Monday, 25 July 2016

Fabric Dyeing Workshop

I spent a lovely day on Saturday at the IPS Eastern Branch workshop with Moira Byrne and Lorna Lafferty. Everybody was nice and helpful and there were tons of interesting information and enticing new possibilities))) Although I had played with some tie-dye before using silk paints that I had at hand, there was a lot to learn and to try out for me on Saturday.

First thing in the morning we got to do some ice dyeing, so that it could melt by the end of the day. Although the ice didn't quite melt by 4 p.m., I rinsed my pieces and was delighted with the result:

ice dyeing

Here they are the way the were in the container, one on top of another, and I can already see them made into an autumn landscape with little or no cutting. Some bits are really amazing, the way the colors flow is like no other method of dyeing.

ice dyeing

I already have two quilt ideas in my head based entirely on ice dyeing))) The best bit is it doesn't require a chemical lab, any hard-to-come-by ingredients, equipment or skills, can literally be done in the kitchen or in the back garden.

Next were various shibori-style tying, folding, scrunching and stitching techniques. Here are some of my samples:

shibori dyeing

Looks almost like a quilt already with white sashing, doesn't it? I didn't get a lot white in the samples, I think I didn't tie and press them hard enough, but I think they are still lovely. 

We also did gradation dyeing, but I somehow didn't take photos of my pieces. I made a gradation of greens, because I know I always need lots of all kinds of greens, and finding just the right one can be tricky.

The last thing we did was space dyeing, which means scrunching a piece of fabric really tightly in a jam jar and pouring various dyes over it to achieve unpredictable results)) I did this with a piece of white cotton I had bought at Guiney's and I'm happy to report that it took the dye quite well. 

space dyeing

I intended them to go together with this hydrangea panel and I think I got it more or less right (which is almost miraculous when I think of myself just pouring some yellow dye from a jar, then mixing it with with some blue and pouring, adding more blue and pouring...)

space dyeing

I haven't yet decided on the quilt design for these fabrics, so while I'm thinking I might as well make myself a piece of purple as soon as I buy the dyes. Thankfully, the process is also really easy.

By the way, the pieces with magenta in them were the hardest to rinse out, it really seemed to come out endlessly)))

In the meantime the magnolias have finally taken shape on my design wall, and they are quite large - about 1 by 1.5 meters. I've cut all the pieces, the only thing that is left is to start and to finish as they say in Russian)))

magnolias quilt

I'll be linking this post up to Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
New To Me in 2016 at Celtic Thistle Stitches
and Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River


  1. Thanks for sharing your dyeing experience with us. I can't believe how well the green and purple pieces go with the hydrangea panel.

  2. they turned out really well! Glad you enjoyed the workshop...and keep dyeing...almost as good as eating chocolate!!! Moira B.

  3. Wonderful fabrics you have created. I must look up the ice dyeing as it looks fun.

  4. Oh, I can see someone else going down the slipper slope to dyeing fabrics! Isn't it thrilling? You got a great sampling of many techniques, and I think your work turned out well. I'm curious after doing each, which makes you want to go back to try again first? Usually there's one that is just more intriguing than the rest to me.

    Also, thank you for the heads up to the Linky at Celtic Thistle Stitches. It always a treat to find something a little different out here in QBL.

  5. OH wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww this is an eye candy post! I've just discovered fabric dyeing via different pins I've come across on Pinterest, and I think I'm already hooked, before even trying it. The different looks, the different techniques, the ability to personalize the results - so fascinating and tempting! It's a good idea to keep track of results (and how you achieved them) for your own future reference, and for the reference of others who may come across your blog and who become intrigued, lol! Love your shibori style sampler, and those space dyed fabrics look perfect with that panel - nice!


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