Fabric Dyeing

I’ve been using hand-dyed fabrics in my quilts since I met my mother-in-law and she taught me the ‘real’ way to quilt.  They add so much dimension and fun to a piece that it’s hard to resist.  It also helps that my mother-in-law is an expert fabric dyer – teaching workshops and classes and everything.  I’ve come to be a decent dyer myself – but I don’t like to follow the recipe so I’m not the best teacher.IMG_9707A few weeks ago we had a fabric dyeing day open to our local quilt guild members – the Lodi Valley Quilt Guild.  It was a fun morning full of fabric and color!  Here are some of the ladies prepping their fabric for the first lesson – a color family!IMG_9715Before we dye our fabric we like to soak them in water with soda ash.  IMG_9716My kiddo’s love to watch the adventures in fabric dyeing.  They’ve gotten pretty experienced at observing for the beginning of the dyeing workshop.  Don’t worry – when most of the folks are done – we give them a pile of fabric, some squirt bottles of dye and let them have fun!IMG_9717Diane likes to start by having the group dye a color family – going from one color to another basically.  It’s a great way to get use to the ‘recipe’ and adds some really great colors to anyone’s stash.IMG_9720I did a quick 12 yards of two different color families -  yup – that means 8 sets of fat quarters in giveaway’s coming up on my blog throughout the year!IMG_9723Everyone works in pairs for this – it helps keep things straight and slightly less of a mess – but I have to say – these ladies came prepared for the mess!IMG_9733By the end of the workshop they all went home with at least 12 fat quarters of dyed fabrics!  And it looks to me like they had a bit of fun!ice dyeing

Yesterday, Diane taught a day long workshop in fabric dyeing for the Quilts by Barb Fabric Hand Dyeing Day.  Again – we had a bunch of enthusiastic women over dyeing some amazing fabrics!  Diane showed a new technique – ice dyeing – and I just couldn’t resist!  I ice dyed the yard of fabric you see above and a shirt.  I think I have a new addiction! 

I’ll post some ‘post-wash’ fabrics once they’re all washed out and pressed! 


  1. Looks like so much fun!!! I would love to dye fabric sometime =)

  2. I love that pink and blue fabric. It reminds me of photos of space.

  3. I love to dye fabric. Did a research project dying different fabrics in college, it was a really fun elective. Do you ever do shibori to put designs in the fabric before you dye it? I love that method.


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