Thursday, February 21, 2008


Oy! Should I skip the number thirteen? Is that being superstitious? I love that line from The Office when the bumbling manager, Micheal, says," I'm not superstitious, but I'm a little stitious." Well, I'm only a little stitious myself, so thirteen it is.
First off, I have to say a huge thank you to Beth over at Sew, Mama, Sew for mentioning my quilt as part of their Quilt Month extravaganza. I got a huge kick out of seeing it there and reading all the comments folks made. I have been following the daily updates at Sew, Mama, Sew and have really enjoyed seeing loads of wonderful quilts, reading a terrific feature about Denyse Schmidt, and discovering the almost boundless passion people have for quilts.
I also want to say thank you and hello to all the folks who've stopped by here after having seen my Twinkle quilt. I'm waving hello. I know you can't see that, but I am really waving.
I was asked by one of my newest internet friends if I had any recommendations for books about fabric dyeing.

Well...Yeah! But I've decided that rather than recommend a bunch of books, I'd focus on my desert island favorites.

If I was Tom Hanks in Castaway and I had to decide between saving Wilson the ball or this dye book, well Wilson wouldn't stand a chance. Surface Design for Fabric by Richard Proctor and Jennifer Lew is my all-time favorite reference book. It's incredibly complete and thorough, covering everything from direct dye processes to batik to basic shibori. It's been revised several times and despite the lack of color is a great beginners book.

Creating Color by Judy Anne Walter is my other must-have dye book. Like the Proctor/Lew book, it's not big on images. Come to think of it, I don't think there are any pictures in the entire book, but there are so many dye recipes.

This is how my copy looks after several years of love. If you want a basic recipe for mixing a dye bath, this is your book. If you want to know how to make graduated colors, this is your book. If you're the scientific type and want to know exactly how many grams of dye powder you'll need to dye a sheet in your washing machine, this is your book.
Neither of these books is big on inspiration. Their focus is information. But I'd be lost without them.


neki desu said...

your fabrics are stunning!
i definitely second your assessment on the proctor-lew book.
now i have to dash out and get the walter book.
thanks for sharing

neki desu

upstateLisa said...

Thanks Malka! I have been lurking on your blog for a loong time but your fabrics fascinate me and I just had to ask about the books! I will have to check those out! thanks again!

Sequana said...

Well, aren't I lucky? I already have the proctor-lew book on my shelf here.....*S*

But I wouldn't have plucked it out for a further serious look without your recommendation. So thx.

Rita said...

thank you so much for being so inspiring. I saw your quilt on Sew Mama Sew and it has been in my mind all week making me cheerful. This week when I received a surprise packet of fabric from my friend who signed me up for a fat quarter of the month club, and I found your tutorial on itajime. I think I'm going to try it and see what I come up with.
I have to admit that I feel like nesting for a yet to be concieved child.
Thank you, you are so talented. I hope to buy some of your dyed fabric soon (maybe for the backing).

Kirsten said...

Thank you so much. You're awesome!

I just signed up for my first fabric art course (dyeing, stamping, resisting). You are such an inspiration! And I am so excited to become my own.

Jacquie said...

Thanks so much for these recommendations. Don't dye fabric yet, but I would love to some day. These will be a great getting ready jump start!

Kathy - Pink Chalk Studio said...

I found you through the Sew, Mama, Sew feature. I've had a fun time looking through all your work, extremely inspirational. Thank you for listing your favorite books (Powell's should be giving you a cut!)