Dyeing for Dinosaurs

In only 9 weeks, Little E’s brother will arrive. It’s time for this Nana to get busy! Daughter #1 bought these prints on Etsy to set the theme for the baby room. You can view the listing here.IMG_4765

She bought a plain white crib skirt and asked me to dye it to match these prints. I will also make a baby quilt with hand dyed fabrics.

So yesterday, I hauled out my dyeing supplies and rolled up my sleeves. I haven’t done any of this in the last couple years but it really is fun. I should have done this before the weather cooled off. Anyway, I stirred up my eyes and soda ash solutions and mixed my potions. 

 I use Procion dyes from Dharma Trading Company. They are fiber reactive dyes so you have to use soda ash as well.  Sometimes, I add soda ash solution to the dye bath but this time, I soaked the fabric in the soda ash solution first. The colors I used were Mink Brown, Deep Orange, and Oxblood Red. I mix these colors until it looks about right to me. Then dump the dye on the wet fabric and knead it a bit. I was in a hurry and really spent as little time as possible on this batch. I let it sit until I got home from work before I started rinsing and washing.  Normally, I buy Kona PFD (prepared for dyeing) fabric to do this. I really only needed to dye the crib skirt. But I had that whole bolt of Ditta on hand from Ikea so I thought I’d try a yard to see how it took the dye. Most fabrics have a permanent press finish that prevents the dye from adhering. Normally when I dye, I do at least 15 yards to make it worth the mess.

Here is how the crib skirt and fabric turned out: 

 I am pretty happy with how the Ikea fabric took the dye. Since I have nearly a whole bolt of it, I may just do some more. These bits could put me in the mood for a little fall project….. But I think I need some more greens…. This next one is my least favorite, I kind of dumped all my leftover dyes on this one!      

I think I have hand dyed fabrics in all the other colors I will need for the quilt. I have purchased some designs for my embroidery machine  to appliqué some dinosaurs on that. This will be a first for me. I am a total rookie with machine embroidery.

Happy Saturday! I hope your day is colorful!

About katyquilts

I am a wife, mom of four amazing kids, and a librarian. I have been making traditional quilts for ages but have ventured into art qulting in the last several years. I also love to knit socks and mittens and dye my own fabric. I am thankful to God my Father and Creator for the gift of creativity!
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7 Responses to Dyeing for Dinosaurs

  1. Kathy says:

    Wow, I didn’t realize that hand dying fabrics would produce such lovely results. I guess I just thought that you’d wind up with a solid fabric in whatever color you chose … like a Kona. Those results are fabulous! What a fantastic quilt that will be … hand made AND hand dyed! A keepsake for sure.

  2. Gina says:

    Great results. I’ve never had much luck with dying. All my fabrics have come out a wishy washy colour, not the bright deep colours I hoped for

  3. Great idea. Sounds like fun. Dinosaurs are a great theme. Good luck.

  4. GigTog says:

    Awesome post Katy! Thank you so much for the inspiration and the information. Everything looks great!

  5. Rochelle says:

    Absolutely beautiful. Did some hand dyeing with my mini-group this summer and then pulled out some of my hand dyes and paints for a project. I really need to do some more hand painting. I’ve led the grandkids through hand dyeing t-shirts every year (except this one) since they were 4 or 5…now some are teens. It is always exciting to see what you will get!!!

  6. This is so interesting to me. When I first started reading your post I thought ‘why not just buy some colored fabric’? Then I saw the pics of the dyed fabric. It’s beautiful!! The dyed fabric adds so much to the finished project – not only did Nana make this, she specially colored the fabric! I love this!

  7. Kathy D says:

    Fun to see what you came up with; those are some great colors. Have always wondered about hand dying. Machine embroidery is fun! Hopefully, the designs you purchased came with a tutorial that explained what to do at each color stop. It’s really not hard to do and I’m sure you’ll be successful! I’m willing to help if you need it.

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