I guess every quilt has a story, but sometimes I think “Hoo-boy, this one really has a story!”

The finish here started with a shibori dying class with Debbie Maddy in 2018.indigo dye

I decided to use the fat quarters (FQs) I’d dyed in the class to make a quilt using Debbie’s Usagi pattern.

The blocks were easy to make and I enjoyed the process.  Then I decided to quilt it myself!  I usually do pretty well quilting on my domestic machine, but my walking foot decided it didn’t want to participate.  The resulting quilt was quite a mess.  No, I did not take pictures!

I took out a lot of the quilting, using both a regular seam ripper and a tool that looks like a miniature electric razor.  Both worked pretty well, and I managed not to make holes in the fabric!

Finally I got up the nerve to try again.  I did small meandering in the blocks to make the rabbits stand out, some stitch-in-the-ditch around the blocks, and some wavy quilting in the border.  Done!

Quilt stats:

Name:  Rabbits!

Pattern:  Usagi by Debbie Maddy

Fabric:  Most shibori-dyed in class with Debbie Maddy; border is a commercial batik

Size: 44″ x 44″

Quilted by: me (twice–a learning experience!)

24-Step Dying to Quilt

Have you ever admired the rainbow of subtle colors offered in hand-dyed fabrics?

Cindy Lohbeck

Cindy Lohbeck

But they are expensive, so, while at AQS in Chattanooga, I took a 24-step hand dye class with Cindy Lohbeck.

Cindy is an excellent teacher.  She has her process down to very precise steps, well explained, that make it difficult for students to make a mistake.

I had NO IDEA how much was involved in fiber-reactive dying!  After 3-1/2 hours in class, we had 24 bins of fat quarters (FQs) in dye to take home and finish.

fabric dying

Part of the fat quarter bins, now at home in my laundry room

It took another 6 hours of work at home, though part of that time was spent waiting for the fixative to work, or waiting for the washer and dryer.  There was a LOT of rinsing by hand in HOT water to get all the extra dye out before the fabric was put in the washer and dryer.

fabric dying

Thank goodness for a deep sink for rinsing!

Cindy’s instructions continued to be thorough and complete, so I had no trouble.  (I think she should write a book and call it “Dying to Quilt” 🙂 )  She provided all the materials needed for the project, including 24 fat quarters of PFD (prepared for dying) cotton fabric, dyes and reagents, measuring equipment, and even the special detergent for washing the final product!

Finally, after drying and ironing the fat quarters, I had a glorious array of colors!

hand dyed fabric

24 steps of color, plus 2 extras

There are 2 multi-color FQs made with fabric I brought to class to use up the “extra” dye produced in each step.  Can you see them?

Now what in the world am I going to do with this fabric?  Suggestions?