Using Procion Dyes to Color Mix
This was a fun excercise and opened up a whole new
This was a fun excercise and opened up a whole new
The other day I recieved an inquiry about ice dyeing a large piece of fabric for a quilt back. It got me to thinking about how I use ice dyed fabric. While working on my year-end inventory I found several items where ice dyed fabric is used. Partly, I think, it is the contrast of whatever the focus fabric or design is to the subtle color that can arise from dyeing wth ice. There is an ethreal quality to the image, softer lines and muted color contrasting with some very sharp lines and bold color.
One of the things I find fascinating about the ice dyed process is how the dye will travel following the melting ice. Also, how it will break into colors that define the color of the dye when fully wet. If you want to know what dye pigments your color is made from try this method. I think my favorite use of ice dyed fabric is as backing for a quilt top. I know some people just use what they have not really careing, but to me there is an aesthetic that goes along with all the hard work of piecing the quilt top. I try to use a backing that mirrors the colors in the top, or is the same as the sashing in the top, or just adds some kind of aesthetic. I don’t know about you, but my quilts get wrapped around, used as shawls, capes and tents, folded on the end of the bed or couch or chair… I want the visual of the back to be as pleasing as the front.
I feel the same way about the inside of my hand dyed fabric bags. Ice dyed fabric for lining has a lighter feel then the exterior of the bag. It adds another layer of the uniqueness and ‘one of a kind’ attibute of my work.
There is a lot of blue here. I do lean towards that color spectrum. But here are two patches of Pagoda Red ice dyed on linen cotton for a new Baker Bag that is on the sewing table.
So visit my shop dailyhanddyedtextiles.com to see more of these creations. And have a lovely afternoon!
Or trying to maintain a home business while moving to a new city.
I am looking forward to the new year. My new sewing studio and creative hub of the house looks out over a stand of Douglas Fir and other maple tress that provide amazing color in the fall. The birds chatter, as flocks of them vie for the seed at the feeder. I think the birds have declared the back yard a safe zone. So far we have seen no cats in the neighborhood. This is a great place to let the creative ideas and inspirations percolate, until the finished product is accomplished.
My most recent activity for getting back into the swing of dyeing fabric was to tie up some Kona cotton for shibori fat quarters. Indigo blue is the biggest attraction in my business, and yet I really love playing with other colors and combinations…
but here we go with a few examples of what one can find in a fat quarter bundle of indigo blue Kona Cotton.
And then there is the honeycomb technique. I love the unpredicatbility of the dye flow through the folds of the honeycomb.
Until next time. I have made a vow to myself to not let the distance between blogs be so great !!! We will see, but I appreciate those of you that read this!
Unti next time .
This could be an on going subject.
The quilting community is talking about sustainable quilting – meaning that the “scraps” from more formal quilts and wearable art can be used in a new and different way to diminish the impact scraps might have on the land fill, as well as minimize the clutter in our quilting/sewing studios. #sustainablequilting
I tend to order my scraps in bins by color, so lately I have been working in a series of blues and greens with pops of a bright color to add interest. I let the fabric tell me what to sew and even what the shape might be. There are a myraid of ways to begin and design. They can be very scrappy or more ordered. I like the shapes of the fabric I have to help dictated my end blocks. This eliminates more cutting up and tends to use all sorts of sized pieces.
I have started to use these blocks in quilt tops working towards a finished product so next time I will have more progress for you.
My friend Jan, who I am traveling with to Bali in just a few weeks… suggested we make duffle bags for the trip. She had a Betz White class from Craftsy. I bought it and we began, exchanging our progress by text other the next few months. Jan lives in Ohio. I live in Oregon.
I sent Jan the ice dyed canvas in peaches and oranges. I dyed mine in blues and purples. Here are the results:
WE have a few things to say about the construction. For the most part the instructions were easy to follow and made sense. Betz has a calming nature and made the explanation followed by video very useful.
Being my first bag of this skill level, I had to listen to class segments several times for some of the assembly parts. We both found that putting the bottom on was problematic – too many layers to sew through. There are a few things that I would differently next time, like make the iron-on fleece a tad smaller so that it was not in the final seams at the bottom.
But a fun example of what can be created with ice dyed canvas and contrasting Essex linen cotton. With hand dyed Kona Cotton for the lining. We are excited and amost ready to go!
Ice dyeing is a process of setting up the mordanted fabric and covering with ice. Then a small amount of dye powder is sprinkled on the ice. (I use a mesh tea strainer to help me sprinkle.) The tub with fabric, ice, and dye is left to its own devices and as the ice melts it carries the dye particles through the fabric and trickles down the folds and creases. The dye particles are diluted by the water that the ice makes as it melts, revealing intricate and lovely patterns.
Summer has brought us lots of hot weather. Intrigued by the patterns of ice dyeing, I set aside some studio time to explore ice dying on a variety of fabrics. The results were fabulous and very interesting. Each fabric has its own characteristics and each takes the dye a little differently.
I have found that cotton, maybe obviously, produced some of the best patterns. I assume that the fiber of cotton is more open then other fibers and thus takes the dye well. Here are my observations:
Cotton will yield some really bright colors along with subtle spaces where the dye has diluted.
Linen Cotton also lends itself well to ice dyeing.
Cotton duck (10 oz. canvas) reveals subtle patterns with intense color in places.
Linen rayon produces very soft fuzzy patterns. The color is somewhat diluted looking. It is not a look for everyone, but I think I may stencil some interest spots into the pattern. That is a whole other bog topic!
The color choices also, make a difference. What happens when the dye starts to run with the melted ice is a separation of the colors of dye particles that make up the dye. That was a mouthful! So look at the example: sapphire blue. What do you see? Blues, reds, lavenders? The dye has these color components to make the sapphire color when dissolved in water. As the powder is sprinkled on the ice, there is no mixing of the dye particles to make the one color of sapphire. Instead the individual components might separate, if they mix it is as the melting ice wets dye particles together. They do so at will. I find the results fascinating. Some I love, some I will cut up and use as sashing or borders in a quilt. There are endless possibilities for creativity!
There are a number of blogs and videos with steps about the process of ice dyeing. Give it a try. Let my know what you did! OR Step over to my Shop and see all the fabulous hand dyed fabrics and look for the iced dye category.
The last month has seen a number of custom requests for my dyed 10 ounce bull denim, so last week I embarked on a series of experiments with the denim. I folded several pieces using shibori and itijame methods. I also wondered what ice dying heavy fabric would do. Off we went on this experiment. I choose four colors: indigo blue, Pagoda Red, an emerald-green and a jade green. I had done a few yards in indigo blue and in a black, also a charcoal gray.
I was pleasantly surprised with the new colors. The blue was fabulous – lovely irregular stripes. The red piece in 3″ itijame squares just popped! The greens were pinned and tied more intensely than the other two pieces. This resulted in softer, more ethereal color.
Having gotten the shibori pieces under way and in the dye bath I set some fabric up for ice dying. As I had a piece of cotton duck from another project, I decided to see what it would do in the ice too. I must say the cotton duck is marvelous. The denim is softer and more muted. There are many reasons for any of these results. It will take further experiments to determine what works best for me!
Wow! Cannot believe it has been six months. I have been busy. Grand children, garden, life and creating up a storm. Here are a few of my favorites. I am off to Spain for a memorial, then home and the summer to play with fabric again. Featured photo is the pile of fat quarters I dyed for an upcoming art quilt.
The deadline for Christmas gifts is over for another year and we launch right into a plethora of January and February birthdays! However, in the weeks in-betweenI have returned to a craft that has fasinated me for forty years – the art of hand dyeing fabric.
Recently, I came across two scarves that I had done in a master class on Shibori – the art of hand dyeing with indigo. Our instructor was a Japanese Dye Master, from the sister city of where I was living at the time. We spent several days learning the art of sewing our designs into the fabric and then playing in the indigo dye. the results are stunning.
I took that knowledge and did some research on shibori. My take away from my results is that the more precise I am with my folds and the tighter I can make my resists, whether using blocks and clamps, clothespins, or rubber bands, the better I like the resulting designs. Also, I can control the dyeing by varying the thickness on my folds. Smaller pieces of fabric result in more uniform design throughout the fabric. Larger pieces (because the dye does not travel so far) result in a more random design.
Here is a gallery of last last few weeks:
Accordian pleated, folded into triangle, bound with sticks becomes this:
Accordian pleated, using a triangle block and clamps resulted in these two:
Same technique with the circle block (this one needs some experimentation to get the circle shape more prevalent ):
And perhaps my favorite so far – wooden clothespins:
Next up: The resluts of these dyeing sprees. Stay tuned!
Mom, she said, can you make us some pillow beds? They would be great for the boys to play on, read on, watch a show… So I researched pillow beds (there are a couple of great online explanations), and launched into the pursuit of fabric and pillows – I found sale fabric and decided on king sized pillows. Of course two pillow beds turned into four, one for the cousin and one for the nineteen year old step-daughter who is living on her own! Did I take photos of them before they were over run by chidlren? Of course not!
Christmas Day: Grandson #1 enjoying his pillow bed.
Later that week:
Comments: *Make sure you leave a good overlap in the back where the pillows are inserted. *These things are heavy when done! *The boys love them.