun and a Celtic knot for you to color, or use it as a beading pattern, or applique quilting, or....

Dover Publications

Irish History
Paragon Publishing, 2002

"Saint Patrick's mission to Ireland appears to have lasted abut 30 years and its impact was immense.  AD432 is the date traditionally given for the start of his mission. It is probable that there was a small number of Christians in the country before this time, as Ireland had considerable trading links with both Roman Britain and continental Europe."

sheet music art, courtesy Indiana museum of vintage song sheets
Let's do a fun sweatshirt project!

A one-of-a-kind kirigami sweatshirt
You will need:
   * a washed sweatshirt, with NO FABRIC SOFTENER
   * a few 'trial' t-shirts, washed, with NO FABRIC SOFTENER
   * various spray bottles
   * kirigami pattern(s) of choice, cut out of scratch paper

tip: Pick one with bolder lines rather than one with a lacy design to start.

   * a cardboard insert to go inside your sweatshirt
   * waxed paper and scotch tape
   * fabric dye in a liquid form

tip: Try fabric paint that has been watered down a bit.

   * clean rags, paper towels, etc.
   * plastic craft gloves, if desired
   * various colors of puff paint or dimensional paint

Let's get started!
> Place newspapers on table surface and floor to cover.

> Place a trial t-shirt on papers, with front facing you.

> Cover cardboard insert with wax paper. You can tape the wax paper on, with the tape on the 'back' side. This will prevent bleed-through onto the back of your shirt. Insert inside t-shirt, wax side up, smoothing out any wrinkles.

> Mix up fabric dye to a consistency that will spray well from the spray bottles. Pour into spray bottle(s). Remember, you aren't filling the bottles, just mix enough for this project.

> Place your kirigami pattern on top. Tape in place with rolled up scotch tape, so no tape is showing from front.

tip: NOT the time to use double stick tape!

> Practice your spray inside your spray box, or an area that is well covered with newspapers. Try to make an even spray from the top, so the spray doesn't continually  go under the kirigami pattern.
> Start spraying your t-shirt, concentrating on the blank spots left open from the kirigami pattern, and the edges. If you want to use more than one color of fabric dye, keep the first color at a mist and not too heavy. Repeat with second color, making sure that all edges have dye on them.
    Tricky Part:  Lifting off the pattern -
> If you have 'pooled' fabric dye on your kirigami pattern, you can dab to absorb with a paper towel, without smearing the design on the t-shirt. Now, loosen the rolled up scotch tape, and lift to remove pattern.
Worst thing? Some extra, creative dribbles of fabric dye splat on your t-shirt design. Simply make these part of your design.
> Follow the fabric dye's information on how to set. Some want you to press with an iron. Some want you to wash & dry a certain way. Let fabric air dry first, then remove the cardboard insert if you have to go and set it. Otherwise, leave the insert in place so the dimensional paint doesn't bleed through.
> Finish with dimensional paint to accent. Add dots, short lines, etc. Let thoroughly dry before handling.
> Repeat with your sweatshirt. Go ahead and do some more 'trial' t-shirts too!

tip: I would definitely wash my just painted shirts all by themselves, or maybe with dog towels, or something that I wouldn't care if it got new colors on it!
This is a project that even your grumpy teenagers that don't like anything you suggest - will like! Adapt the kirigami pattern for something 'lightning' shaped and get your guys to join in!

Great project idea for boys/girls clubs, girl's pajama parties, Basement Babes, etc. as long as everyone wears "paint clothes" and socks. Put the shoes far, far away, unless you are including them in your dye project!

An example of a 'bold' design of kirigami, made into a greeting card by me.
To use as a pattern for the dyed sweatshirt, I would not add colored paper behind parts of the design (purple and pink).

"May your day be filled with blessings
Like the sun that lights the sky,
And may you always have the courage
To spread your wings and fly!"

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