Saturday, March 25, 2017


This month's focus for the Fiber Junkies gathering was working with alcohol inks....more about that in a minute.  We changed our meeting format by doing show and tell along with our morning coffee in the hopes that consolidating these two activities there'd be more time to spend in the work room.

In many ways I felt as if I was just an observer (and not a very attentive one) due to a bad headache.....hopefully the poor picture quality will still be inspiring to you.
Denny continues to knock out the most beautiful large pieced quilts....this photo doesn't do justice to the skillful placement of color that sparkled like jewels.
She's also in her 10th year of master classes with Hollis Chatelaine. This awesome piece came from a challenge to recreate/distort a previous piece that featured neutrals. Denny chose a theme park as her project, but presenting it in a dilapidated state.  The wonky ferris wheel and roller coaster certainly depict the passing of time.  Paint, inks, and stitching enhance the piece. 
Close up view....

As we entered Gen's studio (our hostess for the day)......I nearly tripped over myself to get a picture of this happy piece.  We all admire Gen's talent at EVERY aspect of creative arts....really she can do it all and do it well.  I've said this many times here but will say again, we all strive to be like Gen when we grown up. I hope she doesn't mind me telling you that she just turned 88 and can run circles around us!!
Denny shared a number of alcohol ink approaches as an overview to the possibilities of working in this medium.  Some happened to be on fabric, while it seems most folks work on paper instead.  

There are so many approaches one can undertake, they include using markers along with alcohol sprays, baby wipes etc.  There's never enough time to really dig into a subject with all of us chatting, munching on food, sipping beverages....but here's my approach.
First and foremost.....commerical alcohol ink is pricey....apparently I bought 3 small bottles ages ago which had never been opened since I had no clue what to do with them.  Like so many of us do, I went online to research the product and possible techniques.

Well....what do you can make your own alcohol inks which save a ton of money! Being a tad suspicious of the results I started with just two colors....brown and small recycled jars.
It's easy to do......take a new or even a used felt marker.....cut and remove the it in a small bottle along with Isopropyl alcohol, shake and let sit for a awhile.  The amount of alcohol and strength of the coloring agent may dictate how quickly good color is available.
 There are different strengths of this alcohol....the one I used was 70% because that's what I had in the house....perhaps the 91% might be better.  

My first attempt was too diluted but by pouring some of that solution into a smaller bottle and adding another wick, in no time we achieved results similar to store bought.

Wanna see what we did it and other products......check back again for future posts.


Nancy said...

Wonderful pieced quilts! Thanks for the info on making alcohol inks. I'll look forward to seeing the results of your efforts. I love the vibrant colors of alcohol inks, but I make a terrible mess when using them so tend to avoid them. My hands (or gloves) always look more colorful than anything else when using them.

The Inside Stori said...

I can assure you Nancy.....we were a mess too! We always have great intentions about wearing gloves....but......

Robbie said...

Show & tell is always wonderful! You are all great artists! Alcohol inks are fun to play with. The book I have (Pigments of your Imagination) said to only use 90% alcohol. We are going to play with inks on fabric next month. Looking forward to it! Thanks for sharing your results and suggestions.

margaret said...

loving the faiground piece Denny has done also the quilts you shared are both lovely. Interesting rw the alcohol ink hope to see something you have done with it soon

Kathy said...

Oh, no...something more that I'll have to try! I've been avoiding some things, but you make it look too easy to pass up. More fun, coming right up!