Over-dyeing black-and-white prints is a concept that has intrigued me for years. I was inspire by an article on the Marcus Fabrics website by Lisa Shepard Stewart and then discovered another article by Lisa on the RIT dye site where she overdyed zebra prints. I’ve wanted to experiment with this technique, so I finally did, making the Log Cabin block in Valerie Krueger’s Get Comfy quilt (American Patchwork & Quilting, April 2015, page 98). While Valerie’s quilt is very traditional in fabric colors, I made a version of the Log Cabin block using black-and-white prints for the “lights” of the block and the same prints overdyed for the strips for the “darks”.
Since I was only dyeing enough fabric for a few blocks, I used a disposable plastic container and the microwave technique outlined on the RIT studio website. I used powder dye, but only used a portion of the pouch as I wanted this light shade.
While I was thrilled with the results, I did learn several things, so here are some tips to ensure your success:
1. You may find that different fabrics, even if they’re 100% cotton, may take dye differently, resulting in a different hue of your color. As you can see below, all of the fabrics dyed beautifully, but one came out a slightly different shade than the others.
2. Match the amount of fabric you’re dyeing to the technique you’re using, because if you want the same intensity of color for each piece, they should be put into the same bath for the same length of time. So if you’re doing yardage or multiple larger pieces, use the stovetop method, pail method, or washing machine method and follow the instructions on the packaging or website for those techniques.
3. If you’re using a partial pouch of powder dye, measure your powder dye, don’t just eyeball it. The chances that you’ll make the next dye bath the same exact color is slim if you’re guessing. When the one fabric came out a different color, I thought maybe I needed to make a new dye bath. The result was some beautiful more-darkly-dyed fabric, as I was guessing at how much powder to add. Unfortunately, neither piece came out the same color as the other cut strips shown.
4. If you’re dyeing fabric for piecing, dye the fabric before cutting, as you’re putting fabric into a hot-water bath which might cause shrinkage plus you can expect your fabric to ravel a bit as you handle it during the process.
5. Do as they say: wear gloves!! Teal fingers aren’t attractive (at least not on me!), though mine only lasted a day. There’s a phrase that says, “If you can’t be a good example, be a horrible reminder.” Let me be your horrible reminder.
Next up, I might have to try to dye white-on-white prints! I’ll keep you posted…
Quick-Cut Bias Binding
To quickly cut binding strips on the bias, start with a fabric square or rectangle. We used a stripe fabric, resulting in a barber pole effect.
Diagrams below show a 5/8-yard length of fabric. If your fabric piece is a different size, the folded fabric may look different, although the instructions will be the same.
1. Lay out the fabric so the selvage edges are in the upper right and lower left. Fold the lower selvage edge to the cut edge, creating a 45º angle.
2. Fold the bottom corner up on top of first fold.
3. Fold top corner down on top of first and second folds.
4. Using a rotary cutter and acrylic ruler, trim off left-hand folded edge.
5. Cutting from trimmed edge, cut the desired-width bias strips.
6. Strips will be a variety of lengths; piece strips to equal the desired length of binding strip.
Fabric: Winter’s Kiss collection by Lonni Rossi for Andover Fabrics
Choose a favorite fabric and make this quick-to-sew pincushion. Stack two buttons to top of your cute creation for bright accents. Make a bunch for your sewing friends or keep one handy for on-the-go sewing. This project is courtesy of our sewing blog, howtosew.com. Visit daily for new sewing projects and easy home decor.
- 2–4-1/2″ squares red print
- Polyester fiberfill
- 1–1-3/8″ diameter white button
- 1–5/8″ diameter yellow button
Assemble the Pincushion:
1. Layer two red print 4-1/2″ squares with right sides together. Pin pieces together.
2. Beginning in the middle of one edge, sew together pieces using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Leave a 1-1/2″ opening along one edge for turning.
3. Turn right side out. Use a chopstick or knitting needle to push out corners; press.
4. Use a chopstick or knitting needle to gently push small tufts of fiberfill through the 1-1/2″ opening.
5. Using a needle and matching thread, sew the opening closed.
6. Stack and sew buttons through all layers to complete pincushion.
Every month, we highlight a trend in quilting and show you how you can add this hip style to your projects!
Paper-piecing is hot right now! From beautiful and intricate quilt patterns to helpful products and books to get you started with this technique, we’re seeing paper-piecing across the quilting world!
Paper-piecing products for your shopping list (in order going clockwise):
- Paper Piecing thread from Coats & Clark
- The New Hexagon: 52 Blocks to English Paper Piece by Katja Marek for Martingale
- Arcadia Avenue from Sassafras Lane Designs
- Scrappy Pineapple Block Foundation Piecing Pattern from Red Pepper Quilts
- Quilt Talk: Paper-Pieced Alphabet with Symbols & Numbers by Sam Hunter for C&T Publishing
- Precut Iron-On Hexies from Hugs ‘n Kisses
Once a month, we highlight blogs our staff is reading right now!
Hyacinth Quilt Designs
Designer Cindy Lammon shares her creative designs, fun tutorials (including that quilt shown above), and her works in progress! She’s inspiring, has fresh color and design ideas, and features beautiful photography!
Designer Amanda Castor features easy how-tos (we love her “how to hang a mini quilt” blog shown here), pretty pictures, and frequent posts, that always give new ideas and fresh inspiration. She frequently does smaller projects, which is a great reminder that new techniques and projects can easily be achieved in small steps!