Dyeing Batting with Rit

Now that my article on low immersion dyeing with RIT from the December 2008 Quilting Arts magazine has been published, I can show you photos of the artwork I made for RIT to use on a segment of Quilting Arts TV for season 3. The third season should begin in January. The episode that RIT will be on also happens to have the segment that was taped in the spring at Quilt Festival Chicago where I demonstrate making Fiesta Ornaments.

These circles are cut from dyed Warm and White cotton batting and stitched with a blanket stitch on the sewing machine. If I had an easier time with hand work I would have loved to do all the stitching with embroidery floss to really make the stitches stand out. Dyed batting can be like a cheaper softer substitute for doing wool appliqué.

I think dyed cotton batting would make a great substrate for needle felting. I can imagine a whole landscape made from pieces of dyed batting and embellished on a felting machine with ribbons and roving for trees and flowers.

You can see the back of the 9 patch is one piece of dyed batting cut with a prairie point style edge. I used a leftover block cut in half on the diagonal to make the corners for hanging, with a piece of painted balsa wood to rest on a nail in the wall. This is a super easy way to hang small fiber art.

On the left is a detail from the abstract piece at the end of the article. The wavy lines of color running down the center is the dyed fusible interfacing. This is the soft nylon interfacing that is usually meant to be used with knit fabrics.

Below is a detail from the flower piece. The flowers and leaves are cut from batting and the centers of the flowers and leaves are fusible interfacing.

15 Responses to “Dyeing Batting with Rit”

  1. Kristin L says:

    Pretty. I want to TOUCH these!

  2. I am definitely going to try this. I have not been able to dye before due to not having a “safe” place to do it in. Now I can do this in my kitchen.
    Thank you for letting us all know.

  3. luanne says:

    judy, just got the new QA at the bookstore this morning, but haven’t had time to look at it yet. so now i’m really looking forward to reading your article and getting all the details.

    love the wool felt-ish look of the dyed batting with the colorful decorative stitching.

    you continue to inspire!

  4. So is the edge of the batt like felt? [fray-less] Not that I really care, I want to do this too!

  5. it’s pretty much like a thick cotton felt. Batting is not woven like fabric so there are no fibers to fray and you can cut it into any shape.

  6. What a novel idea – both the batting as felt and the hanging method. Thanks!

  7. susan says:

    i have only used procion mx but rit…in the boxes from the store. i must give this some thought. could make for some fun experimenting. i like the idea of dyeing the batting and using like wool which is beautiful but so so pricey. as usual, your work is phenominal. hope you had a happy t day.

  8. Carol Sloan says:

    Great inspirational idea Judy! I am just beginning to try wool applique, so I will definitely try this. I love that you gave the recipes for differnt colors in the article! Thanks again for sharing your experiments.

  9. Alexandra says:

    This is a great idea and the results are beautiful. Thank you.

  10. I can’t wait to try this. Absolutely beautiful!

  11. I was sooooooo hoping you would say this Judy! And a thicker ‘felt’ is just peachy with me. You do mention which cotton batt…? [going to look]

  12. Jane says:

    You are an amazing artist. I love these bright colors and the design. Such beautiful work!

  13. Lisa Walton says:

    I loved your article in QA and am going to raid the batting scraps. Thanks for the extra detailed images and explanations on the blog.

  14. KarenF says:

    I haven’t had a chance to read the article yet, but have been looking forward to it ever since your sneak peek a while back. I’ve used painted and tea dyed batting in projects, but haven’t color dyed it before. Your results are terrific…and give validation and new purpose to one of my piles of scrap stuff. I save all my batting trimmings to use in smaller things like ornaments…now I can dye them too! Yea! Thanks for more inspiration!!

  15. hummm…..I see the batt you use has a ‘texture’ to it also. I have the same brand batt, but thought I would need something ‘smooth’. So on that note, I can jump right in…after getting some dye and the magazine, and…and….

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