In the sunshine of last summer, I started thinking about making a small series of quilts that would let the stitches be the focus and would show off my patterns in new ways. Instead of using my prints, I went in search of solid-colored fabrics that had to be special and complex. After sourcing the perfect linen/cotton blend, I began to look for a natural dyer. While there are many dye enthusiasts around, I needed someone who is methodical enough that they could develop colors that they could then reproduce (consistently). They also need to be able to be washed and dried. While this is no big deal when using synthetic dyes, it takes a lot of patience, skill and process when using plant stuff. I finally found a talented woman in Ithaca, New York and we spent the next few months mailing pictures and fabric swatches back and forth across the country.
The process started with me sending Erika, the dyer, some color swatches to give her an idea of what to aim for. She then sent me my first package of swatches: