I’ve mentioned this before; my husband and I start the morning off with a reading of some kind and then discuss whatever it is we’ve just read. Today we read about relationships using thread as a metaphor, which was kind of perfect for someone like me. This quote was particularly appealing for obvious reasons.
A strong rope is made of many threads. Looking at one point on the rope, we can focus on the detail of a single thread. But when we look only at a single thread we cannot see the big picture.”The More We Find in Each Other by Mavis and Merle Fossum
And, of course, I immediately thought about my stitching and how I love using lots of different threads and other elements to enhance and add interest to a piece that I’m working on. In particular I thought of Gimp, Silken Chenille, and Viscose Ribbon, three threads that are challenging to work with, but that add tremendous texture and interest to a piece.
In a relationship it’s often the challenging parts that can bring growth and welcome change to both people if they’re willing to show up for the hard work that’s required. I thought of how the foundation of my marriage is our love and the threads are all the moments we’ve spent together, some more challenging than others. But like those challenging threads, they are woven into the fabric of our love, making that fabric all the more interesting and ultimately stronger. Oh, and a sense of humor helps!
Okay, I could go on and on about all of this, but then I wouldn’t have time to tell you about my ice dyeing experiment. This was all inspired by Nancy who was in my Improvisational Stitching Workshop. She had a really beautiful piece of fabric, which I asked her about and she told me that she had ice dyed it. Now I have to say that for the most part I haven’t loved the ice dyeing that I’ve seen, so I’ve never been tempted to try it, but Nancy very generously wrote out instructions and gave them to everyone in my workshop. All my ice dyeing attempts were using her instructions. By the way, I have urged Nancy to sell some of her beautiful ice dyed fabrics. When she gives me the okay I will post where you can purchase her fabrics.
So… my little foray into ice dying is ongoing and was somewhat successful. I say somewhat because some of the pieces came out nicely, but others were not to my liking at all. Those will need to be redone or perhaps I’ll paint on them, I haven’t decided yet. Part of the problem was I ran out of ice. As in right in the middle of sprinkling the dye onto the fabric. Now one could argue that seeing that you don’t have enough ice right off the bat is probably step #1, resulting in STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND GO GET SOME ICE, however in my case it was more like – huh, I don’t have enough ice, then think about how that means I’ll have to put on shoes, remove my apron, gloves and mask (not the kind we’re now used to wearing because of the pandemic, but the kind used when working with toxic chemicals) and then go look for my son so that I can ask him to run out to get ice. Wait for said son to dutifully do my bidding and while waiting get impatient and sprinkle more dye on. Eyeroll. Impatience is NOT a virtue. I know this, and whenever I give in to it, I always, always, always regret it. So I skimped on the layer of ice and ended up with some not very attractive streaks of color before my fabulous son reappeared with 4 bags of ice, having had to go to a couple different places to procure it. What a wonderful son!
Another problem was that my disposable pans were way too small, resulting in more of a tie dyed look than I was hoping for. As in my husband’s comment when I unfurled the first piece and said the words every spouse hates to hear, “So what do you think?” And his response, “Oh yeah, you’ve got some seriously hippy dippy stuff going on there.” Needless to say this was NOT the reply I’d hoped for, but the bold, unvarnished truth is always difficult to hear.
I’ll post a video about all of this later, but for now here are a couple of photographs of the pieces that were sort of successful and a few that I really, really liked.
What will I do with all of this fabric?
I have no idea.
PS: For those of you who didn’t see my most recent Youtube video of Richard and my Mother’s Day walk and our surprise encounter, go watch this short video! All the reasons why I love living in this vibrant, wonderful city we call New York!
I bought some linen and dye to try Nancy’s recipe. On hold for now because my grandson was born on Mother’s Day. Nice present for me. I’ll let you know what happens with my attempt with the ice dye experiment. Good tip on the ice!
Congratulations on the birth of your grandson! You must be thrilled.
Thanks for your report and pictures of your ice dyeing. Pretty good for a first attempt. I’m sure that small pieces of the more tiedyed pieces could enhance your work, even if you wouldn’t want to use a whole piece as a background.
Oh Nancy, I have to amend this post to add that this was all because of you! Your instructions were perfect. There were a great many, Nopes! in the batch, but it was fun. And as I said, impatience has no place in the process. ❤️
I didn’t use enough dye when I ice dyed with friends because it was their dye, so mine are not as colorful as I would like, but covered with stitch will change that.
I like your fabrics.
Nancy, who commented below was the one who inspired me to try this. She has lovely pieces that she did with ice dyeing. I think it takes practice to get good results, but it’s fun!
Those ice dyeing results are amazing!
Thank you! ❤️
oh they are wonderful, go back and look at them in a day or two and you will see how really great they really are, my sister is coming up from Vancouver in a week or two, bringing me dyes and whatever else I need…or want, not much in this area, so she is my shopper in the big city!! I send her to these weird places to get me stuff, haha, isn’t that what sisters are for, lol, its been awhile since she has been up here so I will have lots of stock to go through. I have forgotten all what i have ordered, but I have my linen, I found two very old linen table cloths that are just waiting for that perfect project, so just waiting for her, I’ve been dyeing fabric and wool forever, so now I just have to add the linen to the mix, can’t wait to get that going! Happy Dyeing!
Thx so much Sue. That sounds great! The pieces I photographed here are the ones I’m happy with. The others that need “work” are put away until I have time to over-dye them. Old tablecloths sound great for dyeing!
I love that idea of reusing something like a table cloth. I have men’s suits that I turn into ottomans – which I call Otto, would love to dye the suit fabric into something colorful. Will that work? Can you try it on you hubby’s suit pants for me lol. Also silk ties are amazing in work
Suit fabric is nice. This linen is actually natural ready to dye and the weight is called “suiting” weight. It’s not really used for suiting just indicates a heavier fabric weight than a handkerchief wt or some of the others. I have some linen pillow cases that I will definitely be dyeing. Anything goes!!