Monday, June 8, 2009

Debates and Dumb Mistakes

Okay, I know better.  Really, I do.  You should always pre-wash.  Particularly with hand-dyes.  Pre-wash.  The instructions on the package say to prewash.  Each and every book or magazine article or teacher who’s offered advice on this subject decrees with magisterial authority, “Pre-wash!”  I have even ruined a little quilt or two by not pre-washing.  I know.  I do.

So there is really no excuse for why last night when I was moved to start playing with the wonderful Ricky Tims’ hand-dyes, I just starting whacking away at the fabric without pre-washing.  No excuse except that I wanted to play right away and the voice that said “Pretty fabric NOW” won over the voice of reason muttering, “Pre-wash.  You know you should.”

So I cut.  I played with the little squares.  I came up with a design I liked.  And then, finally, I listened to the voice of reason that said, “You should take some of those fabrics and run them under the water and see what happens.” 

Whoa, baby, did they run!  Who knew?

But, those fabrics are precious, aren’t they?  One, because they cost approximately 3o dollars a yard (and so beautiful they are worth every pretty penny).  Two, because I bought them last March when I went to La Veta to film an episode of The Quilt Show (more on that later, including another fun giveaway headed your way).  What to do?  . . .  Hand wash all those tiny squares and then pick them apart and lay them out to dry.  Yup.  That’ll teach me.  (I only wish.  Because I know myself pretty well by now and, the honest truth, the next time temptation strikes?  Temptation wins).

So, lots of little squares all laid out to dry.  But, really, aren’t those fabrics just luscious?


After washing and drying, here’s the layout for the mini.

Why do I have such trouble getting the color purple with my cameras?  Those blues really move to purple, and the lightest color is actually a bit of peach.  The golds are kind of orange and the reds are both redder and rustier.  I imported into Photoshop and sco0ted  little dials back and forth like a mad little fiend.  Did I ever get the colors right?  Not even close!

Now, decision time.  I’m going to use this Trip Around the World for the decoration on the flap of an envelope purse.  Need to decide whether to go for the darker hand-dye fabric for the purse body because I prefer the color or  go for a lighter rust/brown because it’s linen and I prefer linen.  I took pictures but the color on them was so awful, they’d be useless for comparison.  You’d probably advise me to scrap the whole idea, and really, the colors are very, very pretty.

If it comes out well (meaning if I figure out the dimensions and the right way to add the zippers I want), I’m thinking this will be July’s web project. 

1 comment:

  1. Lovely colors! I never prewash either, but I think I probably would if I started buying batiks again. At least you found out before the quilt was made. I did a similar thing with a lot of 1X2" dresden plate spikes I bought on ebay. I washed them and individually dried them (hundreds) except they were vintage feedsack and frayed terribly.