August 4, 2010
Back to dyeing
High on the list for this summer has been to get back to dyeing fabrics. As August rolled in, I knew I needed to get going on this, to take advantage of the hot weather while it's here. I reviewed my notes from Carol Soderlund's great workshop that I took in April of 2009, wrote up step-by-step notes for myself, and began. I'm starting out with colors that I'd like for a midwestern landscape quilt (a fabric version of an earlier piece I did with pastel on paper) and also to build up a supply of fabric in the palette for further Pine Grove quilts. The results from the first two days are above. The three greens on the right are all the same dye formula, but with different methods for the dyeing. Not all the colors turned out to be exactly what I was aiming for, but comparing them to the one-inch samples I was working from (sample book from the workshop), I can see that this is because of "misreading" the color from the small sample. Two pieces of the green were done in a traditional low-immersion method, but the 3rd green piece and all the other colors I did with a flat-dyeing method from Robin Ferrier, which is easier for doing multiple pieces in different colors, and also easier on my hands (I'm trying to rest my right hand because of pain from too much hand-sewing). Both methods yield solids, with very slight variations that are pleasing rather than "defective." The pieces that were flat-dyed were consistently lighter in value than the sample swatches, so I'll just take that into account in the future.