Beating the Winter Blues with a Dye Party

At a recent quilt meeting, I spied some beautiful hand dyed fabric being used by a fellow guild member.  I struck up a conversation about hand dyed fabrics, which led to coordinating a dye party date!!  We've been getting quite a bit of rain (which is much needed here in San Jose) and accompanying dreary skies.  An infusion of hand dyed color was the perfect cure for the San Jose Winter Blues!

We had some email exchanges leading up to the dye party to coordinate dates/times and supplies.  She makes beautiful landscape quilts, and was hoping to work with a palette of colors she could incorporate into her artwork, including blues, greens and...browns!  Luckily, two recent quilt finishes, Rainbow Geode and Seasonal ReLEAF, had helped me overcome my aversion to the color brown.   Even more surprising, was the fact that I had two different brown dyes in my stash thanks to two sample kits gifted by Doug:  rootbeer and rust!  Below are some of the fat quarters created yesterday that incorporate either the rootbeer and/or rust dyes!
Brown is Beautiful!!
Looking at these lovely pieces, I am really learning to appreciate the color brown in all its beauty, and dare I say it...perhaps starting to love brown?!?

We also created several gradations of blue dye by varying the amount of dye added to get dark to light values, as well as incorporating black dye.  Below are some of the fat quarters made using fabric scrunching, featuring various shades of blue dye, including an ombre (top row, third from the left).   I especially love some of the arcs created by feeding the fabric into the container starting at one corner.
Beating the Winter Blues with Hand Dyed Fabrics
We also did some fabric manipulations including clamping and shibori dying (wrapping the fabric around a cylinder/PVC pole and tying it with rubberbands or string, before scrunching.)  I love the look and easy of scrunched fabrics, which are my go to when dyeing fabric.  But its nice to add different textures through different fabric manipulations.
More Beautiful Texture Through Fabric Manipulations:  Shibori on both ends and Plastic Discs Clamped in the Center
Towards the end of our dye party, we had some leftover stock made up.  So we mixed things up a bit with some warm color dyes:  amethyst, magenta, orange, golden yellow (and remaining rootbeer/rust dye).  This combination produced some gorgeous pieces!
The Party Was Warming Up!
I am looking forward to incorporating some of these lovelies into future quilts!  And I recently ordered a new bolt of PFD fabric, and can't wait to schedule my next Dye Party!!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Hilary--dyeing is so much fun, especially when you are able to create such beauties!! The hardest part is waiting overnight for the dye to set!! I woke up early just so I could start unwrapping my bundles and rinsing out excess dye!!


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