Monday, March 12, 2018

Ice Dyed Fabric in my Quilts

Ice Dying creates such interesting and varied fabric, depending on what colors are placed on the dye. The fabric is wonderful, and brings life to my art quilting!

Soaked Fabric, scrunched

There are lots of good tutorials on YouTube, but basically, you soak fabric in a soda ash solution.

Ice on the fabric

Then place it on a screen in a tub and scrunch it up. Next you pile on a layer of ice cubes, crushed ice or even snow.

Dye powder on top of ice

Then you sprinkle Procion dye powder over the ice. It doesn't take a lot, but cover the ice. Then walk away, check it the next day. The ice will be gone and the fabric will have taken the color in amazing ways.

The best part is when you have washed it out and dried it, ironing brings out the variations in the color. Sometimes it looks like a flower garden.

Each color reacts with the fabric differently when ice is used as opposed to a hot dye process. Red reacts faster than blue. Preblended colors break down into the individual colors sometimes. I used Chartreuse, but didn't like how it broke down into a sickly yellow green.

The ice dyed fabrics are so lively and really improve my quilts. For example:

Dragonfly originally
This dragonfly quilt sat in my UFO pile for years. I wasn't happy with it for several reasons, but I couldn't figure out why I didn't seem to like it much. The dragonfly was great, the shadow was impressive, but something was wrong.

Then one day I pulled it out and was determined to finish it, no matter what. Somehow, I decided the background had to change. I pulled out an ice dyed fabric and thought it could work.
Ice Dyed background

I fell in love with it all over again! This picture on the right was still in progress, but it is so much better.

Dragonfly Rock completed Nov 2016
Here is the completed wallhanging, quilted with a glittery thread to give the water some shine. I used a holographic organza for the base of the wings, applied  a washaway stabilizer, then thread painted the details on the wings. The body of the dragonfly is stitched to a black interfacing that was turned and the appliqued to the quilt. The shadows are black tulle and the daisies are a commercially printed fabric, fussy cut out and thread painted. I love it so much!

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