Friday, August 21, 2009


So here are the fabrics I dyed during my little video shoot. I think I'm going to dye another set using a different red, yellow and blue, just to see what happens with the colors.

This weekend I'm also going to try doing some discharge work. I've been wanting to do it for a month or so but haven't had the courage yet.

I also want to dye some of the mixed fabric, I'm really anxious to see how the bamboo fabric takes the dye.

So, if I can work it right, this whole weekend will be a dyeing extravaganza!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lost in Disneyland

I'm feeling really isolated today.

I've been doing so much better recently. I've been trying to stay in contact with people, I've been working on dyeing and doing some quilting. I've been reading a lot and even ventured out to the library. But today I feel a bit like a small child who got lost at a theme park.

I think part of it is the lack of sleep. All my life I was able to sleep relatively easily. Then in the last few years either from issues with pain or hamster brain I just can't sleep as well as before. When I'm tried I can't handle the pain nearly as well as I can normally and things just seem to domino into a much larger issue.

Maybe that's all it is..just lack of sleep... but at the moment, I feel very small and alone.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Video on the cheap

Well, I finally finished the little dyeing videos I've been working on. They are obviously very basic since they were shot with my digital still camera and they are only meant to give people an idea about what the process looks like. I'm no expert and don't claim to be, but they are meant to go along with some posts I made on The Quilt Show's message boards in their dyeing forum.

Tools and What not
Making a Dust Box for Mixing Dye Concentrates
Mixing up the dye concentrates
Dyeing the fabric

I learned a lot doing these and will probably make a few more if I find people are interested.

Monday, August 3, 2009


It seems that Vicki's list of goals idea is making the rounds. :) I've been thinking of doing it as a way of keeping myself on track and a bit more organized. So... here's my stab at what I want to do this next week:

  • Get Yvonne's books mailed out to her.
  • Do my next video in my immersion dyeing series.
  • Create a 'dust box' for mixing dye.
  • Finish 15 pumpkins from the long ago left over pumpkin fiasco.

Okay going to start small and see how it goes, so that's my list for this next week. If I can do additional stuff I'll add it in as comments on next week's post.

I had a really peaceful weekend. I didn't do a whole lot. Read a book yesterday and played in my fabric some on Saturday. I am really amazed at the amount of fabric I have. I have a lot of nice pieces as well, so I'm just going to have to work on a bunch of quilts.

I've been wandering around the blogsphere again, now that I'm feeling better and able to do a few things. There are so many inspiring blogs out there. Seeing that Vicky had lost here beloved Daisy made me very sad for her. I lost Bentley last year and I still miss him. Though I have two new dogs to help with the sadness. We adopted two older dogs, Welsh Pembroke Corgis, very different from the dachshund.

I really want to thank Yvonne for sticking with me and helping me to get back into things. She's a great friend and I'm lucky to have her as one.

Well, enough for now... I'm off to work on that list.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Folded Fabric

I had some left over dye and thought I'd try some folding.

I folded the fabric and painted the folded edges with the Light Red and dyed the rest of fabric with the Fire Red.

I am really happy with the patterning on the fabric, though I'm not sure how much it shows up here.

This really makes me want to try shibori.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Fabric Alchemy

There is so much information on Low water Immersion dyeing, but so much of it is conflicting. I get the feeling that dyeing in this way is a lot like making a curry. Every family has their own recipe and way of doing it, none of them are wrong, and they all come out different with some of them more tasty than others.

The dye books and sites differ so much. Some recommend using urea, some say don't use it. Some use salt, some say never use it. the proportions of dye powder to water differ, the soda ash proportions differ and because you can't really get a true color from a swatch sample on the monitor you can only have a general idea of just what color their recipe produced.

So it's almost like dyeing is some secret formula you have to discover by your own experimentation. Like the alchemy of old you take the notes of others and experiment until you've created something magic.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fun day

The previous post I showed my not-quite-so successful attempt at some gradations.

I had started with four colors I'd purchased from Dharma - Fire Red (PR10), Light Red (PR12), Grape (PR17) and Imperial Purple (PR131). This was my first attempt at doing gradations and I did several things wrong, but I learned a lot in the process.

I did two sets, Light Red to Grape and Fire Red to Imperial Purple. I expected to get similar results from each with perhaps the second set just more vibrant. I had the Fire Red and Light Red from my time dyeing previously, so they were older dyes. I'd been told by Dharma they still should be good, but I honestly don't know if the results I got were due to the dye being older or if that's just the colors.

This is the light red to grape and it's showing a bit more blue than the actual fabric. This is pretty much what I had expected, sort of 'berry' colors.

However this is not what I thought I'd get from the second set.

The fire red (at the top), was much more 'orange' than red and so the colors were a bit more brownish when combined with the Imperial Purple (which had a strong blue overtone).

I messed up the proportions on the run and I don't think I let the fabric cure long enough in the soda ash solution. It was also a very hot day and I do my dyeing outside.

Since I had dye left over I thought I'd do a bit yesterday to both see if I could do the gradations better and maybe let the fabric cure longer. Because the Fire Red had been so orangey i t hougth I'd go from the Light Red to the Fire Red. Here's what I got.

I'm much happier with my gradation here, I didn't mess up the proportions. This set does not have either the pure Fire Red or Light Red but starts with a mixture of each. Again the monitor display doesn't show the rich coral colors that I got with this batch.

I'm really happy with the colors I got here, but a little concerned that I won't be able to easily reproduce them because I'm still unsure if the age of the dye powder changed things. I guess I'll find out in the future!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Long ago and far away...

Here's a bit of what I've been doing lately.

I had a rough bit of time and I pretty much dropped out of life. But, I am back now.

I just have to brush off all the cobwebs and get back to posting.