Category Archives: mx dyes

Snow Dyeing

Hi – it’s been awhile since I’ve posted but I’ve been very busy in the studio snow dyeing batch after batch of scarves and fabrics the past couple of weeks. Racing Mother Nature to use the snow before she melts it.

You can see what I’ve been up to by checking my Skyswept  Designs Facebook Page

I’ve been “live” facebooking through several sessions lately.

Christmas in July

I’m having a Christmas in July Sale in my ArtFire Shop.  From July 13-31, 2011, save 10% off your total order.  Plus I’ll pay the Canadian Taxes (no taxes for orders from outside Canada) and shipping to celebrate Skyswept Designs 2nd Anniversary in business.

I’ve uploaded the snow-dyed Kona PFD fabrics to start.  Check them out!  You can also click on the icon on my side bar to take you to my shop.

I’m will be taking more photos tomorrow to upload to the shop as I can.  Once I have all the snow dyed fabrics uploaded, I will begin taking photos of the “regular” hand dyed. 

If you just want to look at the snow dyed fabrics and not buy, I have them here:

Get your drool bibs out!

In March, I dyed  20 1 yard pieces each of Kona PFD and Pimatex PFD using low water immersion techinque to provide coordinating fabrics for those snow-dyed in February.

Those will get uploaded after I attend the Crescent Park Quilt Festival in Moose Jaw, SK on Sunday, July 24.

Scarves now available at Drury Lane Fashions in Maple Creek

Today I took my scarves to Drury Lane Fashions in Maple Creek, SK  for the owner, Joanna Drury to choose some for her store.  And choose she did!  18 scarves ended up being chosen – one of which was bought by a customer while I was there.

Here is the assortment of scarves she chose:

Scarves for Drury Fashions

 Joanna liked the scarves I had dyed with the Procion Mx dyes (upper left hand of the photo) so I will be making more of them when I am dyeing other things. They have a more overall solid look too them than the ones with the Color Hue dyes.  She also told me that the blue in the snow dyed scarf I was wearing that day would go good with denim (a very popular fabric here) so I will also be dyeing more of that color.  I really appreciated her insights and comments and will be using them to create a karger variety scarves.

Snow Dyed Scarves now at Traditions Handcraft Gallery

Today I took my snow-dyed scarves to Traditions Handcraft Gallery  in Regina  Since these are a limited edition due to the weather (snow gone!) she took most of them (13).  The remaining few will be put up on my ArtFire shop in May.  I have not had time to photograph the snow dyed scarves individually, but I did take  photos of them by size.

8"x54" snow-dyed silk charmeuse scarves

8″x54″ snow-dyed silk charmeuse scarves

14"x72" snow-dyed silk charmeuse scarves

11"x60" handwoven cotton snow-dyed scarves

11"x60" snowed dyed handwoven cotton scarves

14"x72" snow dyed handwoven cotton scarves

I I also managed to get to Milky Way Ice cream shop in Regina  I heard about it the other day on CBC.  It seems to be one of the signs of spring in Regina when it opens.  Their claim to fame is that they telephone folks and tell them what the flavour of the day for the soft ice cream is – oh yes – they have the regular flavours of soft ice cream – choc, vanilla , choc/vanilla twist, strawberry/vanilla twist - but also have a flavour of the day – today’s was creme de menthe so I passed on it.  It really is the best soft icecream I’ve had – and I’ve had some good stuff.  I think it may become a regular part of my Regina visits on Wednesdays – it’s only a few blocks from Broad Street.  It’s a family owned business and only takes cash.


SPRING has arrived so what am I doing – Snow Dyeing!

I can’t believe it’s Spring already.  I kind of feel like I am emerging from a self  imposed hibernation due to a number of major deadlines since late January.  I have met them all and now have new ones to concentrate on.  I will be posting about them (in retrospect mostly) to bring all my blog readers up to date.  I will be doing more regular posts since they have now become “deadlines” to meet as well.

So – it’s the first day of Spring and what am I doing – SNOW DYEING!  Finally!!!  I’ve been wanting to do snow dyeing since I first heard about it.  I was in the middle of all those deadlines and made myself wait until they’d been met.  The warm weather we’ve had lately had me concerned I wasn’t going to get to do it this year – but there were still some “drift” remaining on the north side of my studio building so I was in luck.  Looking at my schedule I decided I HAD to do it today or I might not get to do it at all.   

Yesterday evening I tore 24 1 yard pieces  of Kona PFD off the 125 yd bolt and pre-soaked them in soda ash for 30 min.  I left them in a damp pile to dye today. I went to the dollar store to get some baskets with slotted sides to let the snow melt out and not dilute the dyes. I found some that fit my dyeing dish pans very well.   

basket/bin combination for snow dyeing

 The next step was to put the soda ash soaked fabric into the bins so it would have lots of folds for the dye to work with.   

20 yards of fabric in bins ready for snow dyeing

 I mixed up my dye concentrates using Ann Johnson’s proportions in “Color by Accident”.  It was recommended by a number of folks to use colours made of several colours for best results with the snow dyeing  because the colour breaks into its component colours during the process.  I decided I would use some of the new MX dyes I bought from G&S dyes in Toronto .  I have 10 containers to mix my dye concentrates in so I used 10 of them.  Basically 2 reds, 2 greens, 2 purples, 2 yellows and navy and black.  Once those were done, it was time to get the snow.   

Time to go out and get the snow – I decided it would make more sense to bring the snow into the studio and put it in bins than to take 20 bins out and and lug them back inside.  My tall garbage container worked well – enough snow for about 1o bins.   


snow - was more the snow cone icy type than the granulated sugar type of snow we usually get

Once the snow was inside  it was time to work quickly and get it onto the fabric in the bins.  I discovered it took about half of the green bucket to give the proper depth of snow (2″ – 4″) or about 6 - 500 ml containers worth.   

bins of fabric packed with snow - ready to dye

 Some people recommend freezing the fabric before snow dyeing.  I didn’t have the means to do this so I let the snow sit on top of the fabric while I mixed the dye bottles from the concentrates – so they spent about half an hour getting cold while I did that and started dyeing the bins.  Then comes the fun part. Putting the dye on the snow.  I tried a variety of colour combinations – thinking of the colours used to make up the compound colours as well as a few “what if” type of combinations.    

fuschia and golden yellow dyes applied to snow - looks almost good enough to eat!

same bin 4 hrs later - dye is soaking through snow

Here are a couple of overall pictues of the bins.

20 bins snow dyeing

4 hours later the dye is soaking down thru the snow

  If you’ve been counting, you are wondering about the other 4 yards right?  Well since I only had 20 baskets, I decided I would dye the last 4 as layers (or parfaits if you use Color by Accident).  I looked at the remaining dye concentrates to decide what colours I would use.  I finally decided on burgundy (bottom), mixed purple and violet in one bottle for next layer), jade and dark green for next layer, and golden yellow for the the top layer – knowing that some of the combinations would give me a brown of some sort.  

I put the fabric in, covered it with a layer of snow then squirted dye over the snow layer, then next layer of fabric, snow, dye, and so on.   

burgundy and purple layers done, green layer covered with snow waiting for dye

green dye added to snow

last layer of fabric already wicking dye from layer below waiting for snow

all dyes added

a good look at the layers - you can see dyeing moving and wicking through the fabric   

 I will stop at the studio tomorrow on my way out of town to take some photos of how the snow dyeing is progressing – stay tuned!