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Thread: Has anyone dyed their own quilting fabric?

  1. #1
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    Has anyone tried dying their own fabric to use in quilts? I checked out a "how to" and even Dharma Trading Co.'s website to order the dyes but I'm still not sure if I want to try it. I'm thinking I might like to in the future and would like to hear others thoughts on it. I think it would be really cool to have fabrics that no one else has or could even purchase. There's a lot that goes into it though, no wonder the prices to buy it are so high.

  2. #2
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    I dye a lot of my fabrics, especially the backs, if I get a good deal on wide WOW I jump on it, fact I have a piece I dyed yellow last nite for a crib quilt. Different fabrics take the color differently. I'm doinf different colors on unbleached muslin now, the dull look is a bit old fashioned looking. I go for the mottled look because it takes a lot of movement to be sure it's all an even dye. Over 2 yds is a bit hard to handle (wring) but you may have a helper, it IS fun but it is messy too.

  3. #3
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    yes, and I love it. Dharma is a great company, with great products.

    It's a little daunting to get started, but really the process is not hard at all.

  4. #4
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I haven't seen the WOW dyed before, can you post a picture of how it looks please?

  5. #5
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    I LOVE dyeing my own fabrics, used to be every quilt i made had at least a little bit of my own dyed fabric in it...i have not dyed any since we moved to our new house 3 years ago (or was it 4? boy time flies) anyway...i have run out of most of my supplies and kind'a had the itch to get busy and do some dyeing; lucky me a lqs is having a dyeing class in a couple weeks. i can go dye to my hearts content and don't have to spend a bunch on stocking up yet.
    if you have never dyed fabrics before try to find a class somewhere to give it a try, it is rather costly to get started (of course once you do purchase the dyes and soda ash it does go a long way. I do believe Dharma still carries (beginners) starting kits, you could try one of those without putting too much into it, could even try batik-ing your own, the starter batik kit is pretty sweet, we had lots of fun with that.
    i do recommend a class though if you can find one.

  6. #6
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    You may want to take a look at the Pro-Chem web site. They are really really helpful in getting started, and can guide you through some of the choices to make regarding what type of dye etc. Lots of good info on the web site. They sell specifically to people who hand dye.
    http://www.prochemicalanddye.com/
    think about fabric painting as an alternative , you can get similiar results.

  7. #7
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I want to but haven't worked up the nerve yet.

  8. #8
    Super Member leaha's Avatar
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    YES I dye and Paint a lot of my fabrics. (I have pictures in my webshots.) I love dyeing my own fabric. It is just another part of the creative process of making my quilts for me.
    All the fabrics in my dancing mugs quilt (my avatar) are my own hand dyed fabrics.

  9. #9
    Super Member justwannaquilt's Avatar
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    Where do you all find your "recipes" or do you just mix until you get what you want?

  10. #10
    Super Member leaha's Avatar
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    I used to paint so I had a background of how to mix colors, I just wing it, but if you want to repeat a dye keep records!! All colors are from 3 basic colors. I mix as little as 2 or 3 mm of one color with another to get what I want.

  11. #11
    Gal
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    Super Member Gal's Avatar
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    I have dyed my own fabrics with natural things found in my own garden, onion skins, leaves, Walnut skins (the best) Gumnuts or bark etc. Great fun, a bit smelly in the kitchen, I usually work in small batches and I set with salt vinegar and soda or mordants bought from a craft supply shop. Then heat set. It is always a bit hit and miss but that is what I like about it! Natural dying costs nothing basically and the colours are never really bright always soft and subtle, as long as you are prepared for that, however if you keep over dying you can intensify the colour. My colours are always from nature/natural things.

    Gal

  12. #12
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    Okay then, come tax return time I'm going to invest. Since my REAL background is as an artist I believe I can do this. I've mixed paints for years so mixing dyes can't be that much different. Well, yes it can but the concept and results are the same.

  13. #13
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    I seldom mix colors because they have sooo many to choose from, I do sometimes over dye, one color then another.
    here's a picture of my WOW to yellow, it's hard to photograph, my camera kept saying unable to focus, maybe I should have ironed it first! LOL
    Attached Images Attached Images


  14. #14
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I haven't dyed fabric (yet), but I love to paint, print, stamp, discharge, collagraph and just generally play with surface design on both PFD (prepared for dyeing) and commercial fabrics. Pretty much anything you can do with paper, you can do with fabric.

  15. #15
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    I have dyed where we did 7 or 8 graduations of a color. it was fun but a lot of work. Don't think I am up to it anymore.

  16. #16
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Thank you Kathy for posting the pictures :D:D:D
    I LOVE how that turns out!!!

    I thought the "stamped" part of the WOW may turn out that way... now I Know :D:D:D

  17. #17
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    There are some really great classes on fabric dyeing (dying is something else altogether!) and painting given at Quilt University. It's a wonderful place to try new things at a low cost and no travel at all. :) I took the Playing with Paint class from Lyric Kinard and learned so many new techniques I'll be busy playing for years! Here's the link to the class catalog. http://www.quiltuniversity.com/catalog.htm

  18. #18
    Senior Member retired2pa's Avatar
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    I read a wonderful blog that the lady does art quilts and dyes ALL her own fabric. She has a great tutorial on her web:

    http://www.fibermania.blogspot.com/

  19. #19
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    That is so pretty. What do you mean by WOW?

  20. #20
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    White on White fabric :wink:

    I had forgotten all about bookmarking this site... it is a good one on fabric dyeing

    http://www.pburch.net/dyeing/instructions.shtml

  21. #21
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    Years ago, probably the mid 70s, a friend and I overdyed calicos that we hated; Rit (? not sure that's the correct spelling) dye in a tan/beige; loved the results and used in many quilts and it's held up well.

    I have since baked muslin with coffee dye, successfully. Don't ask me for instructions, I can't remember. Have them written somewhere; when found, I'll post.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by retired2pa
    I read a wonderful blog that the lady does art quilts and dyes ALL her own fabric. She has a great tutorial on her web:

    http://www.fibermania.blogspot.com/
    I think that's Melody Johnson. She and Laura Wasilowski ran fabrikart, til Melody decided she no longer wanted to teach and sell fabric.
    Melody and Laura instituted The Chicago School of Fusing (a joke) and awarded patches to folks who took classes. Both of them fuse alot - great quilts

  23. #23
    Senior Member retired2pa's Avatar
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    That's exactly who it is, gollytwo :)

  24. #24
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gollytwo
    I think that's Melody Johnson. She and Laura Wasilowski ran fabrikart, til Melody decided she no longer wanted to teach and sell fabric.
    Melody and Laura instituted The Chicago School of Fusing (a joke) and awarded patches to folks who took classes. Both of them fuse alot - great quilts
    In all fairness, I think it was more that her husband retired and she decided she no longer wanted to travel as much as she had been doing so they could spend more time together. I, too, choose to fuse much of the time. Very liberating! :lol:

  25. #25
    Junior Member cabinqltr's Avatar
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    [quote=raptureready]Has anyone tried dying their own fabric to use in quits?

    Our daughter and friend were into tye dying and sun painting a couple years ago and did fat quarters and long strips for me to use in quilts.

    Hand dyed and sun painted turning twenty quilt
    Name:  Attachment-75176.jpe
Views: 54
Size:  52.3 KB

    Borders are sun painted strips
    Name:  Attachment-75177.jpe
Views: 57
Size:  59.6 KB

    another side border
    Name:  Attachment-75178.jpe
Views: 61
Size:  61.1 KB

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