Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A little more natural dying

When we went to Utah last fall I brought home a bag of red clay to try to dye with. The clay really isn't a dye, it's a pigment that sort of stains your fabric. A blog on the web "Prairie Fibers" talks about clay dying and it said instead of using water to dye with use soy milk. So I mixed clay with the milk and soaked the fabric in the milk before adding it to the clay mixture. I let it set in my refrigerator for a few days mixing it everyday. Then, I took it out of the clay and hung it in my garage for a week to "cure". I then rinsed it lightly and hung it another week to "cure". After which I threw it in my washing machine on delicate to wash out the rest of the clay. I was afraid to open the washer lid that the fabric might be white again. But it came out a beautiful rosy clay color, just the right color to use for my daughters "house quilt" block. Her house is stucco and almost this shade of color.

All of my flowers are at peak blooming right now, I picked a assortment of them, sunflowers, marigolds, black eye Susan's, goldenrod and made what I call a "summer stew" dye pot. Simmered it a good hour and threw a couple pieces of fabric in.
This one I had dyed with something earlier in the year and I didn't like it so I over dyed it. Turned out pretty good but I might over dye it with red cochineal later to get a rusty orange (hopefully) color.

This piece was white and turned out OK. It's actually more gold than the other one but the picture doesn't show it.
My quilt guild "Patchers at the Lakeshore" is bringing in my good friend Deb from Alaska to teach some of her classes and a lecture for us. We are so excited. She is the most gifted quilter I know. She will be staying with me for around a week. In the early morning and at night we're going to be dying our fabrics. Deb and I first experimented with natural dyes 13 or 14 years ago and are anxious to play with the dyes again. Last week I ordered an assortment of natural dyes from around the world to dye with. (I ordered them from Dharma). My dear husband has been busy finishing my dye studio. We have a small garage attached to our house that we used as a shed, so he put up a new shed and has been working on the garage turning it into my studio. Tonight, he is putting in a glass sliding door to look out to our back yard and woods. I have been busy painting, (9 gallons so far)! We have an antique gas stove in our basement we're bringing up for the dye pots. I'll show pictures when its finished.


Deb H said...

Oh How exciting! Your own space for dying! & I love the old green stove! I can't wait to play!

BTW, I finished the book! Loved it until the end! ARGH! What an ending. Tha last time Warren gave me a book like that to read, I smacked him with it! Thanks a lot!

Deb H said...

Oh, don't worry, I marked Wool on the bottom of the box with the wool. We'll be mailing it out 1st class & insured tomorrow (Friday).

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo