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Sunday, March 02, 2008
Three Days in a ROW!!!!
Yeah- don't go raising expectations too much. I finished my "experiments" for the day and have about an hour to blow before Pittsburgh faces off against Atlanta so, rather than do something really dumb, like laundry, I thought I would post again.

I have been trying to figure out how I want to add the shadows to the sails on the Picton Castle in my quilt. Now, if you read the Ragged Cloth Cafe (or, if you don't) you need to read June Underwood's essay on shadows. It never occurred to me that quilters don't put shadows in their quilts most of the time. I DO know quilters who do- using a variety of techniques including darker fabrics, dark tulle overlay (one of the techniques I am still considering), or paint/ink/dye. When I did my logo of the Dancing Loon I did put in a shadow using Tsukineko Ink. I may yet use that here but I am thinking, for at least the sails, I will use dye painting so I can put to work something else I learned at AQT, this time in Hollis Chatelaine's class. We have been discussing the finer points of sodium alginate as a dye/paint thickener so that made me think of this. The reason I can use dye on the sails is the white bamboo fabric I am using has been pre-scoured in preparation to be dyed. So- I decided to play a little this morning. Unfortunately I did not think far enough ahead to pre-treat the fabric I have cut out for the sails with soda ash (dye fixer) so, I did dip a small piece of the fabric in soda ash and let it dry. I also got out some white cotton that was scoured but not pre-treated with SA.

I was going to mix up a small amount of all of my blue dyes as well as a pearl grey and silk black. I use a plastic thing from an old refrigerator that eggs are supposed to be stored in. I never use those but they make good paint palettes; I have numbered each little well. Of course, there are only 12 of the little wells and I had 12 blue dyes so I only mixed up 10- I skipped Intense Blue and Bright Blue (both from ProChem). The ones I did mix were: lapis, azure, midnight, royal, cerulean, sapphire, ice blue, cobalt, navy and blue wisteria.

Interestingly, I had thought the blue wisteria would be a little too purple but, when I mixed a little of that with a little of the pearl grey I got a great shadow color. The fabrics are batching right now. I also presoaked another piece of the white bamboo fabric and it's hanging in my bathroom to dry. I have a sneaking suspicion I will end up wanting to use pretreated if for no other reason than the dye that was put on the fabric that was not pretreated bled when I painted the soda ash solution over it and I want more control than that. But, that piece of fabric will give me a general idea of what my blues (all but the two) look like. I was surprised by how dark and purply the Ice Blue was. I was expecting something bluer.....well, we will have to see what it looks like after it has been batched and then washed out.

A note to all you dyers or wanna be's who don't like wearing a this little experiment for me (I have done it and was floored). Go into your dye studio or wherever you do your dyeing. Put on your mask and gloves. Take out two very different colors of dye- say, Chinese Red and Bright Yellow. Standing at your work surface, open the first color and set the jar and the lid on the table. Then, pick them back up and put the lid back on the jar and put it aside. Now, repeat the process with the second jar. Ok, now....take a spray bottle of water and mist up in the air over it and let the mist settle onto the work surface. Now take a white paper towel and wipe the work surface off. Don't just wet the surface right where you set the jars but in about a 6' radius (that's right- 6 feet- not inches). Now, I'll bet you never open a jar of dye again without having on a mask and never bring an open drink of any kind into your studio again while you are mixing dye.......

Ok, PSA over- photos!!

My work area.....

My set up. Egg thingy I use for a paint palette. Note each well is numbered so I can keep track of what color is in each.

I have put print paste that I mixed up about an hour before hand into each of the little wells; I fill each about 1/3rd to 1/2 full. Then I add a MINISCULE amount of dye (about 1/16th to 1/8th teaspoon) to each, one at a time. I stir the dye into the paste with a bamboo skewer. Use a different spoon for each color. Oh, and a trick I learned from Hollis (that I forgot to do here) is to place a damp (not wet) towel under your work area as this will catch and hold dye powder that gets scattered. Oh, and I would normally premix the colors with the dye in individual plastic cups to prevent contamination and THEN put the colors in the wells but since I am mixing such a tiny amount and this is not for the actual work, I did this. Trust me, there is cross-contamination in each of the wells and that's with no breeze in here (door closed, heat ducts closed).

Here they are, all mixed. The cotton fabric is above, covered in plastic wrap.

Here is the scrap of bamboo I presoaked in soda ash and painted on. I had forgotten how much I like to do this.

Here are the two test pieces in the oven (set to warm, preheated, then turned off) wrapped in plastic wrap to batch. The top one is the cotton with the 12 dyes that had soda ash solution painted over them. The little one is a piece of the bamboo that was presoaked in soda ash, dried and then painted on. the image on the left side of this is the actual outline of one of the sails with the shadow painted on it in a mix of the blue wisteria and pearl grey.

I tossed this one in to show you that I really DID clean out the bottom drawer of my storage cabinet and have put stuff back in it in a neat and orderly fashion. I figure this will last until the first time I need a sheet of paper that is in one of the pads on or near the bottom.
posted by Teri Springer @ 1:50 PM  
  • At 2:36 PM, Blogger joshua said…

    I feel compeled to say, because it's true, that this is one of the very best blogs I've ever visited yet!



  • At 2:50 PM, Blogger teri springer said…

    Wow. Thank you so VERY MUCH! Guess I am going to have to keep this up!

    Hugs to you, Joshua!!


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About Me

Name: Teri Springer
Home: Chester, Nova Scotia, Canada
About Me: Studio Art Quilt Associates for the Atlantic Canada Region (New Brunswick, Newfoundland/Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island). Quote:Apples and Wine: Women are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree. Most men don't want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they sometimes take the apples from the ground that aren't as good, but easy. The apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality, they're amazing. They just have to wait for the right man to come along, the one who is brave enough & smart enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree. Now Men... Men are like a fine wine. They begin as grapes, and it's up to women to stomp the hell out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.
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