Disclaimer: I've admired Frieda Anderson’s work since I saw a quilt from her first book years ago. I visit her website from time to time to see what she’s doing; it’s always something interesting. Finally last week I got a chance to meet her when she was in town to teach a class for my old quilting guild. After the class we went out to dinner. Frieda is great company: nice and easy to talk to. Given that we’ve both been working in the industry for years we have mutual friends and lots of common ground to cover. She’s no diva, rather very open and down to earth, an “old” new friend.
Now, I’ve never dyed before. I’ve been interested in it for quite a while, in fact I have a 30 yard roll of PFD fabric waiting. But how to get started? Well, Frieda is famous for hand-dying all her fabrics, so at dinner I picked her brain. She gave me a synopsis of her latest book, Fabric to Dye For . Her method—eliminating urea—seemed easy. (And not too messy!) I was intrigued.
I went home and bought the book. Over the next week I studied both Frieda’s book and another dyeing technique book somebody loaned me. It was like a high school homework assignment: “compare and contrast….”
No contest! Frieda's book is so clear and concise, perfect for the beginner. She skillfully uses full-color photographs (see below) to walk readers through the process from beginning to end, including setting up a place to work, sourcing materials, fabric preparation, etc. And she does it in only 79 pages, which will set you back only $23.95. The things you need you might already have sitting around. Here are two pictures from the book to show you what I mean:
The book is very nicely organized, something I really appreciate as I organize and produce books for a living. She includes easy-to-understand charts of formulas to mix dyes. She suggests a 12-step gradation to avoid dyeing too many odd colors. Her method demonstrates how to dye a value family of a color. The quilt projects included in the book will not only make it easy to use your new perfectly colored fabric to create beautiful effects, but will inspire you to get creative. You will not be able to help yourself! Here are two pictures, courtesy of Frieda, to pique your interest:
I am sold on Frieda’s method of dyeing and I have my quilting friends fired up to get colorful with me. We’re planning a “dyeing party” as soon as the weather is over 70 degrees. As I look out at the snow falling here in central Ohio, I realize we have some time to plan.
Ready to plan your own project? Can’t wait to get a copy of the book? We’re giving one away! Everybody has up to 2 chance to win. Here’s how:
- Post a comment below. If you were dyeing fabric, tell me what color you’d choose to do first. Then tell me what you’d use it for.
- Sign up for the Dragon Threads email newsletter (click here). In the “How can we help you” field write “Frieda sent me!” Even if you’re already on the list, signing up again will give you another chance to win (and I promise not to send you two newsletters unless you send me two different email addresses).
One winner will be chosen at random. Contest ends at midnight on December 14th. If you can’t wait to get your hands on a copy, or you want to send one to every quilter you know then start planning your own “dyeing party”, head over to Frieda’s site. Tell her Dragon Threads sent you!