Buzzings from a quilter who bumbles her way through life!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Overdying Scraps

This little pumpkin was made using leftover scraps from doll clothes that I was making. The scraps were not in colors that went well together, so I overdyed them. This just means I put a wash of dye over the previously dyed fabric. It can be done with colors or even with just a tan or beige, to give an antiqued look.

These little doll clothes were made from cheap fat quarters that I picked up for $1 each. If you've been reading my blog, you know that I am making a few doll clothes every week until time to send them as a Christmas present to my granddaughter. I am trying to use only scraps and fat quarters. (I'm not sure WHY, but I made that a challenge. I think I just couldn't stand cutting into yardages when I would only be using a little bit of fabric!)  

Here are the leftover scraps. I have washed all the sizing and starch out of them and I'm ready to put them in a solution of hot water and dye.

I used Rit dye from the grocery store, but there are other dyes out there in all colors. You are probably familiar with "tea dying", another form of overdying using strong tea as the dye. I use a disposable plastic container. Because I am just dying a few scraps, I don't measure my dye. I pour a little in the hot water, stir it, and put the wet scraps in. I leave them in for about 15 minutes. (The time the fabric is in the dye will determine how much dye is absorbed.)

I remove the scraps, rinse them off really well, and put them in the dryer with an old towel. (I used a red towel, just in case!)
After drying, I press each piece well.

I decided to use these scraps to make a Fall Pumpkin. I have actually made two of them and have enough scraps to make more. I'm not even sure yet what I will do with them. They could be placemats, squares in a table runner, or even part of a quilt. Each block is about 14" x 17".
Overdying is a great way to repurpose fabric from old clothing!  It's easy. It's fun. AND it's a good way to use up scraps. To your children and grandchildren, it's magical. Give it a try with some ugly fabric scraps. You might end up with something you would love to use.


  1. Hi Linda...I see you are a fairly new blogger...welcome to blogland!!

    Your little pumpkins are w-a-y too cute. They look 'hand appliqued'....and the over dyeing process sounds like a good idea...I will earmark this post to remind to try it sometime!!

  2. Thank, Belinda. Yes, they are hand appliqued. I put a layer of batting behind the middle pumpkin section and then a larger piece behind the entire pumpkin to give it more dimension.


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