Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What Are You Afraid of?

Are you afraid to try a new technique?  How about "messing up" on a quilt, bag, or accessory?  What if the recipe doesn't work out?  Do any of these sound familiar?

My sister and I had an interesting conversation the other day.  She would like to try some scone recipes, but is afraid to try.  I asked, "What's the worst thing that could happen?"  If it doesn't work out, you are out just a few ingredients and some time.  She also didn't know what to do if she made the whole recipe, how would she get rid of them without eating them all.  I suggested she share with close friends and neighbors.

I'm that way, too.  I have many things I want to try, but I'm not sure they'll work out, and sometimes I'm not sure of a technique.  Am I afraid I'll fail, or am I afraid I might succeed?

I've wanted to try dyeing fabric.  For a very long time, I've wanted to try this.  There are classes at a nearby quilt show each year.  There are books, (I bought one), videos, and tutorials, I'm sure.  I've not had time to go to the classes, and they are a little bit expensive. Excuses, excuses, excuses.

So, last month, I called my friend and said, "I want to try to dye fabric".  She wanted to as well.  So did the other gals in my sewing group.  So, we set a date for today, ordered a starting kit for dyeing, and made a plan.  I read the book.  I dreamed about dyeing all that night.  Then, a new gal joined our group.  She invited us to her house to do the dye experimenting, and so today, we went.

I typed a summary of the instructions, and we followed them.  But, I also gave everyone permission, and almost the assignment, to play.  We played with the dye.  We looked at what each other was doing, and we changed it up a bit to try it another way.  We learned from one another.  We shared stories, and asked and answered the same questions over and over.  We had fun.  We became a little better at being fearless.  We decided that nothing could be wrong when we were finished, because it was all a little different.

When all our fabric was finished in the dye, we rinsed and washed all of them by color, then pressed them just before they were all the way dry.

These are Pam's pieces.  She didn't like how three of them turned out, so she took the supplies home to over-dye them.  We'll see how they turn out.

This one shows the mottled effect we got from scrunching the fabric up, and using a low-immersion dyeing technique.

This one, too shows that mottled effect.  I really like the light green in the background with the darker on top of it.  

These are my six pieces.  The color isn't exactly true to life.  I'm really loving their colors.

After washing the pieces, we cut the unraveling strings off, and piled them on the counter.  Aren't the colors just gorgeous?!  I like to see color, and especially in a grouping like this.  We each ended up with unique fabric colors and textures, and our challenge, now, is to use the fabrics in a quilt.

Kristi took pictures of the process, so I will share those in my next post.  Yeah!  More pictures!

So, I'm not afraid of fabric dyeing anymore.  I'm going to face my fears of different techniques, and just give them a try.  There is so much information here on the internet, that I really have no more excuses.  How about you?  Do you have the courage to try something new?

Keep on Sewing!


  1. Looks like fun, Tammy. I've only dyed wool in Kool-Aid--I felt like a mad scientist. : )

  2. I'm glad you've tried it! It's fun to try something new.

  3. I apparently am afraid I'll run out of fabric because I keep buying more ~sigh.

    I've always wanted to try and do my own batik fabric but have never tried. It's a complicated process.

  4. It was so much fun to get together to dye together!! :-)) And I love the colorful pile of strings!!


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