Creating Value

There is a book out on skinny quilts that all my friends seemed to have. It has a quilt on the cover we all liked and kept saying we were going to make, but none of us got around to it. Along comes the guild speaker for January, the designer of the quilt, Carol Taylor. I knew this was my opportunity to play with the technique and give me the motivator to dye all of the fabric needed for the project.

Dye Cups

Dye Cups

My hand dyed fabrics work great for gradations of value, so I was excited to get started. We needed 4 values; light, med light, med dark and dark. We needed 10-12 pieces of fabric for each value. I wanted to have 4 colors, so that worked out to a minimum of 3 different hues of each color. I decided to do 4 just to have some extra to choose from. I also decided to do 6 values of each color. Just in case I didn’t like the lights and trying to get as dark as I could.  So off to work I went. The first step was to cut up 96 pieces of fabric. We didn’t need much fabric so I died Fat 16ths of fabric. For the non-quilters a fat 16th is a piece of fabric approximately 11×9 inches. Then it was on to the dyes. Mixing fun colors and putting everything in tiny cups. I know it looks like they are all black, but really they are each a different color.

Rinsing Fabric

Rinsing Fabric

Purple floors

Purple floors

Everything was going well until the rinsing began. I did my usual quick rinse in the sink and then ran buckets of hot water to let the fabric soak. While it was soaking I called mom to chat and began cleaning up a bit. At one point I noticed one of the buckets didn’t have enough water in it. I figured I was distracted and just didn’t fill it up, so I added about 2 gallons of water to the bucket. Time passes, the room is looking better, but ….. The purple fabric bucket doesn’t have any water in it. Now this time I know I had water in there. Sure enough, one of my favorite buckets cracked and let all the water out of the bucket and on to the floor. It leaves a lovely purple circle on the carpet and takes 3 days of fans and heaters to dry out…. Not so much fun.


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