Sunday, September 17, 2006

It hasn't turned out to be as gloomy and stormy a weekend as the weatherman had predicted- it has been cool, but sunny today- perfect walking weather.

But, I had promised to post the results of my most recent dyeing foray. I did another group of sequenced overdyes, but instead of using one of Katy Widger's color recipes, I did my own. I am still fascinated with what happens when you overdye complements. so I went with a yellow to violet group. First I dyed my fabric in five values of yellow- I used Dharma's Bright Yellow, which is a switch for me since I normally prefer to use single-shade colors, and this yellow is a mixed dye. But, what the heck. Here are the pots ready to go into the washer after the first dye run.

I have the groups of six fat quarters each in mesh laundry bags, ready to wash. This was another epipany I had with this dyeing session. Katy's instructions tell you to mark each piece with a code to tell you which it is. That never worked for me, because the dark values always made it impossible to read the markings anyway. So I have tried putting each group together with safety pins, but always had tons of loose threads to cut and untangle by the time they were washed twice and in the dryer. This time I tried the bags, $1.32 each at Wallyworld. It was worth every penny, I had minimal untangling to do.

Next, you re-sort the groupings, and run them through a violet dyebath in five values. I used Fuschia Red and Sky Blue from Dharma. And, I changed one other thing with this dyeing session: instead of using the low-water mottled way, I did it in buckets, as one would dye a solid color. However, I didn't spend hours stirring the dyepots- I put in the fabric, gave it a few stirs, and let it sit from there. I found I got patterning, but generally more subtle, especially in the lighter values.

Anyway, here's the pure shades of yellow and violet-

And, here are the other 25 fat quarters in various tones of yellow and violet-

I also did my first dyeing from Ann Johnston's "Color by Accident" book. I did three pieces, in a "color parfait." First you put one piece in a smallish container, and pour in a gold color dye, then a soda solution. Let it sit for a few minutes, then put in another piece of fabric, pour in a red-violet dye and soda solution, let it sit for a few minutes. Finally, put in the third piece of fabric, add some blue-violet dye and soda solution, and let the whole melange sit overnight. When I had finished washing and drying my fabric, this is what I had, from bottom of the container to the top:

The colors and textures are marvelous, I especially like how the gold and red-violet blend in places. I liked this so much that I tried dyeing a tee shirt the same way. It's a bit harder to manage this with one pice of fabric rather than three, but it came out ok- check out my new picture at the top of the blog!

I had a couple of nice comments from Karoda and Diane with suggestions on how to keep the creative juices flowing with the end of the Journal Quilt Project. I won't be totally bereft of inspiration: I'm part of a new group of about twenty art quilters, who met for the first time in August in Salt Lake. It looks like it will be a fun group, with some very talented people. In fact, our first "assignment" was what made me decide to dye this particular batch of fabric. We are to make a journal-size quilt to show the illusion of luminosity. I have the fabric, I'll be using the computer to develop my design. So, there is September's project. And it's not like I don't have a bunch of UFO's waiting to be finished!

We don't get much in the way of national-level teachers here in Utah. The Utah Surface Design Group, of which I'm a member, did bring in Judith Trager for a three day workshop in late June- I posted about that. The state quilting guild brings in national teachers for the annual meeting every fall- but they tend to be much more traditional than I am. I'm not even going this fall. Unless you have the budget for travel, there aren't a lot of options. And, my budget is limited.

I've rambled on long enough. I'll post my luminosity design when I have something interesting.


Karoda said...

Beverly it seems that the situation is pretty much the same here in Kentucky as saving grace is that Louisville is the home of a handfull of great and sharing art quilters.

sewnut said...

I love your colours - a great mix of yellows and purples, and the overdyed set looks super. I can imagine many ways to play with them

Beverly said...

And, if you want to see what I've done with the set of overdyes- look at today's (Oct. 8) post--

Sarah said...

I know this is an old post (sept 17th) but can you explain to me about the "bags". Are you actually dyeing in these bags, or just putting the fabric in after sorting. If you are dyeing in these bags - is it the whole process? dyeing, washout, drying, etc.? Are the laundry bags? Sorry to seem so dense - I'm just trying to learn. I'm also going to check out Kathy's book - thanks.