Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Last Snow Dye

For this year anyway.  I love the mix of colors in these -- there is purple, turquoise, and some ultramarine.  I like all the greens and browns where it mixed with the orange.  The orange is a pure MX color, but the blue is a blend, hence all the cool colors.

So the forecast was for 50 degrees and sunny, so I was going to take some (unpaid) time off work and play in the dye studio.  Unfortunately, or fortunately, I'm not sure exactly how I feel about this yet, I was way too busy and could not take any time off work.  However, the forecast was wrong and the afternoon was damp, dreary, and decidedly not in the 50s.

So I did just these two pieces with the dwindling snow and some soft orange and sapphire dyes.  The snow was like tiny ice pellets and dirty (dog hair and who knows what).

I used the same technique for each: accordion folds and poured the dyes over in a stripe pattern.  
I let them batch inside on top of some green gradations I needed for something else I'm doing.

These are navy and lemon yellow with a tiny bit of golden yellow to make it interesting.
I have finally figured out how to dye light colored fabric.  I prefer really deep saturated hues and it's emotionally difficult for me to mix pale colors.  But the dark colors don't look good without the contrast of light.

 I mix my dyes in plastic beakers or used Chinese soup containers (they have really great fitting lids).  There are always drips and dribbles of color left in the container after I pour out the dye.

So now I mix a half cup of water in the container and roll it around to get all the color washed off the sides and into the bottom and then scrunch soda-soaked fabric into the pale color left.  I don't have to mix up those watery colors and I satisfy my need to avoid wasting any bit of dye.

It's supposed to rain all week, so all the snow will melt.  The best part is that the forecast (however inaccurate) is for unseasonably warm temps.  That just makes me happy.


Vicki W said...

I love the pleated fabrics!

Beth said...

Those blue and orange ones have some cool movement. Both are cool. I know what you mean about doing the lights.... leaves one wanting.


Karen M said...

Your fabrics turned out beautifully. I see haunting faces in the first piece. And the pale fabrics are quite luminous. Isn't it funny how difficult it can be to make or buy light colored fabrics? I guess the richness of the darker colors is just too distracting. Question, do you dye with a specific project in mind? If not, how do you chose what colors to work with? Do you have a palette that you tend to work from, or do you try to get a range of colors?

Quilt Rat said...

All of these fabrics turned out fabulous!!!! LOVE that green especially. I think your paler colours are wonderful.
When I first took a look at the very top of the first photo.......well I see winners! by that I mean take a close look.....does anyone else see a group of "Oscars" shoulder to shoulder?

Diane D. said...

What a clever way to make the pale fabrics!

Karen S said...

Karen! What a great question (I like your comments too)! Sometimes I dye with a specific project in mind, but more often I like the serendipitous aspect of the dyes -- I like to have fabric that inspires me. My "palette" is really anything bright -- I love all colors, especially together. I did spend a summer trying to dye "the perfect turquoise" and some time messing around with red, but I mostly enjoy playing with all the colors. I am probably going to try using more of the premixed blends for my snowdyeing next year -- just to see what I get.

Michele at Sweet Leaf said...

I'll have to try your method of using-every-drop to dye pale colors. Great idea!