Again, I am not keeping up with the blogging thing too well, but I have managed to keep doing something creative most days even if it is only a tiny little something. Pain levels seem to keep increasing no matter what I do, so it seems to take forever to do most projects… I guess I just have to have more patience and be satisfied with doing things one little step a day… This month I finally got out my dye supplies and equipment and have been brightening up the dreary, blustery winter days with Color! This year I began with 9 colors, two I have never tried, so the first fabric I dyed was a sample of the colors.
Since I wanted the colors to keep to themselves as much as possible for my sample, I placed a second yard of fabric scrunched on the bottom of the container to “catch the drips” so to speak to see what would happen…
As this little group of photos show, things have been a bit unsettled as usual for winter here in NE PA. The day I took these photos we were supposed to have rain… as you can see the precipitation was a bit white and fluffy instead.
With all the snow falling, it was good to see some color indoors on my fabric.
Here is the Sample Yard of fabric after the washout… I did get areas of the single colors, with a lot of areas where the colors blended into each other. You can see that I sort of fan-folded-scrunched the fabric so the colors are at an angle and it gave me more room to trial the colors. You can also barely see where I put the small bits of black on the non yellow corners… I got a neat black cherry color in the lower right corner.
The fabric scrunched under the sample piece has some really interesting areas. This photo shows the fabric flipped end for end in relation to the top sample piece. Since it mopped up the extra dye, the colors did a lot more blending and I got some great crystal-like patterning from the scrunching. While I was getting color in the kitchen on fabric, the first flower of the year was beginning to bloom in the greenhouse pond… The Water Iris usually bloom as the days begin to lengthen.
Our little greenhouse does give me a little bit of flower color in winter… Some of the succulents that live here year round usually bloom early winter, followed by tropical vines growing on the table at the far end just out of the photo. I have tried to use this area as a wet studio, but with 2 dogs and 3 cats living here and coming in and out through the cat and dog doors, there is way too much hair, dirt and dust. Also walking through is often tricky with the fur kids lying about soaking up the heat. The wood stove we use for heat also lives out here, so that adds to the dust, etc.
OK, Back to the fabric….
The next pieces of fabric to be dyed were also more or less samples to see what single colors would do with severe scrunching, and to try some mixes of color. I have a bolt of cotton to play with and also a few yards of what I thought was a cotton poly blend, so a fat quarter of each fabric went into the first sample containers. I also added a half yard or quarter on the bottom of each container in the hopes of having lighter shades.
The first fabrics to begin the rinsing stage… The tiny piece lower right used up a bit of extra green with a dab of turquoise on top… The other colors are deep yellow and pomegranate. According to Jane Dunnewold in her class, The Art of Cloth Dyeing on Craftsy.com, The dyes should batch for 24 hours for best colors…. I waited about 6 for the ones above…. Waiting is soo hard! I did let the blue next to sit that long… The classes available on Craftsy are great!
The first pieces of fabric I did were scrunched really tightly in the containers so that I would get the light areas and the crystal-like patterning. Some of the bottom pieces of fabric will need over-dyeing since there is more white than color. The blue in the above photo is a 1:1 mix of the Cerulean and Midnight blues… I found I loved that combo in past years… After getting some fabric done, I decided to pull out some white or nearly white shirts so that I could upgrade my wardrobe… I always look for white cotton shirts on clearance, wear them till I get them a bit spotted or dingy, then add some color to give them new life.
I ended up updating 6 shirts, a pair of socks, a bit of fabric and a few more things. I started by pulling out some sweaters I have that I needed shirts to coordinate with and tried to get the right colors… As you can see, I tend to like the blues, pinks and purples the best….
Ahhh… Starting with the really bright stuff…. These shirts were mostly white splattered with various colors of paint from painting fabric during summers. The shirts tend to collect a lot of splotches that are not that fashionable… The bright colors hide what is there already and will let me keep using them till they fall apart.
The pink striped shirt was in a bag of goodies that was given to me… It was white with pink stripes, but had a spot on the front… Now that is hidden and the Pomegranate and Fuchsia dyes mixed were just the right color.
The pink shirt with one of my favorite formerly white shirts I wore for years… It has a nice texture to the fabric and after the dye it looks like new. One of the sweaters is a grayish blue, so I tried the Midnight Blue on it’s own…. It is just the right shade!
My first experiment with dyeing socks…. Now that I wear shoes that show my socks I am paying more attention to them… I usually wear matching shoes out
More blue and purplish… The shirt with the butterflies was dyed a pale, pale blue a few years ago and collected a few stains since it was a nice comfortable shirt to wear in the gardens… There are butterflies on it to hide a spot that the dye didn’t hide… the upper one is another of my plain white shirts that was worn quite a bit… Done in the purple made from Cerulean Blue and Fuchsia 1:1.
The two sweaters I wanted shirts to coordinate with… I had been just wearing the white shirts with them, but wanted to wear more color with them… The colors worked! I counted 6 more shirts of various types (two are new ones) that will also get dyed… I just need to figure out what colors to use… I will probably try a deeper purple and maybe some different pinks…
This post isn’t really art quilt related, I am linking this to Off The Wall Fridays hosted by Nina Marie. The fabrics will eventually end up in some of my art pieces, so I guess it will fit… Click on the link to check out Nina Marie’s blog, then check out some of the other blogs that are linked from there.