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Snow day is DYE day ... part 1

Today is February 21, 2023 and we have snow!!! Lots of lovely white fluffy snow, so of course I'm gonna do some SNOW DYEING.

it snowed!

I've been playing with different methods and today is something new.

I've invested in some white plastic tubs to add to the studio. They are perfect for storing the mixed dyes and for carrying stuff and also for snow dyeing. My very old plastic storage tubs are starting to crack and leak on me. These are much stronger and will last for quite a while.

Plastic tubs are perfect for storing mixed dye solutions

I have these great plastic baskets that I have had forever and can't remember where I got them from. They work perfectly for snow dyeing. As the snow melts it drips down to the tub below. If anyone sees these lovelies and knows where I can buy more, please let me know!

Pastic baskets used for snow dyeing

On to a new-to-me method.

I'm using dry Fat Quarters of fabric and have scrunched 1 in the bottom of each plastic tub.

Dry FQ shrunched in bottom of tub

I've scrunched a 2nd dry FQ into the basket and placed the basket on top of the tub. They fit together perfectly! You'll notice I'm not using wet fabric. Why? The fabric is going to get wet eventually and I like the way the dry fabric absorbs the dye as it gets wet from the snow melt.

I dumped 2 buckets of that lovely white fluffy stuff over the FQ in the top baskets.

I'm using up my mixed dye solutions. These are a couple of weeks old and I'm going away for a while, so decided to use some of them up today.

Yellow dye and Red, Fucshia and Burgundy dyes

I had just a bit of Yellow dye solution and some of Red, Fucshia and Burgundy. Colour theory teaches that mixing colours on the same side of the colour wheel makes some great results. Mixing across the colour wheel makes mud! I could have mixed the lovely Yellow dye with a purple, but they sit across the colour wheel and .... make mud or a neutral. These two colours work very well together in a quilt, but not when they are used for mixing dyes .... unless I want mud.

I simply poured the yellow dye over the white fluffy stuff and then did the same with the red dye solutions. I used a separate red in each of the 3 containers.

These different reds (red, fucshia and burgundy) mixed with the same yellow through out will make variations of orange. I ran out of Yellow dye solution for the 4th tub, so I combined all 3 of the reds in that tub.

Red, Fuchsia and Burgundy dyes

So what is new about this method?

Instead of using dye powder, I used dye already mixed into a liquid solution. This is less of a mess to clean up as I usually sprinkle dye powder all over everything and that requires me to wear an apron, gloves and a dust mask. I'm a little lazy, and I had the dye solutions all ready to go .... it will be interesting.

Dye Stock poured over snow covering fabric
Red and Yellow dye

As the snow melts it will draw the dye liquid into the fabrics (as they get wet) and dye the fabric. The bottom FQ may be lighter in value and be a more even mix of the 2 colours used.

Yellow and Burgundy dyes poured over snow covering fabric

Once all the snow has melted I'll dump the top FQ into the bottom FQ and pour over some Soda Ash Solution. I'll manipulate the 2 fabrics to get the Soda Ash solution to fix the dyes into the fabrics. If I forget and miss this step, the dyes won't be colourfast and they'll wash out.


It's supper time and I've taken a few shots of the top layer and the bottom layer beside it. All the snow will be melted by the morning and I'll continue with Part #2.

I'll keep you posted tomorrow.

Happy Quilting!

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