The best medicine to shake off a couple of really lousy days, is a fun filled one with my Fiber Junkie pals. This was our last outdoor play date for the season. We'll be moving our experiments indoor (or further south to a member's home in South Carolina) until next spring.Each and every member of our group is unbelievably generous, thoughtful, gracious, inspiring, talented....need I say more? But Val is a true saint. She hosts us month after month from Spring to Fall....everything is perfectly organized when we arrive. For instance, each of us always has her own padded table, padded floor covering....and look at this....6 premixed thickened dyes ready for each!
This was kinda a free for all day. The weather didn't cooperate for our ice-dyeing session, so we switched to dye painting. Here I placed some thick string on plastic....
And covered it with dry mercerized cotton that had been treated with soda ash. The fabric was a second....note the hole....but I choose to think that will only force me to be more creative when the time comes to using it.
I had intended to recreate sky or water, hoping the string would help yield interesting texture. However, in my excitement I accidentally began with green dye. Thus a morning or evening mountain scene was born instead.
I never seem to have enough hand-dyed threads for embroidery.....so at home I soda ashed as many hunks of light colored threads that I uncovered in my stash. There was no real plan as far as color distribution went....I simply dunked a foam brush in the thickened dyes and dabbed it on.
To assure good penetration on the thicker threads, often the dye was thinned with a bit of water.Over the last couple of months, most of the fabrics I created were quite busy....lots of layering using a variety of techniques. But one does need some less intense fabrics as well. Wetting fabric sections first in soda ash water, allowed the dyes to blend yet provide movement from the brush strokes. This one was sprinkled with salt with the hopes of having the grains disperse the dyes in an interesting manner.
This was as fast and easy as painting stripes using several different colors of dyes.....which blended as they hit the wet fabric.
And another......Next a dry hunk of fabric was transformed using the rims of 3 varying sizes of plastic cups, dipped in thickened dye.
This is how I added the small dots!
I haven't washed or dried the fabrics yet......as my attention continued to be diverted with several annoying technical problems. The first....my 13 year old sewing machine died.....and I mean D E A D! The main circuit board failed and can't be repaired nor are replacements available......one of the reasons for arriving at Fiber Junkies in a very crabby mood.
To top it off, I'm one of the Mac users who is tearing her hair out trying to work out the bugs left by the new software upgrade. And I still haven't gotten all of the issues resolved after having to replace my desk top a couple of months ago. now there's all new ones!
It's ridiculous to have to admit just how stressful this new challenge has been.....even with a Mac genius at hand via phone.....the 'work arounds' to make some aspects work are not quite satisfactory. Perhaps my age is showing.....I DO NOT LIKE CHANGE. I just barely got used to all the new junk they added with the last upgrade......
I sure hope my whining isn't annoying to you......perhaps you totally understand?? I'm seriously thinking I should host a pity party for myself.....but this too will pass.....grinning......