I haven't done much of anything in the way of sewing, painting, picture taking or dyeing in the last couple of weeks as I had a house full of family!! Both my daughters and my granddaughter came from far reaches to be here for my birthday. It is the best present each year but does tire me out! My eight-year old granddaughter loves to craft, draw and paint and I can't wait until she is a little older and we can do some more sophisticated things. She is a little sweetie and sad that I see her so infrequently because she is on the other side of the country.
I had cut and ironed some fabrics to do some more mandalas some time ago so yesterday was the day to apply some dye. I did a lot of the small 11 x 11 pieces this time but did include a few of the 22 x 22 inch ones. I used my drop clothes on the bottom and on the top as usual and I really think this helps the process tremendously. The ones on the very top take on a lot of the water from the melting ice and so there are many more very light areas. I think it helps to even the color on the intermediate pieces. I don't wrinkle them up for the most part and pile them two and three pieces deep so altogether in many cases, the pieces are 30 layers of fabric deep. I use a lot of dye though and it seems to go through all of them easily as the bottom pieces are always richly colored except on the sides where I haven't spread the dye far enough. I might be interesting to just stack some pieces 30 deep and see what happens -- next week!! I am also going to trying some very time consuming accordion folding of fabric as well measuring the folds accurately before ironing them in.
This is a grouping of 12 of the smaller dyed pieces. You can see a lot of grape used here!
This is the aforementioned granddaughters wearing one of the dresses I had dyed for her for last Christmas. It is one of the Dharma blanks and is cotton velour. Her favorite colors are turquoise and purple.
I had quite a surprise though. To me, they looked just awful when I put then through the first two rinses (cold water and then hot water in buckets in the basement). They looked like they had very little differentiation of color, were extremely dark and I couldn't see any of the blue I had used. Whenever I don't do things for awhile, my results are usually disappointing, so this was not at all unexpected. I was truly surprised when they came out of the washing machine and looked ten times better!!
I varied my process a bit today. Usually, I wait until the ice melts the day I do them, nuke them for 4 minutes to make sure the dyes set and then wash out. This time I did them yesterday morning and didn't attempt to do anything until noon today so they had a good 24 hours of sitting. I was going to nuke them anyway but inadvertently started washing them out before nuking (old age strikes again)!! Turns out it was okay! I just randomly put the up on the wall to photo and this is group 2.
This is group 3 followed by 4, 5, and 6 which seems to be one short!! Somehow one is missing and I think it probably never made it into the dye bath.
This is one of the three large pieces.
This is the second of the larger pieces.
This is the third of the large pieces.
The next three are closeups of three of the smaller pieces pictured in the groups above.
After seeing how nice they turned out ultimately, I may just do some more of the small pieces. I also want to do some more of the 22 inch pieces as they make really nice pillows.