Sunday, May 1, 2011

Fabric Dyeing

Have you ever said never? I have. Plenty of times. Let's see. I never want to learn: smocking, hand applique, how to make makeup, whole cloth quilting, fabric dyeing, art quilting. I know there are other things I'm forgetting. Why don't we want to learn new things? For me, it's about the level of perceived difficulty with fear of failure thrown in there. Last month, I scratched another skill off that list.

My friend Pat had taken up fabric dyeing a few years ago. When she first mentioned it, I knew it was something I would never ever want to do. Pat would always show what she was up to. Yes, it was always fun to look at what she did but just not my cup of tea. What was it that made me change my mind? It was a scarf. A few years ago, Pat gave me the most beautiful green silk scarf for Christmas. I had gotten so many compliments on that scarf. I loved the subtle shades differences in that scarf. Sadly, I lost the scarf a few months ago. I wore it to a football game and somehow, I went home without it. It wasn't the fact that I lost it but the idea that maybe I could learn how to create something that beautiful.

Last year, Pat gave Taylor and I an invitation to hang out with her while she worked with the dyes. Between all of our schedules, it didn't work out. In addition, the temperature needs to be above 70 degrees for the needed chemical reaction to take place. I was also a little fearful of showing my lacking color skills. Lucky for me, an opportunity came up. The local community college has a sewing and quilting expo every year. Last year, I spent a day going to lectures focusing on garment sewing. This year, I took a day long class in fabric dyeing. Of course, I always seem to be put with a group of over-achievers. The gals at my table were fiber artists and they all had business cards. My classmates all had certain colors in mind or patterns. Me, I didn't want any tie-dyed patterns. I wanted mottled colors. Maybe in the future, my dyeing and quilting will become more adventurous. I was happy with my first try though.

I was very tired at the end of the day but excited practice my new skill. I'm hoping in the next month or so, the weather here in Wisconsin will be warm enough so I can play.

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