Thursday, April 09, 2015

What do you think dyers can do better? Part 2

On April first I posted the following question on the QuiltArt List: What can dyers do better? Specifically, what can I do, or do better for you? It was not intended as an April Fool's post, nor did anyone take it as such. Here's the second answer I received:
I don't do dyeing so I'm thinking [about] what would make me buy someone else's dyed fabrics. I don't see the point in buying fabric that's dyed an all-over color because solids are commercially available fairly easily , unless I'm wanting a particular tone of color that they just don't make (grayed down yellow, or some such). I think those who do dye solid colors are more interested in controlling more about their work, including the perfect color mixes.
I like fabrics that look like batiks, kind of nebulous color tones but I want them to be in neighboring colors, not opposites, because I'm wanting to use them to represent something else (water, sky, etc) not be their own thing. Many people do make abstract quilts and might like that, however.
When I look at Kay's ice dyeing pieces ( ) I am in awe, but they tend to be their own thing, like using a designer print and probably can't be used to represent something else.
If the design is really stark (blue and keeping white) it feels too strong for me, or if there are too many colors it all feels too psychedelic to me. Darker blue and lighter blue, or green blue where it's more moody feels better to me.
There are quite a few representational quilts out there, so think how you can get those different tones for skin, or hair or dog's hair, or grass or trees. But I don't think that's the direction modern quilters are taking at all. They tend to want the focus pieces. So, look at who your market is or do both directions.
Barb P
Another interesting, and interested answer, and very different from the first response I got. Of course, I like to say 'there's no wrong answer to this question' - about a lot of things. I'm glad Barb wrote, because some days I get stuck staring at a white piece of fabric thinking 'what do I do?'
OK, off to work on my newsletter now. Thanks for looking, and please join my newsletter list or make a comment about this post below.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

What do you think dyers can do better? Part 1

A week ago I posted the following question on the QuiltArt List: What can dyers do better? Specifically, what can I do, or do better for you? Here's the first answer I received:
   I did a lot of dyeing earlier in my quilting life, and then I decided that buying interesting pieces from other dyers was a much better decision for me. The dyeing process was hard on my body, time-consuming, and I didn't enjoy the process. So, I moved to dyeing fabrics with my credit card.
   After about a decade of doing that, I became more and more dissatisfied with the dyed fabrics I bought. Why? Because they were almost never rinsed and set adequately, forcing me to do all those end steps to make them washable. . . . I even commented on this trend of dyers not rinsing and setting the colors adequately on this very list. What I got back in responses was an ***outpouring*** from dyers who complained that they didn't have the time to do that or they didn't have the water resources to do that or they'd have to charge more money if they did that or __________ (fill in the blank with whatever reason that exonerated them from doing the final steps).
   It was at that point that I gave up and have refused to buy hand-dyed fabrics from anyone. What have I done, instead? I joined the Modern Quilt Movement and now have a collection of commercially dyed cottons that I use in abundance to go with commercial prints. 
- Delores, still unhappy about all of this, but at least I've found a way to continue to enjoy quilting.
My standard answer to the 'will it bleed' question is that no, it shouldn't. That said, I'm not perfect, so it's possible I'll miss something. And my fabrics take a beating travelling to shows, so I encourage washing them. (I always think they smell different when I get home, probably because I use hand sanitizer in the booth. I need an unscented, fabric-friendly version.)
So, what do  you think? And look for more replies here in the coming days.
Thanks for looking, and thanks to Delores for her answer - Lisa