dye job

I've said it before and I'll say it again: it is a major benefit of California, the avocado. If you've already heard my avocado story ten times, you should skip ahead. But until I moved away to go college at 18, I didn't know what an avocado was. I'd never seen one. It is embarrassing but true that for some number of years I had a boyfriend who was obsessed with Pearl Jam, and when that self titled album came out, no one in my small home town knew what that bizarre thing on the cover was. I was living in New York City by that time, so I'd gained some familiarity with the infamous fruit, but even I was no convert. Not yet. Not really until I moved to California, where they grow year round, did I truly realize my avocado addiction.

But enough about me. If you are reading this from a part of the world where you can't readily eat fresh avocados, I am sincerely sorry. Come visit California! You won't regret it.

The bowl holds some of the rinse water from the first dye bath; I love the jewel tone. Somewhere between salmon and pink. In the second photo, the fabric on the left was originally a very pale grey; I left it in the dye bath a full 48 hrs and then put it through a baking soda wash. The fabric on the right was originally bright white, and it soaked for about 24 hrs before simply rinsing.

The floral fabric is one of my favorites. I believe it's some kind of light flannel; it has a great drape and is incredibly soft to the touch. I love the vintage quality of the print. I threw a strip of it into the dye pot on a whim, thinking it would be just the thing for the eight point star quilt I'm working on. I love the way it came out. The pink aged the look of the fabric even more, and helped bring down the contrast of the flowers ever so gently. I plan on doing a black tea dye bath with more of this fabric in the future.

And then there's the real drama queen, my second go-round with yellow onion skins. This time I used far more skins to far less fabric, and a big pinch of alum for good measure...

You might recognize the above as the initial result of this experiment... my first attempt at Shibori. I'm still playing around with dying this fabric - it already looks different than this first photo - but I haven't struck the magic cord with it. Yet.

And then there's this one, just a yard a fabric left in that pot for days and days. I didn't agitate it too much, and I didn't strain my dye pot well; and I let things settle and sort of do what they would. At first plan this was to be cut up into squares - but I don't think I can bring myself to do it. I love it so much, this autumnal tie-dye feel, like a field of liquid gold... I have to find a way to use it whole.

Have a wonderful weekend, all of you. More to share, very soon!


  1. I so love that yellow.
    I've been saving yellow onion skins for ages.
    Soon, soon.


  2. What can I say, other than, beautiful and amazing.

  3. I have been around avocados most my life, yum. Here in Montana i have to wait until they are shipped here, not quite the same. I have never seen someone make a dye bath with the skins, yours turned out beautiful and soft. Love your golden fabrics as well. such a joy to see~