Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Basic Dyeing for Quiltmakers


My class  Basic Dyeing for Quiltmakers   begins on Friday, January 8th. 
This class is with The Academy of Quilting, an excellent source for all sorts of different quilting classes: art, modern and traditional.  The courses are short: 3-7 weeks and are very reasonably priced.  I've found it an easy website to negotiate and the Dean is Always on hand to help - I think she never sleeps!

I've written several classes for the Academy, and one starts on the first Friday of nearly every month, I just sent a brand new one to her!  It will have to be checked and edited so may be a while before it's available...and I'll post more details then.  It's another design class, but with a lot of information!

However, the first class up this year is the Basic Dyeing class.

I wanted to approach dyeing a different way from the make 4000 little samples and glue them neatly into a note book school of learning to dye.  I find I'm really too impatient to be glueing all those bits, and the only time I took a class like that I was assigned about 10 yards of various muddy greens!!

It seemed to me that a more straight forward approach would be to address the properties of color and explain how to achieve each of them.

As we know color varies by hue (red, blue, green etc...), by value (light, medium, dark) and by saturation (rich intense color grading to very greyed out color).
So I thought, let's show people how to get - say - 12 different colors (12 steps round the color wheel), and how to dye a gradation of 8 or steps steps from light to dark, and how to dye 5 or 6  saturated vs greyed colors.    In that way, with just 25 (or so) samples you'd have an outline of how to achieve pretty much any color.  I'm a minimalist at heart - despite the clutter around me as I type!!!

I find that people can nearly always decide where a color would fall on the color wheel...you can see if the green you want is nearer to turquoise than emerald, or nearer to emerald than chartreuse.  We've been looking at colors like this for a long time!  You don't need to dye 400 steps around the wheel to be able to do that.

You can also decide: is this dye color darker than that? or lighter?

And there are basically only two ways to make a color less intense, less saturated.

Also I wanted to minimize the number of different dyes you need to buy (6 in all) - very many dyes are simply mixes of other dyes...and you can certainly learn to mix them yourselves.

And I wanted  make the whole process as painless  and straightforward as possible, with the least exposure to dye dust (as an asthmatic myself, I'm Very Aware of that).

So I think I achieved all of that with this class!  There are five lessons: Mixing Dye solutions and dyeing gradations in black, Dyeing the three primary colors in gradations, Dyeing around the color wheel, Dyeing neutrals and tertiary colors and why you need them, working from a painting to figure out all the colors and then dyeing them!

Do give it a try!  I'm happy to answer any questions.....and Happy New Year to everyone!
Above all, good health!  Remember a nice cup of tea will solve a lot of problems....
And, if you have been, thanks for reading.  Elizabeth


elle said...

Coffee can give the problem a good jolt as well. LOL Doesn't look hopeful for this year but I am hoping to make space for classes with you next year, Elizabeth. I shall fine tune my ADD tendencies and by next year I hope to have figured out what I really want to do because I'm finding the truth in 'ya can't have it all'! Bless you in this coming year. Your blog is inspiring and informative. :)

Elizabeth Barton said...

thank you Elle, I'll be here!!yes you're right we have to prioritize something, there just arn't enough hours in the day for all the fun we could have...but learning new things is very high priority. Learning is a great source of happiness - being able to do something you could never do before!

Anonymous said...

I'd love to do this course, but all the dye shops are closed here till mid to late January. Maybe next time? And then I'll acually be organised.

Your blog is one of the first things I check each day - really enjoy it. Many thanks.

MaryD in Australia

Elizabeth Barton said...

Glad you enjoy it Mary - alas I don't have time more than once a week these days to add anything..always trying to write a new class for AQ, or come up with something for the masterclass or learning something new myself. I guess OZ is on Oliday!! all the best, see you in class! e

Barbara said...

Hello Elizabeth,
Is the weather a consideration for dying? It is pretty cold in CT right now.

Elizabeth Barton said...

Only if you're dyeing outside...the dye companies suggest an ambient temperature of 70 degrees for the dyeing process, if you're below that you could heat a small room a little more - or...use an old electric blanket or something like that to keep them warm - be sure it is the insulated kind just in case you have a spill. Actually since people do actually dye outside in the snow!! I think you'd probably be okay in a normal room temperature of 68 or so. When I "batch" dye, which is a slower process, in the winter, I just wrapped the wet with dye fabric up well so it doesn't leak at all and put it on my computer which gets pretty warm!!
For dyeing in the winter, I just usually treat myself to a couple of extra degrees of heat in the dye studio! 70 is fine.