Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fabric Dyeing!

Ohmagersh guess what I did today?  In spite of losing power, cable/internet/phone, my backyard and most of my town flooded...

I dyed fabric.  YAY!  I DYED FABRIC!

I had a terrible start to the week.  I won't even go into it other than to say - it was a super embarrassing moment that I pray I never allow to happen again and it involved lots of heavy thinking that I won't bring you down with today.  But I have to say - NOTHING about fabric dyeing is depressing!  LOL  The bright colors and the creativity - it was a great pick me up.  :)

Now - the water in the back yard had gone down enough to allow me to experiment only a little - and this was my small test batch.  I soaked about 15 of these (I didn't count, I'm not sure exactly how many of these squares there are - they are 108" wide yardage cut into quarters - REALLY over sized fat quarters!) in soda ash and made it through three of the squares before the sun went down.

I am a huge nerd fan of Patsy Thompson (if you haven't yet, visit her blog by clicking here - and bring a towel with you because you're going to drool, I PROMISE!) and I basically used her method for dyeing.  She discusses her process in a number of posts, but my favorite is here.  She made this post in 2009 and it was one of the first posts of hers I had ever read...and I have been itching to dye ever since!!!  The bright vibrant colors she achieves are just CRAZY gorgeous.  She was even sweet enough to give me a few great pointers on fabric dyeing after I shared with her how she had inspired me to get going - one of which was to visit Melody's blog - another highly creative and drool worthy fabric dyer!

For the most part I just mixed up the colors and squirted them on with an old Tulip dye bottle!!  At first it was very blotchy and I was NOT happy.  I started to mush things around with gloved hands and it started to meld and mesh and the colors began to bleed as they sat longer so I'm hopeful I'll get the great color mixing that I love.

I think this orange and red one is my favorite - though - it's supposed to be yellow!!  I think in my desire to have bright and vibrant colors I might have overly concentrated the dye.  If they turn out this bright though after a few washes I won't be disappointed!

Isn't this so pretty close up?

Here's my little set up - tub of soda ash next to my dyeing table.  I dyed the fabric directly on the table and then just mopped up the mess with a towel afterwards.  We have had tons of rain and wild storms over the last few days though and more rain is coming tonight - so I was forced to bag up the fabric and bring it inside to sit and cure.  I'm going to let it sit over night since I don't have the warming effects of the sun.  I hope that I still get a lot of variations in color and they don't all run and turn into one boring color.

I will post an update on how the colors look after washing and drying tomorrow!  I also have three dyes that I didn't even touch because I didn't have any bottles!  A dark blue - dark purple - and green.

OH - and I decided to rip.  I had made some good progress on this but I'm not happy with those uneven circles.  They are really bugging me.  So I'm going to spray the fabric and re-mark this.  Amazingly with my crazy child filled schedule I'm managing to squeeze in some sewing!  :)


Bob and Diana said...

I can tell, you were having just too much fun! The colors are fantastic!!! I want to come to your house soon to play with colors too. Bet you never thought you'd get a note from Mom that reads quite like this...Mom

Nina Marie said...

Congats on your dyeing - they do look beautiful!! I've been dyeing this week and shared a few results on my blog too. I would like to invite you to join us on my link party - Off the Wall Friday where art quilters are sharing their creative posts for the week. Its open to link up thru Sunday.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I love your colorful chance to play. Do stay safe as I know even in our area there is about a week more of rain.

Dora, the Quilter said...

The results of your dyeing are wonderful!
When I was dyeing, I found I saved a lot of time by soaking fabric in soda ash ahead of time. Then I could get two different effects by dyeing a dry piece of ash-containing fabric and a wet piece of ash-containing fabric. A lot of fun!

Michele said...

I'm so glad you had some fun despite the nasty problems the weather is bringing. Take care and I hope it is over.