Hand dyed fabric

Posting my to-do list for you all to see (and hold me to) is still daunting to me, however one positive side effect is that I am more conscious of posting work I am committed to finishing, instead of work I hope to finish. I am trying to be more thoughtful about my lists that way. Putting down a zillion chores that I probably won’t get to just stresses me out! I run from the moment my feet hit the floor, so I know I’m productive… just not always as productive in the way I’d wished for at 6:30 am!

So, with that, here’s what I did accomplish last week:

To Do (next week):

  • quilt 2 quilts for Carol Done, picked up by the customer yesterday!
  • load etsy photos Done! I love loading etsy– it’s such a user friendly site, and I enjoy writing the copy for my work… especially when I get to be smart-aleck-y instead of artist-y!
  • contact my ISP and get my email back up and running Hahahahahaha
  • re-organize my website to reflect the etsy shop see above comment

You can see that the serious computer stuff didn’t get touched. Sigh. I just didn’t have a day where the computer was the first thing on my list. I had to finish the quilts for my client as she will be hanging them in a quilt show this weekend. Excuses, excuses. I love the easy part of the computer, but I hate the hard part. One of these days, I’ll gather up some money, and pay a website designer. (note in my defense: I did learn how to edit the color/temperature/saturation, etc on my photos so that when I uploaded them, the colors on the monitor matched the actual fabric colors. So, that’s something!)

Yesterday was productive though! I loaded 12 pieces of my hand dyed fabric in my etsy shop (shameless plug) and that was really fun! I was on quite a roll, until the internet suddenly cut off, and I was forced to quit. I’ll post a few photos here, but if you want to see all of the dyeing work I did last week, check out the shop.

I was inspired to try some new dyeing techniques after reading and re-reading the wonderful books by Claire Benn and Leslie Morgan of Committed to Cloth. Because the books are unavailable here in the States, I had to buy Tray Dyeing and Breakdown Printing from England and have them shipped over. I found Fibrecrafts in the UK to be very friendly, and it was fairly inexpensive to ship the books over here. Well worth the effort!

Anyway, I did promise some new (to me) tricks with dyeing, so here goes. See the blue/green fabric up at the top left? I soaked it in its soda ash bath, then twisted it into a spiral, stuck it in a plastic tub, and drizzled the dye liquid over top. This is what it looked like while it batched:

If you drizzle the colors around in different configurations, you (obviously!) wind up with different looks to the finished product. Also, instead of spiralling, like I did with the above fabric, you can “skinny” the fabric like you are pleating it (loosely) and then stuff it into a tub (a box shape this time), accordian style. That’s how I ended up with the dye patterns on this fabric:

I also experimented quite a bit with just smooshing the fabric into a box and dripping/drizzling the dye over. I got amazing cloudy patterns, and some beautiful crystal-looking patterns that way. This is my new favorite playtime! Previously, my dye days were so physically labor intensive that I worried about the health of my back. This way gives such interesting results that I may be experimenting with dye for a long long time to come. I think I feel a hand-dyed wholecloth Wild Onion Jacket coming on…..

I’ll leave you with a few more photos. On the top is a complex cloth that I think has great application for an applique’r. On the bottom, well, don’t look for it in my etsy shop– I tucked it away in my own studio while I had my back turned!


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4 responses to “Hand dyed fabric

  1. Wow! I love your fabrics! Seeing them makes me want to start dyeing again.

  2. carlafibers

    Love your hand dyes!!!

  3. Pingback: Dye your own muslin background « The Reality Tourist

  4. Glynis

    Help! My reds are not red enough…what am I doing wrong? Low water emersion but they are pinks to orange depending on the red… Fire Engine and Crinsom are me latest attempts. I don’t soda ash my fabric before I at the dye mixture could this be the problem? I want the marbled effect but I also want intense color,

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