Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Done Dyeing for Now

Well my little venture into hand dyeing is done for now. On and off  for the last couple of weeks, I've been doing a batches of 8 -12 fat quarters at a time.  I've been using the bolt of Kona cotton twill pfd  that I got off of  So far, I've been really happy with the results.  The fabric had a nice hand - comparable to testfabs 419 but was a bit rougher.  The colors I got were the same intensity of those when I used the pimatex, but the pimatex didn't tangle in the washing machine since the thread count is higher.  Still the price is a bit higher too with the Kona being $3.30/yd (for the 60") and the pimatex being $4.86/yd at Dharma Trading.  Anyways, I thought the Kona was more than a good value for this beginner dyer.

I ended up trying several of the recipes from my new book Fabric Dyer's Dictionary with mixed results.  Now don't get me wrong - I love the colors I got.  Still they weren't always the colors I was originally aiming for (which I'm sure doesn't surprise any of you veteran dyers).  I really needed more murky colors in my stash so got a lot of those including some really nice grays and muddy purples.  All in all I ended up dyeing about 60 fat quarters  - a fat quarter being a little short at 18" by 20" due to the bolt size.  

At the end I had about 6 fq's left  - along with a little dye solution so I tried my hand at two color dyeing for the first time.  I went about it by the simple results given in the book and was surprised at how great they came.  Of course the photos don't do them justice but trust me they are pretty!  Not only are they pretty but I can tell they are going to be super useful in my work.  Who would have thought that dyeing was so easy????

So cleaned the dyeing supplies off my porch.  I'm sure the mailman was surprised to see them all gone and not the next batch sitting there "cooking".   Hopefully I'll get one more dyeing session in before winter - want to try out more multi-color batches.  I'm sure though that it will get harder and harder to find 75 degree days to dye with school approaching - sighhhhhhhhhhhhh.


  1. Very, very pretty! Do you have a project in mind for them? I died a bunch of fat quarters about a year ago but haven't wanted to cut into them.

  2. I LOVE hand-dyes, but have never had even the slightest urge to dye them myself. I think it's the clean-up that causes me to avoid it...Then again...

    I love your fabrics!!! Maybe I should rethink my position...

  3. Ya know Suzanne, that's what I use to think because when I would see the process in writing it seemed really complicated. But honestly it was breezy-easy. I just followed Fabric Dyeing 101 and had no problems. Since I did it sitting out on the porch it was easy clean up. It also helped that I had big bowls of water out there - along with filtered water for the dyeing. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help!

  4. Cows and Dyeing too! I love it.

    I did a dyeing class on the internet with Quilt University a year or so ago. I was so excited with my peices after the first week. I went to a guild meeting and said, "I am dyeing. I have some things to show you. It is really interesting, this dyeing thing." And I looked up, and saw 35 stricken faces looking back at me. I was shocked, I thought they would be happy I had ventured out into dyeing and liked it.

    Then one spoke up. "We are so sorry to hear this horrible news. What are you dying of?"

    glen: now I say, I am dyeing FABRIC.....

  5. Ohhhhhhh that's too funny!!! When I wrote out this post - my daughter asked if I could manage to get through it without another horrible pun on the word Die - aduhhhhh of course not LOL!!!
    And yes it was very cool that I got to use some of that brown fabric in my cow. Its nice to use fabric you dyed yourself. thanks so much for the giggle!!

  6. I do a batch of what I call "dirty work." I overdye ugly fabric with 1 part new black and 2 parts orange. I get an ugly olive cast on them that blends so well into landscapes. These have turned out to be some of my favorites and I use them up quickly.

  7. I love your fabrics!!! Can't wait to see what you do with them.

  8. These are wonderful! And you can always over-dye the ones you're not crazy about. I see you've read Ann Johnston's design book -- are you familiar with her books, "Color by Design" and "Color by Accident"? I highly recommend them. They're like cookbooks for dyers.

  9. Love your dyeing results. The worst part about dyeing is getting the courage to cut into the fantastic results. I am thinking of ordering the Fabric Dyers dictionary. Do you like it?

  10. GEESH did I miss this post? I must have been on another planet.

    Sounds like you had fun too. I have the same book but haven't tried anything from it. Another thing I like to do is to dye on a platter then throw dry fabric over the wet/dyed fabric. Some touching and poking and I get some lovely colors and shading that way.
    I will be dyeing next week.


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