Friday, August 13, 2010

Process Pledge : Dark Gradations

Leaf Light is hanging again after bringing it to Three Black Sheep, and the folds are still evident from being packed. Tsk tsk. I am showing you this quilt because I spent the day dyeing dark gradations. Not step by step ones, with like 8 colors from light to dark. I do it another way.

In this detail shot there are several pieces which have dark edges moving into the colored parts. The fabric has to be specially dyed to get that effect. Here is how I do it...on platters.

Using three layers of cotton, presoaked and spun in the washer til just damp, I apply dye in pure colors first. Each of these platters has three colors on it, for example, turquoise, blue, and purple. Then I pour a line of pure black down the center of the panel and with gloved hands I smooch the black into the color, blending it.

It looks kind of strange here, like I spilled black, but the resulting fabric is just what I need in my stash. I am going to bring this to sell at Fabrications, but it may not be irresistable to anyone who can't imagine how it looks cut up. How's that for a lot of double negatives?

Here's the result of the previous day's dyeing. I am waiting till I have lots more before I wash and IRON it all. I am hoping for a cool day when I do. My ironing table is loaded with dye equipment. Until the dyeing is finished  there is no place to iron it anyway.

I am taking it slow and just dyeing the six platters daily. And I am mixing only the dye I need for that batch. Then if I don't dye for a day I am not wasting dye or hearing "Use me up" from the dyepots. That can be really annoying.
In the afternoon, I can sit and knit guilt-free. I figured out what I am making...a sleeveless pullover with a v-neck. I am committed to using only leftovers, but may be running low on some colors. What shall I do?

One more thing. One of the photos I took of the shoppe was used in the newspaper announcement:

Isn't that fun?


  1. Hello. Is wonderful explosion of color in these fabrics. I love.

  2. Hello,

    Really love all the dying tips that you have been showing. I belong to a small quilt group that occassionally dyes. We are getting ready to dye in September. Looking forward to trying some of the techniques that you show. Thanks sooo much for the inspiration.

  3. way cool. love the way you do gradations. i'll be trying that asap. thanks as always for sharing what you do.

  4. I love it. I'm going to do that dark gradation next week!

  5. Wow, I didn't see that coming. I have never seen a gradation done like that. Thank you for sharing your dye methods with all of us. I sure wish I was in that class. Could you maybe post

  6. Again, you amaze me. I wish I had just a pinch of your talent. Your creations are pure masterpieces. I love them. Thank so much for sharing and thanks for posting so we can enjoy them.

  7. That is a great advert for the shop. Melody - by the look of things around there you are obviously a color scientist. Fabulous seeing how you work!

  8. Very Cool ! ! to see your pics in print.

    It shows off the shop very nicely. Looks so inviting.



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