Another Wednesday, Another WIP

I don’t really know what’s going on lately but I am like, totally focused on Pam’s quilt. I’ve spent the last several nights working on it, which is a really good thing considering that it takes a bit of time to piece each block. Remember how easy I said the “Block B” was to put together? Yeah, well, that’s not really the case with Block A. It’s a bit of a pain in the ass, but I think it’s going to be well worth the effort. When I bought the secondary fabrics for the quilt, I loved them. Then when I started to piece them together, I wasn’t so sure … they weren’t bad, but they weren’t what I wanted. But that’s really nothing new to me. Photos always help!

After realizing I wasn't satisfied with the colors in the quilt, I took a photo to check them.

After thinking I wasn’t satisfied with the colors in the quilt, I took a photo to check them.

Once I took a close look at the photo, I am very happy with the overall color scheme and how the secondary fabrics fit into it. I realized that the problem isn’t with the fabric or the colors; the problem is that when I’ve considering doing a green & purple quilt (one of my favorite color combos) I always envisioned it as bold, bright colors on black. Obviously, this isn’t that quilt. But the darker colors are P E R F E C T for the cream colored background in the primary fabric.

Once again, the proof is in the photo, and I’m very happy with the color combination for this particular quilt. 🙂

Dye run complete

So this dye run is complete and I’ve realized a couple of things.

  1. Dharma Trading Company never seems to have a bad dye color. I think I could love them all, given the chance!
  2. I really need to do gradations in the future when I do a dye run
  3. I need to allow several days for dyeing fabric instead of thinking I can start in the morning and by done by the evening. That NEVER happens. In this case, the fabric sat for two days in dye solution before I could get it rinsed out and washed. I don’t do this because it affects the color process; I do it because I get busy with life and don’t get back to it for a couple of days. Most of the dye solution is activated in a couple of hours, so I could probably get very similar results if I rinsed and washed after two to three hours in the dye.

Here are the results from this dye run …

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From top to bottom, they are Chocolate Brown, Cardinal Red, Grape, Garibaldi, Amethyst, Rust Orange, Ivory and Avocado. I am really pleased with everything except the Ivory, which looks more yellow-orange in person than ivory, but that might be because I used too much dye powder. I will do some further testing on this one to see if I can something closer to a true ivory color. Each of these have varying degrees of marbling, as they were dyed in zip-top bags without much agitation, but I think that I may try a couple of them in buckets with agitation every 10 – 15 minutes, to see if I can pull a more even color.

There’s nothing special in my technique – I used 1/2 TBSP dye powder mixed with a cup of hot water which I poured over the fat quarter that was already in the zip-top bag. I then added 2 TBSP of soda ash solution to the bag and closed it, being sure to press out the air as much as possible. Then, I agitated for one minute in the bag, gently. I used Hefty zip top bags and I will not use them for this purpose again because dye exploded from a couple of the bags when I agitated them – every single bag leaked at least a little at the zipper. I don’t have the same problem with Glad Zip-Loc bags, so I will be using them in the future.

Overall, I’m happy with the dye run, and a couple of these (grape and girabaldi) will be incorporated into a baby quilt I’m making right now. I’ll post photos when I have some ready. 🙂

Now I’m off to work on that quilt … See ya later!

 

Fabric Dyeing!

A while back, I began to realize that I’ve gotten away from my own quilting style, but I wasn’t really sure why. I set about trying to figure out what has happened to make me change the way I choose fabrics, and after a couple of trips to some local quilt shops (LQS) I understood what was happening. In short, I’m less than pleased with the current selection of fabrics. That’s not to say I don’t like any of the fabrics – I did see some that I really liked. The problem is more, trying to come up with fabrics to go with the ones that I like; it just wasn’t happening for me. So I decided to get creative. Enter, fabric dye!

I’ve been messing around with a few colors that came in a kit from Dharma Trading Company, as well as some Procion dyes I picked up from a local art store, and I have to admit that I’m pretty happy with these preliminary test runs. In almost every case, I was able to get beautiful, vibrant colors with a minimum of fuss.

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These will end up in a quilt at some point – they are my “test subjects.” 🙂 And now, I think I’m totally hooked on fabric dyeing …