Saturday, 29 May 2010

Block Lotto - Reeds

For May the Block Lotto is a bias strip insert block we're calling Reeds.

For which you need lime green inserts and either black or black & white or white on white background.

Of course, I have no lime.  And it turns out I don't have much black either.  In fact now I come to look at my fabric stash, very little of it is medium weight quilting quality cottons - it's linen or silk or viscose or all sorts of weird & wonderful stuff, but not good for Block Lotto.  So that means I'm going to have to be inventive to use it up. Shame huh!

Anyway, I'm still unemployed (mostly because I've been a bit lazy about looking and also hard at work helping my sister with her house refurb and studying) so I don't have much spare money, but what I do have is lots of hand dyeing equipment and quilting quality white cotton sateen.  So, rather than go out & buy any lime, I've dyed some.  With effective but interesting results....

I used Acid Lemon & Turquoise (both cold colours) - did two plastic bags of 2x 1m pieces - one with equal 2tsps of both dyes, the other with 3tsps of lemon and 1 tsps of turquoise.  I chose to add the soda to the dyebath rather than soda soak the cloth itself.  It was a very hot day and I did it outside with almost boiling water and used Urea to make sure the dye powder mix didn't split. I added one piece of cloth to the bag immediately then 5 mins later added the other (technically the recipie I was using was for 1m of cloth then wait 15mins to add the next piece to get a less vibrant strike on the second, but I forgot to wait that long)

All 4 pieces came out beautifully, one strong lime, two mid limes and a minty blue. Not that I can remember which came from which bag!  BUT it took a 90 degree wash to get rid of the excess dye plus a couple of rinses with Synthrapol to be sure that they won't run - which I've not had to do with soda soaked fabric in the past, but then this is the first time I've used the cool range so I'm not sure quite where it went wrong.  The strike was very good, but it's also not quite the depth of strike I was after, but then the other pieces I've done I've double dyed, and I didn't have time to do that this time, and anyway I've run out of salt.

So, here they are, limes for Block Lotto.  Now all I need to do is turn them into Reeds blocks.  What I can't decide is whether or not to print up some WOW, or just use plain white, or use some doubledyed black that's a bit blue or a bit green....  Maybe I'll see how it goes!

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