8.05.2006

the buckeye in August

The buckeye is one of the first trees in our yard to show signs of fall. The weather has been hot and dry lately, but it still is usual for the green to be disappearing from the buckeye by now--some leaves are completely yellow, others are starting to turn. The buckeyes continue to grow. By the time of the September piece, I expect the leaves to be falling off the tree.

So this month I wanted to celebrate the leaves yet again, while they're still in their shiny glory (the fall leaves are usually not very flashy on this tree). The background fabric this time is a polyester satin. I haven't usually used non-natural fibers, but then I discovered the process of transfers of disperse dyes. You paint the dyes onto sheets of paper (regular printer paper), let it dry. Then you can iron the design onto polyester fabric (it doesn't work on cotton or silk unless they have been painted first). The effect is more etherial than direct painting would be, and you can make multiple identical (although maybe fainter) prints--as I did on this piece, the tree shape was repeated.



It can be a little disconcerting to use the dyes, as the color they appear on the paper is not the color they print always. By the way, I got the dyes from ProChem.

The leaf shapes are cut from the same silk as the background fabric of the July block--dyed and painted. I fused them on, then quilted parallel lines diagonally over the surface. The words this month say 'August falls leaf by leaf.'

Autumn really starts quite early here, if you define autumn as involving seed ripening and plants dying back--the early spring bloomers are already gone. It's like a reminder of our own life cycle--the end is around the corner, we just don't know how far the corner is. But you have to stop and celebrate the moment, too. The moment when some leaves are still green, the fruit is still immature, the dry flies are rubbing their wings every night.

1 comment:

Sande said...

Very nice rendition of the leaves. And interesting information on disperse dyes. I've heard of them but not tried them.