Friday, January 15, 2016

Week in Review 2016 - 01/15My first

My first batch of hand dyed
fabrics. I used New Black, a low
water immersion method, doubling
the amount of dye solution each
time to create an 8 step gradation
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

I'm dyeing here. Last week I wrote that the fear of embarking on a five week dyeing course had me quaking in my boots. I can't say I have overcome my fear. However, I have reached a point where I am eager to push forward. The amount of work feels staggering. Some students handle this by only doing a portion of the suggested assignments or acknowledging that life is busy and they will do the lesson next week, later, some day... There is one student who is sharing all sorts of bonus tests she is doing beyond the assignment. I'm not an overachiever, in that I tend not to do more than what is assigned. I do apply myself as though each assignment was a final exam and I am determined to get an A. 

Yesterday I was reading a discussion on the topic of on-line classes and how some feel they are a waste of time. Really? I find this reaction puzzling, but not that unexpected. In fact expectations are the key. How many times have you signed up for a class on impulse or because a friend wanted you to join her? Then when it was time to start the class life got in the way, you realized you had zero interest in macrame or you didn't have time to pull together materials and hoped you could just punt. 
This is my second batch of hand dyed fabric. I used
Basic Blue, low water immersion and diluted the original
dye solution as I went, creating 8 grades of blue.

The key to any class whether it is online or in person is to be sure it is on something you want to learn. Then do it. Do all of it. Ask questions. You can be sure someone else has the same question. Share your discoveries and excitement. Give yourself permission to fail. The class will feel awkward if you are doing something that is new to you. That's OK. When you are learning you are engaged. When you are engaged congratulate yourself for being OPEN (my word for the year) and having the courage to put yourself out there and try something new.

The facing process for sea foam from left to right:
1. The facing is stitched around the piece right sides to
right sides leaving an opening at one narrow end so that
the work can be turned right side out.
2. The seams are trimmed to a scant 1/8" and then the concave
portions are clipped and convex sections are notched.
3. The work is turned right sides out and the piece is
pressed into submission encouraging the facing
towards the back. (Click on image to zoom in.)
It wasn't easy staying OPEN to dyeing this week. I had my share of upset, some might say freaking out, as the wet studio felt out of control with supplies. I dripped and splattered my way through nearly ever phase. My darks are not as dark as they should be. Why? I followed the directions. I analyzed the directions and realized that I would have done the ratio of dye differently for the darks in both batches. 

I was determined to do more than dye and I did, as you can see:

1)  Work on Sea Fever - (Due March 15)

I finished free motion quilting the sea foam, cut it into segments and began to face it.

2) Free motion quilting practice.

I opted not to challenge myself with a new motif. Instead I saved time by counting the hours I spent working on sea foam as my FMQ practice.

3 Do some surface design work - Done!

Two runs of 8 hand dyes was this week's surface design work.

4) Beware of when I find myself shutting down and find a way to stay open.

I kept working on my hand dyed fabrics, staying open to accepting whatever the final results were, they would be just fine. I also tried seaweed salad for the first time. I've been tempted for years but find the radioactive green very off putting. I'm not sure I'll have it again, but I am glad to have been open enough to at least try a bit. 

Where will my being open take me next week? I know I have plans to dye again and have seen that we will be doing deep bucket dyeing. I am hoping to be open to my muse as I find ways to use the sea foam I've made in my current WIP. All of this is listed succinctly in my plans for the week:

1)  Work on Sea Fever - (Due March 15)

2) Free motion quilting practice.

3 Do some surface design work

4) Beware of when I find myself shutting down and find a way to stay open.

I am now linking up to two blogs on Fridays. The first is Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays and the second is Free Motion Mavericks.


  1. Open, what a wonderful word! The dyed fabric looks good, some colors do not get real dark and you can go even lighter.

  2. I think you did great in our dyeing class, Gwyned! Your blue gradation is beautiful! Your writing reflects that you know yourself and how you perform. Acceptance is major in being happy. I am intrigued by Sea Foam...I think it will be an awesome piece when done.

  3. Gwyned, I always enjoy your blog! I agree about online classes, or any classes for that matter, you must be interested in the subject enough to commit, and certainly enough to be "open." And Sea Foam -- I've never tried to face a piece with something that curvy. You certainly would have to press it into submission (love that phrase!).

  4. I have never really been a class taker....I have done a few workshops here and there....I have taken a few online classes that I have really enjoyed....the beauty of them is that you can do it when you can be most focused and don't have the distractions that can often happen if you have one particularly annoying classmate (come on...every class has at least one!).

  5. Oh.....and you did a great job facing that piece! Tricky shape that it is!

  6. Great job Gwyned, and you did exactly what EB would want and that is to figure out that you used a varying amount of dye ratio for the two batches. Next week will be so much easier. Take tons of photos and notes - the gradation is wonderful.

  7. Your facing looks wonderful! Did you leave an unquilted border around the edges?

  8. I love to see your beautiful dyed fabrics as well as your input on online classes. As a primarily online teacher I know I get a lot of student that like the idea of learning and want to watch me do it, but doing things yourself required more effort and dedication. It's like your lists of goals and plans at the end of your post - not many people do than Gwyned. You're especially motivated and you will see results as a product of that motivation.

  9. Your dyed fabrics look beautiful. That's good that you signed up for the class are sticking with it. I dyed fabrics in an in-person class about 12 years ago and haven't since then because I've been afraid of dealing with the mess and toxicity. But I've signed up for a major class that will deal with dyeing so I'll be getting into it, also. You can't get the same results any other way. Looking forward to seeing your progress.

  10. Your gradations are lovely, Gwyned. I haven't got to mine. (grin) Working extra days to cover for a sick colleague = home late and too tired to think no dyeing! I may get to some this week for Lesson 2, but there are no guarantees. I will enjoy your next post and dye vicariously through you and Judy! :-)

  11. Wonderful illustrated information. I thank you about that. No doubt it will be very useful for my future projects. Would like to see some other posts on the same subject!

  12. Hello Gwyned,

    Congratulations on keeping going with the dyeing and doing the spotless white quilting all in the same week. Looking forward to seeing how Sea Fever comes together.

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!

    Love, Muv