Ice dyeing in January?

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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.

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Ice melting on linen rayon.

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 ┬ápiecing 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.

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Whole Cloth Bedspread ice dyed in navy.

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!

 

 

Working with a Partner, another year of Kid Makers Fair.

May 2020 bring you all the health and happiness and creative energy you need. This is the season to celebrate and we started our December off with another Kid Makers Fair. This year we included Thomas and his ice dyed rainbow socks – a big seller at the fair. It was so amazing to watch this six year old carefully and judiciuasly applying the dye to the ice, then see him at the end of the process matching his socks into pairs.

Paired socks by Thomas

Gram’s Contribution

My contribution, in part inspired by a class Loic took at Klum House this summer, was to experiment with my linen/cotton blend shibori dyed fabric quilted into Dopp kits. We made several out of umbrella cloth scraps to get the process and the kinks worked out first. I wanted to know what the sewing machine would handle and where we might need to make modifications. Then on to the step of using our fabric to design a new quilted pouch bag.

The quilted pouch bag

Another technique I explored was stitched shibori on the cotton twill aprons. I am not happy with the results. I feel like it was a lot of effort to get this less then defined design. It may be that the cotton is two heavy to support this type of stitching. It may be the sinew I used as the thread. It may be that I left the aprons in the dye to long. Clearly a bit of experimentation needs to take place to reach my ideals, but that is the nature of being creative… do, reflect, and do again!

Diagonal stitching on cotton twill apron

Lessons Learned

There are always things to be learned about selling. We learned that childrens socks don’t sell as well as larger sizes. For next year we will consider selling the aprons as a package – one adult and one child. (The grandmas loved this.) We also learned that recording our sales carefully will reduce the headache of doing inventory when we get home and finding some things missing – the risk of selling I guess. The bottom line though is that the boys are learning about commerce and making and being creative and just having fun doing it.

Best wishes for a happy holiday and good things to come in 2020.