While the Minnesota State Fair was taking place, I received a phone call from the our local community television station asking for an interview.
Fabric Dyeing has been a fun, creative way to make unique fabrics for my quilting. This spring, I spent some time playing around with stitched shibori. I wanted to figure out how to create drawings in the dye. I also wanted to try hand painting before and after dyeing the fabric.
So, I set out to do a few experiments.
Experiment #1. Nui Shibori flower and over-dyeing painted fabric
- Draw pattern on the fabric with a water soluble fabric marker
- Stitch the drawn lines with polyester thread
- Dissolve Dye in 1 ml Urea Water, Add 2 T Print Paste, 14 ml Urea Water, 1/8 tsp Mixed Alkali, Mix well
- Dark Pink = ¼ tsp Mixing Red
- Light Pink = 1/16 tsp Mixing Red
- Dark Blue = ¼ tsp Mixing Blue
- Light Blue = 1/16 tsp Mixing Blue
- Green = 1/8 tsp Evergreen
- Paint dye on fabric areas within the shibori stitching
- Paint dye in sections for over-dyeing
- Allow to dry for 4 hours
- Pull center threads and tie off
- Place in 1000 ml of 0.15 mg/ml Mixing Blue Dye (with Soda Ash)
- Batch for 5 hours
- Wash with Blue Dawn, Dry and Iron
- Shibori pattern turned out well
- Dye painting turned out well, but the the color edges were too crisp – use less Print Paste next time
- Over-dyeing does not change the underlying painted color very much
Experiment #2. Whole Cloth Pattern:
- Design quilting using QuiltCAD program
- Stitch section outlines on long arm with polyester thread for pattern placement when quilting
- Draw shibori pattern by holding water soluble marker in the needle position and running pattern on trace
- Hand stitch shibori sections
- Dye Paint:
- Mixed Alkali: ½ tsp mixed with 8 ml Urea water
- Yellow: 1/8 tsp Golden Yellow in 10 ml Urea water; Combine 1 ml concentrate with 6 ml Print Paste, 3 ml Urea water and 0.6 ml Mixed Alkali
- Green: 1/8 tsp Evergreen in 15 ml Urea Water. Combine 7.5 ml concentrate with 15 ml PP and 1.5 ml MA
- Dark Pink: 1/8 tsp MR in 15 ml Urea water. Combine 7.5 ml concentrate with 15 ml PP and 1.5 ml MA
- Light Pink: Combine 3 ml MR concentrate with 15 ml PP and 1.5 ml MA
- Paint on Fabric sections of shibori stitching
- Allow to dry for 4 hours
- Pull center threads and tie off
- Stitch Floss “Ties” to center of fabric to help with lifting in/out of water
- Make Dye Concentrate: Mixing Blue 10 gm in 100 ml Urea Water (100 mg/ml)
- Place in 4000 ml Soda Ash solution in bucket
- Add dye concentrate at 5 minute intervals (10 ml, 10 ml, 10 ml, 10ml, 40 ml) = 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, 2.0 mg/ml to create an ombre effect
- Lift fabric a small amount after each dye increment
- Prop fabric up on support dripping into empty bucket, cover with plastic bag
- Batch for 4 hours
- Clip and remove all sewing lines
- Wash with Blue Dawn, Dry and Iron
- Quilt as planned
- Paint center dye before pulling tight the outer threads – easier than having to paint on a bubble
- If you forget the first step – sealed air packs work well to fill the bubble for painting
- Fabric will trap air, creating a bubble, in the middle – easy to keep the center section out of the dye bath.
- Use a color of thread different from the color of dye – makes it easier to remove the threads.
- The fabric dye paint did not turn out as well as I had hoped. So, after quilting, I repainted the fabric dye without Print Paste for a smoother look
I entered this quilt in the Minnesota State Fair on a whim to see what the judges comments would be regarding the shibori and hand painting technique. Boy was I surprised that it was awarding a blue ribbon!
The weather has been absolutely beautiful the past couple of days, mid 70’s and sunny. Perfect weather for the start of the Minnesota State Fair. The first two days of the fair set attendance records for their respective days. After just three days, the attendance is over 500,000 – perhaps we may even surpass Texas this year!
On Friday, I went to the fair with a few friends. It was a fun day. Since my boys are grown, the past couple of years I have gone to the fair by myself, mainly to see the quilts and other crafts. Of course, even with friends, the first place I went was to see the quilts.
This year, I entered my “Fractured Tree” quilt hoping that it might do well at the fair. Unfortunately, I was disappointed to learn that the quilt did not ribbon this year. Fortunately, it was displayed in a spot where it was easy to see.
Interestingly, this was the only quilt this year that I originally planned to enter in the fair even before making it. The other quilts I made were not made with the fair in mind.
After making my son’s “Moonscape” quilt, I realized it was such a unique quilt that I thought I would enter it in the fair and see how well it might do. I did receive a ribbon and look forward to reading the comments after the fair is over.
When I was finalizing the registration of these two quilts for the fair, I decided to include two other quilts.
One of these was a shibori and hand painted wall quilt. I will describe the technique used for this quilt in another blog. I was pleasantly pleased to see that this quilt received a blue ribbon!
The other quilt was one that I was making for an acquaintance and finished sewing the binding on the day before I needed to drop it off at the fair. This quilt “Blended Cultures” was made to commemorate the birth of his first grandson. I was really surprised to learn that this quilt also received a blue ribbon. I am really glad I was able to complete it in time to enter it in the fair!
Sweepstakes Winner made by Mary Alsop. She has tremendous skill and is an award winner ever year. In fact, she was the sweepstakes winner last year as well.
I’d love to meet her some day.
Some other quilts that caught my eye:
After a day of exploring the fair, I think my favorite spot was the Horticulture Building. The flowers there were stunning!
In honor of Independence Day, I decided to post a few Patriotic Crafts.
Red, White and Blue Quilt donated to Quilts of Valor
A quilt given to a foreign exchange student to remind him of his time spent in the USA:
A woven scarf:
And, some Raspberry & Blueberry Scones:
Makes 6 scones
1 cup flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1/4 cup granular sugar
1/4 cup butter, cold, cut into pieces
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tbs dehydrated blueberries
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
2 Tbs freeze dried raspberries, cut in half
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine flour, baking powder and sugar. Cut in butter (a mini food processor works really well). Add milk and vanilla. The batter will be very crumbly but should hold together when pressed into a ball (add a small amount of milk if necessary). Mix in berries and chips. Divide into six scones. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes. Drizzle with glaze (optional).
Sometimes, when working on a quilt, parts of the original design are adjusted and changed as I proceed with the project. This was the case when I was making the large butterfly quilt that I described in August 2016 posts.
Early in the design process, I had thought that a rainbow shibori border would look nice. To create the border, I made four 9″ x 90″ shibori panels with red, blue and yellow dye. These panels turned out lovely.
The next step was to dye the fabric that the butterflies would be appliqued onto. When planning out this step, I changed my mind about the border and decided that I wanted the butterflies to be in a more “natural” environment. So, I made four more panels of shibori that looked like grass. This change was perfect for the quilt at that time.
However, I had the rainbow shibori panels already dyed. Not knowing what I wanted to use them for, I just stored them in my fabric stash and didn’t really think about them for a few years.
Recently, when organizing my fabric, I ran across these panels and decided I really needed to use these in a quilt. Utilizing a simple triangle quilt design, I combined the shibori fabric with a black fabric. This was a quick project that turned out really nice. I love the optical illusion that the dyed fabric creates.
Like most quilter, I have lots of fabric in my craft room. But, unlike other quilters, I try to keep the amount as low as possible. I no longer purchase fabric “just because see it and like it”. I have to have a specific project that I plan to use it in before I will purchase any fabric. Over the past few years, I have also received fabric from my sister, my mother and some of my friends. So, I really do not need to add to my stash.
When I am designing a quilt, I try to plan around fabrics that I already have. If I do need to purchase fabric, I calculate the amount of fabric yardage I need to be a careful not to purchase more than necessary. Sometimes this has been to my frustration, especially if I decide to change the design and find that I am needing more fabric to make the changes. But, usually this works well and keeps me from having too many scraps left over. I have even created an Excel spreadsheet that helps me calculate the yardage quickly. If you are interested, email me and I can send you the file.
Every once in a while, the quilt design I am working on is too abstract or too intricate to be able to calculate yardage exactly. This was the case when planning the “Moonscape” quilt for my son. I did not plan out the quilt in enough detail prior to sewing to be able to calculate how much fabric I needed. Using grey fabrics and black fabrics I already had, I added other shades to create the gradation I was seeking. Not knowing how much fabric I would need, I purchased a half yard of each shade. After I had pieced his quilt, I had a lot of excess fabric.
What to do? Make a scrap quilt? Stick it back on the shelf for another day?
Make a strip quilt? Now, this was an idea I liked. I have been wanting to try piecing with strips on my longarm machine for a while now. So, this seemed like the best idea for a quilt to try this out on.
I loaded the backing onto the frame and pinned the batting in place. After basting the first strip in place, I cut and pieced 2″ x 72″ strips in the gradiant order of the fabric shades. To sew, I carefully measured and marked the placement of the begin and end point of the seam that I was planning to sew. Then, I used the multipoint placement, border only sewing to sew the next strip to the the first strip. The new strip sewn was flipped and ironed lightly in place before going to the next strip (my cordless iron was really helpful for this step).
A pop of color was incorporated with scraps of yellow, orange, red and purple.
I successfully used up my shades of grey and black and have another nice quilt to donate.