Finally got my dye on

Well… for fabric… we’ll ignore the 4 inches of dark roots on my hair…

So, in the course of procrastination on more important matters this weekend (like recording), I plunged into a new 48″ square quilt to drape over my headboard. It’ll be reversible, with one side an all-batiks and ice-dyed/hand-dyed improvised slice and insert, and the back will be oversized and improvised log-cabin blogs.

Anyway, starting on the batiks side, I figured out an order for which blocks would have which fabrics as background and contrasts, but realized I was missing a couple yellow and green fabrics for contrasts.

This being after stores had closed and being that I already spent too damn much deciding I just had to buy a bunch of new batiks for this thing (I already had dozens of yards of various ones, but not enough of any one color that I’d already picked), I decided to finally try my hand at dyeing my own damn fabrics. I had yards of white muslin and a bucket full of unused Rit dyes, so I looked up some techniques and settled on low-immersion dyeing to get a mottled look that would jive well with the batiks.

I chopped out 3 half-yards of muslin and grabbed 3 little plastic tubs for 3 variations:

Lemon Yellow + Kelly Green
Lemon Yellow + Dark Green
Lemon Yellow + Dark Green + Tan

Basically, I wet each piece, scrunched it up in its little tub, mixed up some hot water in a Pyrex measuring cup with the Lemon Yellow dye (no, I didn’t measure it), poured just enough to not quite cover all the fabric, then for the contrast colors I poured just a half capful and dribbled it randomly over part of the exposed wet fabric and then all 3 got heavily sprinkled with coarse kosher salt. Then I set a timer for 30 minutes and went and watched YouTube crap.

(L-R: lemon yellow + dark green +tan, lemon yellow + kelly green, lemon yellow + dark green)

After the time was up, I rinsed each out with warm and then cold water til the runoff was clear and threw them into the washer on the quick cycle. They came out a little too light and with not enough mottling, so I redid them, and after rinsing, washing, and drying, this is what I had:

Above: lemon yellow + kelly green. Below: lemon yellow + dark green.

Below: lemon yellow + dark green + tan.

(The yellow is brighter than shown in the pics due to the lighting, but it is a fairly light yellow.)

I’ve now cut strips out of these and pinned each block of the future quilt with its contrast pieces and number in the layout, here are a couple:

Anyway, while those yellow pieces were sitting in the little tubs, I thought of the upcoming Stitch Maynia madness, which is an event hosted by the Facebook group of the same name wherein stitchers (mostly cross-stitchers) start a new project every day in May. This will be my first year participating, with mostly small Christmas and Halloween ornaments, and I’d already planned out which ones for which days and a rough idea of what fabric I wanted for each (cut size, count, and color). Some needed to be sprayed with fabric paint as I’d previously described (eg. silver and gold), but others could be dyed so I started making some and after a couple days of mucking about, letting them dry, and then labelling each with a pinned paper saying what day and which pattern it was for:

And a couple close-ups:

Related Posts