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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

DellaJane DyeCloth!

I dye fabric in my kitchen. To protect counter tops and cabinets, I cover *everything* with PFD (Prepared For Dyeing) fabric. The fabrics absorbs the inevitable drips and spills, and at the end of a dyeing day, are allowed to dry, then set aside for the next dyeing session. Fabrics are used repeatedly, accumulating an assortment of colors. The first photo shows a layering of color in DyeCloth 11-10B created over at least 5 dyeing sessions. When a fabric has enough color, it gets a soda ash bath and becomes a DellaJane DyeCloth.

I love the warm colors seen in a different part of DyeCloth 11-10B. Although all my fabric is for sale on DellaJane Hand Dyes , this piece may go into an applique project of my own!

Typically, I add leftover dye to the fabric to eliminate white space and blend the spots and drops and drips. DyeCloth 11-10A is just 35" long and, as it typical of smaller pieces, tends to get dropped into the dye bath sooner than larger pieces. Because they have less "random dye", they often have the typical look of hand dyes (lots of texture, lines and color veining). This piece has a wonderful green/yellow-green background, which does not photograph well!

I cut fabric to lengths between 2 and 3 yards when I plan to use it as a DyeCloth. Some of these pieces were cut to protect tables at workshops, so they are closer to 3 years long. These larger pieces are used for a long time. When I finally add left-over dye, the result can be wonderful serendipitous texture, such as the stripes in DyeCloth 11-10D. This piece, which is 98" long, has a large variety of color and texture over the length.

Not all DyeCloths are created equal! If I don't like the colors or look of a piece, it will get overdyed. This piece will definitely go back into the dyeing rotation. I'm not happy with the light areas - they are sort of blah grey - so another dye bath should help!

And there is always the piece which doesn't photograph well. DyeCloth 11-10C is mostly soft colors, fading and blending together.

Special offer for blog readers! Buy any of these DyeCloths and let me know you read my blog in "Note To Seller" at checkout. I'll refund 20% of your purchase price!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Black AND White? Black OR White?

When I decided to make a baby quilt for my brother's first grandchild, I knew I would use bright colors with black and white fabrics in a Nickel Quilt design. I chose to use TWO bright fabrics because I didn't have enough of either!

I paired one bright fabric with assorted black prints for the half-square triangle blocks and the other with white with black fabrics for the 4-patch blocks. Didn't like it! The bright colors didn't pop, the black and the white fabrics didn't work together. It looked like a jumble...

Plan B: I chose some black and white fabrics and made more 4-patch blocks. I didn't like the black and white either (no photos), so I made MORE 4-patch blocks using using black with white fabrics. Yes!! Much better!

Piecing is fast, even with the false starts and fabric/color changes. The backing is a cozy blue flannel and I quilted it using a fun panto which combines points and lines with curves and swirls. I used a bright blue thread which seems like an odd choice, but really looks great on both the black fabrics and the bright colors.

The finished quilt - the colors are subdued in this photo. Imagine them very bright! Like in the next picture!

I prefer dark binding as a "frame", so the binding is black with a bright red piping.

I hope Caleb likes it!