“All roads that lead to success have to pass through hard work boulevard at some point” 

Since the beginning of my quilting career I have been crazy about dyeing my own fabric because I believe in working with the right colors ALWAYS, regardless of the project we’re working on. Even if it’s a charity quilt you’re working on, I believe you should always use beautiful, colorful fabrics. And I know you all have at least one basket filled with scraps…

I’m not too crazy about “solid colors” or a piece of hand dyed that looks “plain”. I love a piece of hand dyed that has a lot of movement, shading and texture. In quilting, a lot of the things that we do is nothing more than an illusion. What does that mean? it means that we can accomplish numerous results by adding special tricks that are not complicated at all. 

One of the illusions that I create with my quilts (especially my Stained Glass Quilts) is lighting. One of the questions my students ask all the time is “how do you make your quilts look like there’s light coming through?”. Simple. I do that with nothing else but fabrics. 

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Look at this piece for example. It just came right out of the dryer this morning. It’s been dyed three (3) times. Suppose that you are designing some grapes (which is the case in my Remarkable Stained Glass Quilt Class) the sunlight is hitting a few of those grapes and you want your project to mimic EXACTLY the original picture, including the lighting. You would take specifically one area from your fabric that looks like the grape you’re trying to mimic from your original picture (just to say something). Unfortunately, you can’t achieve the same results using solids. Nor can you do that with prints.

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Dyeing fabric is not so easy, but it is not impossible. When I first started dyeing fabric I thought it would be easy to accomplish the results I wanted. I was wrong. It took me a lot of practice, I had to learn about the way fabric behaves and many other tips before I was able to accomplish ReMARKable hand dyed fabrics. 

Usually I dye just 100% cotton fabric because it’s easier to dye. I don’t have that much time between teaching, lecturing, designing new quilts and all my other daily tasks to play around with other fabrics and dyeing techniques. But I also dye sateen, silk and denim. 

This time I’ve been dyeing cotton-sateen fabric. This particular type of fabric is one of my favorite. It behaves beautifully and the quality of the fabric is magnificent. This fabric is naturally soft (not wax or other chemical products applied). 

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My students are the best EVER! They always buy every piece I take with me and use them to create ReMARKable projects. I would be the first to admit that quilting is an expensive passion, but isn’t it worth it? 

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I always work with hand dyed fabrics. I use it for my show quilts, donation quilts, auction quilts, for the back of my quilts…

Let me know what you think of the pieces I dyed this week. I will be dyeing some more before my next Teaching event next week and show you the results. 

Have a blessed day xx

Mark 

 

4 Comments on “My Obsession with Hand Dyeing my own Fabrics

  1. I adore this pieces! Thanks for sharing. Following your blog now-

    Like

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