Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Gimme a break, I'm dyeing here

There's this one little drawback to dyeing fabric. You always have to say the whole phrase, dyeing fabric. Otherwise you get conversations like this:

Robin: What's that book about, Mommy?
Me: It's about dyeing fabric.
Robin: Oh. Are you going to dye tomorrow?
Me: Well, yes.

Anyway, there was a craft fair yesterday. Rita was sharing a table with a friend of hers, and invited me to bring some things as well. I had intended to make up some small quilts but, unsurprisingly, that didn't happen. On Friday it occurred to me that, while I didn't have time to make a bunch of quilts, I could take my hand-dyed fabric. I had quite a bit already made, and 12 yards still on the bolt that I could dye in time for the fair, so that's what I did.

I scoured (prewashed) the fabric on Sunday. Monday morning after the gym, I came home and started getting out my supplies, calculating quantities of dye and chemicals, setting out buckets, mixing the fixative, etc. (As you can see, the dyeing process relies heavily on cat litter buckets and Skippy peanut butter jars.)

(Anyone want to guess, at this point, where a certain member of my family felt was an appropriate place to put his dirty dishes from lunch?)

He did redeem himself by taking some pictures of me when asked though:

He even got creative, going outside and taking this one through the kitchen window:

Hmm. Looks like we need to buy more fruit.

I tried a new two-tone technique that, while I was doing it, looked like it wasn't going to turn out well at all. Fortunately, the rinsed and dried fabrics were just fine. Not, perhaps, entirely to my own taste, but nothing actually wrong with them. Rita brought the side rail from Alanna's crib to the fair, and that turned out to be the perfect way to display the fabric because I could drape it down in front of the table for much better visibility than a folded stack would have given. See?

Interestingly, the single ugliest fabric--a mixture of purple and green (and not in a good way)--was almost invariably the one that people picked up to fondle when they stopped by the table.

Unfortunately, the fair itself was a bit of a bust. We had a nice enough time, but the event was stunningly underattended. We were there from 9:00-3:30 and Rita, her daughter Terry and I each made one single sale: Rita and I to other exhibitors and Terry to a friend of the family. The folks we were sharing the table with sold a bit more, but they were the authors of a book that had been profiled in the local English-language newspaper that very week, and most people who bought the book said they'd seen it in the paper.

Oh well. We made a couple of contacts that, in the end, could be more valuable than the sales anyway. Let's hope.


Anonymous November 01, 2006 4:05 PM  

Hand dyed fabric is way cool!

I actually did some quilting over the weekend. I finally got around to unpacking my sewing stuff and while I was doing that, I found a bunch of UFOs and a couple other easy little projects that would be good for Christmas. I'll post pictures when they're done.

Jennifer November 01, 2006 4:07 PM  

So, you want some purple and green fabric??

Laylabean November 01, 2006 7:57 PM  

I'm sorry the fair wasn't more successful, that stinks! But the fabric is very pretty, nice job.

lisa November 02, 2006 10:28 AM  

I'm a little intrigued with the guy in the pink shirt and the big tattoo at the craft fair.

Jennifer November 02, 2006 10:49 AM  

Actually, I tried to get a closer look at that tattoo after taking the picture. It was kind of like a shield or crest with, if I remember correctly, a frog inside the main part of it, and something written around the bottom edge. I couldn't make out the words, but I don't remember if that's because they were in Latin or something, or just because I couldn't see them clearly without, you know, getting down on all fours.

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