Saturday, January 19, 2008

Beer and Dye Don't Mix

Ok, so I didn't mix beer with the fabric dye. Nor was I actually drinking beer and dyeing fabric at the same time. But I did have two beers last night when we out for Mexican food, and this morning I had a hard time concentrating (probably because I hardly ever drink).

I intended to dye 12 pieces of fabric, but as I was setting up my chart I quickly cut that down to 6. I was having to concentrate very hard but finally got my recipe chart all set out.

My goal was to dye 6 pieces of fabric:
  • #1, ochre brown from last week's Quilt U lesson (I'm taking the Quilter's Palette fabric dyeing class) now that I have the teeny-tiny measuring spoons;
  • #2, warm brown from last week's lesson;
  • #3, a brown that "tweaked" #1 a bit to try to get less green in it;
  • #4, a brown that "tweaked" #2 a bit;
  • #5, a mix of #1 & #2
  • #6, a mix of #3 & #4.
I set everything up, measured the powdered dyes into cups 1-4, added a little water, and mixed. Then I added the remaining water and mixed.

I poured 1/2 of #1 and 1/2 of #2 into a cup and added the fabric; same with #3 and #4. OOPS! I meant to add the dyes separately to the fabric to get some color separation. Oh well.

I pull the soaking fabric out of the water to add to the remaining dye cups and realized OOPS! that I hadn't added salt or soda ash to anything yet. Yikes! I poured the dye off of #5 & #6, mixed the salt and soda ash into it, added the fabric back in. Added salt and soda ash to cups 1-4, then added the fabric. Of course, my carefully calculated measurements were all thrown off because I had already split out the dye. Oh well. Again.

I came out with some lovely colors anyway, though I'm still trying to get good browns with less green. You can see the results in the first picture; the pieces are #1-#6, left to right.

I also made a little piece of "mystery" fabric. I was using a little tub to rinse off my spoons between colors, and there seemed to be enough dye in it to do something with, so I added a little salt and soda ash and a fat quarter, and ended up with this lovely ivory and light green piece.

It was fun anyway, but I think I'll save the complicated stuff for when I'm able to concentrate.

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