Ice Dyed Silk Gauze

When our surface design group met last week, we did some ice dyeing. I dyed 6 pieces of 5mm silk gauze that I am going to use in nuno felting. I did a quick tutorial on how to do ice dyeing several years ago on The Felting and Fiber Studio. Louise had us all set up outside to do the ice dyeing so we worked pretty quickly in the cold. I did one jar with more purple dyes and the other with reds and oranges.

Ice Dyeing

It’s simple to do, just layers of ice, fabric and dye powder. Then you let it melt and rinse it out.

Here are the 5 pieces that were white to start with and then ice dyed. It was interesting that several of these had bands of color on them as I just wadded the silk up and stuck it in.

Silk dyed by Ruth Lane

This piece was already dyed with eco printing to start. It was pretty sad to start and I was hoping to improve it but it didn’t take up much more color.

Silk dyed by Ruth Lane

Here’s is a close up of one of the scarves. They all have some very nice patterning and mix of colors. Now to get the right color merino to go with each one and start some nuno felting!

Soy Wax Batik Results

I promised I would show you my results from the afternoon of playing with soy wax batik techniques. After the pieces had dried, I ironed the fabric between newspapers to remove the wax and then I washed the fabric in the washing machine. There were a couple of pieces of fabric that lost all their color after washing but most came out pretty well. Remember that many of these pieces of fabric were previously painted, dyed or stamped and were in the “ugly” category.

Most of these fabrics were stamped or painted with soy wax and then over dyed. I think they are much more usable even though most are just small squares about 6″ x 6″. A few are a bit bigger than that. I’m think about combining them with some other fabric to make notebook covers.

Stitched Soy Wax Shibori Circles

This is one of the stitched shibori pieces that I did. I’m not sure how the soy wax affected the design on this one but I like it.

Stitched Mokume Soy Wax Shibori

And this piece was stitched with the Mokume pattern or wood grain. It was originally yellow and I painted it with black dye. Now it’s green. But I think it would make a really nice background for something. Not sure what yet.

Pole Wrapped Soy Wax Shibori

This is the piece of silk that Bunny had wrapped around a pole for us before we got there. You can really see where the wax was in the shibori pattern. I painted this with black and green dye. It was originally white where the resist of the scrunching and soy wax was. But I put this in the washing machine with the fabric shown above and the purple part came from the other fabric. I don’t think I could have done this if I tried. I really like it.

Soy Wax Shibori Silk

Here’s a closer look at one end.

Soy Wax Shibori Silk Other Side

And here’s the other. You can click on any photo to see an enlarged view. This piece of silk isn’t really long enough for a scarf and it is a heavier weight silk so it won’t work for nuno felting. Again, I am not sure what I’ll do with it but I’m sure I will think of something eventually. I do think that adding soy wax to the shibori process is worth the effort, especially if you are using silk.


Results of Experimental Screen Printing Plus a Little Dyeing

My local group met this afternoon for some gradation dyeing. I remembered to take some photos of the fabric from our last session of experimental screen printing.

These are pieces that Bunny and Carole did. I really like the unpredictability of this process. You never know what you’re going to get.

The rest of the afternoon we spent doing some dyeing. We were supposed to be doing gradation and ombre dyeing but we ended up just painting dye on to different fabric and scarves. I overdyed some of my previously screen printed fabric. All of the fabric is batching at the moment, then I need to rinse it out and iron it. So I’ll have to show you the results later. Have a nice weekend and thanks for stopping by.

Stitching Leaves

I have been continuing to work on my ice dyed fabric flower piece when I have a few spare moments. I have finished stitching all the leaves with free motion machine stitching.

Leaves StitchedYou can see here that I have a variety of shapes of leaves and the stitching really defines the shapes better.

Cheese Cloth FlowerI made some cheese cloth flowers but they are only pinned on presently. I decided that I needed some other colors besides the dark purple. Luckily I have other colors of cheese cloth in the appropriate colors. I have a few more flowers cut out but not stitched together yet.

Trying out Background FabricWhile I was at my friend Carole’s house, we hung the piece up on her design board (I really need one of those). We tried different colors of background fabric. This photo is really dark but if you click on it, I think you’ll be able to see that the background is a dark green. It isn’t the fabric I will use as I will use a hand dyed one but just something that Carole had that was in the right color range. We also tried black, dark blue and a lighter green. This was my favorite so far.

Close UpHere’s a little bit closer view so you can see the stitching a little better. I still haven’t decided if I even really like the 3-D flowers or not. Definitely, I don’t like all of them the same color. So next step is to try different colors cheese cloth flowers and see if I can make some 3-D flowers from organza that will be a bit bigger. If I do use the 3-D flowers, I’ll also make some 3-D leaves. Most likely, I’ll make them from felt and add a bit of stitching for dimension.





Overcoming Fear

Have you ever had a piece of fabric that you really liked but you couldn’t use it because you were afraid to “ruin” it? This is what happened with this particular piece of snow dyed fabric. It immediately reminded me of flowers and I thought it would be great to machine stitch the flowers. I dyed this piece of fabric nearly a year ago but I still hadn’t done anything with it.

So about 3-4 months ago, I finally got out some tracing paper to figure out where I thought it would be best to stitch.

Tracing Paper Flowers


I put the tracing paper over top and then drew in some flower shapes.

Tracing Paper Flowers BottomIt took two pieces of tracing paper to cover the fabric which will be oriented vertically. Then, I couldn’t seem to go any further with it. I kept hemming and hawing about how I would hang it and how the edges would be done. And didn’t start any stitching. Finally, I decided I would just start stitching. All that back and forth was really because I was afraid to start. I’m not sure why, but I finally just couldn’t stand not doing anything with it and decided I would “just do it”.

Painted Fusible Web


I had some already painted fusible that I thought would work for leaves.

Placing Fusible Web LeavesI tore up the fusible and placed the leaves. I had my flower pattern nearby so I could put the leaves in the appropriate spots without covering where I wanted to stitch flowers.

Don't Use Tracing Paper to Iron FusibleAnd then, since I already had the tracing paper right there, I used it to cover the fusible so that I could iron it on. I figured tracing paper was close enough to parchment paper that it would work. NOT! The fusible just glued itself right on to the tracing paper. Luckily, I hadn’t used all the painted fusible so I didn’t have to start all over again. You would think that this would be enough to stop me in my tracks but I just plowed ahead.



Here’s the entire piece after basting it to stitch and tear. This photo is a little bit more true to color than the ones above.

BastingYou can see the basting a little bit better in this photo.

Starting to StitchThen I started stitching the flower shapes with free motion embroidery.

Flower w/LeavesThe flower shapes were not exactly like the traced ones but I just used the dye patterns to decide on the flower shape as I stitched.

RoseThis one I added a bit more stitching to give it a little more shape.

Stitched Flowers w/CentersThen I started adding centers to the flowers.

My Favorite Flower This is my favorite flower so far. Next up is stitching the leaves. Then I have to decide what else I will add. I am thinking about adding some three-dimensional flowers and leaves, making all of these flowers background. And after that I will have to figure out how I will finish the piece. But at least I overcame my fear and got started.