A couple weeks ago, I posed the question of possibly of attending a fabric dyeing class to Dave the Quilt Engineer. The class would be a several hour class on simple immersion fabric dyeing. At first he was a bit reluctant, but with minimal begging (actually none at all) he agreed to attend the class with me. Hey, who can turn down the possibility of walking away with 6 yards of fabric each.
So Saturday, we drug our butts out of bed and headed to town to try our hands at creating our own personal fabrics.
The class would consist of our instructor, Suzan, ourselves and a lady from my quilt guild. We would each be dyeing twelve 1/2 yard cuts of white fabric. Six would be a gradient color change and the second would be six going from one color to the next on the color wheel. Both David and I chose to do our gradient color dye using a deep blue. For my color change I would go from magenta to turquoise and David would go from yellow to magenta.
We made sure we had our masks for safety.
And we kept everything neat and organized by using zip lock bags and plastic tubs.
After our fabrics had set in their dye baths, we rinsed them to remove the soda ash (the ingredient that makes the magic happen) then headed home to finish the process by boiling them on the stove to remove all the excess dyes.
Much applause to David for taking over this process. It took many 10 minute boilings before the water started to leave the kettles empty. But the results from all the hot baths totally paid off!
Fabrics 1-6 (left to right) are my blue gradient fabrics and the the last six are my color change from magenta to turquoise.
One of the most exciting parts of the process, was opening the zip lock bags so see exactly what the fabrics looked like. Did they marble? Did you create a super cool design? For my gradient blues, I had one corner of the fabric in each hand and kind of pulled it up like you would a mini blind. Then when all the fabric was in my hand I would give the tube a twist, then fold it in half, put it in the bag and massage the dye into the fabric before sealing the bag up. Above is the design that was created.
For the color change fabric, I simply wadded the fabric up into a ball and placed it into each bag. This created a great marbling effect.
I cannot put into words how much fun this class was. I think David had an even better time than I did. You can read more about his view of the experience here. We've been in contact with the instructor and she was excited to hear that we would both love to do a follow up class to learn more about printing and stamping (David's idea). Hopefully, we will be able to make that happen in the next few weeks.
And to change the subject just a bit, I was finally able to grab a few more pictures of my Snowflake Shimmer quilt...minus the wind.
And just for giggles, how about my version next to David's version?
I hear there is a post coming soon on Dave the Quilt Engineer talking about creating his version of Yvonne's Snowflake Shimmer Quilt. There was some extra planning that had to be considered, but I think it totally paid off in his finished top. Boy, I'm glad 1/2 of his stuff is legally mine :)