Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Design & Hue

Yesterday I was noodling around with new motifs and patterns.

Here's what I came up with -- a pattern as yet unnamed.  I started with some fabric I had previously dyed in a pale cerulean blue. I waxed the fabric with the new pattern and overdyed it in a royal blue. This pattern waxes the positive space, with the unwaxed areas comprising the negative space. It can be difficult to imagine ahead of time how this type of pattern will realize on cloth.

I can see a lot of potential for this motif. When I come up with a new pattern, my first thoughts always turn to color. I try and imagine what hues would work for the pattern. Since dyes are transparent and mix like light, overydyeing is something that has to be thought through carefully.

Yesterday I waxed this pattern on white silk hemp and dyed it in royal blue and the effect is beautiful. I think this pattern would also look stunning in black and white on silk hemp. I can also see this working well with a pale tan background and a darker siena brown for the patterning.  Also yellow & red might work too. More later!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Getting Organized

Over the last six months I've run many swatch tests combining primary dye hues in varying proportions. Until now, I've just been storing them in a big pile in a drawer. Yesterday I decided I really wanted to get these swatches organized, to make it easier for me to flip through them and combine them together to create unique palettes.

I cut my swatches to 5" by 8" and using spray adhesive glued them to same size index cards.  Now they are easier to look through and store. I have them stored in a file box.

It just occurred to me that these fabric cards are also easier to mail than loose fabric and could easily be mailed. Hmm. I'm thinking about how to design a swatch loaner program.....more ruminating to come!

Monday, November 14, 2011


A friend has ordered a custom tablecloth and twelve napkins. But they have to be just the right hue of purple! After running many swatches, we hit on just the right one.  It's great to think someone will use and enjoy my fabric for a long time around a table of fellowship.