You can fill in the blank! Here’s how an unfortunate set of mistakes led to a fortunate result!
Most people who know me, know that I am…hmmm…well, mathematically challenged. And I am particularly challenged in measurements. This has resulted in a number of interesting choices in lengths of fabric to buy — sometimes too much, sometimes too little. Also some serious miscalculations in the number/size of blocks needed for a quilt. In part, this is why I embrace art quilts…very little measuring involved!
This length of fabric was meant to be Exercise 1 in Jane Dunnewold’s book, Complex Cloth. (By the way, this is an awesome book and if you are at all interested in surface design I highly recommend you get this.) In this exercise, you are to immersion dye the fabric, discharge, overdye, and stamp the fabric. So I measured out the water and chemicals, added the dye powder and dyed the fabric a really lovely light blue.
After I washed it out, I thought that the dye didn’t penetrate the fabric like it should, but it was a nice result so I moved on to step 2. This step is to discharge the fabric with household bleach. (Discharging removes the dye.) I don’t like the smell of bleach, and I found a bleach pen in my drawer so I just used that. It didn’t work…the design I drew with the bleach pen on the fabric did not discharge.
So I just moved on to step 3, overdying the fabric. Again I mixed up the chemicals, added the dye powder and dyed the fabric. About three hours later, I looked at my dye bucket, then looked at a 5 gallon bucket, and looked again. I was only using 2 gallons of water instead of 4 gallons in my dye solution. What happens is that the fabric does not have enough room to move around, so the dye doesn’t penetrate the fabric evenly.
I pulled this fabric out of the dye bath, washed it out, and I love it! I can do Exercise 1 some other time. In the meantime I am going to enjoy my ignorance!