I had one day when I was not teaching at Quilt Canada at Brock University. So I decided it was a great opportunity to be a student for the day. I chose my friend Elaine Quehl's one-day dyeing workshop.
Elaine is an award winning quilter who dyes her own fabrics to use in her quilts. We met several years ago at the Mayflower Guild retreat at Pictou Lodge in Nova Scotia and we just 'clicked'. Although our work is very different we are both in the 'creation and inspiration' business so have much in common. Read more about Elaine here.
Of course I knew my fabric would be in liquid dye - would have to sit for a while.....didn't think more about that..... Read on for the story!
So I prepared well for the class - packed an old pair of jeans, my 'painting' t-shirt and my apron. Even put in a few extra pairs of latex gloves. Since this class was on Friday and I would be teaching on Saturday I really wanted to keep my hands clean for my Saturday class.
Elaine provided a great kit with the measuring tools, dyes and fixatives and lots of Ziploc bags. And the Quilt Canada organizers gathered buckets, jugs and trays for us to use in class. I arranged to buy some white cotton fabric from Elaine and we proceeded to use her low-water immersion method to dye a total of 4 metres of fabric. The result was 16 Ziploc bags, each containing a fat quarter of fabric and the liquid dye.
I arranged my bags in one of the buckets and carried it back to my room at the Residence. I started having a bit of anxiety - how would I rinse, wash and dry those fabrics so I could get them home on the plane??
I taught my Sheer Collage class on Saturday - no time during the day - the fabrics had to sit til the afternoon anyway.
Saturday night closing banquet - no time then either!
Luckily I wasn't flying home on Sunday. The wonderful Dufferin Piecemakers guild in Orangeville had invited me to do a workshop and lecture on Sunday. AND they had booked me into the Best Western hotel in Orangeville.
More anxiety - could I REALLY rinse and wash the fabrics in the hotel room??
I was thrilled to find a small kitchen area in my hotel room - complete with small counter, stainless steel sink and LOTS of hot water. And luckily I had packed all those extra gloves!
I arrived at the hotel early in the afternoon and started rinsing, rinsing and rinsing. Then washing to remove as much dye as possible. Packed an extra towel in my luggage too - glad I didn't have to use those lovely white towels in the room!
I placed each fat quarter in the bottom of the shower as it was rinsed.
After washing the fabric with Synthrapol soap provided by Elaine, I ironed the fabric dry, pack it into new Ziploc bags (thinks for taking me to a grocery store Judi!) and the fabrics were safe in my luggage when I flew home on Tuesday.
Another full wash at home and here are the beautiful fabrics I made!
What shall I make with these? Ideas anyone? Leave me a comment with your suggestions.
Elaine will be teaching a 5-day workshop at Cherry Tree Quilts in Summerland, BC in August. Wish I could join her for more colourful fun but can't do it this year. See Elaine's website for more information about her work and her workshops.