Posted on Leave a comment

Who needs the gym?! Snowzilla day +4

The third and probably final round of snow-dyes went into the washing machine this morning. This group was all double snow-dyed, and only 9 pieces, 6-7 of which were 4 yards long. Then it was time to clean the floor. I use an old garden sprinkler can that holds three gallons or so. The screens get rinsed along with the floor under them, then it’s squeegee time. More sprinkling, more squeegee, then the mop. That big string mop is a seriously good core muscle workout, with shoulders and triceps thrown in for good measure. Moving the sprinkle can and the occasional 5-gallon bucket of water helps keep up my strength too!
On my last post I mentioned that I turn the water heater up to get 140 degree washout temperatures. Well, the furnace guy is coming tomorrow to put in a new aquastat. The current one can’t answer “how high is up?” Right now it’s set at 90 and the pure hot tap water measures 124. When it gets too hot the pressure relief valve does its job – maybe a little too well! The picture below shows the cloud of steam in the cellar when that happens. So I didn’t need the sprinkler can after all. The floor got a good, really hot wash.
Now, for your free moment of dye education: to wash out Procion MX type dyes, you really need water at 140 F / 60 C plus detergent. The very hot water breaks any partially bonded dye; the MX dyes are called fiber reactive because the dye molecules bond to the cellulose molecules.
That brings me to the free gift for signing up for my newsletter: instructions on washing out fabric dyed with MX. You can click the link in the upper right corner of this blog, or click here to sign up. I’ll send you that PDF – and right now a real human still sends it, not a machine. Thanks!

P.S. I hope to post photos of some of the snow-dyes, but they must be washed and ironed first.
Posted on Leave a comment

Plan for Snowzilla +1 day

In no particular order:

  • Turn up the water heater to 140 for the final washout of yesterday’s snow-dyes and the upcoming ones.
  • First cool washes of snow dyes – yesterday was about 60 yards
  • Squeegee the floor of water & dye runoff
  • Bring in more snow to dye the next 40 yards
  • rinse yesterday’s dye off screens
  • dig my way to the basement door again so I can bring snow inside (see picture below)
  • soda-soak more fabric to dye tomorrow

Take a breath

  • Get to the detached garage, ideally without leaving any footprints in the snow
  • Fire up the snowblower
  • Get enough of the paved surfaces cleaned off to function fairly normally
  • sweep off the front porch
  • sweep off the second-floor porch, or else expect drips in the temporary (i.e. white trash) kitchen on the first floor porch
  • teach hubby how the broiler works because he’s cooking dinner!
Posted on 4 Comments

Can you mail an elephant?

That was the subject line of an email I sent when I needed to get this quilt back. It’s part of “Celebrate the Day with Quilts – An Art Quilt Challenge” by Shannon Shirley. My quilt is one of 72 in the book – six quilts per month celebrating some of the well- and lesser-known holidays on the calendar. It was included at Quiltfest Destination Savannah last month, and will also hang at The NQA show in Columbus, OH, and the PA National Quilt Exposition in September. For more dates see Once in a Rabbit Moon.

Posted on 6 Comments

New SnowDyed fabrics

The recent talk on MXDyers made me pull out the screens again. Not everything is washed yet, and some of these fabrics were dyed in July and never photographed.  We had great weather for it on Friday – the highs barely reached 60, so the ice didn’t melt as fast as it did in July. Anyhow, time for pictures! You should be able to click any of these to see larger images. Thanks for looking!

A square section of a longer piece of yardage.
The rest of these were dyed as square pieces, with fan-folds, 6- and 8-pointed folds, a couple spirals for fun, plus a square fold that I learned from Elin Noble.


There are some dark lines in the lower left corner of this piece. They are the result of letting the fabric dry with out washing it out. The blue dye, being the slowest to strike, wicked up to the top of the folds and bonded there. Not snow-dyeing in its purest form, but it adds to the fabric surface.


Above is the square fold. As you see, it was folded in half to start, so the left side is much lighter than the right. Not super-successful, but could be very interesting cut and pieced.
I was really thrilled when I unfolded this. I was afraid there was too much white in it, but it looks like a whole-cloth quilt to me.

Posted on 2 Comments

Thanks again to Karen

I have posted a PDF of my snow dyeing article that was inspired by Karen at Bunk’s Blog. Thank you for sharing this cool technique, Karen – my customers and friends (and I) enjoy the results very much. Here’s a link to her post which got a lot of us started: Now, when I make more fabric this way, I will post more photos.
Here’s a link to my article, and it’s also found at right, in the links section:

Posted on Leave a comment

The look of Dimples

Had a request from JaJa on the DyersList to see what Andover’s Dimples, white on white, looks like when hand-dyed. These fabrics are all sold, and I’m glad I took pictures. Now to make more! The difference between the printed and unprinted sides is striking – much more pastel where the printing ink resists the dye.

‘Back of the fabric, with printed side folded over.

Detail of above

Close up

Snow dyed Dimples
Posted on Leave a comment


Wooo-hooo! The magazine article about snow dyeing has come out – there’s a view of the cover at right. And you can buy it here, or at your local independent quilt retailer. Of course, now that we’ve spent several days working on getting the kitchen ready to paint, we still have to post all the fabrics and supplies on the website. Always more to do, which is good!

Posted on Leave a comment

Snow Dyeing!

Well, there has been a fair bit of buzz on the DyersList about snow dyeing, and after seeing the great tutorial on Bunk’s Blog I had to try it! So here are the pictures of the process and finished products. If you look closely you see a timer in the rear corner showing the elapsed time.

Did four fat quarters presoaked in soda. The darkest didn’t turn out, the other three are undyed white sateen, and print cloth and muslin in a pale orange/flesh tone. The muslin is the darker of the two.
Carefully piled the snow over the four fat quarters. We had rain and ice after the snow, so it’s anything but fluffy.
After applyling the dye: tangerine (MX-GR) and strongest red (MX-GBA). I used some of it straight (5% concentrate), watered some of it down, and mixed some together by eye before pouring it on. I also poured my rinse water onto the snow. You can see here that the board is made of a wooden frame with large pieces of needlework plastic canvas stapled to it. Thanks, hubby.
1 1/2 hours in and melting is happening.

Later, a close-up showing the dirt particles appearing. Yuck.

OK, after 3 hours 20 minutes I was getting impatient, so I sprinkled several tablespoons of salt over the snow. Time above is 4 hrs, 51 minutes.
Nearing the end; I’m pretty sure I let it go about 6 – 6 1/2 hours.

This is the muslin.

The is the sateen that started out white. If you look at the enlargement, you can see where it picked up the grid pattern from my board.

This is the print cloth.

All in all, I’m very pleased with the results, I just need to figure out how to do a lot of it! Thanks, Karen, for your inspiration!

Deb said…

Love the snow dyes! It does make me think I’d like to try and especially love the grid marks from the board underneath!!! I live in the south, so this is a limited opportunity for me. I may get the equipment ready and see if we get a rare snow storm for me to try it. For our usual snow storms check out my recent posting in my blog

Thursday, January 29, 2009 2:51:00 PM GMT-05:00
Karen said…

It turned out great, good job, neat seeing the grid pattern on the fabric. That happened to me once with a golf ball (don’t ask).

Thursday, January 29, 2009 4:09:00 PM GMT-05:00
Anonymous said…

this is cool lisa! i am definitely going to try this out (sooner or later). we have plenty of snow but it is unfortunately buried under a good piece of ice. sort of like creme brulee on a large scale.
Rita from Scranton

Friday, January 30, 2009 8:08:00 AM GMT-05:00
I’m Bobbie said…

Love your pieces! Thanks for your comment on my blog. Yes, I’ve been to the Barn many times, all of Carol Soderlund’s classes plus more. Bet we’ve been there at the same time.
Keep up the great blog!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009 3:05:00 PM GMT-05:00
Judy said…

lovely snow dyeing…….pity I live in GA where we rarely have any snow at all!

Sunday, February 15, 2009 10:18:00 AM GMT-05:00
Sue said…

Your fabric is very, very pretty. Thanks for blogging about it. I have a question though. Do you think the results are significantly different than doing low immersion dyeing and really good scrunching? Just curious, as I’ve not done it.

Sunday, February 15, 2009 10:42:00 AM GMT-05:00
Lisa in Penna said…

Hi Sue – The finished product is rather different from traditional scrunching. Two of the fabrics were already dyed a very pale orange, but the sateen that started out white doesn’t have any white areas remaining. They are pale yellow at the lightest. Also, there isn’t the usual crystalline patterning from LWI. All the edges are softer. Jane Dunnewold described this as ‘snow resist’ dyeing, and I think that the gradual combination of dye and fabric does lead to a different result. I’d like to hear what other folks think! – Lisa

Sunday, February 15, 2009 9:28:00 PM GMT-05:00

Post a Comment

Links to this post
Färben im Schnee
1. Schnee vom Gestern Des öfteren bin ich gefragt worden, ob ich schon im Schnee gefärbt hätte. Gereitz hat es mich schon lange. Gestern habe ich es endlich probiert, Schnee gibt es ja momentan genug. In Quilting Arts Nr.
Posted by Helena at Friday, January 15, 2010 4:50:00 AM GMT-05:00