October 1, 2011

Shades of gray-2

Here are the results of my experiment with dyeing three different grays, looking to dye fabric for the binding of my "Mod Mosaic" quilt.  A sample quilt block is at top.  From right: Kona medium gray, Kona ash (these 2 are commercial fabrics I could buy), then (using Carol Soderlund's formulas) Earth 102 (too blue), Basic 223 (this could be good), and Bright 212 (too green).  It's difficult to get a gray that doesn't lean towards one or another color.  I should have also tried a lighter value of Carol's basic black (Earth 566).  I think I'll audition these as actual binding strips once I have the quilt quilted, and if I'm not happy, try 566 also.

The next photo is for any dyers who might be reading.  I treated all three dyed fabrics exactly the same way, but the Bright 212 separated into green and pink instead of coming out gray.  Any thoughts on what I did wrong? (Double click on image to see the problem.)


  1. I found "gray" was a very slippery concept when I was working on my Twelve by Twelve Gray Colorplay challenge. Still, I'm sure your gray dyeing efforts will not go astray in your stash.

  2. Gray is hard to dye, like black. Too many dye molecules fighting to hit first!
    I love the quilt and think the addition of orange is great. How about piecing strips of the fabric already in the quilt so the binding changes every 8" or so?
    Hope you'll post the finished quilt - it's so rich looking already.

  3. Jeanne--Thanks for the suggestion of a pieced binding. I'll audition that along with the greys and white once I get the quilting done. The couple for whom this is a wedding gift were visiting last weekend, so I have their thoughts on which grey, and we also discussed that white might be best for the design, even if it may show some dirt. I'll now put off the decision until after quilting. I'm now piecing the back with leftover fabric. I will definitely post a photo when it's all done.