Community Dye Studio!
Big news! We’re teaming up with Helios Makerspace to offer dye studio access for members who want to work on dyeing projects without investing in all their own tools and equipment. That means that during studio hours, members can come use our space to dye yarn, fibre, fabric, or anything else you can think of really! More details on membership pricing and studio hours are available here.
Have you ever dreamed about a textile arts space where you could go to use things like knitting machines, spinning wheels, looms for weaving, dyeing equipment, sewing machines, quilting frames… Since moving our studio into a new space we’re renting from Helios Makerspace earlier this year, this dream has been starting to take shape slowly but surely. Opening up our dye studio to community members and training volunteers to help run the open studio hours is the first step towards achieving this goal!
What is Helios Makerspace?
From the Helios website: Helios Makerspace is a non-profit workshop in Montreal dedicated helping the community materialize ideas by providing easy access to tools and training. We provide access to a wide selection of equipment, a great creative community and a broad base of expertise. We pride ourselves on always having trained staff on-site.
Accessing the Makerspace is like going to a gym. You can get a membership which gives you access during business hours to the large set of tools at the workshop. By getting a membership, you are helping the workshop to pay the rent and maintaining the tools
Currently Helios is primarily a woodworking shop with some other tools like a laser cutter, 3-D printer and sewing machines. Debbie and I feel like textile equipment would be a natural extension of the makerspace model and are excited to help take Helios in this new direction!
For now we’re offering the Sweet Paprika studio for use Thursday evenings and one Saturday a month with the idea that eventually Helios will be able to offer a dedicated fibre arts space with more hours and more equipment. Helios is entirely volunteer-run and the dye studio is no exception. We’ve trained a small team of volunteers to get this project started, but we will be looking for more volunteers soon!
How to get involved
If this dream sounds exciting to you, here are some ways you can get involved and support the project:
- Become a member of the Helios Dye Studio
- Become a dye studio volunteer (email us for more info!)
- Come out to a Helios workshop or event
- Teach a workshop and share your expertise
- Come to our dye studio open house/launch on Oct 3
- Make a donation to Helios Makerspace
- Tell all your friends about this project!
Open House / Membership Launch
To celebrate the launch of this project we’re opening up the dye studio to the public on Thursday, Oct 3 from 6:30-8:30pm. We’ll be leading a short activity during the evening, so you'll have a chance to work with acid dyes and merino wool roving to make your own felted dryer balls. (Wool dryer balls are used as an eco-friendly alternative to dryer sheets and fabric softeners, and can help decrease drying time and reduce static. They also make great practical gifts!)
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The story of this pattern starts back in 2008 when Elizabeth and I, along with our sister Margaret, decided that we wanted to make a blanket for our parents as a gift for their 25th wedding anniversary. Elizabeth suggested we base our blanket design on the traditional Attic Windows quilting pattern, and she came up with a simple technique to knit the squares.
We wanted to share the basic technique for the Attic Windows squares, because it's so adaptable, and so much fun to play with! So, we decided to create a free "recipe" version of the pattern, that shares the basic technique as well as a step-by-step guide on planning your Attic Windows project.