Obsessive About Dyeing

Dyeing fabrics is an obsession.  I began with cottons as directed in the Elizabeth Barton class, Dyeing to Design, that I took over at Academy of Quilting.  I had little interest in dyeing or so I thought, and only took the class because Elizabeth was teaching it and I wanted to take a class with her and it was the first class closest to the date when I started researching her classes.  I had no idea I’d fall so completely in love with dyeing.  But I did.  After her class ended, I took her other dyeing Class – Basic Dyeing for Quiltmakers where we learned to over dye and dye just about any color we wanted.  It was thrilling to see a color, figure out what primary colors went into it and then create it!  But as is my way, I wasn’t content to dye just cottons.

I decided I had to learn how to dye wool, which is a different process entirely, so I could finish my block of the month designs (more on that in another post). So I went over to Dharma Trading, a great company that sells dyes and everything related to dyeing.  I sourced wool fabric, also not as easy as one might think, and then purchased a small amount of wools, silks, raw silks and silk/wools from a couple of different places.  I even found some lovely silk velvet at Dharma, perfect to use on my wool appliqué pieces that I began designing a few months ago.  And I began dyeing.


Aren’t they beautiful?

Here are all the cotton fabrics I dyed in Elizabeth’s class, including some of my silk screens and shibori dyed cottons…hand-dyed fabrics

Now I’m back to designing so I can use all of these lovely fabrics.  This is the beginning of Mr. Pig.  He still needs to be embellished and is one of twelve blocks for my Block Of the Month project featuring cookie jars that I’m in the midst of creating patterns and, hopefully, kits for, that will come with many of my hand-dyed fabrics as well as everything you’ll need to make each block.

Notice the cotton fabric to the far left?  That is one of my shibori dyed cottons and the green wools and pink wool and velvet are all my hand-dyed fabrics too!  Mr. Pig


5 thoughts on “Obsessive About Dyeing

  1. Gorgeous colors! Dyeing velvet!!! I did not know it could be done.
    BTW, I loved your Ode to Matisse quilt, it’s superb.


    1. Thanks so much Precille. FYI – silk velvet, which can be purchased through Dharma Trading, is easier to dye than cotton. It soaks up the dye almost instantly and can be dyed as we did our cottons (I think) but I throw it into the same pot of near boiling water that I dye my wool in. After I add the citric acid, I wait until it’s about the color I want and then pull it out, rinse, wash and dry.


  2. I get what you are saying about distraction. I have vowed to master a craft I have always wanted to learn at least once or twice a year. My current obsession is reading Tarot cards. I only do it for journaling but learning has been fascinating! Next on my list is learning how to refinish wooden furniture. My list is a mile long! 🙂


  3. OMGosh Ariane – did I ever tell you that Elizabeth is a mentor of mine? Love her!! Would you like to like this post up on my blog – Off the Wall Friday this week? Any week you have a post you’d like to share with the group please feel free to do so – What I do for my dyeing is that I take two weeks a year and just do a TON of it for the whole year. That way I only have to change over my studio once. This year since I’ve been sewing so much I have a ton to do! Hope all is well!


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