"Welcome" 36" x 36" Vintage linen on hand dyed table cloth, Machine qulted and embellished with beads.

Monday, February 21, 2011

What to do with Snow Dyed Fabric

Some of the snow dyed fabric I've made is subtle in pattern, and works well as a background for applique.  The background of this quilt is snow dyed sateen, using only the color Indigo.  The quilting, done in white machine quilting thread, elaborates on the snowflake theme. The close up photo shows the variation in the sateen. The doilies were from my collection of vintage pieces.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Snow Dye Colors

I've been experimenting with single Prochem colors in snow dye slush, to see how they separate.  Some colors are spectacular - they break apart into very pleasing color combinations.  Some dye powders don't seem to break apart at all, but still give the lovely visual texture that snow dyeing can deliver.  I'm still trying to find a good "warm" color that separates into components I like.

Balsam Fir separates into green, brown and blue.  The image below is the best of my efforts with this color, on cotton sateen.  The photo was taken by Leona Law.   Sometimes Balsam Fir gives up only green and brown.  Not sure what the critical variables are.

Another color that always works is Prochem Ultraviolet.  The fabric is cotton sateen. This photo was taken by Leona Law.

Some colors don't seem to separate at all, but still give a lovely texture when snow dyed.
This is Prochem "teal."  The fabric was dyed and photographed by Leona Law

I had hoped to find a "warm" color that seprated into colors I liked.  I tried Prochem Maroon, and was not pleased.  I got red and some blue, but also a light brown.  I may overdye this piece.  It was done on broadcloth.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snow Dyed Shirts

Snow dyeing works well on knit cotton clothing.  Here's a photo of some things for children that have been snow dyed.  The long sleeved shirt was dyed by Leona Law. 

Using snow dyed fabric

People ask - what can you do with the lovely fabric you have snow dyed?  Indeed, the large swirls of color loose their magic when you cut them up.  These fabrics make great backs for quilts you'll actually use.

If you work with just one color and apply the dyed snow evenly, you can make fabric that is more consistently colored and thus easier to use for piecing.  Last winter I dyed a number of yards with Prochem Ultra Violet, and Prochem Indigo Blue, aiming to get various values of these wonderful colors.  I used the fabric to make a simple strippy nine patch lap quilt for myself.  Only the darkest fabric in this quilt is commercial.  (Snow dyeing dilutes the dye, so true darks are impossible to get.) On the back I used fabric with more varied patterns.  (I need to use three pieces.)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Snow Dyeing

This snowy winter has been a good one to try out more snow dyeing.  I have enjoyed experimenting with this technique for the last year, along with my dyeing friends Trina Weller and Leona Law.

Using snow in the recipe for dyeing cotton fabrics (for quilts and other fiber art projects) changes the dye chemistry.  The dyes we use (Procion dyes) are meant to be applied to fabric at room temperature, 70 degrees or more.  Mixing them with snow makes the mixed colors come apart, and strike the fabric differently.  The resulting fabric is beautiful, and unlike fabric dyed with other methods.

You can learn more about how to snow dye by visiting Prochemical and Dye's blog.  There is a link to my written instructions as well as a slide show of the process:  http://prochemical.wordpress.com/

Here is a photo of snow dyed fabric.  The dye color is Indigo Blue, and the fabric is cotton sateen.  The photo was taken by Leona Law.