Thursday, December 30, 2010

If it snows, dye fabric....

Flagstaff. Winter Storms. Snow Days. Time to do some snow and ice dyeing! We had about 18" of snow yesterday and today, so the fresh powder was perfect. And here's a mini lesson on snow dyeing! My deck had a nice layer of fresh powder to play with.
So here's a mini lesson on snow dyeing!
After soaking prewashed PFD fabric in soda ash for about 30-40 minutes, I wrung out the excess and then gently scrunched it into two batches.
The first was on a plastic screen clipped to a large plastic bin. This suspends the fabric and lets the dye drain into the bin. I covered the fabric with fresh snow, about 3-4" deep. Note to self: wear gloves to handle the snow. My hands were freezing!
Over that, I poured super concentrated Procion Dye. For this batch, I used turquoise, fuchsia, and golden yellow. I used 1 cup of prepared dye for each color. I should have made more!
Now comes the hard part... wait for the snow to melt. It's sort of like watching paint dry!
It took about 6 hrs for the snow to melt, in the house! Then I rinsed and washed it!
And here's what I got:
The turquoise really washed out.... the reds did well, the yellow was so-so. Note to self: use more dye. Tomorrow, I'll try a different blue and hope it doesn't fade. Turquoise needs warmth to activate so the snow kept it too cold. The piece in the upper left was plain white muslin, instead of PFD. The dye was not take as well.
The second batch was scrunched into a tub and placed outside in a snow bank until it was frozen almost solid. Then I used Fire Red and Bronze and let the fabric defrost in the house. And here's what came out:
I like these a lot better, except for the white spot in the lower right. At the end of the batching, I flipped two pieces over in the dye at the bottom of the tub, I think that's why they got more saturated. I'm tempted to cut these into rectangles for an art quilt.
I'm declaring success... altho limited. More dye liquid, and maybe let them sit even longer than just until the snow melts. Tomorrow... more fabric and more dyeing!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I made the paper...

My local guild has a biannual quilt show at the public library and this year for the first time, we got a local reporter to cover the event and a lecture we gave for the public. I was gobsmacked today to see a huge picture of me with some of my quilts on the front page of the Arts seciton. Click on the pix to see the whole thing! You can read the article here

Friday, January 22, 2010

Storm Update - Is it Over YET?

Day 5, but who's counting? This storm series really started on Monday afternoon, and its still going.... I have no idea how much snow will be the offical total, but I'm betting close to 60"! Last night, it raining like crazy..horizontal for the most part. That was ok, because the snow rinsed off the trees and did decrease the drifts a bit. But the snow started again about 10 pm and by 1 am (I woke up and had to look)... the view from my window made me think of a cake covered in white fondant. Here's the deck this morning, the chunk on the railing fell off in the wind last night so this is a new crop. And now its taller than the railing, which is at least 36" high. The neighbor's house from the same place on the sidewalk as yesterday's pix. Below, my house is on the left, and yes, that is BLUE SKY peeking thru...
The sun is just starting to come out! So welcome!

My poor elm tree on the driveway....

The ice cave, AKA the path to the mailbox (no mail delivery for 2 days).... those drifts are taller than I am!
Maybe we'll see more sun tomorrow!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Storm of a Century? Hunkering down in Flagstaff!

Flagstaff AZ, January 2010: The predicitons have been dire. Up to 7 feet of snow in a week. Huh? Is this Alaska? Wisconsin? North Dakota? January 18, we got a few inches..... my deck is a great place to gauge the snow. Watch the wind chime.... January 19: A bit more. And this morning, January 21: Where is the wind chime? By the way, the gap between deck rail and roof line is over 24". The front of my house about noon today, after I shoveled the walk:
The drift at the end of the driveway, and no, that's not a child size snow shovel!
The neighbor's house
Trees behind the house:
And the other view of the back, yes, its still snowing!
Luckily, my condo area has snow removal. The guys have done a much better job this year than last. but I have no idea how they will keep up if the snow continues until Saturday AM! The city is pretty much shut down. But I have power, water, my sewing machine, lots of food, wine...... It's hunker down time.
Campus is closed, no work for us! Time to get going on those quilts and enjoy it. Well, sort of.....