Monday, June 4, 2012

Practical Fabric Dyeing at the Lakeside Quilt Retreat

My 5 Wonderful Guests

A year or so ago, I had an idea to have a quilting retreat at our summer home in the Pocono Mountains.  This was after having many fun getaways with various groups of quilting friends.  My idea was to share  my quilting knowledge with others as well as provide them with a pampered and fun long weekend in a tranquil setting with wonderful food.
One of our delicious breakfasts, a yogurt buffet

Everyone made their own

My 5 guinea pigs, who I met at a guild in Maryland, arrived on Thursday night to spend 3 days with me, eating and dyeing – fabric dyeing that is.  They had chosen to spend the bulk of their time learning various ways to dye fabric. Over the years I have developed methods to do what I call practical dyeing.  These methods are not unique on their own, but they are my distillation of techniques that others have developed.  We did immersion, direct application, 2-color gradation and thread dyeing.  A lot to accomplish. 

Making up the dye stock - lakeside!
Fabric dyeing in baggies.

Batching overnight.
Out of the dryer after rinsing the next morning.

Frankie having the most fun ironing that she's ever had!

16 yds of immersion dyed fabric
Black and white fat quarters "before"

6 sets of 2 color gradated fabric, oriented vertically.
3 color direct application dyeing.

What a beautiful sight!
My methods for immersion and 2-color gradation dyeing can be found by clicking on the tab near the top of this page.  I also list a bunch of resources.

This entire retreat was a trial run.  First I wanted to see if guinea pigs, er I mean students, would enjoy spending time with me and learning what I had to share.  Second, I wanted to see if I enjoyed it.  The resounding results are Yes!!! And Yes!!!.  This experience exceeded the expectations of me and my guests.  Their joy in discovery, became my joy.

 We dyed over 30 yards of fabric in fat quarter increments.  Woo Hoo!

And a good time was had by all!!!!!

So I’m going to do it again. I’m thinking Fall 2012.  The colors here in the Fall are breathtaking.  If there is a group of 5 or 6 of you that would like to come as a group, let’s talk.  Shoot me an e-mail for more details.


  1. That really looks like a LOT of FUN!

  2. What a wonderful place for a retreat, looks like a lot of fun, in beautiful surroundings.


  3. I am jealous of all that beautiful fabric! Looks like they had fun.

  4. What fun! I saw your post on quiltart and it caught my eye because in the '70s I was a reporter at The Pocono Record. Haven't been back since, but it was a lovely place to live.

  5. looks like a ton of fun plus beautiful fabric. But did they really have as much fun as WE do???? (please don't say yes!)

    1. I must say we had a fabulous time! One of Cheryl's Guinea Pigs...

  6. Cheryl,
    We all had so much fun with you this past weekend. My head is still spinning from all that I learned. And you made it so fun. Lots and lots of fun. I feel as though I have a new friend too. You are the best.
    Hope we didn't wear you out too much.

  7. You were busy!!! Your friends look like they had time of their life!


Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to hear from you.