Sunday, January 27, 2008

Dyeing Fabric

It is a lot different that dyeing yarn. For one thing, the water is not clear when you finish dyeing fabric. With acid dye on wool, it is almost always clear- it's called exhausting the dye bath, and it is a good thing. It also tells you you can either take the stuff out, and rinse and dry it, or add more dye, because it is not going to change after the dye bath exhausts. With the fiber reactive dyes, on cotton, there seemed to be a lot of color left in the bath. Is it useful? should I run get more fabric? Don't know. I'm seeking the color Mary Lou Weidman calls "cheddar" which is a warm orange of varying shades/ It's supposed to work as a wake up to the othe fabric, and she uses it well in the back grounds of her story quilts.
Scroll down to Grandma was a Cowgirl to see a nice example of that.

I have my classes coming up with Freddie Moran and Gwen Marston, and I just can't wait. Neither of these quilters have a website or email, which I first found frustrating and then charming. I am so happy with quilting. The last major knitting project that tanked for me before i started to quilt was a modular knit sweater in about 25 shades of bright, hand dyed yarn. I still like how it looks, although it is mostly sleeveless,but the first time I tried it on, I burst out laughing. I cannot imagine walking around in the world wearing all that color. Just never would. As a teen ager, I started wearing all black, and have always loved the simplicity of doing so. I've loosened up a bit, over the years, and now wear blue blue jeans and some colors. Of course, scarves and shawls are rarely black- they are my nice color touches that match all my (black) clothes. SO the quilting fills a need for me to be absolutely immersed
in color, the brighter the better.

To say I favor a bright palate isn't the half of it. I favor a quilting palate that absolutely vibrates with color. Do not put one of my quilts on the bed of someone who is prone to nervous tension- they may not get any sleep. Or, they could read in bed without a flashlight.


Lazy Gal Tonya said...

gwen does have a website., but no email. no blog either, which would be wonderful. I suspect that's how both she and freddy get so much done - less time surfing the net. good luck with the cheddar.

AlisonH said...

Are you coming to Stitches? (Pretty please!) As for dyeing cotton, my experiences have been nowhere near as successful as with wool, with the colors not taking up or taking up oddly rather than behaving like a good little hank of merino or alpaca would do; so anything you have to say on the subject, I'd love to learn from.