Ice-dyeing – “it’s all in the folding” – Part 2

As I wrote in Part 1, I had such a lot of fun with the ice-dyeing – folding fabric, placing in colanders and on racks, covering with ice and then sprinkling with dye powders, until I ran out of ice – ouch!  Weekend and local store closed early, I didn’t want to wait until tomorrow, so came up with plan B –  there was no point in wasting all that folding energy, and wicking would be a good way to use up left over liquid dyes.

I started with red – two different dyes mixed together and some poured into the bottom of a flat bowl, quickly dip the folded fabric into it, count to 5 and turn the fabric over, count to 5 again and remove to a clean bowl – leave overnight.

Wicking - various reds mixed together

Wicking – various reds mixed together

As you can see, there is a lot of white there – the fabric was folded very tight and not much liquid dye, and one of the reds separated, you can see the yellow circle.  It looked stunning on the wall.

For the next one I used 2 colours – Yellow 2R/yellow 8G mix for the first dip, and Violet RA for the second dip. This fabric was wetter than the red one above, and so the dye moved much quicker and further.

Wicking - Procion Violet RA and Yellow 2RA

Wicking – Procion Violet RA and Yellow 2RA

Some of these are two different colours, but most are of one colour made with two different dyes.

Wicking with Procion Indigo MX

Wicking with Procion Indigo MX

I love this Indigo colour, just like the real indigo without the mess, and you can get paler or darker much easier.  It is available from Dharma in the USA.

Wicking - Turquoise & Ultramarine blues

Wicking – Turquoise & Ultramarine blues

Wicking - Fuschia and Red 5B mix

Wicking – Fuschia Red 8B, and Red 5B mix

Wicking - pastel blue & purple mix

Wicking – pastel blue & purple mix

Wicking - Various yellows mixed

Wicking – Various yellows mixed

Wicking - Ruby red on only one folded edge

Wicking – Ruby red on only one folded edge

Wicking - olive green mix

Wicking – olive green and green MX mix

Wicking - Violet RA & Yellow 2RA

Wicking – Violet RA & Yellow 2RA

Close-up - Violet & Yellow wicking

Close-up – Violet & Yellow wicking

Wicking - sky blue & lime green

Wicking – sky blue & lime green

Lime green - split colour

Lime green – split colour

Close-up of lime green split

Close-up of lime green split

Wicking - sky blue & lime green

Wicking – sky blue & lime green

Close-up of sky blue & lime green wicking

Close-up of sky blue & lime green wicking

Wicking sky blue & lime green

Wicking sky blue & lime green

As you can see, wicking produces some interesting results, a bit more planned than dyeing under ice, even though the folding is the same.

The drier the fabric, the more white, and the wetter the fabric the more wicking and spreading of colour.

One dye which consistently separates is the lime green, sometimes there is more yellow and other times a hint of blue in the separation. I haven’t worked out what the catalyst is yet – sometimes it is the temperature of the water when mixing the dye in the first place, but not always, and other times I can’t work out a reason at all.

Thank you for reading this far, now it’s your turn to try out some of these techniques and leave a comment on your results below.

Keep smiling, the silly season is nearly over 🙂

A Happy New Year to all my readers.

Ice-dyeing – “it’s all in the folding” – Part 1

A few weeks ago I delved into my bucket of pre-soda-soaked cotton fabric – there’s always a few metres ready to use.  After a bit of ripping and tearing, I had enough fat quarters, half metres and bit-over-a-metre-squares, for a whole day’s dyeing.

Some fabric was still damp, so it was easy to fold, and the really dry pieces were dunked back into the soda ash.  A while later I had a basket ready for dyeing.

Fabric parcels ready to go

Fabric parcels ready to go

I am a great fan of the mandala, especially the kaleidoscopic designs.  Ice-dyeing is a quick and easy way to achieve them. It’s all in the folding ….

There are plenty of books available for fabric folding as well as videos on u-tube, so I won’t go into it here.

Place the fabric parcel in a colander or similar, suspended over a bucket, cover with ice blocks (e.g. party ice), and then sprinkle dry dye powder (Procion MX dyes) over the ice which is above the fabric, one, two or three colours will give you an amazing kaleidoscope.  Every piece will be a wonderful surprise, there are no bad results, only very different from what you thought possible.  Experiment, experiment, experiment….

Ice over fabric

Dyes sprinkled over ice and fabric

Dyes sprinkled over ice and fabric

Leave until ice melts, batch overnight and  next day rinse in the usual way – voila –

Kaleidoscopic mandala

The one above is a largish piece, a bit over the metre square, but the ones below are all fat quarters. The dyes used in the purple fabrics were Violet RA and Aubergine, mixed together dry, and sprinkled over.  One of them split the pale blue, very pretty.

The dyes used in the green fabric were olive, lichen and green MXG, mixed dry. In the bottom 3 fabrics, I used lime, lichen and yellow 2RA, mixed dry, fabric is actually more yellowy then the photo shows.



At this point I ran out of ice, and being a Sunday afternoon, the local store closes early, so what to do now?  Plan B is in the next post.

Till then, keep smiling.  🙂


Summer time – and time for ice-dyeing


Next month, actually it’s almost next year already, I will be having the first of my ice-dyeing classes.  This type of dyeing doesn’t need to be only in summer, I have had some wonderful results in mid-winter, like this one –


Fabric before rinsing out


After washing this gorgeous piece of fabric, it became my Angel Wings quilt.


Angel Wings

Dates for my classes are weekends 7-8 January, 14-15 January, and 21-22 January.

So if you would like to create your own piece of fabric, and would like to participate in any of these classes, then  send me an email  –  dombros2 at bigpond dot com , with the date you prefer and I’ll get back to you with the details.

Day 1 will be the ice-dyeing, day 2 will be the rinsing and reveal of your fabric, followed by another technique using Procion dyes or Indigo. A fun weekend.

Here is a sample of the different designs you can produce, “It’s all in the folding”.


Thank you for reading this far, I hope you all have a happy Christmas and New Year.

Till next time 🙂


News from Flowerpot

It’s been a while since I last wrote here, and a lot has happened.

In a  nutshell – annus horribilis I think it could be called.

Mid January I had a fall, so easily done, and broke both ankles in three places.  Three months off my feet, no walking, no driving, no sewing. Then learning to walk again after the second lot of surgery.

It’s been hard going but I am getting there.  Crutches gone, one walking stick in the car as my security prop when walking on uneven ground.  The surgeon said it would take 12 months to fully recover, and with the help of much physio-therapy I am determined to make it by Christmas.  🙂

They say retail therapy is good for the soul, well my therapy is doing this in reverse.  The Tasmanian Quilting Guild is having their major quilt exhibition Island Quilts as part of the Tasmanian Quilt Expo 16-18 September in Hobart.  I will be there as Flowerpot Quilts selling lots of fabrics, kits, books, patterns, threads etc.

Tas Quilt Expo Poster a3

More later.  Keep smiling 🙂

Summer fabric sale – January 2016

Fabric on sale

Flowerpot Quilts Summer Sale

(to make room for lots of new fabrics due shortly)

5th to 29 January 2016

Tuesday to Friday 10am to 4pm

30% off most fabrics

End of roll prices too

$10 off books

Kits, patterns, threads, etc all at discounted prices.

Phone and mail orders welcome.

Visa & MasterCard accepted.

Phone 0438 674 900

email – dombros2 @ bigpond . com

Fabric on sale 3

Fabric on sale 1

Fabrics pictured above going out at $18/m, $15 for end of roll.

Fun with Indigo

With another Indigo workshop happening this weekend, I made up a new brew, and tested it for colour, and tried out a few what-ifs.

Here are three scarves I chose to overdye, ones which for some reason didn’t quite make the grade for selling at markets.


Indigo overdyeing 2 - clamped and ready to go - L to R pink, orange, dk red

Ready to go – L to R – large pink, large orange/green and fuschia metallic.

And after dyeing –

Indigo overdye 2 - pink, before opening

Unclamped before opening

Indigo overdye 2 - bright pink silk scarf

After rinsing and ironing

Indigo overdye 2 - orange scarf in dye dregs

Orange scarf before opening

Indigo overdye 2 - orange scarf on opening

Opened and resting on gravel

Indigo overdye 2- Large orange silk shawl

Rinsed and ironed

Indigo overdye - Large silk shawl 2

Lovely fan design on end

Indigo overdye 2 - red silk & metal scarf

Fuschia metallic scarf has horizontal stripes


The what-if experiment –

Having carefully removed each bundle from the vat into a large bowl, I had carried them outside to unwrap and hang.  As the bowl had quite an amount of greenish liquid in it, I thought what if I put another bundle in the bowl to soak up the liquid, if it doesn’t work, no harm done and I’ll know that the liquid isn’t viable.

But wow – this is what happened to a small orangey silk scarf –

Indigo overdye - small scarlet silk scarf

Was plain orange/scarlet now beautiful mottled orange/green/yellow.

There might not have been much indigo left in the dregs, but the result really is something.

Now I’m off to try it again. 🙂

Indigo Dyeing

The first class for 2016 will be a repeat of the Indigo Dyeing class.  Next Saturday 9 January, 9.30 to 4pm-ish.  We don’t need to worry about the weather as the roof is over the deck at last, working outside is so much better now than it was.

Email me for a list of requirements.

If you have done this workshop before, you will know the procedure, so you can have your fabrics already prepared – stitched, tied, banded, clamped etc.

Remember you can use any fabric for this type of dyeing.

Here are a couple of samples from previous times.

Indigo dyed silk scarf

Indigo dyed silk scarf

Sample quilt

Sample quilt

Summer time is a great time for indigo.

If you’re interested, please leave a comment and I’ll get back to you with more details.

Cheers, keep smiling.  🙂

Happy new year – and summer sale

Happy new year to everyone – may 2016 be a good year for you  🙂

The holidays are just about over and it is back to work again. 
I am having a fabric sale for the month of January –
Open daily Tuesdays to Fridays 10am to 4pm
30% – 50% off all fabrics – prices starting at $10/m.
to make way for lots of new fabrics due end of January.
Books, rulers, kits, threads, and haberdashery are also discounted.
Bundles of hand-dyes, bags of off-cuts.
Special prices for end-of-rolls.
Hand-dyed silk, wool, and cotton scarves are included in sale.
Flowerpot Quilts, 3947 Channel Highway, Flowerpot.
Ph 04 38  674  900.
contact email :- sue  @  quilts to dye for dot com.


Dyeing classes for summer 2015-2016

the grass is riz, the lawn needs mowing, but to the studio is where I’m going! Apologies to whoever wrote the old phrase “Spring is sprung, the grass is riz……”

With longer days and warmer temperatures, I’m spending lots of time in my studio dyeing and painting, and I can’t wait for really warm (hot) weather to start up an indigo vat also.

Dates have been set for my dyeing classes (play days for fabriholics) .  If you are interested in any of them, leave a comment below and I’ll send you the list of requirements.

Dyeing workshops – summer 2015–2016.  Second Saturday each month

October 10 – Dyeing day with Procion MX dyes. Using pure primary colours and not-pure primary colours, we will create some stunning bright and pastel neutral shades. Cotton or silk fabrics only.

November 14 – Painting day. Hoping for a sunny day, we will do some sun dyeing, shibori painting, and sun printing using found objects as a resist. Any fabric except wool will work for this.

December 12 – Dyeing with indigo. Explore this ancient method of changing colours. Try various shibori techniques. Works with any fabrics that are light to medium in colour.

January 9 – Create a piece of fabulous art cloth. Explore various methods of transferring designs on to fabric, using rubber stamps, wood blocks, gelli plates, monoprinting, and removing colour from the fabric with discharge paste and/or bleach products.

February 13 – to be decided.

March 12 – long weekend, we may change the date.

All classes are held here in my studio at Flowerpot, 9.30am to 4pm-ish.

Bernina Best of Australia winner for 2015

Bernina Best of Australia 2015 is  Eleanor Jean  by Linda White fromVictoria. It is wonderful hexagon shaped quilt made up of 22,500 quarter inch hexies.

I’ve tried several times to add a photo to show you, but either WordPress or my Tablet are having hissie fits each time I try .

I am sure that Bernina have a picture on their website or facebook page.

Cheers from a very cool (read – cold) Melbourne.