One of the best things about joining the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild (MMQG) is that I’ve made many friends who share a love of all things fabric and quilts. One of the members, Kristin, comes every month with a new quilt made using her own beautifully dyed fabrics. Kristin doesn’t have a blog, but you can check out her beautiful quilts on her flickr page:: here.
Kristin and I finally got together last week to dye some fabrics together. I was impressed with how organized her notes were and how many color samples she has already made (three large binders full)! Like myself, Kristin has a chemistry background, and so needless to say, we had lots of fun.
The fabric we started with was Kona PFD (Prepared for Dying) so it’s got that great Kona quality of fabric, but we controlled the color completely. We started with four yards, cut into fat quarters, so we could make 16 different colors.
The dyes we used were fiber reactive (procion) dyes from Pro Chemical and Dye which are perfect for cotton fabric. These dyes form chemical bonds (covalent bonds to be precise) with the cotton fibers of the fabric which makes the dyes extremely difficult to remove once attached, so your fabric won’t bleed.
We dyed the fat quarters in little cups (yup, that’s a whole fat quarter in there). I chose four colors from Kristin’s color books (a red, blue, green and purple). We mixed the four dyes and did a gradation for the rest (i.e., lighter and lighter shades of the same dye by simply adding water to it to dilute it).
The finished product is beautiful, however we did make a miscalculation along the way and the dye wasn’t as uniform as we had planned (we did have three children with us, ages 4, 3, and 2 and two dogs, so with that in mind, we did pretty well). Even though the fabric wasn’t quite what we were expecting, they are beautiful.
Oh, and we couldn’t waste the leftover bits of dye!
Can’t wait to figure out what I’m going to make with this fabric and to dye some more! Maybe orange and pink next!! Thanks again Kristin!