Saturday, 5 October 2013

Mystery Sampler Stitchalong

Hello hello!
Just a quick post today to share my start on the Sunday Mystery Sampler stitchalong being run by Paulette at Plum Street Samplers. After rooting through my fabric stash I couldn't really find a suitable piece to stitch this on, everything was either too dark or too bright when I compared it to the listed threads. There was a nice sized piece of white belfast linen though, which got me thinking...maybe it was time to try dyeing some fabric with coffee or tea? I have been thinking about dyeing my own fabric for a while & I'm sure a few years ago there were tutorials aplenty to be found online for doing this, but when I went looking for them I came up pretty empty... It seems many of the folks who have cracked this technique are now selling their dyed fabric so aren't willing to share their methods... I turned to a lovely stitchy friend who makes all kinds of amazing things (follow this  to see some of the wonderful things Steph makes) for some advice, and amongst other things she reminded me to just go for it & have fun! So I did!
I boiled the kettle, dumped some instant coffee in the kitchen sink &, once the coffee had dissolved, added a scrap of damp evenweave. I used a teaspoon to move it around in the brew &, once it was dark enough, removed it & submerged it in some cold water & vinegar before rinsing it in cold water. I squeezed out as much excess water as I could & then used an old iron on a fluffy towel to dry it. I didn't measure the coffee or the water or the vinegar, but I did have fun! I decided to go for it with the white linen & did almost exactly the same thing to it except for adding one step. Before I fixed the color with the cold water & vinegar I threw in some used tea bags to the diluted coffee brew. Then after a few minutes I pulled the plug & smooshed the tea bags over the linen in a few places. It created a nice subtly mottled effect - I am definitely going to play with fabric dyes some more! I will keep you posted ;-)
So (of course) my lovely newly dyed fabric didn't photograph all that well, but here's a shot of it with the colors that will be used in the sampler. The white piece of paper is a pretty good match for the color the linen started off so you can see how much darker I made it.
I plan on photographing this each week as I add the new section so hopefully I will manage to get one at some point which captures the coloring in the fabric more accurately! This is week one's section of the sampler... 
I am not the world's fastest stitcher & this took me just over the hour to complete so if you fancy joining us in this stitchalong & haven't started yet it's not too late! It won't take you long to catch up (even if you decide you need to be awkward like me & dye your own fabric first ;-) )
Well I promised you this would be a quick post so that's it, I am off to put a few more stitches into the Rodeo Cowboys cushion - I hope you have a lovely weekend whatever you are up to! :-)

6 comments:

  1. Thats great Helen...there is that part of me that wants so bad to join in the fun of doing the stitch along, but I never know when or if I can do the stitching....I imagine I would still be on step one and everyone else would be done! LOL.,..I love your idea of the dyeing....and never knew that cold water and vinegar set in the dye....thanks so much for the info!! xox

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    1. I have hesitated over joining SAL's in the past for the same reasons, but I figured I would just go for it this time round & so far the parts are really manageable sized :-) I will let you know how well the dye setting worked when I wash this at the end! Fingers crossed lol H xox

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  2. Great looking start. Well done for giving the hand dyeing a go.

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    1. Thank you! I am definitely going to try dyeing some other fabrics in the future :-) Have a great week,
      Helen

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  3. nice! I did print this off to join in but I think I have left the chart at home. Maybe I can still fit it in when I get home. Look forward to following your progress.
    XOX

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    1. Oh I hope you do join in! You're not that far behind, each week has only been about an hour's worth of stitching :-) Happy stitching!
      Helen xox

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