Sunday, February 21, 2010


I've really been neglecting this blog for some time but current discussion on Quilt Art about snowdyeing stirred me to action -- once we got snow! Vermont snow has been a bit sparse in my area this year. Early this week we got a nice 6" so I set about using some of it to dye with. The dyes were no problem and I mixed them in some plastic cups:

but the physical part of the dying took a little thinking -- and serendipity! While rummaging in my storage room some plastic flower pots caught my eye and produced a Eureka! moment. The problem of what I could set them on so that the melted snow would not stay with the fabrics was solved with some clean cat food cans that were awaiting recycling.

Some scraps of white muslin were soaked in a soda ash/salt solution, the liquid squeezed out by hand and crumpled into the flower pots then set outside to (hopefully) freeze overnight.
The next day these were topped with snow and dyes added.

They were left overnight and rinsed and washed the next day;

After washing and ironing I had these pieces:

With the dye and snow 'drippings' I dyed these scraps without presoaking in the soda ash solution:

And when I contemplated the used cand emptied cans I thought they also made an interesting photo:

It was all so much fun that I did a second batch before the snow melted -- but those pieces will be on the next blog!

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Blogger Sarah Ann Smith said...

Great idea to use the flower pots with the holes to drain off the excess water! Cheers, Sarah

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

now wasn't that fun! You got some very nice results, too.

8:02 AM  
Blogger Antonija said...

That's fabulous--you at some really good crystalline paterns. Isn't it fun? I'm totally hooked, so I'm actually looking forward to the snowstorm coming this way tonight. Well done, Jacquie!!
-Toni in Milwaukee

8:22 AM  
Blogger Gloria said...

Good for you! You got some interesting results using the cat food cans. I especially like the greens. Let us know how the non soda ash treated fabrics hold their color. I also wonder how the dish drainer you had in your cat can photo would work as a dye strainer too. May give some really cool effects due to it's valleys and peaks. Uhmmm.

8:43 AM  
Blogger Quiltmuse said...

Gloria --

I didn't use green dye but added yellow to blues! I like combining \primary colors to get secondaries even when the secondary color only shows up at the intersections to both primary colors. I remember being amazed when I added yell9o to black -- which is actually a very dark blue -- and got lime green ...

Actually there were no fabrics without soda ash. The drippings picked up enough passing through the first fabrics to hold the dye and all of the fabrics have already been washed.

Using a rack could be interesting but would require trays -- which I didn't have available.

Have fun when you try dyeing -- there are so many possibilies!

10:42 AM  
Blogger Gisela Towner said...

It sounds like you're have fun!
I'm totally hooked on the snow dyeing -- almost 80 yards in the past week -- but it's 50 degrees and my precious snow is melting... :(

11:13 AM  

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