Jun 09 12

First Dyeing of the Season

I finally dyed a little fabric on one of these fabulous warm and sunny days.  Here’s a shot of some yardage drying in the sun:

I’m dyeing these to use as background blocks, so I don’t want a lot of “color action” but instead want some subtle mottling of colors.  Each piece of yardage was scrunched into a small amount of liquid dye in one of these tubs:

…and then nuked in the microwave on high for 3 minutes.  (If you do this, find an old microwave that will never be used again for food.)  Once done, the tub is removed from the microwave and a piece of saran wrap is put on top, so it can “steam” for awhile:

Once it starts developing large condensation droplets on top, I remove the saran wrap so they don’t drip onto the fabric.  (This will cause an area to be extra light in color due to the dilutional effect.)  I let the fabric sit in the tub for 3-4 hours because this will create lines/ridges of darker color where the dye pools.  If I’m not in a hurry, I’d leave it like this overnight, but I’m usually in a hurry.  The last step is I spread it out on the driveway.  This step is not necessary for the dyeing part of the process but it’s necessary for a lazy person such as myself.  This step makes sure each piece is completely dry so I can just throw it into my washing machine.  I am too lazy to rinse off the excess dye in the utility sink and working this way, I have a no muss/no fuss washout!

These fabrics are not my usual high saturation colors, as you can see by these 2 stacks:

…but they’ll do fine for what I need them for.  And in case you think I’m not doing any sewing, check out this wall hanging I just stitched together this morning…it’s all machine embroidered applique:

…I love it!

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  1. Debbie St. Germain Says:

    I love how you used the tubs for dying, I need to do some dying, especially my wool piles, that would be a nice way to do it. With summer here, I can dye outside, which is nice too.

    Love your new piece, I need to practice on my machine and the stitches.


  2. Kelly Jackson Says:

    Oh Patsy….I’m drooling….those colors are amazing. One day….I’ll do some dying. But first…I have to attend to my other addictions.


  3. Judy Simmons Says:

    Beautiful fabrics and very colorful ……AND you are not a lazy person….perhaps the most “un-lazy” person I know!

  4. Alice Says:

    Hi Patsy,

    It’s been awhile since I’ve visited your blog, but I just love your dye process! I haven’t been able to try it out, but one day, I am hoping too.

    I still have your email on the subject!

    Thank you, for all you do!