Monday, September 12, 2011

My Experiment in Ice Dyeing . . .

turned out better than I thought it would. Let me say again that the instructions for this came from the August/September issue of Quilting Arts Magazine in an article by Lynda Heines. First of all, here's my set up. I found enough pie pans, racks, etc to do 6 pieces, so I did 6 half-yard pieces:

I used what I had--pie plates with holes punched in them on top of foil pans. I've found that the dye does something to the foil, and they leak. So I had to double up on the foil pan that "caught" the liquid dye as the ice melted.

Since I'm out of my very favorite colors of dye, the hardest part was trying to come up with color combinations that I might like. Some worked better than others. I also tried to keep records with my camera (I'm not so great at writing things down as I work!). But this is what they looked like after soaking the fabric in soda ash, scrunching up the fabric, loading on the ice and sprinkling on the dye:

Not very appetizing is it?

I was worried that I had mixed the colors too much, and had mixed some complementary colors that would turn to mud. But things turned out better than I hoped:

It was fun, but I'm not sure I'll do it again. What do you think?


  1. Snow and ice dyeing is definitely more work than traditional hand dyeing. But your results are lovely and that's what makes it worthwhile. You didn't mention how you got your - shaved? crushed? - ice. Snow comes easy here in Colorado, so I've only used the technique with snow.

  2. My favorites are the green and yellow ones. Bill likes the yellow/orangey one.

  3. Thanks! I just used the ice cubes from my freezer. If I do it again, I may try crushing it or just buying a bag. And if it snows again this year, I may try the snow dyeing too.

    You're right, it is more work, but it's fun too!

  4. Thanks, Anita. I kind of like the fushia one the best--it's got so much movement!

  5. Mary Ann, beautiful fabrics, I love all of them. Mine are usually paler(( COuld you, please, tell which colors you used for the last two pieces?

  6. Hi Tania,

    Thanks! I used 1/4 tsp of dye of each color for 1/2 yard instead of 1 yard, I think that's why they came out brighter.

    I believe the first one (of the last two) was fushia, raspberry and deep purple. And the second one was deep purple, jade green and blue. I think these were all pro-chem mx procion dyes. Have fun!

    Mary Ann

  7. These turned out great, you have nice, crisp patterning and some lovely color combinations. Very nice!

  8. I think you got some great results! NIce deep colors and crisp edges. My snow dyeing was much more subtle.

  9. Thanks, Norma! It was a lot of fun. I used more dye than the instuctions said (1/4 tsp of dye to 1/2 yard rather than to 1 yard). Thanks for stopping by!