Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Somerset NJ Class posted

It has been in the works for a while now - I will be teaching a 3-hour Dye Boot Camp at the Quilt Fest of NJ VIII, on Friday morning, March 2, 2012. Here’s a link if you want to learn more about it:

And my name is in their advertisement in Quilters Newsletter – woo-hoo! Hope to see you there!


Monday, November 28, 2011

A benefit from the Halloween snow

We got enough snow on the weekend of Halloween to enable me to make more snow-dyes. I used (Pro Chem names) Intense, Mixing and Navy blues, Mixing Red, Cerise (from Aljo), Strong Orange, Golden Yellow and Lemon Yellow. Without further ado, here are more pictures:


Thanks, Kay and Jan

Well, after seeing all the eye candy over on Kay Sorensen’s blog, I was inspired to take a pipe to a fat quarter. (That probably sounds very odd to the un-initiated!) Here’s the result:


Thanks for looking, and thanks for the inspiration. I hope there will be more to come!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pipe Wrapping

Lots of recent discussion about pole wrapping, including on the DyersList and on Kay Sorensen’s blog, http://quiltspluscolor.blogspot.com/
Here’s a picture of my 9” long, 10” diameter polypropylene pipe, wrapped with 3 1/4 yards of silk broadcloth that was previously snow-dyed. It was folded lengthwise into 6ths – about 7 1/2” wide sections, and staggered so they aren’t all directly on top of each other. Then it was wrapped around the pole and string-wrapped. I was surprised that I could get the whole length onto the pole. Next step is discharge and/or vat dye and/or overdyeing with MX – pictures to follow. Oh, the black bands at top and bottom are lengths of rubber inner tube that act like giant rubber bands to keep the fabric and strings from sliding off one end as you push from the other.
OK, after getting Vicki's comment, I realized I missed a shameless commerce moment. I have the pipe for sale on my website, http://www.dippydyes.com/index.php/products/10-inch-polypropylene-pipe-for-high-temp-shibori, where it is priced by the inch. It's just plain expensive, but you should never need a new one, either. Right now there's about 60 inches remaining. Thanks.

Monday, October 24, 2011

New SnowDyed fabrics

The recent talk on MXDyers made me pull out the screens again. Not everything is washed yet, and some of these fabrics were dyed in July and never photographed.  We had great weather for it on Friday – the highs barely reached 60, so the ice didn’t melt as fast as it did in July. Anyhow, time for pictures! You should be able to click any of these to see larger images. Thanks for looking!

A square section of a longer piece of yardage.
The rest of these were dyed as square pieces, with fan-folds, 6- and 8-pointed folds, a couple spirals for fun, plus a square fold that I learned from Elin Noble.


There are some dark lines in the lower left corner of this piece. They are the result of letting the fabric dry with out washing it out. The blue dye, being the slowest to strike, wicked up to the top of the folds and bonded there. Not snow-dyeing in its purest form, but it adds to the fabric surface.


Above is the square fold. As you see, it was folded in half to start, so the left side is much lighter than the right. Not super-successful, but could be very interesting cut and pieced.
I was really thrilled when I unfolded this. I was afraid there was too much white in it, but it looks like a whole-cloth quilt to me.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Relative color / value

If I do this right, a picture puzzle will appear. It is a good illustration of how color appears to change depending on the colors it is near. Assemble this puzzle, but don't place one of the blue pieces that goes into one of the right-hand corners. Before you finish, hold the piece and slide it over the other blue areas. It  should look like the moving piece is changing color, because the background is changing. Interesting, I think.

Click to Mix and Solve

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thanks again to Karen

I have posted a PDF of my snow dyeing article that was inspired by Karen at Bunk's Blog. Thank you for sharing this cool technique, Karen - my customers and friends (and I) enjoy the results very much. Here's a link to her post which got a lot of us started: http://bunks.wordpress.com/2009/01/14/snow-dyeing-and-grannyland/. Now, when I make more fabric this way, I will post more photos.
Here's a link to my article, and it's also found at right, in the links section: http://www.dippydyes.com/SnowDyeArticle.pdf

Kanzashi book news

For my long suffering customers who ordered a 'Kanzashi in Bloom' book from me at Oaks or Chautauqua: I finally got word that the publisher is shipping to my supplier on 10/19, so hopefully I should have them by the end of the month. Here's a picture:

Thursday, October 06, 2011



9/5 Have spent the holiday weekend getting ready for the show at Oaks. In addition to doing some vat dyeing, I made a list of all the different products I dye and the techniques I use; it turned out to be a lot! The products include cottons, of course: broadcloth, canvas, muslin, sateen, velveteen and others; blends like cotton-linen, cotton-bamboo and cotton-silk; some pure silk, though not a lot; P9290125wool, bamboo and polyester roving for felting, and polyester yardage and pieces, including NuSuede, felt from Kunin and Lutradur in various weights.

Unusual Sights

9/29 - 30 Saw a very unusual moth caterpillar, bigger than my little finger. Did not photograph it, though I should have. It seems most likely that it was for a sphinx moth. They’re the large moths that can be mistaken for hummingbirds. I’ve seen one in the garden once. The caterpillar is a hornworm type, but the horn at the back end looked like a painted eye.P9300134
Also saw a rainbow, which we did photograph. And then I dropped my reverse stitcher, and it  landed perfectly in a crack in the floor! Silly, but memorable. One of those ‘couldn’t do that again if I tried’ moments.

Acid dyes on Radiance

PA0601359/30 or so - Have been working more with Radiance, and decided to try dyeing in in acid dyes, which don’t work on the cotton portion. Here’s a picture of both sides of samples that I dyed for discharge sampling. They are face down, with the lower left corner folded up to show the silk side. I had a DOS brain cramp and did not dye the yellows as dark as I wanted. Nothing like a visual example of sliding your decimal. The upper left piece is navy – gotta dye more of that!
*Omnibus adj (1842) 1: of, relating to, or providing for many things at once 2: containing or including many items.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tempus Fugit, I think

Good thing I can look it up in the dictionary. Anyhow, time does fly.

Well, before I start kvetching about having too much to do, I should say that the reason I was inspired to post again was that I now, suddenly, have over 30 followers! Thank you all so much! I’m sorry I don’t have any more eye candy to post; don’t remember the last time I took time for photographs. Found one – it’s at the bottom.

Back to time flying – there are just 7 weeks to go before the first show of the fall, so I have to crank up the production numbers. I did get a lot of snow dyeing done last weekend – still washing it out. Family visit this weekend, and a trip to the Hershey show (as a visitor), then another week to snow-dye or work on poly. (More on that below.) Then I’m teaching a day class on discharge the weekend of the 13th, one-on-one, so I’m starting to dye and fold fabric for that. Then I need to prep for a demo at Oaks on Kanzashi, and a speaking engagement in October, the day before the Quakertown Show. There’s also the annual Chautauqua Show in the end of October, too! And some exciting news – I’m going to teach a 3-hour class at the Somerset show in March – Quilt Fest of NJ.

I read a great article in Quilting Arts today by Marie-Therese Wisniowski on her ‘Multisperse Dye Sublimation’ technique for polyester. I can start painting papers with dye right away, and pull out the heat press once the 90-100 degree F temperatures are over with. And I want to do more sun printing on poly, too, and try some mandalas. Plus I found a source for the sheer iridescent polyester, like I got at Jo-Ann. That’s been popular, so I must order a roll, plus more muslin, maybe. . . . So I’m keeping busy. Thanks again to my followers; if I had a tail it would be wagging!

SchmutzLidPS - here’s a picture I have been playing with – it’s the leftovers on the lid of a bucket of spackle. I’ve learned a good bit about using Photoshop Elements in working with this one image. Maybe I should get a Thermofax screen made of it. Forgot it was there!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Kanzashi Krazy

Well, I heard about these from people who were at Spring Market, the annual trade show for the quilt industry. Kanzashi are a traditional craft from Japan – flowers made of folded fabric. Some of the folds are the same as Origami. I ordered a book by Diane Gilleland, called Kanzashi in Bloom and started making lots of petals and turning them into flowers while I waited for the nifty Kanzashi makers from Clover to come in. And I also found some patterns for brooches from la Todera patterns. Between those sources, I learned three different ways to make flowers and petals. Enough said – here are the pictures!

First attempt
This is one of the first flowers I made, from a piece of snow-dyed fabric. It’s a little, well a Lot wonky. But we have to start somewhere.Kanzashi with three types of petals

Also an early effort, it was fun to incorporate different sorts of petals. More snow dyed cotton, plus white radiance.

Nusuede Kanzashi
This is a small flower made of hand-dyed Nusuede. Fun to have different texture choices.

Kanzashi with button and floss center
The purple flower is made with rounded petals, which I think are the most versatile. Adding a little embroidery floss as a tie in the button adds a little flourish, I think.

Double-petal Kanzashi
The orange and white flower sports a center that was the button off a pair of pajamas. Did I mention I have 17 pounds of buttons? This double-layer style can’t be made with the Kanzashi makers, unless the fabric is very thin.

Two flower with stems
Here are a couple more early efforts. The center in
the left-hand flower is a piece of a plastic flower that looks like Queen Anne’s lace. Just the ticket for this use. Also, I learned that this gauge wire is way to thin to support the flower.

Black Kanzashi
This black and copper flower looks super on the lapel of a linen-look blazer I have. The fabric is a commercial black batik that I discharged as a test. The button adds just the touch for a rather elegant flower (IMHO.)

Flowers on flip-flops
The flip-flops were an idea from Diane’s Kanzashi book. The fabric, snowdyed; the buttons are from the stash – they were shoe buttons, I believe.Camellia brooch - 4 inch size

Camellia brooch - 5.5 inch size
The final two lush flowers are made per the instructions in the Camelia Gigantus Brooch pattern from la Todera. The first is a mix of solid and snow-dyed cottons, the second is made from ombre’ Radiance. Both have padding under the petals to give them a greater three-dimensional quality. The smaller one has been living on a straw hat, when the larger one has a backing fabric attached, it will end up on a tote bag, I think.

Thanks for looking; and PS – the Clover Kanzashi makers are available at www.dippydyes.com!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Deadlines are past

Well, I did my usual last-minute work last week, and got work submitted before the deadline – barely. One was a submission of photos of my quilts for inclusion in Mary Kerr’s upcoming book about art quilts. Of course, I didn’t pay for professional photography, and when I realized I hadn’t taken sufficiently high resolution pictures, my photoflood bulb burned out. And my dog ate my homework.

The second project was a little more understandable, but still somewhat Mickey-Mouse’d. (Oooo, I hope the denizens of Orlando and Anaheim aren’t offended.) Anyway, I have been working on a piece of fabric for about 8 months, contemplating how to add a layer of black over the snow-dyed cloth. My sample piece includes:

  • black paint
  • black and clear deColourant
  • black and clear Shiva Paintstiks
  • black and various other very dark colors of Tsukineko ink
  • deep navy vat dye
  • metallic paint and ink
  • black stitching

About 10 days ago I finally hit on using a potato dextrin resist and thickened dye.  Then  I washed it out and used thickened bleach over a new application of dextrin. Here’s a picture:Sample with dye paint and bleach

I really, really like the look and want to do both layers again to a large piece of cloth. Problem is I didn’t have time to do that to the piece of fabric for the quilt submission. So that can wait for a future piece. All that said, I do like the look of the final cloth for the quilt. Without more ado, here’s a picture of the quilt, and a detail:

Space BubblesSpaceBubblesDetail2






I’m happy with the result, and now I have to wait to see if it is accepted in the Deep Spaces exhibit. Fingers and toes are crossed!

Monday, April 11, 2011

More vat results

Got some better results on Saturday with clamped resists. The first picture shows the fabric I started with. I tested it with deColourantStarting fabric - brown gradation and a decent turquoise color remained, which is the result of using Intense blue in the mix. There’s also a general blue halo that creeps out into the white areas of the original cloth.

P4100006The first piece I folded into an equilateral triangle and then dyed the corners and edges different colors. That went into the yellow vat first for a fairly long time. The other colors used were medium blue and violet. I spent the most time working the yellow into all the crevasses. That seems pretty evident from the fact that there’s fairly even amounts of yellow throughout. Also, that there are less even amounts of the other colors is evident, and is due to the fact that I didn’t spend as much time manipulating the cloth in the bath. The center still has the darkest area showing, like the original fabric did. The green/olive area in the center it the yellow dye overlaying (converging!) with the non-discharging blue.

The second one was fan-folded cross-wise and lengthwise into a P4100005rectangle. One edge went into the yellow vat. It was the second use, and did not remain as long, so there’s less yellow on the fabric. It also went into the medium blue and violet vats, then into a vat mixed from violet and red.  An interesting piece, and I did learn a bit from both.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

About vat dyeing

A couple questions came through regarding 'what is vat dyeing - the process, the effects to achieve? Vat dyes are a distinct class of dyes that are applied at fairly high heat, compared to MX, at least. Temperatures between 120 - 150 degrees F at any rate, with Thiox as a reducing agent (no oxygen in the bath) and lye to raise the pH very high. Because of the Thiox, color is removed at the same time that the vat dyes are applied. Because the thiox creeps farther than the dye does, you can get halos around the new color. And you can over dye a dark color with a lighter color, because the original MX (in my case) color is removed. Vat dyes also work on other types of dye than MX, but I'll have to check my notes to be sure. I do know other fiber-reactive dyes will discharge. But because of the extreme pH, you can't use vat dyes on wool. With TLC, you can use it on silk. Here's a close-up of a section of the gold and purple fabric showing some haloing where the darkest color creeps across the slightly lighter violet diamond:

The process is a little more hazardous than working with MX - more safety gear is required because of the lye. But the results are worth it, and once I practice, practice, practice, I hope I'll be able to get results like the photos in my March 26 post. Nothing like wanting to achieve the work of the master on day 3 of class! Elin has another class this summer at Whidby Island - go there if you can!!
I hope to continue with vat dyes, as well as MX and disperse and to keep adding pictures here and at DippyDyes.com, where I sell my fabric. Thanks for looking, and for the encouragement!

Wrong-color quilt

I was reading Kay Sorensen's blog post on color: http://quiltspluscolor.blogspot.com/2011/04/i-have-ocd-think-color.html and had to post these pictures:

Is this wrong? I still like it. Below is  a picture of it under construction converted to black and white. That really shows how important value is!
 Kay, I do know what you're talking about, but from both sides. When I sell Tsukineko ink in the booth at shows, I always arrange them from neutrals to - browns - orange - yellow - green - blue - purple - red. Hubby is bothered that this is NOT Roy - Gee - Biv, the way he learned in science class.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Vat results

Well, I have gotten some work done with vat dyes since I got back from class. Here are pictures of the results, from worst to best. A couple were started in class and at the least were soaped out here at home.

First attempt to improve a yard
This fabric was pretty poor to begin with. It needs more work. In person it’s very bright and cheerful.

Interesting half yard improved by vat

This was a reject from Barbara of MXDyers. I like it better, except the right end. A class experiment.

A charcoal square with vat dye

A 42 x 45 square of broadcloth dyed charcoal (my own recipe.) Not the results I had hoped for, but a nice piece as it is.

A shibori fat quarter

A boring, solid green fat quarter improved by hand stitching and a medium blue vat dye.

Voile with vat dyesCotton-silk voile – you can see through it to an 8 1/2” x 11” piece of paper in the upper left corner.

Radiance, pleated and vat dyed
A yard of black Radiance, run through a smocking pleater and discharged and dyed in multiple vats.

Four broadcloth squares folded and dyedFour 21” squares of broadcloth. Each was folded the same way and dyed in several vats in the same sequence. Each one is different, and I’m quite pleased with them! The set is for sale here.
Thanks Elin!

Monday, March 28, 2011

More vat dye eye candy

Still on the road, and have time to post more pictures. Woke up with a better attitude about my own work. Current plan is to spend half the day on chores (i.e. filing taxes, shipping muslin) and mid-afternoon onwards dyeing fabric. But for now, revel in some pictures:
Elin pointing out the insides of foldsThis is the orange and purple Radiance that I posted about yesterday (below.) After another sample that dyed only on the edges, I chickened out at putting this one into the vat. I need to start with smaller pieces first. The fold marks remain and will Undyed shibori sampleshow where additional patterning will happen.
Look at the tiny binding
Laharia (turban cloths)

Sample dyed after using smocking pleater, seen in the backgroundShows capped section from the topShows capped example from the bottomStitched and pole-wrapped
This is a piece of fabric that was dyed the fairly dark green that you see, then immersed in a light blue vat dye. It has not been soaped yet – we’ll see if the color or luster changes much.
One thing I would do differently would be to start with a variety of fairly interesting fabrics, rather than the mostly solid pieces that I took. That should be my starting point when I resume working with vat dyes. I also think I will stick more with analogous color schemes. They can be very arresting; classic and elegant without the jarring look most of my vat dyed pieces have. It's a plan, anyway! Thanks for looking!