Friday, June 26, 2015

Hand dyed Fabric Fest - Off the Wall Friday

I'm tired.  When I told my boss that I was going to take 3 days off to dye, she gave me a surprised look.  Now I never get sick of that pun, but I didn't  think I was going to actually die!!   I decided to dye up 36 fat quarters of fabric a day for three days straight.  I'm just finishing up day 2.  You wouldn't think it was that hard of  work but than again who thinks that you have to:
  1. Change over your studio to a dye studio
  2. Take out all the supplies and set them up
  3. Cut up 36 fat quarters of fabric
  4. Choose the colors & make the color recipes
  5.  Measure out the dyes 
  6. Batch up all 36 fat quarters
  7. Rinse out the fabric
  8. Clean Containers & Workspace
  9. Wash the fabric 3 times
  10. Iron and fold the fabric
  11. Repeat all again the next day.
Did I mention I was tired?

But now that I look at the first days work all done, I think WOW it was worth it.  This is the first time I've ever dyed up gradations of muted colors. I got the basic recipes from Linda Johnson's Fabric Dyer's Dictionary.  I don't use her exact procedure to dye, but it was a great help on where to begin to get the colors I needed for my upcoming quilt week at Quilting by the Lake.  Looking over the fabric, I've fallen in love with the palette.  It makes me more excited to go!

Something new this year was I weighed out my dye.  My husband bought a nice little digital stainless steel scale and it worked perfectly for dyeing.  I needed 14.5 grams of dye for every yard.    It made it that much easier to keep the proportions of each color accurate in a dye mixture.   For the most part the colors came out
the way they were suppose to.

Tomorrow I'm going to finish up today's batch of 36 and also do some red solo cup dyeing of the palette. It should be way more random and unpredictable.   Plus if I get some time, I want to do some t-shirts to take with me.  Don't you love when people ask you where did you get your shirt and you say, "Oh I dyed it myself!"  They think you're so artsy!!

One thing I'm really grateful for is my idea to do my dyeing in red solo cups instead of plastic baggies.  This is the 4th year using them and they are still holding up like new.  They are easy to clean, easy to store and you can dye up to a half yard of fabric in them.  Plus, they  give me the nice mottled look I like in my fabric.

Ooops - gotta go - time to put in the soda ash!!


So What have been up to creatively?

11 comments:

Norma Schlager said...

I like the idea of red Solo cups. I've always used plastic bags, but I'll have to try your method. You got some great colors.

quiltedfabricart said...

Oh! Look at those beautiful hand dyes! Can I come live with you?
:-)

So worth 3 days of your life

Laura McGrath said...

What class are you taking at QBL?

Maggi said...

So much gorgeous fabric.My favourite part is the ironing, that's when it all comes to life.

Windy Hill Happenings said...

Your fabrics are beautiful...I love the idea of using Solo cups for small pieces....

Luann Fischer said...

How many gradations of each color have you chosen to do? Do you try to go from very dark to very pale when doing gradients? I love dyeing, every part of it! Well, except for the rinse out, that just needs to be done so I start thinking about my next dyeing experiment while I do that part and it goes quicker. Have you perfected your own recipes for specific colors? If so, have you reproduced any with good results? I tend to always be 'going for something new'. It was rare that I purchased the same fabric twice, and it was never on purpose.
I enjoy seeing what you've been up to.
Luann

Janis Doucette said...

Nice work Nina! I also love the mottled look and the muted tones!

Angela said...

Yummy results!

The Idaho Beauty said...

Are you kidding about not thinking it was that hard of work? ;-)

I ALWAYS think about how much work it will be whenever I consider a dye session which is why I do so little dyeing these days. You were very smart to take time off and FOCUS on getting this done, uninterrupted. It's not just hard work but time consuming as well. I salute you! And I salute those beautiful results - looking forward to seeing them in action.

Nina Marie said...

Luann - you have your comment settings set to "No reply" so I couldn't email. So yes, I do two types of dyeing mostly - I do gradation dyeing either 8 or 4 (like I did this week). I use a method taught to me by Elizabeth Barton. The other is red solo cup dyeing and the tutorial is on my blog. The results are unpredictably great and I find the fabric I dye useful in my work. I normally die smaller pieces - fat quarters since I tend to do alot of rough edge applique and piecing in my work. If I need a bigger piece - I can always just die up what I need (which I've done). This time was the first time I used dye recipes - only because I needed specific colors for class. Normally I look at my stash and says - I need some blues or more reds or whatever and I dye those. I try to throw some black or the complimentary color in bits to muddy up the colors for muted tones - I might mix pure colors just to see what happens. As for fabric - after trying many - I like Testfabrics 400M the best so have been dyeing with that lately. My mother buys me it for presents (50 yds at christmas - LOL!!!) and it comes on a roll which is super easy to store in a corner.

Luann Fischer said...

Nina,
Trying to fix that reply problem,
Luann