Monday, February 25, 2013

Adventures in Snow Dying

A couple of weeks ago a few of us from our Quilt Guild got together to try our hand at Snow Dying.  We are members of an Art Quilt Interest group that gets together about once a month, to try out some art quilt techniques.  None of us are experts, so we just pick something to try, do abit of research on it, and then give it a go!

We soaked our fabrics in a soda ash solution, wrung them out and scrunched them, placing them upon raised platforms made up of dish drying racks, shoe drying inserts for the clothes dryer, deep freeze baskets, tupperware vegetable keeper inserts, etc.  It's amazing what one can find at home to use! 

We then ventured outside and collected snow into buckets, and made a pile of snow on top of our fabrics.  The snow was a granular type, quite icy even, but once it warmed up inside, it stacked and stuck nicely.

Dawning masks and gloves, we sprinkled dry dye powder onto the snow using straws with the ends cut on the diagonal as scoops.  I used this technique (sprinkling the powder) in a class at a quilt conference a couple of years ago, and really enjoyed the results of this method.  

We also tested some dye solution that was about 10 months old, from our fabric painting workshop, it had been stored in the fridge and coldroom all this time, and it still seemed to work!

I had some "bonus" fabric lying around, stuff that wasn't of the best quality, so I decided to place it in the bottom of my tray, to soak up the leftover dyes once the snow melted through.  It had not been pre-washed, being an after-thought, and soaked in the soda ash solution.  It still came out very well!

The was the red/blue dye stripe, it wasn't very impressive

I just love the intricate patterning

Overall, we were all excited and pleased with the results.

3-D patterning
Smoke-like patterning
Bonus Fabric
Bonus Fabric
Bonus Fabric