Earlier this month we took our annual family vacation to New Hampshire. My favorite place on earth! I’ve enjoyed this lake for almost every summer of my life as has my mother and now my kids. My parents and siblings and their families were there as well. We did the usual swimming, boating, berry picking, hiking, knitting activities, but this year I added another. Indigo dyeing! There’s nothing like making stuff outdoors, especially in a beautiful place like this.
My sister-in-laws and I mixed up a big vat of indigo and brought all sorts of things to dye, from clothing to yarn to scraps of fabric. I had done indigo dyeing once before, but I needed a refresher. Jeni B of In Color Order plays with indigo a lot and has written some great blog posts with tips. I highly recommend reading her posts if you are interested in the details!
It was a beautiful breezy day, full of sunshine and laughter. We had so much fun watching the dye change the materials from white to bright green to blue as the dye oxidized. Truly magical!
Here are the strips of organic cotton sateen I tied up in various ways to resist the dye. They look a lot like reflections on water, don’t they? Looking at these makes me feel like I’ve brought home some of the sunshine, blue skies and sparkling lake. I wasn’t sure what I would make out of them, but I knew I wanted to be able to look at and use whatever it was a lot!
I decided to piece the scrappy strips together in what I’m told is a “french braid” patchwork. I used a quilt-as-you-go method as I sewed them one at a time onto a piece of batting. I also added some sashiko hand stitching along the seams. I couldn’t decide between white and navy stitches so I used both!
And here’s my finished project, a zippered pouch! I added a tassel to the zipper pull made with my Llamallooma™ Pompom Maker. It’s made with yarn I dyed as well. I lined the pouch with a simple blue solid quilting cotton. I’ll be sure to get a lot of use out of this for my knitting or embroidery tools.
Have you played with indigo dye at all? What have you made with your dyed fabric?
This is really beautiful! Did you do the sahiko stitching before or after you did the quilt as you go?
I did the sashiko after the QAYG, before I sewed the pouch. :)
Such an inspiring project. I love it! How did you fold the two middle strips in the 2nd photo? I used a green Rit dye to dye linen squares which I sewed into napkins.
Thanks! For those 2 strips I used a technique that Jeni B shows in her post that I linked to. I basically rolled the strip around a cord then tied the ends of the cord together in a loop so that the fabric scrunched up. It looked like a hair scrunchie! Hope that makes sense.