Same dye…different look.

Well with all of the snow yesterday I felt inspired to do my snow-dyeing, that and it was a good excuse “not” to do any housework. It had also occured to me that this might be a good technique to use to dye the backing for my unfinished quilter’s garden quilt top. I’d been putting this off for well over a half a year because I hadn’t really decided on the dyes to use (I wanted to match the fabric) and because I was a little unsure about dyeing that much fabric for a queen-sized quilt in a parfait. It occured to me that using the snow-dyeing method I’d have more control over where I placed the dye than tossing it in a garbage bag or putting it in a bin. I’d also come to the conclusion that I wasn’t going to match the dye to the fabric colours so I might as well go ahead.
Quilters Garden
Quilter’s Garden – pattern and fabric by Lynette Jensen.

I started off the day by doing a test piece using olive, rosewood, ecru and burgundy dyes on a one metre piece of fabric.
Olive, rosewood, burgundy, ecru snow parfait
Olive, ecru, rosewood and burgundy snow parfait.

Olive, rosewood, ecru and burgundy small piece
Test piece.

Having mailed away the two vase parfaits I did the other day I decided that I would do another one up for myself because I liked the colours in it.
Parfait Cerulean blueGrecianRoseIvoryAvocado
Cerulean blue, grecian rose, avocado and ivory (light) vase parfait.

 I also decided to create another snow parfait only this time I’d wondered what would happen if  I just squirted the dyes on randomly back and forth instead of putting the colours in blobs.
Cerulean snow dyeing
Cerulean blue, grecian rose, avocado and ivory (light) snow parfait.

Cerulean blue, grecian rose, avocado and ivory parfait resulting from the all-over plaid design.

The dye I used was the same dye but it’s interesting how differently the two pieces of fabric turned out.

Well the snow was beginning to melt so I began to get the larger piece of fabric ready to be dyed. I had to do this in the bathtub so what I did was to scrunch the material up and put it onto two large bin lids, which had been propped up on other containers in the bathtub. I then began the process of layering snow and dye.
Scrunched fabric in tub
Scrunched material loosely tied to keep material from floppin over into tub.

Bin of snow
Lots and lots of snow.

snow in tub
Snow packed on over fabric.

Dyed fabric in tub
Dye artistically placed on snow.

Yorker bottles
Why I don’t normally use my yorker bottles – they leak badly.

Dyed hands
Dyed hands from leaking bottles, what gloves?

Tub fabric
Exposed fabric after snow melt.

After the snow had melted I had the problem of leaving it overnight as this piece of fabric was too large to microwave so I lifted the fabric and put old dye towels underneath the fabric to absorb the left-over dye that had puddled underneath the fabric on the lids. I then tossed the fabric into a plastic bin and covered it and then washed out the next morning.
shower curtain
Material hanging from the shower curtain still damp hence a bit darker then when dry. You don’t get the aspect ratio but this piece is queen-sized.

The test piece that I had done didn’t really show the olive so when I made the dye up for this larger piece of material I added an extra teaspoon of dye powder to my solution and was careful not to muddy my colours so I’m much happier with how this larger piece turned out.
Dried quilt backing
Dried quilt backing on bed – it’s pink!

All in all the experience with snow has been a positive one. While the first piece I did was okay I really like the effect I get with placing the snow on top of the fabric and then squirting the dye on afterwards. The pieces remind me of flowers of the impressionistic era in painting.

10 responses to “Same dye…different look.

  1. Karen! The piece for the garden quilt backing is perfect!! What a great idea! I also enjoyed the experimenting you did with different applications techniques. Amazing stuff! YOU GO GIRL!!

  2. Gorgeous!! Makes me wish that we had snow here. Haven’t had more than 2 mm this whole winter.

  3. You are a brave woman to tackle something so large and after working so hard to find the perfect color, I think you found it!!

  4. I love your garden quilt and your backing will complement it very nicely. Great job. You can get o rings, little rubber rings that you put into the yorker bottles and they keep the bottles from leaking. I can never figure out why the companies don’t take care of this problem for us. ann

  5. Wow Karen! Awesome! What a big piece of fabric you dyed, the largest I have ever done is 1/2 yd. Your quilt is really pretty too!
    Love your parfait, reminds me of a rainbow, did you do that intentionally? Great job!

  6. WOW That turned ou gorgeous! I love the quilt and all the pieces you did. You can use plumbers tape on the yorker bottles to keep them from leaking. I’ll have to remember how you did those.

  7. Stunning fabric and an even more stunning quilt. How clever you are. I’m in awe.

  8. Incredible! It’s beautiful and it’s so…..BIG! I have to give you a lot of credit for tackling something so large! It was well worth it, though! Good job!


  9. Interesting technique. Glad I found your blog. Thanks for sharing your process. I’ll be back.

  10. Pingback: March TIF Update « Just Enough Time

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