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.
Various pictures of the season. There’s color inspiration everywhere. The transparency samples are not an autumn colorway, but they are what I’m working with right now. I love seeing how the different backgrounds make the colors change.
DippyDyes isn’t the only merchant that has been filling your inbox with holiday shopping emails. Yes we have a sale too, and nobody else is apologizing for all the emails. Why do I feel like I need to apologize?
But anyway, this was to be about numbers. Today is the fourth day of the sale and it continues until Friday the second. Total emails sent: 1322. Total unsubscribes: 9. Total orders: 2. Gross profit: $85.16. So now you know why micro-businesses flood your inbox!
Now, borderline whine and gratuitous accounting stats over, here are some recent additions to the website. Click on any of the pictures to be taken to that fabric on the website. (Go ahead – you know you want it!)
Greetings! Busy as usual here and ignoring the blog. Just took a look at my recent photos to try to figure out where the time has gone. My family surprised me with an early birthday present – a trip for everyone to the Phillies-Mets game. So now I have a Phanatic dangle hat, because I’ve always wanted one! And the Mets won, so the nice guy behind me was happy. And we got to see Rhys Hoskins first hit. Once he got that, he’s been on fire! He’s the NL Rookie of the month for August, and I’m personally taking all the credit. (Ha!) It’s almost time for our last show of the year, the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza at Oaks, PA. That’s just west of Valley Forge, for those of you outside the area. There’s still room in my Dye Basics class – and you can still sign up online here, by phone or in person next Wednesday 9/13 or Thursday morning, 9/14 before 9 AM. Let me know if you want to buy a kit with fabric. Coming up next spring I’ll be teaching at MAQF in Hampton, VA in February and – New Date and Location – QFNJ in Edison in April. If none of those dates or locations work for you – I have some really big news! I will be teaching at Pro Chemical and Dye on May 17 – 18. Sign-ups begin in October – watch this space for a link! And below is a picture of one of my class samples.
Look for quilts by Lisa in next year’s shows – there are currently three on the to-do list that tie into either the upcoming classes or general business of dyeing. The to-do list also has ‘blog more’ included – hope I will see you here! P.S. – in you are coming to the show at Oaks and don’t get the newsletter ‘Hues & News’ from DippyDyes, please sign up (we send show coupons.) There’s a link at the top of the column to the right, or click here. Thanks!!
Here’s my first picture from the class I took earlier this month at Pro Chemical & Dye. It shows a series of skinny quarters, each with an increasing number of layers and colors of dye. The last two have the same number of layers, but the top one was folded twice as much. Loved this class!
A recent Facebook post by Robbie E. turned into a wonderful discussion all about dyeing and washing out cotton fabric. I made a couple new friends that way; one wrote: “This is making me so confused. All I want to do is start dyeing! Any tips on where to start?” Lots of people pitched in before me to praise Ann Johnston’s book “Color By Accident.” It’s still the standard reference, and I was happy to recently revisit some of Ann’s techniques. I’ve been able to scale up to larger pieces of fabric, given the right container. Another excellent book for beginners is “Tray Dyeing” by Claire Benn & Leslie Morgan. Time to re-read that one! There are great on-line resources available at Pro Chemical & Dye and Dharma Trading, plus Paula Burch’s website here. And, if you’re coming to the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza show at Oaks, PA, I’m teaching Dye Boot Camp on Thursday, September 14. Now that the nice weather is here, it’s time to give dye a chance!
Dye Boot Camp is coming up at MQX – the Machine Quilters’ Festival in Manchester, NH. I will be teaching and lecturing there all week – the first class is Dye Boot Camp on Wednesday, April 5 at 8 AM! It will be a quick four-hour version covering everything you need to know about dyeing cotton quilt fabric – AND about washing it out! #MQX Sign up here! (It’s the third on the list.)
Class hard at work, learning something new. 🙂
Colors, colors and more colors!
No hat this year, but the whistle might have to be pulled out!