Monday, August 30, 2010

Over-dyed Wool

I hadn't seen it done before, but with a large supply of this pretty wool, I wondered if I could over-dye some of it a different color. So I tried it to see what would happen. Here's the process...

Into a soaking bath...

...then into some blue dye. And here are some photos of the outcome...

The finished product is a beautiful mixture of black, blue and green roving for my pincushions. Perfect!

Here's a photo of the finished green I dyed a few days ago...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Another pot of dye and a bit of practical science

Green was the color of the day for the next batch of wool. Here's the crock pot full of dyed wool which is ready to cool.


If you haven't figured this out yet, it's convenient to use your granite counter top for cooling hot items. It can also help to defrost a regular piece of meat in a couple of hours. How?

It's a law of physics: two items that are in contact with each other will try to equal each other's temperature; the one with the most mass wins. That hunk of granite has a lot more mass than a piece of frozen meat, so it will defrost the meat (move the frozen item around to a warmer spot now & then).

The granite also has much more mass than my cooling crock pot of warm dye and wool, so it will cool down the pot quickly too. This is also why a cup of coffee or tea will cool very quickly when placed on the counter, so we have coasters for our cups.

Cool science!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sorting Scraps

I'm again sorting my huge mound of scraps today. The task is almost completed, with similar colors being sorted together. I'll have a heap of fabric to make lovely pieces...

Monday, August 23, 2010

...Have You Any Wool?

This weekend I hand dyed some wool roving which will be used to make my handmade wool pincushions for our next vendor booth.

Roving is un-spun wool which comes in natural colored rolled balls; each of these balls is about the size of a small child's head...

The brown roving will remain that color and I'll use the cream roving for dyeing.

For my first try, I used a little to much dye in the bath so I had to rinse it a little more, but it turned out well. Of course, the magenta looks more fire engine red because of the dye concentration, but it's lovely. Here 's that batch drying over the deep sink...

The dye came from a "6 Dye Sampler" kit from ProChemical & Dye. I'll order more of the colors I really like, but today I'll mix the Sun Yellow and Forest Green to see if I can get a light bright green. More coming soon.

Until then, if you're looking for tutorials on dyeing wool, do a search on .

Monday, August 16, 2010

More Dye

Not much sewing going on around here, but I have been dyeing with color, and Bill has been dyeing with rust. Here's one that's a recent favorite...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fabric Over-dyeing

I have been over-dyeing some fabrics this week. They are fabrics that I have previously dyed that were not my favorite and have not sold in our booths. On some of the them the color was too flat, some had unflattering color combinations and still others had tones that were not desirable.

My solution? Throw them into another dye bath...but first some of the pieces are given rubber band resists so that the old color will show through.

I love the depth of color in these.

I'm also about to start dyeing wool roving for my handmade pincushions. I purchased the roving from the wonderful Webs in Northampton, Mass. This morning I went out to find a big crock pot. Who knew they now had 7 quart crock pots? The one on the left is our big kitchen crock pot, and the one on the right is the new one for dyeing wool (no food will ever touch it). It's huge and perfect for my plan!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Asheville Quilt Show

We can't go to the Asheville (NC) Quilt Show this year, but I was just on Mary Stori's blog and the Best of Show quilt was made by Georgia's own Mary Kay Mouton! To see a photo of the quilt, click here for Mary Kay's site; it's the white background quilt at the bottom of the page.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Earlier this week we drove to Asheville, NC so that I could attend the Fiber Arts Alliance monthly meeting. I write about them frequently--a wonderful group of ladies who enjoy making many different forms of fiber art.

This lady, dressed in a fabulous handmade outfit, was announcing the upcoming Project Runway type charity event called Rags to Riches. It will be held at Asheville's Jewish Community Center on Sunday, August 29th and all are welcome.

Two show-n-tell features...

Gen makes many lovely things, and this is one of her purses.

Julie always has wonderful show-n-tell including this wall quilt. There was much more show-n-tell, but my photos are not up to par.

On the way home from NC, we stopped in Greenville, SC for a late lunch at Smoke on the Water restaurant. Baseball's Shoeless Joe Jackson lived in Greenville and his statue sits outside the restaurant.

Greenville has a beautiful old downtown which has been revitalized and includes the Falls Park on the Reedy River. The Park features a suspension bridge over the river and an outdoor ampitheater. Here are some photos...

Falls Cottage of the Carolina Foothills Garden Club.

And behind the cottage is part of the park...

The ampitheater below the Cottage

The suspension bridge over the river

View from the start of the bridge

The view from the bridge...

My dear husband waiting for me to stop taking photos so that he can have an ice cream.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Over-dye Day

Today I have been over-dyeing some hand-dyed fabrics that I was not pleased with. I used to think that over-dye was a last resort to save fabric, but now I know that it's a wonderful way to add depth of color to fabric. The piece above was a flat turquoise and quite boring until I dyed it in indigo.

Some of the lighter pieces were over-dyed with Wedgewood. You can't see them in this photo, but each piece has an undertone of the original color.

It's also fun to rubber band resist these fabrics so that the original color is preserved. It can be mighty messy removing rubber bands from dye-soaked fabric, but the results are worth it...

This piece is still in the rinsing stage, but the color is just what I hoped for.

This is a great way to revive fabrics I would not otherwise have appreciated.