I've dyed fabric before, which is why I already had all the supplies handy. I used fiber-reactive dyes and other supplies from Dharma Trading Company.
I started by cutting 12 fat eighths from each of these two fabrics (The bird print is from the Soiree collection by RJR and the white and gray print is from Amy Butler's Midwest Modern 2.)
I followed the instructions in this book, which I bought at Fabric Depot years ago, for dyeing a 12-step color wheel. The directions have you mixing dye solutions in primary colors and then mixing them to create a color wheel in 12 dye pots.
Here are my dye pots out on the deck.
And here's a close-up of one of them. The original directions suggested using one gallon of liquid to dye a fat quarter (in my case two fat eighths) which seemed like a waste of water and supplies to me, so I ended up throwing several other pieces in there too! (This is something I've done successfully in the past.)
My dyes had been sitting in my garage for several years. I'm not sure how long you're supposed to keep dye, but this stuff didn't work nearly as well as it did when I used it several years ago. The fuchsia red in particular didn't seem to "take." I need to order some new dyes so I can try this again!
These colors came out a little deeper, but I suspect that's because I was dyeing over an already-colored background.
Here's some of the fabric I threw in partway through the process. (It's Alexander Henry's Chitra Floral.)
And here's another throw-in. This one is Alexander Henry's Livingston Seagull. The Alexander Henry fabric has a very fine weave, so it just soaked up the dye, even though it went into the dye pots after the bulk of the dye had likely been exhausted.
I threw in some Essex cotton/linen too, just to see what would happen. I really want to dye some more of this properly, with new dye and for the prescribed amount of time, to get some deeper colors.
I decided to use some of my overdyed fabrics for a little project and decided that some simple hourglass blocks would look nice. I made mine with six inch squares. I cut 24 white squares and 24 squares from different overdyed prints. I then cut all of the squares along both diagonals, creating four triangles from each. For each block, I used two white triangles and two matching print triangles, as shown above. (So, from each print square and white square, you get two identical blocks.)
To make the blocks, start by sewing each of the two white triangles to one of the two print triangles. Then sew the two pairs together to make a square, aligning all points in the center.
The finished blocks are about 5 1/8 inches square. Because this is an odd size, and because the seam allowances needed to be trimmed at each corner anyway, I squared up each block to five inches square by measuring out 2 1/2 inches from the center on all sides. This was tedious, but resulted in "perfect" blocks that are very easy to join.
Here's a finished block.
And here are my 48 finished blocks together.
And here's a detail of the blocks. I really wish the colors had come out deeper, but I do think it's an interesting look. I love seeing the overdyed prints together.
As with the bleach discharge, I really enjoyed overdyeing. This is the first time I've ever tried dyeing non-solid fabrics, and I thought it was really fun. I'm definitely going to try it again once I get some new dyes.
ETA: I should have mentioned that Rossie is having a contest to get the new Flickr group going. Check it out here!