Tuesday, June 21, 2011

AQS Blog of the Week!

I got a new button on the right -see it there? The American Quilters Society named greenQuilts Blog of the Week - yes, I'm excited! Welcome to all who are new here. Hope you'll stay around!

What is that above? No, it's not an icy blue summer drink! It's thickened dye. (The straw was for stirring, not drinking.)
I started with mixing turquoise fiber reactive dye as usual (with salt, water, and soda ash). Then I added some sodium alginate, a thickening agent for dyes.
Then I painted a pear on PFD (Prepared For Dye) fabric. This is just an experiment, so I wasn't too worried about the results. Tomorrow after the fabric has dried, I plan to quilt it to death. Keep you posted on that.

What I learned:
1. I was expecting the sodium alginate to simply thicken the dye. But it turned it into a gel. So it was akin to painting with blue jello. I'd have to experiment more to get it medium to the right consistency.
2. I found it difficult to achieve value variations. I attempted to mix three separate cups of the medium, one light, one medium, and on dark. But they all somehow turned out medium. Again, need more work on this.
3. The most important thing I learned was that I really don't enjoy this process. I thought I might try a portrait quilt made in this manner (ala Hollis Chatelain), but I don't think I will now. I prefer to work with lots of fabrics instead of dye. That's an important thing to learn, huh?

I think part of what I don't like about dyes is their chemical nature. You have to wear a mask and gloves, work in a well ventilated area, and so forth. I don't mind dying fabric every so often, but I don't like sitting for hours working this way.
I stopped at the local vegetable market this morning. So supper is lots of fresh stuff,

...including fried okra, green beans, and new potatoes. YUM!

1 comment:

Val Roberts said...

I'm curious to see how the image turns out once you've sewn over it.

I love the farmer's market. I've got to go either Thursday afternoon in Huntsville or Sat. Morning in Madison.