22 September 2017

Blending colors and color gradation dyeing

Preparing for the color blending

Enthusiastic participants tearing fabric

Getting down to dyeing fabric and embroidery thread

Our exercises on the line. We blended complimentary colors from blue to golden yellow.

You can really see the colors blending in these two photos

An acid dyed scarf

Acid dyed wool 

This is the fabric and thread along with an acid dyed crepe de chine scarf.

20 September 2017

The Maine Event (in pictures)

The "prequel"

Waiting for everyone to arrive

Here is the room all set up with everything clean and organized - for a while (smile)

Color Theory is the topic this year. I have a color wheel and a few indigo dyed pieces.

The narrow scarf was a "sample" of the acid dye colors available. The Rail Fence quilt is one I made as an idea of what could be made from one of our projects.

Acid Dyeing Central. Yes it's a microwave.

This was a table with measuring cups and spoons, bowls, vinyl gloves and other supplies.

18 September 2017

making lemonade

I had a LOT of lemons so I needed to create some kind of happy ending. I invested time and money in making this gradated cloth. Some was so bad I over-dyed it. Now I needed some positive action

My lemons

I decided to make a rail fence so I cut one 45"square of fabric into 1.5" X 4.5" strips. I had a mountain. Next I tried to make bundles of four strips that had the same colors. I had so many pieces that were three perfect matches but a fourth was hard to conjure up. I sewed the strips together pair by pair, each two pairs making one block 4.5" by 4.5".

 Then I laid out the blocks in a pleasing pattern as best as I could.

I stacked each row and sewed them into strips then I sewed the strips together into one piece.

Now the big challenge is how to finish this into something useful.

15 September 2017

Look what I got in the mail

Linda Kemshall from Design Matters TV has two daughters. the one that doesn't appear on screen is Francis who makes lovely personal items and sells them in her business, Max and Rosie. I have had my eye on a zip bag for a while and she recently had a summer sale and I finally bought it. It came today...

I love the printed cottons made from Laura's Fingerprint Fabric Collection.

They are beautifully made and I really like this fabric. I also was interested in the lining; in this case it was the same print on a softer fabric.

13 September 2017

Found this

I was rummaging through the baskets of blank scarves placing them according to content. I came along this chartreuse scarf hiding amongst the white ones. It is crepe de chine and although chartreuse is lovely with deep plum, alone it is not much to talk about.

In a Corning Ware dish with Vinegar and water.

Now a generous application of saphire blue, turquoise and green.

Much better

11 September 2017

The ACID test

Yesterday I mixed up some new bottles of acid dye for Day 1 (Friday) of the Maine Event. I wanted to make sure they "worked" before people arrived. Here is the test...

Soaked in vinegar water

Ready for action

Ready to steam

I wish I had some spare scarves so I could play a bit but I want to have as many as possible available for the event.

08 September 2017


Marcella and I thought it would be cool to buy some 3" Plexiglas discs for us to use as a resist in the indigo vat. Marcella also mentioned making some "markers" for us to use on the line and when throwing the indigo projects on the lawn. Nothing is as disappointing as not being able to find your piece. Some will look alike and it can be frustrating. So I cut up hundreds of small "tags" of Tyvec we can put our initials on with permanent marker and safety pin to our work. This way there will be no confusion and or lost pieces.

I so wanted to try out the discs for the blog but I didn't have an indigo vat so I thought I'd try some MX dye. Unfortunately you have to let your piece soak in dye and soda ash and before I could say boo, the dye soaked into the silk. I washed it out by hand and although not the outcome I was looking for at least it gave an indication of what the resist might look like. Indigo is such a quick dunk, I'm betting this will look great on a rayon infinity scarf. I bought 30 of them for anyone who might want to try it. They aren't included in the workshop but I am just charging what I paid for them.

This is a rayon infinity scarf with Plexiglas resists.

This was an 8" wide silk charmeuse scarf I had kicking around. I don't like narrow scarves (ours are 14" wide) but it was OK for an experiment. MX dye did not lend itself well to silk but it was interesting.