Bandana dyeing at Patchwork

Last week I spent some time at Patchwork Central showing the kids in the Arts & Smarts after school program how to dye bandanas with fiber reactive dyes.  I’ve known Jane Vickers, the head of this program, for years and interviewed her when I wrote a newspaper column on local artists. So when she asked me to teach the kids some dyeing, I was more than happy to do it.

This is the example I took to show them what we were going to do. I thought simple dyeing would be best.


The folding was more of a challenge than I thought, but we all soldiered through it. Once the bandanas were folded and clipped, the fun began. I was so surprised when one of the boys asked me if we could blend colors. I did underestimate this group for sure!

After they finished dyeing, we wrapped them up and I took them home to batch and then wash and dry. Here are some of the bandanas waiting in my studio.


Then after 24 hours came the wash out. I was so anxious to see the results.


The results are stunning! Here are their bandana dyeing masterpieces. It’s amazing that we only used three colors and got such different results.

patchwork17 patchwork3 patchwork5 patchwork12 patchwork4 patchwork15 patchwork24 patchwork10 patchwork13 patchwork14

This last one didn’t get folded like the rest, but it also is beautiful.

patchwork#9I took the bandanas to the kids yesterday and they seemed to all be pleased with their pieces. I sure was. Several of the kids missed the bandana dyeing session so I’ll be back next year for another class.

In other news, a new shop, Ellis & Knight Curated Goods, selling just local art is opening in Evansville, Indiana this Saturday. In addition to some wonderful local art, my dyed vintage napkins and dyed scarves are there. Yipee!

As always thank you so much for dropping by and checking in on what I’m doing. I do appreciate all of you.