Layered dyed silk organza.

One of the perks of being a member of Front Range Contemporary Quilters (FRCQ) is access to the inexpensive workshops with an amazing array of FRCQ member teachers. So on a recent cold, snowy, windy morning I carefully made my way to Golden and the Mountaineering Center for a class taught my Melody Randol. I was there to learn just how much fun dyeing and layering silk organza can be.

The few attempts I had made using sheers had been OK, but nothing to write home about. So I knew that this would be a very valuable class for me.

The attendees spent the morning putting color on the organza in many ways with dye. We baggie-dyed, stamped, silk-screened, and tray-dyed in paper bowls. Just before lunch and the call to clean up, there was a flurry of activity to finish and use up all the dye that was mixed. My last piece, created in the abandon of this moment, is my favorite.

Is there a lesson here? For me it was to work more quickly and more intuitively.

In the afternoon we played with previously dyed organza and our own fabrics to explore what happens when you layer the sheers. I didn’t get to complete my piece, a still life of last fall’s harvest of tomatoes and peppers, in class. It looked a little funky at first, but when I completed it at home, I’m actually quite pleased with it.


I think there is enough potential to use organza in my work that I now want to dye the whole spectrum of colors to have on hand. And that, my friends, is where having friends in the business of dyeing comes in handy! One day this summer when the polar vortex is not dominating the weather pattern, the ladies of BLT will be in Cynthia’s backyard splashing color on organza.


Bring on the rainbows!