Feb 19 11

Give-Away Winner, What’s on the Machine, & Fabric Dyeing

This quilt top is what’s on my machine bed today. It’s fully pieced but I’m adding a trapunto layer to the four patch blocks that are interspersed with the applique blocks. I usually do this before I even piece the blocks together, but I’m adding trapuntoed feathered wreaths that come so close to the edges of the blocks that it makes piecing difficult when that’s done after the trapunto layer is added. Here’s a shot of the backside showing one of the trapuntoed blocks:

Only 2 more blocks to trapunto and then the whole thing will be ready to be quilted!

This is a large piece of silk charmeuse I dyed last weekend in the garage. Isn’t it really stimulating to see all that great color? It sure got my juices flowing again! Here’s a close up of some of those bubbles that cause the dye to pool:

While I was at it, I dyed a few tubs of fabric in the microwave, each tub holding 1 yard of fabric. My friend, Judy Simmons, taught us a technique where you cover your tub in Saran Wrap and then microwave on “high” for 3 minutes. Here’s a tub just out of the microwave:

You leave the Saran Wrap in place for awhile so it can steam for a bit, but don’t just walk away and come back hours later. I did that the first time and all the condensation inside ran to the center of the lid and then drip, drip, dripped for hours into the center of the fabric “blob.” When I finally took the Saran Wrap off, the center of the fabric had been diluted to a very pastel color! Here’s a shot after I removed the tops of a couple of tubs:

Phew, no pastel centers this time!

And I wanted to thank everyone for so many warm wishes on our anniversary. Unfortunately, there can be only one winner of the $50 gift certficate, and that goes to Linda, from France! You can read her quilting blog here.


  1. Carol C Says:

    Love that silk charmeuse! I’m just starting to dye things myself. What dyes are you using? You’re colors are wonderful.

  2. What Comes Next? Says:

    I’ve only dyed fabrics once in a class, but I loved it. I must try it again. That microwave method intrigues me, and that silk just looks gorgeous. Lucky Linda!

  3. Brita Says:

    I love those dyed fabrics, yummm. And that new quilt is stunning. Love those blues, and blues aren’t normally my thing! I’ve thought about learning to dye, but then I look at the stash I already have….

  4. Evelene Sterling Says:

    Your quilt is gorgeous.

  5. Kelly Jackson Says:

    Congratulations to Linda!

    Patsy you are making the process and art of fabric dying look way too easy. I know if I did it….it would not just pop out done…wah lah….there has to be more to the process? Don’t get my hopes up if there is some chemistry degree I need to get first 🙂


  6. Alice Says:

    Again, Patsy, your fabric dyeing is spectacular. I’m really seriously starting to think, we need a new house, with a separate suite, so I can try the dyeing, and all the other things I want to do. I was cleaning and organizing my quilt’n room yesterda, and no, not completed yet, and I quickly realized, I am out of room! Ah well, always good to dream.

    Thank you for sharing!


  7. Claire Pereira Says:

    As always it’s great to see what you are up to.
    I’m not ready for fabric dyeing, but yours looks beautiful!

  8. Phyllis Says:

    Hi Patsy,

    The dye pieces are beautiful but I wonder about microwaving plastic. I have heard so many things about not microwaving plastic with food, and I stopped years ago. But I also heard that it releases toxic chemicals in the air and those that stay in the microwave. I guess I am just really sensitive to that kind of stuff.

  9. Leslie Says:

    Nice to see your progress Patsy, and it’s alot of progress if you ask me! I LOVE the dyeing you’ve shown… oohs and ahhs from MT!

  10. Michele Says:

    Patsy, with microwave dyeing, are you just speeding up the curing time, or is it producing more vibrant results? I’m curious to give it a try myself.

  11. Patty Says:

    I love the colors. I have thought about learning to dye my own fabric but I am afraid I would have everything near by that color!