Archive for July, 2012

The June/July issue of the Quilting Arts magazine featured a fabric dyeing tutorial by Carol Ludington – dye your own iced parfait! Carol says that ice cubes + dyes = delicious fabric. I just had to try for myself.

Well, my mom and I tried it! My folks were visiting for the weekend, and my mom loves to craft and play as much as I do, so we spent the morning together dyeing fabric.

After soaking fabric in a soda ash bath, you crumple the fabric and squish into a container. On top of the fabric we placed ice cubes, and sprinkled dye powder on the ice cubes.

We continued to layer fabric, ice, and dye until the container was full. Here, we took some empty orange juice containers, cut off their lids, and each held three layers of fabric. The beauty is the total randomness of it all – we had to let control of everything. Who knew what we were going to get.

After rinsing, washing, and drying the fabric, I got such great pleasure in ironing each piece out and discovering what color and pattern was revealed. This one I think looks like a garden painted with watercolor.

Fourth of July fireworks? A bride’s bouquet?

We dyed five yards in total, of amazingly brilliant colors. Who knows what projects these fabrics will be used in.

As always, I can’t wait to try it again, and of course I have a few ideas of what I would do differently. I think we might have used too much ice. As the day passed, and the ice melted, the bottom layer filled up with dye liquid. All the colors combined to make a brown. Don’t get me wrong, I love brown, but I don’t think the bottom layer needs to be brown. If we put in less ice, the fabric would absorb only the amount of water that is melted from the ice, and the bottom layer wouldn’t sit in a pool of dye.

You can see what I mean in this cool time-lapse video Aaron made for me:

IcedParfaitDyeing2012 from Sew Serena on Vimeo.

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