05 March 2015

Wave Goodbye

50 shades of hollyhock

I was SO in love with my hollyhock-dyed jelly roll strips. I loved them so much, I couldn't decide if I should make a dress or a quilt. So I bribed myself. I promised myself I could make something of the jelly roll after I finished a few other quilts in progress.

That was five finished quilts ago!

In the meantime, my luscious lavenders turned to boring beige. The color faded, even though the strips were not stored in direct sunlight.

hollyhock fade

This batch of hollyhock had been mordanted with soy. It was an experiment. The experiment failed. Now I know better.

soy okara for mordant

I began snow-dyeing again after a 16-inch dump, and that was followed up by another eight inches the following weekend. Plenty of snow for dyeing! Perhaps I could refresh the hollyhock strips by snow-dyeing them!

This would mean re-mordanting them, this time with salt and soda ash. The soda ash changes the pH of the water, which in turn changes the color of many natural-dyed fibers.

My 50 shades of beige (and a couple of still gorgeous lavender strips) turned green when I first stuck them in the mordant pot. A very nice green, but I knew it would not last. Heat turns natural dyes to yellow or brown. Or a combination of the two.

nice olive on nice lavender

too bad I can't keep that shade

Within about 20 degrees, the attractive green went eggshell.

50 shades of tan

I actually liked these colors, but I didn't know how long the color would hold up with regular washing. So I moved forward with the snow-dyeing plan.

I'd hoped for lavender and dusty rose once again, to replace what I lost. But I feared what the ecru fabric might do to gorgeous pastel shades of purple. I opted for burgundy and mink professional dyes instead.

blanket of snow

burgundy and mink

Once again, the powder dye color broke, which means, separated into the different hue components of which the initial color was made. Because I didn't have a particular color goal this time, I didn't mind. I wanted to see what I could get.

burgundy break

The colors after all the snow melted looked pretty darned good. The dye then cured for more than 24 hours before heading into boiling water to be permanently set. I didn't forget the heat stage of professional dyeing this time.

melted color

After boiling the strips, the color looked good. I hoped it would fade just a bit in the wash, but not to completely pastel.

after boil

After washing came the tedious three-hour process of detangling, chopping off unraveled threads and then pressing with a hot iron. Which allowed me to study each strip in detail.

Oh, my heavens! I've created The Wave on fabric!!!!!!!!!!

I now am the proud owner of the most beautiful jelly roll I've ever seen!

out of the wash

into my heart

love at first sight

jelly roll dreams

Colors of The Wave

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict.


  1. Turned out really great indeed. Guess you just have to dive on in and see what comes out of it.

    1. I guess that's true, Pat. Fortunately, this experiment turned out GREAT!

  2. My gosh, it IS the Wave!

    Now what kind of quilt will you make with it? Something like this? http://www.amazon.com/New-Twist-Strips-Curves/dp/1571203966

    or maybe this? http://www.amazon.com/Ricky-Tims-Convergence-Quilts-Mysterious/dp/157120217X/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_y/186-5175858-8768611


    1. Ha ha! I do have the Convergence book... The Lizard is hoping to make some quilts from that!

      I think these are destined to become a dress, because I want to be surrounded by them!!!

  3. Loads and loads of awesomeness, just like the wave!

    1. Why, thank you, Lizard! I got the seal of approval that really matters!!!

  4. they are they are the most beautiful. I would be afraid they were too beautiful to use! What if I used them on one project and they would have been perfect on another!!? Oh... they aren't mine... I can relax and watch what you make... oh good! LeeAnna at not afraid of color

    1. Oh, you are so funny, LeeAnna! You do make me wonder what you would do with these! I bet it would be spectacular!

  5. lovely! I'm glad it worked out.


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