Well, the truth is that I get focused on today, and don’t spend much time ‘thinking great thoughts’ like the scarecrow could after he got a brain. It’s just so much more fun playing with fabric! 2019 was a pretty good year, with happy successes and a few failures. It helped me realize that I’m very lucky to get to do what I love.
Looking forward to the coming year, I’ve finally updated my public calendar! I plan to vend at three shows, maybe more, plus I have two speaking engagements already booked! Coming up in just six weeks is the annual MAQGNet meeting, where speakers, teachers, and guilds all get together to learn about one another. If you belong to a quilt guild between Vermont and Virginia, you can find a speaker through MAQGNet!
In the studio lately, I’ve been working on a line of the basics. Since I sometimes find myself at a loss for which color I really want to dye today, I decided to look at the huge, yet limited array of the colors of Kona. Of course with hand-dyes, basics are NOT solids. I am taking an assortment to a couple of quilt shops and selling them wholesale. More on that later!
Well, this has taken rather longer than planned, so I will sign off now. Thanks for reading!
P.S. – if you wish to stay updated on what’s happening at DippyDyes, join our mailing list! We have a little PDF on washing out hand-dyed fabrics as a thank-you and will be creating a new free offer soon. You will get both!
Tints, tones, and shades are some of the basic terms used when talking about color. They can get confusing because sometimes other words are used to mean the same thing. Here’s a quick guide:
Tints – a pure color, or hue, that has been made lighter. With paint, this is done by adding white; with dye, we just use less dye.
Tones – a pure color that has been modified by adding grey. This needs to be a neutral grey, not a blue-grey or grey-green, etc.
Shades – a pure color with black added. Often we ask ‘what shade of blue is your favorite?’ even when we mean ‘what color blue?’ Don’t let that bother you. The grammar police are eating donuts with the quilt police. 🙂
A pure hue is often described as being ‘neutralized’ or ‘flattened’ – made less pure, or intense, or glowing. This is done by adding grey or black, or sometimes by adding the complement – the pure color that is the opposite on a color wheel.
CYM color wheel image from Wikimedia Commons.
The gallery below shows the colors I will soon be dyeing on demand. I’m also going to dye a glowing turquoise color called Breakers. As a reference, pages from Joen Wolfrom’s 3-in-1 Color tool are included. Some of the folks going to the Crow Barn Workshops beginning the end of September have asked for flat colors, so here they are! If you are a new customer, you can start the order process here. Existing customers – you know how to reach me, and thank you! For many more colors, order the virtual swatch book! We’ll do more colors as time allows.
“How can I help you?” Millions of people are letting Alexa, Siri and others help them with trivia, homework, how-to instructions and more. What I can’t ask the computer is how I can help you. Dyeing fabric is something I love more than chocolate, but running this business can be a challenge. One fabric has been sitting around for close to 10 years – I think I’ll call it the ‘life lesson’ fabric. That’s more polite than ‘that @^%# ugly thing.’ So rather than take advice from a machine, I need to ask you a couple of quick questions. And I promise not to try to sell you that @^%# ugly thing, or anything else! 😊
If you have a moment to help me out, click below. It should take only about two minutes of your time.
In an effort to provide the best images of my fabric online, I finally learned how to set the white balance feature on my camera correctly. The photographs of solids and my virtual swatch book require the best color rendering possible. Turns out the camera has a super-quick way to set it up. While it does require four clicks to get there, once the menu item is open, it really only needs one click to set it. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are two versions of the same picture:
If you have any of those Kona® fabrics on hand, you can judge which picture shows them more accurately. If you don’t, you can believe me when I say that the corrected version is far better than the uncorrected one.
You can also see this picture along with 430 pictures of DippyDyes solid fabrics in the Virtual Solids Swatch Book found here!
This quilt is a really neat example of transparency in quilts. Boy, I wish I could say it was my work! It’s by Modern Quilt Studio, and it’s super! It is a good quilt to dye for, once you know some dyeing basics.
And transparency is the subject of my upcoming class on Saturday, May 11 at Quiltfest Lancaster!
You’ll learn all the basics of dyeing, plus receive lots of recipes for colors that you can use to create your own unique transparency effects! At the bottom of this post for the first time are all three versions of my Shoo-Fly Transparency quilt. What all these quilts have in common is the illusion you can create that one fabric is laying on top of another, and the combination of the two creates a third color. P.S. – for a look at more samples of transparency quilts, check out my Pinterest board. Thanks!
At DippyDyes, we dye a lot of solid fabric. The easiest way to do this is with a washing machine. For three-yard pieces, a table top washer is ideal. The washer does the stirring for you, because if you want solid fabrics, you must stir. A lot. And then stir some more. Up to 90 minutes for the darkest values.
From left: phone timer, washer base with timer, kitchen timer.
Here’s where three timers comes in. There’s a timer built into the washer. That runs, stirring the fabric for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes of being still, it needs to run for another five minutes. So when I start the five minutes on, five minutes off period, I set the washer at five, the kitchen timer at ten minutes and I set my phone timer for 30 minutes. The ten-minute timer reminds me to jump up and restart the washer for another five minutes. The washer does a good job of stirring AND of snarling a three yard piece into a mess, and it just doesn’t have hands. So at the 30 minute mark, it’s time to completely rearrange the fabric. Yes, there’s a little compulsiveness going on here, and thanks to that, I get good solid fabrics. If you’d like to learn more, you can sign up for my email list here: (http://eepurl.com/cHfygr) Thanks! Gotta run – my timer just beeped at me!
Oh, my. Where to start! This 12th century quote is attributed to St. Bernard: “Hell is full of good intentions or desires.” (That’s a hint.) Cheryl Sleboda annually holds a blog hop focused on cleaning our studios. When she announced it, I thought the timing couldn’t be better. I had just acquired this:
That is a full set-up for painting silk, including a whole array of Tinfix dyes. The big beast on the right is as steamer, and I’ve already steamed cotton painted with MX in it – it works great! It will live either in the garage or the basement, because I need to use it outside, not in the studio. And, yes, even I need a step-ladder to use it! My first step was to make sure all the studio stuff was up on the third floor where it needs to live. The before pictures of the storeroom show the existing mess with new goodies added.
Well, it does look a little better in the after picture. The UFO pile at the top behind the door has actually been added to, but for me that’s organized. Here are the views from the door into the storeroom.
Still an improvement. But the dirty secret is that the adjoining room looks no better. That’s where half the junk got relocated. And that’s just the two nice corners of the room. The actual studio space is in about the same condition. So, to make a tedious story shorter, I moved the needle some, but the tank ain’t full! The up side of all this is that I’ve learned a lot of things I shouldn’t do! When you have every weekend in a month already booked; when your income taxes still aren’t done; when the total rework of the website is barely begun, do not, I repeat DO NOT commit to any more time-consuming projects! Look for future posts on studio cleaning, because I am not going to allow myself to play with the silk-painting goodies until taxes, website and studio cleaning are done.
My how the time has flown. This post started three weeks ago when I first installed WordPress. I’m still in the midst of working on the new website, and transferring all my old blog posts over here. Meanwhile, I’ve wiped all my inventory out (again) over on DippyDyes.com, so, to save money, I’m updating all the quantities myself. Then there are pesky things like matching product pictures to product listings on the new site, and adding measurements and weights, etc, etc. You can still shop here!
The short-term goal is to make the new blog live as quickly as possible, and keep plugging on the grubby details of e-commerce. Next, to add some eye candy! And the deadline for all of this is 4/23 (maybe later), when posts begin on Cheryl Sleboda’s blog hop studio cleaning challenge! Since I’ve spent so many days with my nose plastered to the screen, today is a great day to move as much as I can!
The picture at right relates to the great studio and storeroom cleanup – more on that tomorrow!!!!
You probably won’t ever see this, but if you want to order fabric, go to www.dippydyes.com.