Hand dyed fabric exploits

About 2 years ago I purchased a class form Craftsy called ‘The Art of Cloth Dyeing’ by Jane Dunnwold, and I have been totally hooked on dyeing fabric ever since.

This weekend I turned my bathroom in to my chemistry lab and began to play.

yellow hand dyed fabric

The top yellow pattern was made by continually folding the fabric in half until it could not be folded any more. The bottom yellow fabric was scrunched up in to a tight ball.

red hand dyed fabric

The top red fabric was pleated. The bottom red fabric was folded in the same way as the yellow above but the pattern here is much more pronounced.

blue hand dyed fabirc

The top blue fabric was made with a flag fold. The bottom blue is a pleat fold the same as the red pleated above.

I wanted to show you the different outcomes you can get with hand dyeing even when using the same techniques. For some people this would be off putting, but it is this lack of uniformity and the organic nature of the designs on the fabric that I adore. Manipulating the fabric by folding creates a resist to the dye and can produce some stunning patterns.

It is this unknown quality that separates hand dyed fabrics from printed fabrics. A print will be repeated across a width of fabric and each print will be exactly the same. You can see from the photographs that hand dyeing produces a unique pattern across the entirety of the fabric. Whilst it is possible to control the variables in hand dyeing to achieve a similar result, each batch of fabric dyed will be inherently unique.

The fabric squares in the photo’s are 10 inch cotton poplin and I used procion mx dye, which is a fibre reactive dye for cotton, linen and silk. The dye will react differently to different types and weights of fabric.

All of the fabrics here were dyed with 1 pure colour, that is a colour that does not have any other colours mixed in to it. I will do another post showing some mixed dyes and adding colour using a technique called overdyeing (basically dyeing the fabric again in another colour).

If you fancy giving hand dyeing a try Colourcraft (UK) do a starter kit, which comes with 6 dyes and the auxiliary chemicals needed for dyeing, however you will need to buy a wash product such as synthrapol.

My favourite of the dyed fabrics is the blue pleat fold, which is your favourite?

Lisa at The Quilting Bird.

TUTORIAL: Personalised Drawstring Santa Sack or Toy Bag

This week I have been working on writing a tutorial for how to make a santa sack. I have had so many lovely messages about the santa sack I finished last week (view that post here), from people who are new to sewing, I decided to share how I made mine. santa sack tutorialThe santa sack for this tutorial has a simplified version of the patchwork, I did on the other sack. There are no seams to match up, so it is not too scary for anyone new to patchwork. The construction on a drawstring bag is also pretty straightforward for beginner sewers. Of course if you choose different fabrics for this tutorial you can make a large toy bag instead.

drawstring toy bag

This toy bag was made with an old sheet and fabric scraps.

Drawstring Toy Bag

Back of toy bag showing patchwork.

I would really love to see your finished santa sacks, you can email them to me at the address on my about page and I will feature my favourites. If you are a beginner (or like me you find patterns seem to be written in a foreign language) and you get a bit stuck, please drop me a line and I will do my best to help you out. Continue reading

Sew-vivor 3: Hexies

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It’s the third and penultimate challenge of Sew-vivor 3: Quilters Edition. I can’t imagine the stress and nerves the competitors are feeling now we are nearing the end of the competition.

The challenge for this week was to sew and quilt anything using the hexie design. Hexies are used extensively in english paper piecing (epp) and given the number of projects I have seen lately using both hexies and epp, I was very interested to see what this challenge would yield.

There are only 5 entries this week so I am only showcasing my favourite, which is this adorable floor cushion made by Nicole from Snips Snippets.

hexagon floor cushion

I love everything about this. The fabric choice is beautiful and has been used to create a secondary design in the centre of the cushion. The star design is clearly visible yet it does not overpower the hexies, in some of the other entries the hexies were lost among the design features, but this cushion is beautifully balanced. The points on the stars also being a star fabric shows great attention to detail. The whole cushion is made in the shape of one big hexie, which finishes the piece off perfectly.

To find out more about how Nicole made this gorgeous floor cushion, and to see some cute pics of her boys, head over to her blog Snips Snippets.

Voting is underway to send the final 3 through to the final challenge where they will be tasked with making a lap quilt. Cast your vote on Sew-vivor3.

And remember you can still join in the fun by posting your own challenge entries on flicker and instagram, where you might even win a prize.

Lisa at The Quilting Bird

 

 

Thank Friday It’s Finished! Lined santa sack

Santa Sack

I showed this as a work in progress in a previous post. It has now had all the markings washed off, stray threads clipped and has been ironed so it is nice and crisp.

The fabrics are some gorgeous fat quarters I picked up from Kaleidoscope quilt shop’s stand at The Festival of Quilts 2014. They currently have the fabrics in stock in their online shop. I have used Christmas Wish by Lizzie Mackay for Dashwood Studio and Winter Wonderland by Moda. From my fabric collection I added in some metallic prints from Makower UK.

Santa Sack

The starry fabric for the back is another metallic print called  The Henley Studio from Makower UK, I purchased this from Hobbycraft. I got my fabric in store and they don’t seem to have it listed online. For the name I used Stained by Sharpie fabric markers, this was the first time I used them and they are really easy to work with on fabric. These fabric markers have a brush tip and can make thin or thick lines depending on the angle of the brush and how much pressure you use.

Santa SackI have lined the Santa sack using a calico (muslin) and stitched a 4 inch strip of the backing fabric to the top, so when the drawstrings are pulled you see the pretty fabric, not the boring calico (muslin). I added a grab handle that can also be used as a hanging strap.

All the fabrics used are quilting cotton. The finished size of the Santa Sack is a very roomy 60 x 65 cm (23.5 x 25.5 inches). I wanted it to be large enough to fit those bulky presents in and thought it would be a useful way organising the under the tree presents. The handle also makes it versatile so it can be hung up instead of a Christmas stocking.

I made this for a friend but loved the way it turned out so I have added it to my Etsy shop.

There are a lot of shop links in this post, I have added these for your information and I am not affiliated to any of the shops mentioned, (apart from my own of course).

Santa SackLisa at The Quilting Bird

I will be linking up with Needle And Thread Thursday, Crazy Mom Quilts, TGIFF, Let’s Bee Social, Show and Tell Tuesday Sew Can She

 

 

 

 

 

Sew-vivor 3: The quilted bag challenge results are out

The Sew-vivor 3: Quilters Edition is now half way through with two challenges completed. The results for the quilted bag challenge is out today and I am pleased to say that Jade from Stitch Mischief is still in!

Have a look at my favourite quilted bag entries here.

Here is Jade’s quilted bag entry for you to admire.

 

Jade was one of my favourite 3 from the top 16 contestants. There are now just 5 contestants left in the competition and two more rounds to go. Next weeks challenge is Hexies, I can’t wait to see what they come up with.

Get the full list of who’s in and who’s out over at Rach H’s blog Family Ever After

Lisa at The Quilting Bird