August 25, 2013

Dyeing folded fabric--fun!

Last weekend, I had some friends over for an evening of dyeing fabric, in preparation for which I mixed up quite a lot of dye in advance, way more than we had time to use.  Having this much dye on hand, and wanting to make use of it while the colors remain true (which gives me about 2-3 weeks), I've been motivated to do some experimenting with using multiple colors on folded fabric, something I've not done much of, as I use mostly solids and close-to-solids in my quilting.  But I thought of a good use for this other sort of dyeing--I can use the whole piece (about 42" square) for the back of a baby quilt.  Or, I can more simply just back the fabric with some flannel and make it into a receiving blanket.
The fabric at the top of the page is my favorite.  The fabric was pushed into parallel folds, and then I manipulated the resulting "rope" into double-S.  The red, purple, and blue dye then ended up being at 90-degrees to the lines of the folds.  Adding black here and there gives extra depth and a bit of mystery.  I won't be giving away this piece!  Some details (double-click on any photo for a larger size):

The next one was folded in lines, the same as the first, but not put in an "S," and no black was used.  I swapped out the blue for teal.  I chose the colors for the various pieces based on a few different flannels I have on hand that I can use for the backing.  This piece is also nice, but not as dramatic.

I did another where the fabric was folded in half, and then the sides pushed down, kind of like a folded umbrella.  Yellow at the point of the "umbrella", then blue and green.

Only problem with this one is that the fabric was an inexpensive muslin, and I didn't see the holes in it until the dyeing was done (or maybe they developed in the process)--there are several more holes like this pair:

I think I'll have to cut up this piece to use it, rather than leave it whole.

The fourth piece is quite nice.  Again I began with a linear fold, but then I manipulated the "rope" into a spiral.  I put yellow in the center, then blue, then green.

And here are a couple of photos from the results of the evening session of dyeing, first the fabric:

and the quilters, very happy with the results: Sharon, Jill, Janis, and Mary Beth.


  1. Wow!! Dramatic is right for that first piece! Lovely...


  2. The umbrella fold and the rope/spiral yielded beautiful results.