On Monday, February 23rd, Diane and I decided to do some fabric dyeing. I have a custom order for seven different shirts/tanks/rompers for one family and I was going to fill that order. As I was going through our white clothing inventory I discovered that I was ONE large t-shirt short…so, it turned out into a ‘just for fun’ dyeing day.
I am trying to increase my fabric stash because I have all the ideas for art quilts in my mind and need to have a wide variety of colors for these projects. Since I own/operate an apple orchard my first art quilt is probably going to be some sort of orchard image which means I need lots of different browns, greens and reds. That was my plan along with a few bins of fun! I have included a picture of one of my fun pins here! Don’t worry I’ll make sure to take a few ‘after’ pictures of the fabric and post them later so you can see what that bin made!
Dyeing in the middle of winter is nowhere near the fun as dyeing in the summer. It’s also a lot more difficult to ‘see’ what you have done. But, it’s still fun and I really enjoy dyeing. My favorite part of it is that I go into it with an extremely laid back attitude. All the bottles of dyes just sit in front of me and I just mix a little of this and a little of that and go for it! I have a fairly decent knowledge of what colors I’m going to achieve by mixing certain things but I never know EXACTLY how it’s going to turn out or the pattern it’s going to make on the fabric.
Diane and I have gotten much more efficient in dyeing as well. We used to put each item in its own bucket or bin….we have learned that we can get a fairly decent variety by putting many fabrics in one bin. I think I had six bins that I dyed that day and still a few individual buckets. I was dyeing hats and I was being a bit picky that had a certain ‘look’ about them.
I was almost about to tell you our process of dyeing (what we do first, then next and to finish it up) but I realized that’s why you are going to sign up for our 2009 Summer Dyeing Workshop on June 20th! We will teach you the ‘formula’s’ for dyeing in the morning and then teach you the more creative side of dyeing.
One thing I will say is that HEAT is extremely important in our dyeing process…which can be hard to come by in a cold basement in February. My husband has built us special insulated box that hooks up to our outdoor woodstove. Pex tubing coils around on the inside of this box and super hot water flows through it to heat up our fabric. It fits LOTS and LOTS of bins and buckets! It is amazing!
Diane gave me a quick ‘sneak peek’ at our fabrics yesterday and I am so excited to start ironing! (Trust me…that is HUGE for me to say…I HATE to iron, but that’s how you can really see just how amazing your fabrics are). One washout is complete…lots more to go but hopefully I’ll be able to post some end result pictures next week!