Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dyeing New Fabrics
Thanks so much for your input on the question of  re-doing my art quilts. Lots of good thoughts and most of them are just what I was thinking. The reality is that I don't have the fabric that has the look of those pieces, which I think is what makes them...unique. One doesn't recreate unique.
Yesterday I received the bolt of silk charmeuse that I ordered from Exotic Silks (16 mm) which I needed to dye for another artist, as well as to add to my stash. So instead of making a quilt, I ripped the silk into half yard pieces, put three together and rolled them into a tube. This is how I store the silk so it doesn't get wrinkled, as I prepare for a dye session. I will also be dyeing a bolt of pfd cotton, which today needs to be ripped into half yard pieces. Once I get started dyeing again, I will be doing the whole lot, about 100 yards total, which means I may be offering some for sale here. Stay tuned. In the meantime, I await warmer temperatures, as we are currently experiencing a second Spring and it is nippy, in the 60's.

My decision on the re-do is to just make some new pieces in the same format, about 10x22" and see what happens. I enjoyed that format when I did it last time and hope it will still be challenging.
For more information on how I dye my fabrics, see my site


  1. Why 1/2 yard pieces & not 1 yard pieces? Is there a specific reason or is it just easier with 1/2 yard?

    I'm getting ready to do some dyeing myself & was thinking I would do 1 yard pieces. Just wanted to know if there is any problems I might run into using that size.

    Thanks. Hope it warms up there. It isn't too warm in Chicago either but it is supposed to improve

  2. FYI- when I click The Lazy Dyer link at the bottom of the post it takes me to Blogger Dashboard.
    I was able to get to your Lazy Dyer by clicking the link on the side board.

    Do you still love the Economy Muslin? I used to use Hoffman Lawn, but since closing the business it is no longer availabale to me at a price I want to pay.

  3. I like to dye 1/2 yard pieces because they're easier to handle and I get more variety at the end of the day. If I have a specific project in mind, I will dye according to the size needs of that project. (I have a project coming up soon where I'll be dyeing a 4-yard piece of 90"-wide fabric - spread out on a painter's drop cloth on a lawn.) I am guessing that because Melody tends to work with smaller pieces, she prefers to dye that way.

  4. Thanks Diane, I fixed the link to the lazy dyer pages.
    And Cindy, I dye in half yard lengths because they match the size of the wonder-under that I use.
    I use print cloth from Dharma and also love the Economy muslin also from Dharma.

  5. Anonymous11:04 AM

    I am not a quilter but can anyone explain to me what the 16mm refers to? What is it in relation to fabric? Clueless...
    Maybe Melody meant 16 meters? That would be 16m.
    mm is millimeter. 16 mm is about 1and 1/8 of an inch.

  6. Anonymous2:55 PM

    I don't understand....quizzical look here....I thought you were done with dyeing and all that? But I guess when there is money to be made.....

  7. Anonymous4:33 PM

    Just followed your link to Lazy dyeing - and have bookmarked it for the next time I dye. I agree that there are too many versions of how this may be done, and confusing for a beginner. You get good results, so will try your version next time. Many thanks for the heads-up!

  8. I'm delighted you're back to the fabric! Not that I don't enjoy following your garden perambulations, but you're so gifted, it's great to follow what you do with fabric and thread.

  9. Louise8:07 AM

    Anonymus, the mm here refers to momme, which is the weight of the silk. Hope this helps.


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