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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Deana: Val's Tuesday Archives

Val's Tuesday Archives' topic for today is stars and stripes.  Well, I have lots of star quilts and who doesn't.  It's a great topic.  Several years ago I participated in a "Brown Bag" competition.  You found fabric in your stash you didn't want and swapped it with a partner.  We all had to make a quilt out of the fabric mailed to us and we could add other pieces to it.  

My brown bag partner sent these fabrics to me.  There were four half yard cuts.  
I felt like they sort of went with an old "Stack N Wack" UFO and decided to finish it up with these fabrics.  You can see them together below.

Ok, so one of my brown bag fabrics was just THE WRONG COLOR for the fabrics I found to go with it so... I decided to dye it.  Originally I thought I would just tea dye it, but I didn't have any tea and didn't feel up to a trip to town.  Instead, I got out my trusty old Dharma fabric dying products.  They really come in handy when you live in a rural area sometimes.

The photo below shows the magazine I order out of (have literally spent hours dreaming in this catalog) and the products needed for dying.  Here are the steps I follow:

1.  Wash the fabric in Synthrapol to remove any excess products that may be on it.  This prepares commercial fabrics to accept the dyes.
2.  Make some chem water to dissolve the dye powders in.  It is made up of urea and water.
3.  Make a soda ash/water mixture to presoak the fabric in so they will accept the dyes.
4.  Dye the fabric in the urea/water/dye powder mixture.  I used Dharma Golden Brown hoping to darken the pink.
5.  Let sit for 24 hours in the dye cup.
6.  Rinse and machine wash in synthrapol again.
7. Wash in Retayne to set the dyes.

These babies DO NOT RUN OR FADE-- wonderful! 

Below was my pink fabric in the dye cup after 24 hours.  It looked much darker then the look I was going for.
Below is a pre-dyed picture of the pink (far right).

Now it is orange/brown.  The fabric really isn't as pretty but it is the right color for my project.

Below shows all of my Brown Bag project fabric.  The first 4 on the left were the ones sent to me.  The rest were ones from my stash.  The colors went nicely together (no pink).  The blocks were a UFO that were made approx. 12 years earlier.  The photo is a quilt I found on the internet which models the pattern I am making.

The Brown Bag rules allowed us to purchase one fabric.  I bought the background fabric the blocks are sitting on.  Fun Fun Fun

This is the fabric I sent away.  I didn't hate this fabric; I just didn't know what to do with it.

Well, here is what I created, and yes, to go along with Val's Topic today it is stars.

 Below is the back side. I used up the leftover blocks and some leftover green fabric from the top.


  1. Great solution to your problem fabric. Thanks for sharing you solution.

  2. Well, you did use the fabric! It certainly looked better after you dyed it--better with the grouping. And the finished product is great!

  3. This is incredible and awe inspiring Deana! What a stunning quilt! If you had shown me those fabrics, I would have said "no thanks"! And I never tried over-dying printed fabrics, but it certainly made all the difference.

  4. Sorry. You didn't have any tea? How does one live without tea in the house? (Can you tell I have a British passport?)

  5. You are the second person in this week's Archives to really run with using up an old UFO to make something spectacularly new!! Way to go with this and just what I love about quilting: make do or do without, use it up and make it shout! Wonderful finish!!

  6. Deana...this is THE most original stack and whack I've ever seen. I love I love all your quilts. Thanks for sharing under our stars themes this and for your linky support!! SMILES!

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