Tag Archives: workshops

Dyeing classes for summer 2015-2016

the grass is riz, the lawn needs mowing, but to the studio is where I’m going! Apologies to whoever wrote the old phrase “Spring is sprung, the grass is riz……”

With longer days and warmer temperatures, I’m spending lots of time in my studio dyeing and painting, and I can’t wait for really warm (hot) weather to start up an indigo vat also.

Dates have been set for my dyeing classes (play days for fabriholics) .  If you are interested in any of them, leave a comment below and I’ll send you the list of requirements.

Dyeing workshops – summer 2015–2016.  Second Saturday each month

October 10 – Dyeing day with Procion MX dyes. Using pure primary colours and not-pure primary colours, we will create some stunning bright and pastel neutral shades. Cotton or silk fabrics only.

November 14 – Painting day. Hoping for a sunny day, we will do some sun dyeing, shibori painting, and sun printing using found objects as a resist. Any fabric except wool will work for this.

December 12 – Dyeing with indigo. Explore this ancient method of changing colours. Try various shibori techniques. Works with any fabrics that are light to medium in colour.

January 9 – Create a piece of fabulous art cloth. Explore various methods of transferring designs on to fabric, using rubber stamps, wood blocks, gelli plates, monoprinting, and removing colour from the fabric with discharge paste and/or bleach products.

February 13 – to be decided.

March 12 – long weekend, we may change the date.

All classes are held here in my studio at Flowerpot, 9.30am to 4pm-ish.

More procion dyeing results

Last weekend we had another basic learning to dye class using Procion dyes, and as usual we had a ball, not only did everyone enjoy the day but they had some great fabrics to take home.

We started the day with grading one primary colour, I demonstrated with red

Grading red to pink

Then using the other 2 primaries to make secondary colours.

Blue to green to yellow

With some of the left over weak dyes we made some lovely pastel neutrals

Pastel neutrals

After the weekend, I had to use up the left overs as there were many cups with little bits in them.

This fabric was folded and sat upright in the cup and left overnight. You can see how the dye soaked its way up the fabric even to the folds.

soaking up some aubergine dye

When washed out it looked like this

Aubergine soaked fabric

and the closeup with fine markings

Another piece was folded in triangles and dipped in 3 separate dishes – dilute lemon yellow, dilute fuschia and still plenty of colour diluted aubergine

Draining excess dye from folded fabric

And this is what it looked like rinsed out

Rinsed out triangular folded fabric

And another piece using the same 3 colours, but folded differently

Soft colours

And lastly the left over fuschia, moroccan red, weak yellow and blue on a 1.5m piece.

Red leftovers with lemon & blue

I already have a quilt in mind for this piece of fabric

Leftover results

Closeup of fabric

After finishing ironing all these fabrics, I went back to trimming the flying geese for my drunkards path quilt’s border, should be ready to show next week.

Fabric dyeing workshop

When you teach anything in the textile area, you need a good collection of samples for the class to look at and feel.  Over the years my samples of hand-dyed primary colours have ended up somewhat out of order and with gaps, as I have taken out this or that piece because it was just the colour I needed, and then not replaced it at a later date.

In preparation for a beginner dyeing class last weekend, I decided to do a whole new set of graded primaries and secondaries.  I used the exact recipe that I was going to use in the class, grading the three primary colours from dark to light, and three sets of secondary colours from yellow through orange to red, yellow through green to blue, and blue through purple to red.

Bagged up & batching samples

Sets of primary blue, yellow & red fabrics

Sets of secondary colours

As we couldn’t do every colour in the one day class, each student picked one primary colour to grade, and then dyed a set of secondary colours from the other two primaries.

We used the leftover weak dye solutions to create neutrals.  Depending upon how heavy handed each person was with the blue and red, there were some interesting mixes.


(When I washed out my demonstration pieces, they were nearly all the same mushroom pink with a few green streaks, the orange is a silk scarf)

I don’t usually stick to the recipe every time I am dyeing fabrics for my own use, but I teach it this way so the students can get a feel for what will happen if they put in more water/dye, or less water/dye, and then go on and experiment on their own later, as they did with the neutrals.

If the noise level was anything to go by, everyone enjoyed themselves immensely, and went home with lots of new fabrics, highly excited and eager to do more.

This picture says it all.  I thought I had better get a photo before it was all cleaned up.

Looks like the remains of a party

Till the next party class …

Scarves and quilt classes

My, hasn’t the year gone quickly, it’s the end of August already.  That should mean the end of winter, but the weather still has a lot of antarctic feel about it.

We’re off to Perth W.A. tomorrow, initially for my DH to attend a vintage machinery rally (where I hope to sell some of my scarves at the “other part” of the rally) this weekend, and after to explore the south west corner of the state for a week or so – should be good.  And maybe we might get to see some of the West’s famous wildflowers while we’re there.

This last weekend, I spent in Hobart doing Helen Godden’s classes – 4 in the Raw, and Walk on the Wildside – wonderful 3 days, came home very inspired.

Walk on the Wildside class result, Helen at the back.

These are my results, neither of them completed, time to finish them when I get back from WA.

4 in the Raw - falling autumn leaves

Walk on the Wildside - Mother giraffe and baby

Click on the picture to see the machine quilting, it is black thread on my hand dyed fabrics.  I was a bit nervous about using black, as normally I would have used, say for this project, a light coloured thread and variegated to completely blend in to the background.  I really like the result, so will most likely use black again. The texture thread on the giraffes is a gold metallic Madiera.

I’m still knitting the CanCan scarves, as they are proving very popular.  They are for sale for $25 each plus postage (I use Express Mail in Australia, for 2 reasons – it is quick and reliable, and can be traced if it is delayed or goes astray).  Email me (sue@quiltstodyefor.com.au) if you would like one of these great scarves.

CanCan scarves

I have other colours – a variegated purple, variegated blue (yummy colour), deep purple, bright fuschia, and a multicolour, all about 1.5m long but will stretch out to about 2m.

So inspired

This last week has been so full on, first with our son john and his family over from the mainland staying with us for a few days, and having to abandon them to do a workshop on Thursday, bidding them safe travelling on Friday, and preparing for more workshop over the weekend.  It was lovely to see the little ones again, even for such a short time.  Our turn to visit them next time.

Tomorrow will be my first day at home on my own, all day, to recover – I am still on overload, but I will be back in my studio before the end of the week to practise more of what I learned about creating art cloth. 

Here is a sample of what I produced in the Discharging dye workshop

Discharged dye on hand-dyed silk-rayon velvet

Discharging dye class group photo

and two pieces from the weekend workshop – in pursuit of art cloth – we created pieces with lots of layers.

Creating shadows with layers

Stencil over discharged stencil

Stencil Layers Class group photo

Aren’t we a motley lot amid the chaos on the tables.   Thank you Marie-Therese for a wonderful workshop, we have all been very  inspired by you.

I didn’t realise until right now that I had taken very few photos of my own work, but lots of other people’s at varying stages of completion.  I’ll post more photos of my work in the next few days.  Stay tuned. 

Remember the wisteria in bud?  Well, Spring arrived on Friday, and we have had four consecutive warm sunny days, today up to 23 degrees and similar tomorrow, and the wisteria blossoms are beginning to open.

another few days and it will look magnificent.