ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dyeing and the Studio

I am sorry to say that no one wrote me a note with a story of quilts and healing, so there was no winner for the last blog give-away.  I was surprised since I often hear these stories when I travel.  I have my own story, which I have shared in most of the interviews I've given, and the UTube videos on this blog.  So I'm not sure if folks felt it was too private to comment publicly (which I understand), or it was too much work for a book you might not win anyway, or the book wasn't of interest.  So I shall hang on to it for a future opportunity.

I'm home all winter, so trying to plan ahead for busier days.  Just take a look at the state of my studio!  There's that tree on the design wall that I just blogged about.  Stacks of fabric dyed and ironed, boxes with teaching material, and a tray of bark created for tree collage.

There's a messy stack of fabric that includes the snow dyes with too many white spots that I am going to overdye, and a stack of fabrics tried for backgrounds to the tree that now need to be put away (wherever "away" is).

I've been doing lots of dyeing!  I was low on dark darks, so did some of my favorites.  Those of you who have taken my new "Dye Another Day" class have created some fabrics just like this!

I also dyed a bunch of fabrics in one of my favorite combos at the moment: dark brown and purple.  This time I also tried adding brown (which tends toward the rusty reddish side), and it added a wonderful addition in the second last piece from right.  The piece at right was a happy surprise.  At the end of the dyeing session I had a bit of brown and some navy left, so combined them on a half meter.

I tried snow dyeing one more time.  This time I dyed two pieces of fabric on the screens I showed in my last post on snow dyeing.  This allowed me to spread the fabric out a bit more, in the hopes that there would be less white spots.  There are still lots.  Fabric at left used a medium concentration, fabric at right a light concentration.

But the colours bring back to my memory some photos I took in autumn at the Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa (by the way, this cemetery is a beautiful place to photograph in any season). The pink hydrangea were just hit by frost and turning a bit brown.  I love the colours.  I wonder if I could use the above fabric somehow to create something like this? I think I might have to keep these fabrics, and thus my fabric stash continues to grow!


  1. Oh yeah. The snow-dyed fabric; the hydrangea. Oh yeah. Definitely!

    1. Yes, oh yeah Margaret! But the idea for how and what to do hasn't come yet ... will continue to ponder it!

  2. How very odd! I have just finished a bunch of hand dyes and have one in pale violet/brown and guess what it made ME think of doing! You guessed it! Hydrangeas. Great minds, eh?

    1. I think we tend to be inspired by similar things Carolynn!


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