A bit of gentle dyeing

3 November 2011

While the main 'Bletchley Park' piece is coming together, in my head at least, I thought I should turn my attention to the background.

I love rummaging through charity shops - they can be a great source of fabric, particularly cheap fabrics for dying.  We have a great little chain around here, The Willen Hospice shops. And in the spirit of thrift and re-use, which remains key to the Bletchley Park piece, I turned to charity shop treasures.

Actually the men's shirts I used did not come from the Willen shops, but never mind.  I cut them up (backs, front panels, sleeves) and then dyed them in containers -  you can see from the pictures that even the dye containers stick with the re-use/upcycle theme.  I stuck with the procion dyes I have been using to colour the background pages.

This is a very random and serendipitous process - as you can see from the results below.  I scrunch the fabrics up, pour on concentrated dye (I dissolved the powder in warm water) and then top up with the fixing solution (soda and urea).  I don't want the complete contrast of tie dye, but I want a blotchy sort of background that I can further pattern.

Meanwhile, it has been another busy week of house guests, so I have had limited time for much more work other than a bit more doodling in the sketch book.  This time I have used handmade paper (from a stash I bought a couple of months ago at a shop that was closing down).

I like the effect of this - the paper 'rings' around the printing.  I think you will see this technique in the final piece (if you're new to this I am using communication as the focus of my contemporary quilt with the old computers at Bletchley Park inspiring patterns that will creep into the piece).

 The only other distraction this week was Kirstie Allsopp on TV last night.  It was lovely to see Linda Miller and for some of her work to be shown, albeit briefly.

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