Sunday, August 9, 2009

Painted Desert

Pro Chemical & Dye had a booth at Maine Quilts. I have bought dye from them in the past and had such fun creating a rainbow of delicious colors. I remember spending an afternoon dyeing fat quarters with the help of my DD and her friend, but that was 8 years ago. I have been wanting to dye more fabric, but the process uses so much water I put it off. We have a shallow well and I did not like to use so much water. But this year, thanks to all the rain (see a silver lining in this rainy summer?) I feel free to use all the water I want. This colorway is called Painted Desert.

The dyes used are an olive green, a fuchsia red, and a rich purple.

I arranged thirty plastic cups in three rows of ten. Into each cup I crumpled up one fat eighth (9 x 22).

Three jars were filled with the three basic colors, then the fun began! Following the dye recipe each cup got a different proportion of two dyes, either olive and red, red and purple, or olive and purple.

The mottling comes from the scrunched fabric. The more you lift up the fabric and allow the dye to penetrate, the more evenly dyed your fabric. I left mine nicely scrunched.

I used cotton sateen so there is a bit of a shine on one side which adds to the richness. It is subtle but just lovely.

Being a Maine girl, I don't know much about Painted Deserts! Maybe I should rename my collection. Hmm. Tourmaline? Katahdin Splendor?

I bought five yards of fabric which is enough for thirty fat eights and a yard or so extra. I cut 31 9-inch strips by mistake, so I put the last strip with the large leftover piece of fabric and put them in a big basin. The last of each of the three basic dye colors is used on these tail ends. Then the last of the dye activator is poured over the fabric. I didn't have much dye activator left, so I think that is why the color is quite light compared to the color dye I poured onto the fabric.

Still, quite gorgeous! You can leave the fabric in the dye for 4-24 hours. I rinsed my fabric after four hours. I am very pleased with the results. I am going to do this again and it won't be in 8 years!

Coincidentally, the Pine Tree Guild newsletter Patchwork Press arrived in the mail Friday. We are having Sonya Lee Barrington come to give a lecture and workshops in September. She is a textile artist from San Francisco. Her first workshop will be dyeing fabric. I would like to attend, but it is on a Friday which is a workday for me. I might have to take a Personal Day!

p.s. I haven't a clue as to what I am going to do with my dyed fabric!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Paula Nadelstern

Paula Nadelstern is having a one-woman show in New York City at the American Folk Art Museum. She will be on CBS Sunday Morning Sunday August 9. You can also see a video tour of the exhibition on YouTube produced by Click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2. Anybody up for a trip to the Big Apple?

Sunday, August 2, 2009


I just saw this on Pam Holland's website-a free online magazine that is starting in September. I signed right up and so can you. Here's the link-a-dink. Just scroll down and click on "register here".