Friday, December 18, 2015

Snow Dyeing

 On Monday we had a foot of snow! Great fun! Time for snow dyeing!  I thought I would write up a little demo on how I do my snow dyeing.

I start off with Prepared for Dyeing (PFD) fabric. I have several bolts of Moda's version, but any brand will do. I tear my fabric into either yard or half yard pieces.

Soda Ash Bucket
Next it goes into the soda ash bucket. I let it soak for 10-15 minutes, making sure that it is fully saturated. I use an old wooden spaghetti fork to stir it around and to push it down into the liquid. *NOTE*when ever you use any kitchen tools in the dyeing studio, they can never go home to the kitchen!

Out of the bucket
Using gloves, I wring out the pieces and toss them into a plastic wash tub.

Mixing dyes
While the fabric is soaking, I will mix up dyes if I need more than I already have mixed up. I spread out a dampened mop up cloth to catch any stray powder. ALWAYS wear a mask when handling powder dyes.

Ready to go

Ready for snow
I have been playing with twisting some of my fabrics. In the wash tubs I try to spread out the fabric as much as possible. In the round ice cream buckets I played with some twists and accordion folds.

I then dump a bunch of snow on top of the fabric. In the past I have crammed it full of snow. This time I was testing just making sure that there was a decent layer of snow on the fabric.

I pour the liquid dye over the snow in various patterns. I found out last year that some colors will meld and make brown! LOL! So this year I am trying out dyeing with complimentary colors.

All the dyed snow
I do this in the afternoon and let the snow melt overnight. I guess you could do it in the morning and rinse out in the evening. Whatever works for your schedule.
Melted snow
I love to see what dyes look like after the snow melts! Even though you think you know what you are getting, it is never quite what you expect.
I rinse out all the pieces.  I then toss them into a big bucket of clean water and let them stew for a bit. Then another quick rinse and into the washer.

I wash the batch with Synthrapol. It helps set the dyes.

Brown, terra cotta and a bit of purple
I am trying to dye a background for a flower quilt. I have had several attempts that didn't quite turn out the way I wanted it to. Love this piece, but I am not sure that it is right for my flower.


I may go back and over dye the light area

Pleated twist
I took quick photographs of the finished fabrics out in the snow. Some of the photos look a bit on the blue side.

Another twist
I may go back and over dye the light areas on this piece. I am really happy with the way the twist turned out.

Navy, forest green and yellow

Another folded one
This piece looks great in person. I folded it in half and then accordion folded it. I swirled it into the round bucket.

Another accordion fold,.

My favorites
These last two are much brighter in person. I love the bottom one the best of all this batch.

This is my off the wall and finished Friday post for this week.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Finally finished a project that should have been years ago

Years ago I conned,er um, talked a group of friends into a 12 x12 project. We each chose one word and then every other month I drew one out and everyone was supposed to make a 12 x12 art quilt piece inspired by that word. More friends wanted to join in. Others dropped out. I believe that only about 3 of us completed all of the words. I myself was missing 3 or 4 words. Recently I was thinking that I should go back and complete the set.  The last couple of years I have been in a knitting group with a couple of women in a neighboring town. We meet for coffee and chatting every couple of weeks. 

One of my missed words was Joy. Well, one of my coffee/knitting buddies is named Joy! Both she and Karen spin yarn. Joy has been spinning for a long time and it is a joy to her. Since her birthday is this week I decided to do a 12x12 in her honor. Joy's Joy.

Joy spinning on her wheel
I took photographs of Joy and Karen spinning one meeting. I am looking to get a wheel some day and it was a good excuse to ask questions and compare their wheels. While at the same time getting a photograph to base my quilt on.

It is all about the twist
In spinning, it is all about the twist! So I quilted twist into the background.

My pattern
I printed out the photograph in black and white. Then I traced the outline of the wheel. I fused some fabric and used the outline to cut out the shape of the wheel.

The spinning wheel
I used stitching lines to enhance the shape of the wheel.

Joy's Joy
I used a bit of my own yarn that I had spun on a spindle to put on the bobbin. I left a tail of fiber and then quilted Joy into the background. Karen's husband is a wonderful woodworker and made a hanging stick to go along with it. Joy was so surprised when she saw this!

I know that I still need to do Frog and Road.  I need to double check my list and see what others I am missing.

I am linking to Off the wall, TGIFF, and Finished Friday.