Harness the Power of the Sun With This Fiber Art Idea

To me, there's nothing like feeling the sun on your skin. It's like you can feel the Vitamin D soaking in, bringing you back to life after a long winter (in the Midwest, we certainly had a tough one). While dermatologists may not want us to get too many rays, the sun's energy is vital to not only our physical health, but, I firmly believe, to our creative health as well. Once the temperatures reach the 70s, I'm ready to get outside, and stay outside.

Fiber art by Heather Stemas

Heather Stemas is an artist who knows how to harness the power of UV rays to create fabric art that's sun-kissed. In the Cloth Paper Scissors article "Sol Squares" (featured in the July/August 2014 issue), she explains how to use simple materials to create designs on cyanotype fabric, with results that are worthy of becoming a handmade gift.

Basically, here's how it works:
"Almost anything can be used to create an image on this fabric," Stemas says. "Whatever is opaque will block the UV light and create a ‘negative' or light image, and the part of the fabric that's exposed to UV light will remain ‘dark' (the original color of the fabric)."

It's such a simple concept: Harness the sun to create a negative image. Of course, there's a little more to it than that, as Stemas explains in her step-by-step article, along with some helpful tips.

This has me thinking … last year I had an urge to make prayer flags, and I still have a couple of yards of fabric left over. I think it would be cool to try this fiber art project with the cyanotype squares, and then sew these printed pieces over slightly larger squares of my plain fabric, creating a border around the designs.

What would you make with sun-printed fabric?

Your sun-loving friend,



Blog, Fabric Art


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