|approx. 8 yards|
The weather finally warmed up enough that I wasn't going to freeze my 'tush' off being in the basement
I have a custom quilt (queen size) that needs lots of hand dyed color. My stash has dwindled to bits and pieces, so it was time....past time!
Busting out the buckets! I prepped the fabric by washing and cutting them into fat quarters. When I do hand dyeing, I start with one FQ and after some soda ash action I add another FQ. This way I get two totally different shades and save myself lots of time.
Why do I hand dye? First, it's a lot of fun. Because I dye in small batches, I can get subtle variations in color. Plus, I don't use a formula when creating my colors. Each piece becomes unique.
These guys are soaking in cold water. I'm waiting for the water to become almost clear. You can see how different the shades are and they were in the same dye bucket!
The next step is washing in HOT water and a little dish soap! If you think all the dye was washed out in the first rinses...you'd be amazed at how much is still there! So, there is a lot of hot, squishing, rinsing and repeating. Many times I leave the fabric over night soaking. Makes my life easier and saves my hands a lot of trauma!
Here is the first day of progress. These have been washed in cold and hot water and are soaking until I get the next round of fabric dyed. After I'm finished I will take all the fabric, throw it in the washing machine on hot (again) and they will be ready to use!
What a mess it is when you pull them out of the wash! With my scissors in hand, I have a bit of a string tangle to contend with! They are then moved to the dryer and in no time at all a big fluffy wrinkled mess is ready to come out and get the iron treatment! I enjoy ironing each and every piece. It gives me a chance to see the beautiful colors, shades and variations. And with the steam set to high, I get a facial to boot!
Let's be honest...this is the payoff! A virtual color wheel at my finger tips!
Hand dyeing isn't for everyone. It takes a lot of time and work. You certainly can buy solids from anywhere and get some fabulous colors. But, there is a depth to hand dyes fabric that I love and that you can't buy off a bolt!