May 30, 2009

First section of "Shelter"

For the last couple of weeks, I've been back working on "Shelter," constructing the bottom left corner. (Click here for a sketch of the quilt and notes on how the layers are being constructed.) The photo shows a lot of strata pinned in place (28"high and 34" wide). The challenges I'm finding are: 1) working in variations in line, avoiding too many parallel lines; 2) judging the right quantity and placement of light-valued pieces (the largish shiny stripe in the upper right is not so bad in reality--it's satin that is catching the flash); 3) avoiding some pieces that sweep across the whole field. I thought I had fixed this last issue, but in adjusting something else, there it is again. A detail:

Suggestions welcome!

May 3, 2009

Success, on the second try

I set aside a large block of time yesterday for my first dye project at home. Good thing I had another large block of time today, to compensate for the large error I made yesterday. Here were the steps I took, with the goal of dyeing several pieces of fabric that I could cut up for use in "Stonescapes":

1) I dyed several pieces of fabric a pale gray with a full immersion method, with the intention of then doing a second low immersion dyeing to get various kinds of mottling with darker gray and brown. But when I washed out the dye, no color was left. As I reconstructed what I had done, I realized I'd made a catastrophic math error when mixing the dye, using way too much water (by a factor of 10). Since I was aiming for a pale color to begin with, this meant essentially no dye was used. Well, on to Plan B.

2) Not able to face up to another 1-1/2 hours of full immersion dyeing, I went on to the less time-consuming part: adding mottled color onto the still-white fabric, in low immersion. At the same time, I pulled a few of pieces of colored Kona cotton from my stash, two pieces gray and one tan, and did the same on them, after washing this non-pfd (prepared-for-dyeing) fabric with Synthrapol. (Sorry for the dye lingo--it's for the benefit of any dyers out there who may be reading.)

3) This morning I washed out and dried all 7 pieces of fabric. The bottom three in the photo above are the ones done on the commercial Kona. Done! The top four at this point were streaks and spots of brown and gray on white. So,
next I overdyed these pieces, three gray and one tan, using low immersion.

End results: This is all fabric that is definitely usable for my projects involving stones, and I think they'll yield larger pieces with interesting design than what I've been getting when I paint. And I'll triple check my math the next time. . .