Thursday, September 27, 2007

Well, the Results are from the Marcia Dye Day

Well, judge for yourself how the pieces look! I am relatively pleased. The blues are much darker in person than they show on the pictures. I will use this technique again and will certainly buy more of the Joann's linen/rayon as it dyed beautifully.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Another Hot Day of Dyeing Outside

Well, trying to take advantage of the really hot days (we broke all records with the 92 yesterday), I spent a lot of the day outside dye painting in my garage. I was going for really dark browns with the starburst look to them. It has been a couple of years since I have done this kind of dyeing. I dye painted 8 yards of fabric and stacked them outside on the table.

Well, the results were mixed. I did get some really dark colors of brown and kind of grey which was good to note. However, I obviously mixed the dyes with too much intensity (was thinking about the gradations I guess and not just the painting of the yards!). They are all pretty dark and and probably would have been better with about half the dye concentrations that I used! I have a feeling that there will not be warm enough days from now on to do this some more and dear husband is back and will reclaim his garage for more manly things! Now that I have found the controller for the heating mattress pad though, I should be able to do some things down on my dye table in the basement. I am running out of the good Testfabrics broadcloth though and might have to put in an order. I like this best for this technique or anything that requires lots of patterning.

Tomorrow I will get down to doing the gradations I need to get done to start on my two Yellowstone pieces that I designed at Marcia's the other day. Most natural types of landscapes -- especially out West -- require lots and lots of neutrals and these are about the toughest to achieve well but I will forge onward with some experiments and hopefully will get some repeatable browns and greys and blue/greys.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Celebrating the End of Summer Dyer Style!

Well, a very hot day in upstate New York and like good dyers everywhere, we went outside and dyed up yardage catching that last bit of natural warmth before the normal gloom of autumn and winter hits.

Today, Barbara, Marcia and I went to her home, set up a rack and experimented with dyeing vertically rather than your normal horizontal style!! Barb and Marcia both had pieces made with this technique as well as a couple of pieces they had attempted earlier so we could compare and figure out how to do better. I took a great leap from what they had done and worked with wet soda soaked fabric. I just hand wrung it dry. For an experiment, I also worked with one piece that was totally dried but presoaked also with soda ash. I used some fabric I had bought at Joanns that was rayon and linen which I like for jackets. Barb and Marcia shared a bolt of fabric they had ordered from Dharma that was also a linen/rayon mix.

The results are not totally in yet as my pieces are in the dryer but even from the washout, my one suggestion obviously worked as there is even color all over the whole piece. Also, the ladies had not used squeeze bottles the first time so that seemed to work better as well. The dry one also appears to be a lot darker which I would have expected as well as you are basically dealing with more concentrated dyes. We had decided that deep color was really what we wanted in jackets. So far my least favorite piece is one that has a lot of bright reds in it. I think I can fix it so I will like it tomorrow by doing some overdyeing (but not hanging on the rack). The biggest problem with the rack was that the wind likes to blow it over with a big heavy piece of fabric on it. Of course, you almost died outside today in the sun without the wind. Eventually Marcia got smart and had us move to the shade. I think my pieces suffered from a desire to get them done as quickly as possible so I could sit in her cool comfy studio!!

I am thinking that the ladies will be pleased with their results but we shall see!!

This is Marcia painting her piece concentrating hard.
This is Beth's second painted piece.

This is Barbara painting her piece.

This is Barbara's big finished piece (after the painting).

This is another of Beth's painted pieces

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Discharge Day at My House

Well, Rochester's wonderful summer weather continued for yet another day and we had a successful day discharging all sorts of fabrics in the driveway. By the end of the day we had a dizzying assortment of fabrics spread all over the lawn and everywhere!!

Here is everyone at the beginning of the day, all bright and eager to get started.

Here is Anne checking the results of her discharge with bleach. She is putting her fabric first into water and then into anti-chlor to stop the bleach action.

Here are Caren and Anne checking the results of discharge on a piece of commercial batik from Joanns. It was a dark mottled blue and Caren used a sponge with bleach or Thiox to remove the color. It was a particularly nice piece.

Here is Jeanne at the Thiox pot in full discharge gear.

Here is the whole group around my dining room table partaking of great Chinese food. We were a little crowded but it was great fun!

Here are a bunch of Pat's (I think) fabrics draped over the bushes nearby.

Here is a representation of Barb's fabrics on the front lawn!

Here is the group at the end of the day with their favorite fabrics held up.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Getting Ready for Discharge Day!

Well, the challenge has definitely been to find all my "stuff" for the discharge day and I think I have finally accomplished this goal!! The only remaining thing missing is RIT color remover but it is okay if I don't find that although it would be fun to play with. It requires heat like the Thiox.

Techniques we will play with include: bleaching with 50% Chlorox and either folding, pole-wrapping and maybe even spraying (everyone will be wearing masks and we will be outside; using a immersion bath of thiorea dioxide (Thiox)to strip color from fabric again using folding, etc; using Jacquard Discharge Paste which is a commercial discharge agent; using homemade Thiox paste; using Chlorox pens; and using Sunlight dishwashing gel. That should keep everyone busy.

I did some experiments today and had some surprises already. My old Kona wouldn't discharge with Thiox but this stuff discharged to bluey green as did the Joann's classic cotton. The old classic cotton I used before discharged to grey/beige. They both discharged to a rusty color with the bleach pens. It is amazing what happens with commercial fabrics. My own hand dyed are more predictable if you know what made up the dye in the first place.

Below is my sample of what I did today.

The recipe we will use are for the Thiox immersion: 2 tsps thiox to 2 1/2 gallons water although you can go up to five times as much thiox plus 2 tbsps of soda ash. You have to refresh the Thiox about every 20 minutes in the 180 degree water. It takes almost an hour to heat up my pot on the stove.

After we have used the chlorox, we will immerse the fabric in water and then into a bath with anti-chlor in it. That will neutralize the bleach so that no more damage is done to the fabric. You can't use bleach on silk or wool but can on cotton, rayon or linen. You can use the Thiox on silk but with a little less soda ash. Also, it is a good idea to soak it in a vinegar or citric acid solution once you are done to neutralize the soda ash. The cotton or other cellulose fibers don't require any special treatment after using the Thiox.

You don't need to neutralize the fabrics after they have soaked in the Thiox bath. If you have used silk though, it is a good idea to use a little vinegar or citric acid to soften it up. The soda ash in the Thiox bath is a little rough on silk.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Finishing up the Next Baby Quilt

Well, another beautiful day in Rochester! Yesterday we had a meeting of our Rochester Fiber Arts Group (RAFA) and I stayed for the afternoon, cut and pieced the components of the baby quilt for my daughter Lisa's grad school friend Cheryl. I decided to go with a bright green, orange/gold and lavender/purple palette. It was bright and cheery to make and hopefully will be fun for the baby! I have included a picture of the quilt top and also one that shows the block as it isn't obvious from looking at the quilt.

I have also included a picture of the fabric that will be on the back of the quilt.

There are also the photos that my friend Marcia took of me in her studio trying on my new vest.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Day 3 - The Priscilla Kibbee Jacket Class

What a great time I had these past three days!! Marcia's studio is the most perfect place to take any kind of class. There are walls filled with flannel so there is no problem getting way back from what you are doing. There is so much light that you don't need a flash on the camera at all!! Here is my end product for the day.

Everyone made really good progress today. Lynn probably got the furthest along and had her jacket about finished at the end of today. I had the back and front done except for some embellishment and hopefully will be done tonight -- I am trying for it! Beverly's jacket will really be a work of art when it is done. Marcia also is about done with the back and front and ready for the lining as well. Mary had the back and front completed as well and it looked great. Everyone's garment is so different and they all look great. Priscilla was an incredible help with the "what if's" and of course all her little tips which are worth the price of admission.

This is the back of Mary's jacket at the end of Day 3

This is the front of Beverly's jacket at end of day 3.

This is my vest pretty much done. Priscilla said she would have a picture of me modeling on her blog.

This is the back of Lynn's jacket when she first got it together (before anyone else of course).

Beverly made amazing progress and this is the back and sleeves at the end of the day.

Marcia has been neglected in the picture taking but here is her first fitting of her very elegant vest. It should be done in no time if she can keep her customers from making her work all the time!

Rufus was making Suki very wary!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Class with Priscilla Kibbee - Day 2

wWell, we arrived bright and early to commence day 2! Mary and Lynn had obviously done work overnight and arrived with some pieced areas.
I finished up the back of my jacket and started the daunting task of doing the front designs. I had drawn out something the night before and of course forgot to bring it so Priscilla and I sat down and tried to recreate my thoughts. She encouraged me to do a more complex Seminole piecing than I probably would have and helped me pick out the colors to use. I spent most of the rest of the day getting that Seminole piece done so that I would have it for both sides of the front.

When I looked at it from a distance, much to my chagrin, the red disappeared a bit so will add some more red to the front. I bought some work home to do tonight but who knows if I will get it done!! I didn't arrive home til 7 and have to be back at class tomorrow morning at 9 in the morning.

Beverly made real progress today and her jacket back looks fantastic

as does Lynn's. This is the back of Lynn's jacket

Mary's is really taking shape and will be a beautiful jacket as well. Marcia finally made some real progress today as well as her customer wasn't calling every half hour with more work for her to do.

Marcia's studio is perfect for this kind of class. The design walls are to die for and all around. The lighting is fantastic -- you never have to use a flash for pictures. I love wheeling around in my chair as there is no carpeting to catch you and you don't have to trip over electric wires as there are plugs in the floor! Marcia thought of everything.

Rufus was a big hit today again. If I ever have a dog......

Monday, September 10, 2007

Day 1 - Priscilla's Jacket Class

Well, haven't updated the blog for a week as I came down with some virus that just caused me to pretty much veg out most of the previous week. I did attend the first quilt club meeting of GVQC and it was great! The above quilt was exquisite and made by Chris Wickert while she was recuperating from a very serious illness. She did the whole thing by hand!! The talk by the Fiber Folk was particularly appreciated (as well as their artistry).

The first day of our jacket class with Priscilla Kibbee was excellent. She told us we could make our own pattern or use any of her patterns that she had brought with her. We have five people in the class and we are using four different patterns. I am using the one I was least likely to pick -- a short butterfly jacket which is an old Vogue pattern Priscilla had. Mary and Lynn picked the Quilter's Jacket, Marcia -- the quilter's vest and Beverly - the 12 Fat Quarter Jacket.

We began the day by tracing our patterns and then cutting them out from flannel which we will use to back each piece. Our next step was working with Priscilla and our stashes to find the fabrics that would work best together. This is the beginning of Beverly's jacket front.
This is the beginnings of Mary's jacket front.

This is Marcia and Priscilla auditioning fabrics

We had to give up some our favorites in this step but it suddenly looked much better after the outlyers were removed. Priscilla then gave us a nudge to get started on actually putting the design together.

I am incorporating a batik from Viet Nam in mine. I had already stripped some pieces for a class I took a couple of years ago and never finished. My jacket back is almost done at the end of today. I will start another one if I get this one done! I am very happy with it so far. This is my final for the day.

This is Lynn's final for the day.

A high point of the day was the review of the molas that Priscilla recently purchased directly from the Kuni Indians on the San Blas Islands off the coast of Panama.
We are so lucky that she loves to do this traveling and we get to pick from what she brings back! She had an incredible bunch today!! A few came home with me but not the ones pictured as they were Beverly's picks!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A Beautiful Weekend with my Sister and Her Dear Husband

It is far too early in the morning but my asthma is giving me fits with all the beautiful weather we have been having (no, I am not complaining). I do think I will spend the next few days indoors though!

Gail and Bill arrived in Rochester around eight on Saturday night after traveling from Colorado Springs, Colorado by way of Newark. Sunday we had arranged for a boat ride down Keuka Lake in the "wine country" of the New York Finger Lakes so that Gail and Bill could get an idea of what is was like. Before even that though, we headed along Lake Ontario over to Charlotte so that they could see Lake Ontario up close and personal! The weather was perfect. After the short boat ride (not too exciting), we stopped at the Constantine Frank winery on the way back where Gail picked out an excellent bottle of wine (she is quite the expert on wines although she says she was a very late starter).

Warren was extremely happy with her choice -- a meritage, something I had never heard of. He is not a big fan of NY wines but really liked this one.

Sunday was our "big" trip when we drove to Niagara Falls and first visited the American side. What a change from what it used to look like fifteen or twenty years ago -- the last time we have spent any real time there! I can remember there being lots of parking, graffiti and no people on the American side. Now there was a good sized crowd, lots of vendors and quite a cleanup.

The very first thing we did was to take a ride again on the Maid of the Mist which was a big hit with our guests. Of course you get soaking wet but even the slickers are different as now they give you blue plastic throwaway bags to put over yourself. I remember the old yellow slickers which were just rank and smelly!

The Canadian side was still the prettiest though as you can see the Falls from a distance. Bill was very impressed and had not thought he would be. Nothing looks quite the same in pictures. I think the noise is also a real part of the experience. Warren could find absolutely no parking on the Canadian side so he basically drove around while we visited the Falls. It got pretty warm by the time he picked us up as the sun was very bright.

Both days we stopped for quickie lunches at questionable restaurants that turned out to be quite good and certainly generous in their portions!

It was good to have Bill and Gail here for a visit and we are looking forward to them coming back to this part of the country!

We took a leisurely drive back along Lake Ontario.