Thursday, September 25, 2008

Quilt Fest Fabric dyeing class

I have never had so much fun in such a long time! I love fabric dyeing! My only past experience has been a couple of tie-dye experiments as a kid and with my own kids with store bought kits. The teacher, Anne Munoz, has been dyeing for 30 years and uses most of her items from Dharma Trading Co. in San Rafael, California (we each received a catalog in our class kit)

First, we cut our Pima cotton up into 10-15 pieces of various sizes....our choice on the size. Next, we soaked a couple of these fabric pieces in the fixer....dissolved soda ash. This helps the fabric to hang on to and retain the dye colors. Those fabric pieces had to dry in the sun, so Anne did a 45 minute demo on various methods we could try during the day.

I started off with the ziploc bag method. I soaked and squeezed out a piece of pima in the fixer, then put the fabric in a quart sized ziploc bag. I pour a little of the tangerine dye and a little of the yellow dye in and squeezed the bag until the fabric had taken the color. Set that bag down for an hour. Afterwards, I rinsed out the fabric in a 5 gallon bucket of water and let it dry. I repeated this method with a bag of green dye, aqua blue dye, and rust brown dye for a total of 4 pieces of fabric.

Next, I went onto the marble effect. This one was really fun and quite easy. I took a 3 inch deep rectangular pan (like you develop photos in)....I filled a bowl with water and shaving cream (the cheaper the cream the better) and mixed the water/cream into a thick mix, like heavy cream....poured it into the pan. I then mixed very small amounts of two dyes (pink and brown) in separate containers with a small amount of shaving cream to form lumpy colored bits of cream. The bits were dropped all over the top of the creamy mix in the pan. With chop sticks, I pulled the color thru until it formed a marbled color look. I place one of the pieces of pima (that had been thru the fixer and dried)on top, got the air holes out, covered it all with plastic, and it sat for any hour. I then just washed off the shaving cream, rinsed it good, and the fabric went out on the line to dry. Below is a sample picture from Dharma's website....though I think mine looked just as good. The shaving cream hangs onto the dye and your fabric just floats atop of the cream. The third technique was using a brush and a thickener in the dyes and painting a picture. I did not do well with this technique. I did try a couple of dry fixer pima and did two landscape pieces.

The last technique was using stamps and other things to leave an impression in dye. I actually really enjoyed this technique. I stamped a piece with pine trees in different greens and browns with a brilliant blue sky. I also tried some flower stamps, but they bleed and mixed together too much....good stash/slice up pieces when I need a little piece of fabric for applique. My best piece, besides the marbling, came from stamping. I did a 12" X 15" piece using fall colors (orange, reds, browns, green and purples) with multiple leaf stamps. I really like it! I am thinking it is going to become my October Nature journal challenge piece with a fall colored borders and some variegated quilting.

Over all, it was one of the nicest, friendliest, most educational classes I've taken at Quilt Fest here in Utah. As a group, we had a blast...very fun ladies. In fact, we said we thought we should all get together again for another class. We used the Eccles Community art center that is located in Ogden (Utah). It's housed in a very old Victorian House that has been restored for displays and lectures. We were in what was a carriage house at the back of the lot that has been turned into a huge classroom and shop. When you are fabric dyeing, you need alot of space and a good water supply

Between class sessions, I attended the Luncheon with Jane Sassaman speaking. She talked about her journey into quilting and how she made Art Quilts right from the beginning. Now that she does a fabric line, she has tried traditional quilt piecing and actually enjoys it a little. She had photos of her home in Illinois and her! gorgeous! stunning! huge! During the prize giveaways at lunch, I won a packet of fabric and thread from the Weeks Dye Works of Garner, North Carolina.....funny-fabric dyeing class and won a packet of dyed items at lunch!

The Fest quilt show is hung in the same room as the luncheons. Unfortunately, Utah is not a big state for quilt shows. We have them, but they are not very large. There was only one quilted item of clothing....I thought of Summerset and all the shows she enters with her clothing (her blog is Pins and Needles-look to the right on my blog under "Online I explore")

Well....didn't mean to go so still with me?

In Closing:Favorite color.....I like most all colors...though I have always favored red...drives my kids crazy with all the red clothing I own! What's you favorite? Share, please!


Summerset said...

Sounds like a really great class! Thanks for mentioning me - that is too bad about the garments, as there are a lot of talented garment artists.

My favorite color is red, of course! I just pulled out my winter sweater and realized that I have 3 red sweaters.

Vivian Love said...

Sounds like fun. Oh, I wish I had time to learn fabric dyeing too!

Take care, Vivian

Liz said...

I'd love to see your results!