Posts Tagged project modern

Adventures In Dyeing

I have decided to enter the Project Modern Challenge 2.  And I am finding it more challenging than expected (no pun intended). 

The challenge is to make a quilt composed of only one colour, in all it’s varying shades and tones.  The different layouts I come up with seem to have a lack, that I know I could easily fix, with the addition of a neutral or contrasting fabric.  But finding a solution that is within the colour family is far more difficult.  So I decided to dye a piece of fabric the palest shade of teal blue (the colour I have chosen), to use as negative space in the quilt.  Easier said than done!

I am a relatively new fabric dyer of about six months, but I lean heavily on my background as a wood finisher, where I would routinely custom match the colours of existing woodwork something that you had to do by eye, as the underlying colour of the wood always varied.  Meaning that I mix by eye, and don’t write much down.   So I couldn’t remember how much I needed to water down blue dye to get a super pale shade.  I decided, quite arbitrarily, to go with one cup of full strength dye in 14 cups of water.  It looked okay when the fabric when in, and I swirled it around for a minute and put it in a bag to set.  I went to check on my kids in the back yard for a minute and came back to empty the dye tub, and it already looked darker!  Now the main ingredient in the dye was turquoise, which is supposed to take 24 hours to reach full strength.  So immediately into the rinse water it went.  I think that may be a record for shortest dye setting time. 

After washing and drying it is a relatively light shade, but not the pastel I was looking for.  It looks to homogenous with the prints I have chosen.  Fortunately in my panic I had forgotten to dump the dye, so I poured most of it out, added a lot more water, and dyed a new piece. 

End result: I now have a the correct shade, and matching backing several shades darker, and I still have no idea of what proportions I need to make a nice pastel.  I just know it is a lot more than 1:14


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