Thursday, March 22, 2007

A good day to dye

What do you do when your child is home with a cold and the case you've been working on has settled and your day opens up without any place you need to be?

Dye some fabric, of course.

It started with the desire for some avocado green fabric. In my design workshop, this month's assignment involves two different challenges: first, we were given a small item and asked to design a piece inspired by that item somehow. Second, we were asked to think about colors we avoid and then to try to work with one of those colors in our piece.

I'll tell you more about my item when I show you what I've done. But one of the colors I tend to avoid is that olive/avocado green. Grey, yellow green. Army drab. That sort of thing.

Naturally, I don't have any of that in my stash. I could have gone over to my sister's house, as she has fabric in that shade in great abundance. She's drawn to that and dusky pink the way I'm pulled toward red. When we shop for fabric, she always comes away with green and pink. But I decided to take a stab at dyeing some, as there I was at home and I wanted to try Tommy's microwave dyeing method. (I aspire to get even half of what Tommy gets done in a day...)

Anyway. I apparently didn't use enough black with my green, as this is a bit less olivey/army green and a bit more spring green...but that's okay with me.

And of course, in my current love for things PINKPINKPINK, I had to dye up a bit of fuchsia, mixing in a touch of black to see what happened.

I'm a novice dyer, but each time I try it I vow to dedicate some serious time to dyeing a color wheel, some gradations, and mixes and keep actual detailed notes. That's my project for this summer, actually. It's not that I need more fabric, goodness knows, but I want to be able to make color! I made my way to THIS incredible site, where thanks to the generosity of Melissa Wills, there is everything you would want to know (and them some) about getting started with low immersion dyeing.

I was happy with my results (considering how slapdash I was)...the colors were paler than anticipated, but I may have used water that was too warm while mixing the dye. Or not.

Today, I drew and cut and fused and ended up with a small quilt top. More revealed tomorrow!


  1. Wow Diane you sure know how to put a free day to excellent use! Looking forward to seeing what you did with those gorgeous coloured fabrics.

  2. Behold! The green and the purple! Perfection. I can't wait to see what it has become.

  3. Anonymous9:09 AM

    I am looking forward to your little quilt! The greens you dyed are wonderful. I love Melissa's site.