Hand dyed fabric day

What’s a fun thing to do when it’s 100 degrees out? Invite your friends over to dye fabric! No sitting around the pool for us– oh no, let’s race around sheathed in rubber gloves and face masks.

I hosted a dye day with some of the members of Fibervision, my Santa Barbara CA-based art group. In attendance were Judy Rys (of Color My World), Lora Martin (Loreclectic), Linda Cassirer (you’ve seen her work on the cover of QNM), Mary Norton (applique artist and beader extraordinaire), and me.

Oh, and my 2 kids, 2 of their friends, and just to add to the general mayhem, the gardener decided that Saturday would be a good day to take out the dying pine tree in the back yard. So we had nice background noise music, too.

Even with all of that chaos, we ended up with some gorgeous fabric! I spouted off the few dyeing facts I know (mainly because Judy asked a million questions. For someone so adamant about NOT buying more products, she sure is interested in the dyeing facts of life!)

Here we are, mixing up dyes:

I’m on the left, with Linda and Mary mixing, and Judy putting some fabric in or taking some fabric out of the soda ash bath in the background.

Gosh, I hope we’re dyeing enough fabric! (gosh, I hope it all fits in Lora’s car! I kept getting emails about BOLTS of fabric showing up. I thought they were joking…):

Please note that this represents only ONE area of tubs and the photo was taken early in the day. Soon, there were tubs lined up on the other side of the patio, all along the outside of my studio, and on the other side of this lot of tubs. Lots and lots of tubs. Wheeee!

We are mixed media artists, so we also dyed papers and coffee filters:

You don’t have to do much to paper to make it gorgeous– just blot up some dye puddles and you have instant color!

I didn’t dye much fabric, because I was more interested in getting the girls hooked in the dyeing process. (Shhhhh, don’t tell them!) Promise I’ll share some of my dyed stuff tomorrow.  Plus, look for the upcoming tutorial on how I dye fabric!

Meanwhile, my studio clean up has run aground for a while. I was able to get most of the nonsense up off of the floor and table, and I got all of my cabinets organized:

It was fabulous to open a cabinet and be able to pull out a few tubs that contained all of my dye product.

I have 3 shows to get ready for this Fall, and so I need to get back to creating. The studio feels much better now– and I created happily all day Monday. As for the studio clean up, it will continue, and I’ve gotten far enough so that I can do it in bits and pieces (go through my file cabinet, re-order my beads: tasks instead of big looming overwhelming projects!) Thanks for sticking with me during the process– I know, I know, I owe you photos!



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5 responses to “Hand dyed fabric day

  1. What a funny day you had with your friend ! And what a fabulous result.

  2. Betsi

    How fun! Reminds me of a tie-dye party a friend of mine had earlier this summer. Not an artist friend, so we just dyed clothing but fun nonetheless. Great idea about soaking up the dye puddles, if she (or I!) do another one, I’ll be sure to save those paper towels for collage. 🙂

    (Found you surfing through WordPress’ nifty “other bloggers using the same tags as you” thingie. My studio organization has farther to go than yours; I’m inspired by your progress!)

  3. Waaaaaaah.

    I want to come dye yards and yards of fabric with you.

  4. My art group had so much fun dyeing fabrics three years ago that I now host an annual dyeing party in July in my garage. It is way too much fun to be having….but lordy….. we never did as much as you girls did. WOW!

  5. carie

    I was thinking it would be fun to dye fabric, but when I see all that’s involved, it makes me think twice. It looks like you all were very productive.

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