Dyeing for the Scrap Quilt

Some of the blocks for my scrap double bed quilt.

I thought I had plenty but I had done my calculations on 12 inch blocks not the 10 inch ones I was actually working on.  Oh dear!

I searched around for more scraps that could be included and cut them out but there weren’t enough. I went for a long walk and came up with this.

Dyeing a piece of self patterned white cotton fabric leftover from the quilt I made for my brother’s wedding several years ago. Enough to make borders. The revolting looking dyestuff is coffee grounds collected and saved in the freezer. It produced a lovely coffee colour!

I used milk as a mordant and left the fabric soaking for 24 hours, stirring and turning from time to time.

I didn’t solar dye this fabric because it was too big for any jar I have and at this time of year would take too long. So I waited for the solar panels to kick in, brought the fabric and dyestuff slowly to the boil, turned off the power and left them to cool naturally.

The only drawback is the difficulty of getting the coffee grounds off the surface of the fabric: a lot of rinsing and flapping in the breeze did it. On the plus side, the dye pot contents can be thrown on the compost heap without fear. They’d have been there anyway if I hadn’t been saving them.

I went through my wadding scraps but can’t come up with anything like enough to piece them to double bed size so I’ll have to buy wadding.

I have plenty of backing choices in store, including the good bits of old sheets or maybe pieced from large leftovers.

I can’t get any further until I have the wadding as I plan to strip piece columns straight to the wadding and backing. Take a look at Mary Fogg’s work if you you want to see  wonderful quilts made using this method.

Thanks for dropping by.

Norma x

PS. Linking this to Scrap Happy March.



Filed under dyeing, patchwork, quilts, scraps, sewing, stashbusting, textiles

15 responses to “Dyeing for the Scrap Quilt

  1. Looks interesting. I look forward to the finished product.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are so resourceful. Please post a photo of what the cotton looks like after it’s dried and cut. I’ve heard onion skins produce a pretty shade of yellow. Have you tried that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I just wanted to use up more leftovers. I’ve tried photographing the coffee dyed fabric but it isn’t coming out well. Maybe it will just show off better in the quilt. It’s a cafe au lait colour.
      The darker golds in my solar dyeing post are onion skins. I’ve incorporated the fabric into the quilt blocks. Am thinking about how to incorporate the natural dyes into my #oneyearoneoutfit quest. Dock leaves gave a really pretty colour and will be out soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Great. I’ll follow the postings to see your progress. I’m sure the coffee dyed fabric will find its place. For myself, I think it would take me time to get used to the hues and subtle shadings of naturally dyed fabrics. Chemical dyes create a very vivid color so it takes time to change one’s view and expectation.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Some colours are bright but the ones available from UK plants seem fairly limited – madder (pink / apricot) and woad (for indigo) are the only ones that come to mind but this is another area forresearch.


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