Well dear reader, after an absence of several weeks I am back again. The past week has been a week to focus on what I love doing best – working with fabric. In this case creating colour and texture through dyeing.
I travelled to Muenster Saskatchewan, St. Peter’s Abbey for a five day stay at “Art Quit Campus”, facilitated by Anna Hergert, friend, colleague, mentor and talented fibre artist, to immerse myself in just working with fibre. No meals to make, no home to clean, just time to create both fabric, quilts and community with other quilters in a no pressure non competitive environment. Time to conceptualize, design, execute, be inspired by others in the peaceful environment of the Abbey and surrounding grounds.
I have many things to share but mostly today I want to share my joy of dyeing cotton fabric. After I left University I swore I would never dye again as it was too messy. However I love the Procion fibre reactive dyes and what can be achieved with them. They are easy to work with. The colours are clear and combinations limitless and you can choose predictability or surprise.
This is only the second year I have worked with these dyes. Last year’s results of a series of orange to red poppy colours inspired me to take more chances this year. I used a technique called “parfait dyeing” In this process you layer fabric and dye colours to create one of a kind pieces of fabric with each piece containing a variety of colours and effects. My goal was to create some greens for foliage and some yellows. From there I experimented with colours combinations to see what could be achieved.
In addition to using white PFD cotton I used two packages of cheesecloth and got such great results that they will become filmy scarves. I also took a run at layering in some skeins of white cotton so now I have some threads to match some of the hand dyed fabric.
My hand dyed orange-reds, the greens and some of the yellow are now being used in a poppy piece that will be called Alison’s Flower.