05 April, 2010

Belated Easter Treats



How very Martha of me. Not that I dyed Easter eggs using cabbage, beets, onions, and turmeric. Not that I also decided to dye some fabric. But the colours are all Martha. And if you look around this site for about five minutes you'll see that I don't generally work in softer colours. Like I always say, it's good to change things up a little.

We dyed eggs with friends on Friday. I was totally enamoured with the colours, and very surprised from that orange from just a few onion skins. So I left all the eggs with our friends, but took home the rest of the dye juices. We dyed a few more eggs but that liquid colour looked too good to throw away. I already had all my scraps out so I grabbed some pieces of white on white and threw them in the bowls. The orange is from onion skins, the yellow from turmeric, and the purple measuring cup contains the liquid from boiled red cabbage.

This is the fabric as it came out of that red cabbage juice. Such a lovely purple. It clearly turned the eggs blue, so this was a bit of a shock. But a good rinse in cold water and some air time to dry and the fabric all turned the same soft blue/grey as the eggs. Perhaps a little less blue.

These are the turmeric stained fabrics right out of the dye water. So yellow! And even though I rinsed and rinsed they stained quite bright. And point of fact: turmeric dyed fabric will smell like turmeric long after it is rinsed and dried.

Look at my strips drying so nicely together!

And here are the eggs and their associated fabrics. In truth, they may be Martha colours, but they really are softer versions of the colours already in our house, namely turquoise and orange.

So I took all the scraps, trimmed them into strips, and started sewing. I went for the silly a little, in making an egg shaped placemat. This was easy to do. I simply created an egg shape out of paper so I had something to compare to as I sewed. You could also use it as a paper pieced project. Then I sewed the strips together. Once I knew I had my desired size I trimmed the top, cut out backing and batting and sewed it all together with right sides together.

Full disclosure, I screwed up twice when sewing it together. That's what I get for rushing to get it done during naptime. But I got myself sorted out and finished it off after turning it all right sides out and sewing that last seam around the edge.

There is a peak of the backing fabric. I put on something bright and fun so that if/when the top gets wrecked/runs I can use the other side for springtime. And there is my Smilosaurus checking it all out.

17 comments:

Kris said...

what a great project! I'll have to give that a try sometime...

beth said...

That was a fun project!! I love the colors you were able to get out of those natural dyes!

HipHome said...

Look at how clever you are! Love it all.
We were on a road trip this weekend so no eggs, no dyeing, no baskets...I feel like an aweful mom.

Lee said...

very cool & creative

pippapatchwork said...

Oh my gosh, I just did the same thing with yarn! What kind of fabric did you use? I thought these kinds of dyes would wash out of cotton... but I'm very, very eager to try some fabric dyeing!

elle said...

Now that is pretty cool, Cheryl. I'm champing at the bit to do some dyeing myself!

I Love Baby Quilts! said...

Wow, great post!!! I enjoyed it very much.

corinnea said...

I used to do this with my kids when they were young. Guess I shouldn't have stopped! Lovely!

KatieQ said...

Well aren't you fabulous! I used to use natural dyes with my pre-school class. After we finished dying things, we would use the colored water to test for acids and bases. After the red cabbage juice sits in the refrigerator a few days it takes on a life of its own.

Vicki @ DottyJane said...

Very crafty of you to save the dye water! Love how the fabrics turned out:)

brown robin said...

Wow, wow, WOW!!! I've been wanting to try dying fabrics for a while, and there you just went and did it. I love what spontaneity creates. Truly inspirational, this post!

Victoria said...

Wow, I adore this!

I've got my onion skins and turmeric, now all I need is some of that glorious red cabbage! Thanks so much for the inspiration, and I love what you did with the dyed fabrics!

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Lovely to see soft colors sometimes; I too work in the brighter shades: blues, green, purple....

After cooking cabbage for three years for dinner several times a week and wondering what the water would do, I appreciate that you've done the field work for me--incredible shade of blue!!

2ndAvenueStudio-Rachel said...

that was awesome! we don't really decorate for the seasons and I don't dye.
But it was very interesting.. onion skins! neat!

Nancy said...

Cool! I rinsed some green cabbage last week to make stir fry and was surprised when I saw that the rinse water was red. At the time, I was thinking that the water would make a great dye. I suppose red cabbage would produce an even darker red or purple color. Next time, I will save my natural dyes and put them to good use too. Thanks for sharing.

amandajean said...

i loved everything about this post! what a fun experiment with the dyed fabrics. and i love the placemat, too. how fun!

bingo~bonnie said...

everything turned out so pretty - the eggs, the fabric colors, and the place mat ;) So Martha!

Love from Texas! ~bonnie