I started following Malka Dubrawsky's blog, A Stitch In Dye, after I happened upon a photo of this quilt on her flickr stream. At first glance, I gasped. The colors are so vivid and the pattern is so interesting – there was nothing about this quilt that I didn't like. After a moment or two of gazing, a few of those fabrics looked familiar. Upon closer inspection, I realized that she didn't piece those circles into those squares. The fabrics were dyed! A whole world of possibility opened before my eyes. Dyeing printed fabric? Wow.
How did she do it? Well now I know, and so can you. Malka's new book, Color Your Cloth, A Quilter's Guide to Dyeing and Patterning Fabric arrived on my doorstep a few weeks ago. In the first part of the book, Malka explains in depth the how's and the why's to wax resist and over-dyeing fabric. In the second part, she shares directions for projects that she has made with fabric she had dyed and patterned herself. And her fabric is fantastic – crisp, bold colors that really pop and make me want to run out and buy dyes and experiment a little myself. If only the holidays weren't right around the corner.
Lucky enough for me, Malka sent me a stack of her hand dyed and hand patterned fabrics to play around with. I knew instantly that I wanted to combine the prints with something neutral so they could really sing. I grabbed some linen, my ruler and rotary cutter and got to work. More than a hundred triangles later, I started sewing.
I went with a zig zag pattern that I sewed to a rectangle of linen to make placemats. I used solid linen on the back and cotton batting in my quilt sandwich. I sewed the three layers together leaving an opening and then flipped it right side out then quilted it. I love the way the crisp cotton contrasts with the soft linen. The colors stand out against the neutral ground and the piecing takes a pattern that was already interesting and adds another dimension to it. And the finished placemats look great on my table.
I highly recommend Malka's book if you are looking for more information on dyeing and patterning fabric or if you just want a good dose of inspiration. The sewing projects include small items like coasters and totes and larger endeavors like quilts. Malka has an etsy shop where she sells her fabrics and sewn items. Her book can be purchased from etsy as well or on Amazon.
Malka has generously offered a copy of her book to one of my readers. If you'd like a chance of winning, please leave a comment on this post before Friday, November 20th at 12:00 p.m. EST. I will use the random number generator to pick a winner. Good luck!