ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why I Wish It Were Summer

The tree commission is almost finished, and in between working on it, I've dyed over 80 meters of fabric in the last 4 days. But why do I wish it were summer? Because I think of how gorgeous all this fabric would look drying on the line in my backyard. Instead most of it was dried on the line in my dungeon,... er I mean basement. Line-dried fabric is much easier to iron than fabric that is scrunch dried in the dryer! I decided to get a head start as I am going to need lots of hand-dyes for sale early in the new year. I'm Shop of the Month at the
Ottawa Valley Quilters Guild on January 10, and then I'm lecturing and teaching at several large guilds in Toronto, Niagara, and Orangeville in February. BUT, I dyed a whole 24 meters for me me me, and that doesn't happen very often, but I am inspired to start work soon on my expired hostas, hopefully to be named "Curtain Call". Check out the 24 meters of expired hosta fabric. Am I a fabric pig or what? I've included one of my favorite hosta photos. My photos inspired the colours in this dyeing session.

But that's not all! I've replenished the "cool" colours in my hand-dye store, and if there are any spent hosta fabrics I can spare, they will go into the store too. Has anyone noticed that "olive green" dye doesn't look like it used to? Sometimes dye companies are not consistent with their mixes.

Ever since I taught my last In Full Bloom class and saw Jennifer working with a 3-step gradation of my pink hand-dyes (dyed from the colour fuchsia), I have been dreaming about pink. So here is a 13 step gradation of fuchsia I dyed, also for me, and some pole wrapped Arashi Shibori. Oh oh, that makes another 8.5 meters for me!!

I used my usual 9 step value gradation recipe, but to get the additional lights, I went right down to using 1/8 tsp dye powder, and for the very pale ones, using literally drops of dye. To get the darkest value I dumped a full cup of dye and a full cup of soda ash solution on only half a meter of fabric. All the books would indicate that the fabric would only take up so much dye, but you can see the darkest one is noticeably darker than the rest. And the plan for the shibori piece? Well, I am still thinking about this photo I took in 2006 in my sister's garden. A striped dahlia. I'll let you know if this idea works.

1 comment:

  1. I'm supposed to decorate for Christmas tomorrow and now you've got my dyeing juices going! I'll just have to decorate fast and hope to have time left for some dyeing! Hope the big storm doesn't bury you in snow. It was 75 here today and 80+ tomorrow. Kind of hard to think Christmas...Your fabrics are gorgeous.


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