Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tea Dying the Brightness out of the Whiteness

My quilt top combining older fabrics from my stash with newer ones is done.


A nice little strippy quilt, a bit of a girly one!


Before I could sew the strips of this quilt top together, I had to first lightly tea dye two of the white newer fabrics I had, they were very bright against some of the other more off-white fabrics. To do that I brewed up a nice little brew...in a bowl! Two tea bags sat in there for about 5 minutes before I took them out.


Then the strips got thrown into a sink of cold water...


and dipped quickly through the bowl of tea...


The idea was not to make these look antiquey, but just to take the brightness down a few notches. Then they got thrown back into cold water to set. I don't know if your computer screen will let you see the difference between the 'before' and 'after'? It is very subtle. The strip on the left has been dyed, the one on the right is still bright!!...


After being gently wrung out they were placed on a towel to dry. Next time I would probably dye the fabric before I had cut it into strips, but the whiteness didn't really stand out until they were up on my design wall. Anyway, dying them as strips didn't seep to pull them out of shape at all.


Once ironed, they were ready to be sewn up with the rest of the fabrics. I'm thrilled with the end result of this little quilt.


Doesn't it look lovely sitting on a chair at my friends house under their gorgeous ornamental pear tree with its beautiful orange Autumn leaves?


I will definitely be looking at more older fabrics from my stash to see how they look mixed with new ones. This was fun!! xo

29 comments:

Pieces of Sunshine said...

It DOES look lovely. Great idea, pleased it worked so well for you Cathy.

Cardygirl said...

Looks great...fresh & fun. I often dye to take away that starkness...fabulous quilt!

Kathie said...

oh this is so nice. looks perfect with those leaves :)
my favorite time of year , the fall with the colors!
I love mixing old and new fabrics together! Beautiful results you achieved with your quilt
Kathie

Janet said...

What a happy quilt, It shows off the fabrics and it's a great stashbuster. Good idea to tea dye, that was just what it needed. It's going to be fun quilting it up.

Oops-Lah said...

It looks great! Just one thing though; I'm always wondering if the tea dye is permanent or will it wash out in a couple of washes? But isn't it fun to combine new fabric with "oldies" from the stash? That always gives me great satisfaction ;). Cheers

bec said...

Gorgeoous quilt, and great idea. I was wondering if the tea would wash out, then remembered how well it stays in carpet etc when I knock over a cup haha!

Katy said...

Well isn't that clever? I'd have never thought of using tea to get rid of the glare of white fabrics. So very clever!

Barb said...

Just love your quilt...looks so clean and fresh!

meli B said...

Looks good. The old whites mixed with a tea bag trick! Very effective. We used to do that with the kid's school work when they had to make the paper look antique. Very pretty under the tree. The colours of the trees at the moment are fantastic.

Andi said...

A very clever solution.
The quilt is gorgeous!!

Theresa said...

I love your quilt top and hats off to you for tea dying! Perfect!

Rose said...

Our modern detergents will often get out tea stain. I read that using alum to set the stain works best. Great quilt, by the way. Very summery!

Jackie said...

Yes, tea dyeing is definitely a great way to take sown the brightness in those very white, whites! It looks fabulous!

Carla said...

My stash holds some "oldies but goodies" too...great idea. Back in the day, I always had a package of tan RIT dye on hand, but that wasn't very subtle!

Stephanie said...

Girlie, delicate, sweet.

Anna said...

What a sweet quilt...which reminds me of my tea dying experience. I dyed the whole quilt top...mistake...because the dye took up in some fabric and not in others. It was a two colored quilt of red and shirting fabric. Now it is a red, cream and pinkish brown...oh well, live and learn!

Crispy said...

The quilt is lovely Cathy!! Great idea to tea dye to make the fabric work better in the quilt. An idea I will have to remember :0)

Crispy

Nedra said...

Your quilt does look so enticing under the tree. I wish there was a way to brighten up some of my older fabrics that are too dull to go into the quilts I'm now interested in making.

Lizzie said...

Lovely Cathy, I really like the simple strippy layout..
Lizzie
xxx

Hi! My name is erica. Would you be my friend? said...

So pretty! I love how you mixed your old with your new! And excellent idea for the white ones. I've had that problem but I didn't think to do that.

Danielle said...

I love this quilt Cathy - I'm working on one similar at the moment!

Ruth said...

Wow! What a brilliant idea for bright whites! I will have to remember that one!

West Michigan Quilter said...

Love your quilt. I never would have thought to dye the fabric. Great idea. Great way to use up those fabrics too.

Jackie said...

As you said, the color difference is subtle when compared side to side but I can see the brightness is toned down. Will the final cold rinse be enough to set the color permanently?

The quilt is wonderful and I especially love the color on your tree. We don't get colors like that here in Florida.

Michelle @ The Quilted Tortoise said...

It's gorgeous Cathy! It has loads of colour and movement without looking too busy.

I also think the picture of the 2 different fabrics of tea dyed strips all lying about together would make a nice quilt on their own!

The photo in the garden is just divine too!

pomegranateandchintz said...

Your new quilt top looks great Cathy. I can't believe how quickly you put them together! Isn't it amazing how a little tea dye can have such a subtle effect.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Really love the quilt. It is beautiful. Tea dying is sorta fun.

Diane said...

I really like your quilt. The tea dying was a great idea. It is beautiful.

Cathy said...

Testing!