In the most recent issue of Quilting Arts there is a wonderful article by a very talented quilter who uses lots of her own hand colored fabrics in her work. The method that I am about to describe is a result of reading her methods and making due with the supplies that I had on hand.
She collects quality mens 100% cotton shirts and old 100% cotton bed sheets from various sources (mostly thrift stores and yard sales) and uses the fabrics to start her dyeing process.
So I used my left over cotton pillow case scraps. Using strong white thread and a thimble and needle, I gathered portions of each fabric piece into small pleats and stitched with big running stitches to hold the pleats together. My starting fabric piece was about 8x10. After pleating and stitching for awhile in one direction, I changed directions and started pleating and stitching in another direction. I kept going till the fabric was completely pleated and wadded up. This pleating will act as a resist in the dyeing process.
Here I have three "wads " of odd sized pleated fabrics ready for the next step. They are all different weights of cotton, from different sources but they are all 100% cotton. Next I sprinkled each wad with water to dampen the fabric in certain areas. I sprinkled because I did not want to achieve a uniform wetness as the moisture differences would give the colors more movement in certain areas . I hoped to achieve more color interest using the sprinkling method.
I used Ranger Adirondack Color Washes for my dye source and sprayed each piece with different colors in various spots. then I used a paint brush to brush the tops of areas of the pleats with gold acrylic paint. I left the whole colored wad outside to dry completely.
Once dry, I began the task of removing all of the stitching that I had used to hold the pleats in place. I ironed each piece (using a teflon sheet) to set the colors and to flatten the fabric pieces. Here are my results!!
The way the purple and blues and then gold highlights worked on this piece, make it my favorite. I am thrilled with all of them and you can expect to see them all in use in upcoming projects!!
The lavendar and bright acid green in this piece make for a very neat combo!
This project was lots of fun! I will be working with method some more . The pleating and stitching parts are very protable and can be done whereever one has to wait. I will be taking some pleating along with me today when I take the kids to the dentist, for example. Once I get several wads pleated thaen I will do the coloring all at once. This is a great stash builder for scrap fabrics and a wonderful use for recyled fabric pieces!!