December 1, 2009

Tie-Dye & Will

I finally took pictures and downloaded them ... I said in an earlier post that I'd post pictures of recent tie-dye projects. Since I've not tie-dyed since my teen years (that wonderful hippie era!) I read the new info for review and see what's new. Then I practiced. The goal was curtains Sarah bought for their open stairwell tall window, and I didn't want to practice on them!

I bought a soft 100% cotton queen-sized sheet set - a great thing to practice on. Some parts I swirled and rubber-banded. Some parts I pleated and rubber-banded or wrapped with a waxed string. Some parts I just banded in a circle for the typical tie-dye bulls-eyes. What did I learn? You think you've soaked the material (it was already wetted in a soda ash solution) and no white is visible, and you worry that it's all just soaking together and going to be a solid dark mess.

I left the sheets: top, fitted, and pillow cases in separate plastic bags (and did a pair of socks too - ordered these really soft bamboo socks that I think I'm going to get more of) to sit in a warm spot while Monte and me flew down to drive Heather and Will here to Colorado, stopping and visiting some old friends along the way. Once home I rinsed them, unbanding them ... and oh ... so much white! So I retied them and squirted more colors on and let sit 24 hours, then rinsed and washed them. My original trials got covered so I couldn't really see my patterning, but that's okay. They are just sheets and going to be slept on. The picture is them on the guest bed at Travis and Sarah's (her family came to stay over the Thanksgiving holiday).

At Travis and Sarah's we squirted a lot of colors on paper towels and let dry. Travis narrowed the choice down to four colors. We folded the long curtains in thirds and pleated them and tied and rubber-banded them. It's easier to tie up the centers of long things with the waxed string than try and rubber band them. We're working on a large metal sheet I got years ago at an auto supply store - it's what people put in garages under leaky cars. I use it all the time on the kitchen table with my wet felting and anything else messy. Sarah worked on one curtain and me on the other and we had them laying side-by-side and doing the same color squirted between the bindings so the hanging curtains would have the same striping. Sarah left them in their plastic bags in a bucket for a couple days before rinsing and washing. So we all waited anxious - they just looked dark with no color variation when all wet, and no white showing - we really soaked them! Sarah emailed me so excited about how they'd turned out. I didn't see them till Thanksgiving day.

While I'm at it, I'll post a recent picture of Will. Will usually eats his supper just before us in his little green Bumbo chair (it's from South Africa and Dawson wishes he had one!). We leave him up on the table while we eat and have a gay ole time with him! He's our "center piece"!
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