Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Year of the Hand Dyes

I've deemed 2009 the year of the hand dyed fabrics. I really have been obsessed with hand dyeing and want to do some more. I am hoping that I will get it all out of my system and then I'll have to deem the next 500 years the Years of Sewing the Hand Dyes.

I want to get it all out of my system for many reasons. 1)I don't want to buy 5,000 yards of PFD fabric to dye, 2)I can't make fruity, sweet beverages out of any left over dyes, and 3)I will eventually run out of shelf space in my studio for displaying my lovely art hand dyed fabrics.

And to make matters worse, I've now got on order some bulk perle cotton to dye along with my fabric. You know, a girl needs to have matching thread to go along with those luscious hand dyes.

So the last couple of days I've been using up the last of my IDyes. In case you don't recall, these are the dyes you use in your washing machine. I had about 8 colors left and wanted to get them used up. In the first photo you see here, I combined IDye colors to create these two batches. I ended up with some mud colors in the lefthand group, but I guess sometimes you might need some of those huh?

Here are two groups of blues I created.

And here are two groups of greens.

And after all that, I still have a couple of colors of IDye left, although not complete packages as I like my colors a little lighter than if I'd used the entire dye packet. So there they sit, still waiting. I could throw them away, since there isn't much left in each package, but hey, I can't throw good dye away. So hmmm, I could give it away!

Here is a project I started yesterday. It will be a small wall hanging. My next step on this is to add color.

I had been working on a quilt for a few days and suddenly I decided I'm not liking it anymore. I wasn't enjoying it and wondered if it was worth continuing. Have you experienced these thoughts on a project? I decided to set the project aside and perhaps one day I'll see some potential in it. But I just didn't want to waste my time on it now.


  1. Why not try dyeing the project that you hate and turning it into some postcards or ATCs? I lvoe all of your colors. Even mud colors are very useful!

  2. I let a lot of projects sit on a shelf when I either don't like them or can't figure out how I want to finish them. When I revisit them, some look better than I remember and some I just give away to someone else who sees potential in them. That's how we learn, trial and error.

  3. Love your "art" dyes! And what some people might view as "mud" colored, still others of us are seeing yummy shades of coffee in that pile.
    I know just what you mean about being stalled on a project. Even a project I really like, I still sometimes send to the back burner in favor of something that is just more titillating at the moment. Then of course, there are just days where life makes you send everything to the back burner so you can resolve some foolishness...I mean, can you believe there are things more pressing than quilts? Such nonsense! What could possibly be more important? (laughing)!

  4. Your hand dyed fabrics are wonderful - and yes, I'm sure you'll need those "muddy" ones someday. I love your little birdie quilt - I can't wait to see what it looks like with color added.

    Yes, I do have that happen sometimes with a project. Good idea to set it aside for awhile. You might have great thoughts about how to make it wonderful later . . . or not.

  5. I love the bird quilt, Terri, so I hope he inspires you one day to finish him. If he never does, though, then ah well... sometimes the muse is capricious- she giveth and she taketh away. :D

    I'm glad I'm not the only one dreaming in (dye) colors these days... I can't seem to stop poking those MX dyes. Tomorrow I will dye a big batch of cotton batting and I'm so excited to get to it that I actually considered breaking out the materials tonight and starting early. LOL

  6. fab fabrics, even the "muddy" ones are great. Love that bird!

  7. I have the same problem that you do from time to time. In fact, I am currently experiencing it right now!

    I do love that you dyed those black and white fabrics. I have been seeing the merit lately in that kind of thing-I really like your results:)

  8. Beautiful fabrics and the bird piece is nice too. I wonder if working with all the dyes your bird piece could use a bit of color.

  9. Yummy fabrics, especially the blue ones of course.
    Looking forward to seeing the little bird quilt finished.

  10. Beautiful fabrics! I love those first two stacks with the mud colors - as a clay person I love mud! I hope you don't abandon your bird quilt - it's looking great!

  11. Are you talking about that very soft toned quilt you are doing the hand stitching ala SpiritCloth? If so, I thought that was very lovely; but, as I recall during the times I visited Jude's blog, her work is very time-consuming and slow. I see you as a much faster worker who likes to use machines for a finished piece. I was surprised you were enamored with the slow cloth idea; but, I do hope you will finish it sometime.

    I did a little overdyeing with tea on my latest quilt and I can certainly see the merit of overdyeing. I would definitely like to do more of that with some of my fabrics.

  12. love the fabrics and the little bird quilt! I totally understand the "I don't want to finish this" sentiment - I do the same thing myself...

  13. Terri,

    I have had this experience and just put it out of sight, if anything moves in my mind about it i go back later.

  14. What a wonderful selection of dyed fabrics. I love the finished Birdie quilt too.
    I have 6 pairs of trousers to shorten first thing this morning, but then I need, no, not need, but must tidy my workroom so I can move around :))


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