May 4, 2014

Two quilt backs and two shirts

The first things I worked on when I got back into the dye studio about ten days ago were large pieces for the backs of two quilts.  Above is a light blue and green piece prepared for a queen-sized quilt.  I'm happy with it now, but it took two rounds of dyeing.  No pfd (prepared for dyeing) fabric comes wide enough to make a large one-piece backing, so I used a regular bleached muslin.  I forgot to factor in how much paler the colors turn out on this non-pfd fabric; the first pass, below, was just too light.

After I told a couple of people, "If it was for the front, I'd do it again," I realized I should do it again.  This quilt will be on my own bed, and I know I'll be seeing the back as well as the top.  So I overdyed the whole thing with more blue, and I am happy with the results--still light but much more pleasing:

Yes, the back will be a nice companion to the top:

Now this quilt is ready to baste up, in preparation for the hand-quilting I have planned.

Next in line was the back for a quilt that was pieced by my group of quilting friends, a quilt that will be donated to help with a fundraiser for the Loretto Center, where we have our annual retreats.  For this back, I dyed a circular pattern, done by folding the fabric as one would for cutting snowflakes from a piece of paper.

Below is the back with part of the top pinned to it.  The rust color is fine, but the gold color is not fully on target.  I could improve this by overdyeing the whole thing with a small amount of red and blue.   The fundraiser is a long time off, so I'll put this aside for now.

 I do love the color movement that happens in this kind of dyeing:

I also tray-dyed two shirts--so easy to do compared to the big backs!  One is a three-quarter length sleeve from Chico's that my sister got on sale.  She picked colors and a pattern that I had used on a T-shirt for myself.  Here's her shirt (on the left) and mine (on the right).  I'm delighted that I was able to reproduce the color/design quite successfully!

I had some black and red dye left over, and it occurred to me in would be interesting to try out another shirt with the proportion of the colors reversed.  I tried this out on one of the many shirts I picked up at Salvation Army last summer.  I like this combination too:


  1. I love your shirts, especially the last one. Love the quilt backs too! Have you tried Dharma' wide muslin? It's my current favorite quilt backing.

  2. I never use PFD fabric. I just wash the white plant based fabric with synthropol first. I love the pale backing for YOUR quilt. It reminded me of a Monet.The other fabric (gold) is also nice. I also like the figuring and you did a fabulous job on the shirts.

  3. Before I read Beth's comment, I had already figured out that the quilt back for your shot cotton quilt reminded me of Monet! So beautiful and restful...a perfect counterpoint for the lively front.