Thursday, January 14, 2010

Snow Dyeing Part 1

Last winter, I did something called "snow dyeing". I took soda-soaked fabric, scrunched it up out on the front yard snow pile, covered it with a layer of snow and poured on liquid dyes. I got some cool results, but nothing to write home about.

Last fall at Quilt Expo, I talked at length with a woman who had written an about-to-be-published article in Quilting Arts Magazine. She had a booth where she was selling snow-dyed fabric and was very helpful and forthcoming with her techniques. She also had some of the most beautiful hand-dyes I had ever seen. Her name was Judi Yakab and she blogs here.

Basically, the snow acts as a resist and you get all kinds of cool textures. She uses containers and a screen and mixes the dye with the snow. Much more environmentally friendly than pouring dye out on the front lawn, but more equipment than I have. And the lawn did look nice with rainbow stripes when the snow melted.

We're about to experience a "heat wave" this weekend, so I figured I had better get out there and use some of that snow before it all melts (like that's going to happen in a weekend!). So I took soda soaked fabric, scrunched it up in my favorite Trader Joe's cookie containers and re-purposed lettuce boxes and covered it with a layer of snow.

Then I mixed up my dyes -- I used Lemon Yellow, Golden Yellow, Scarlet, Boysenberry, Royal Blue and Navy Blue. I mixed them a bit stronger than I usually do -- about 1 and a half times. Then I squirted them all over the snow layer.
I let them sit out in the garage until right before I went to bed when I stacked them in a large plastic box and brought them inside to finish batching. The dye had mostly wicked through the snow and was pooled under the fabric.
You can see bits of leaves left behind after the snow melted.

Next: the results...


Trish said...

Oh, oh, oh! I can hardly wait to see how it turned out!

Judi said...

Can't wait to see your results. It was great meeting and talking with you at the expo.