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Dying a Quilted Bucket Bag with Dylon

This easy-breezy bucket bag is perfect for summer fun and road trips! (Please enjoy responsibly.)
This easy-breezy bucket bag is perfect for summer fun and road trips! (Please enjoy responsibly.)

 

 

The bucket bag begins with a canvass bottom that is dyed to compliment the indigo main fabric.
The bucket bag begins with a canvass bottom that is dyed to compliment the indigo main fabric.

 

 

I like bucket bags. They seem to encourage one to toss things in, slap on the shades, and head off on summer road trips. Preferably in a racy red convertible with a full tank of gas and the top down.
That easy-breezy style is just what I envisioned when in dreamed up this bucket bag with plenty of inside pockets, a quilted main body, and a canvas bottom dyed to match the main fabric. Dying a quilted bucket bag with Dylon shouldn’t be frightening. But if you’re scared of using dye to get your own color way, stick with me, kids. This is easy.

Assemble all the stuff you need to dye the fabric.
Assemble all the stuff you need to dye the fabric.

 

 

Assemble all the stuff you need to dye the fabric. I like to use a separate plastic wash tub so the dye is contained. The rubber gloves are essential. The salt helps the dye and the fabric meet in a symphony of color. It’s a chemistry thing.

The canvas I found —  50% off the sale price in the remnant bin — was starkly beige. I have nothing against beige, but it would end up quite grungy over the course of summer road trips. So I chose to dye the 100 percent cotton using Dylon Bahama Blue.

This is not hard to do. Follow the instructions on the back of the package, make sure you’re wearing rubber gloves, and off you go.

The very hot water helps the dye powder and the salt crystals to dissolve quickly.
The very hot water helps the dye powder and the salt crystals to dissolve quickly.

 

 

More chemistry!

Mix the contents of the dye packet with the required amount of salt in boiling water. The very hot water helps the dye powder and the salt crystals to dissolve quickly. In science terms, this is called a supersaturated solution. In quilting lingo: ooh…, pretty colors!

Adding some water to the wash tub.
Adding some water to the wash tub.

 

 

Add some water to the wash tub, with the damp fabric, in preparation for the dye bath.

Adding the mixed dye to the tub with the fabric.
Adding the mixed dye to the tub with the fabric.

 

 

Add the mixed dye to the tub with the beige (natural) canvas fabric.

The canvas is well on the way to becoming a glorious Bahama Blue...
The canvas is well on the way to becoming a glorious Bahama Blue…

 

 

The canvas is well on the way to becoming a glorious Bahama Blue, which is way more interesting than natural beige. Stir the cloth around with your rubber-gloved hand.

I was not fussy about whether the dye was uniformly applied to the cloth. Therefore, I didn’t stir as diligently as recommended. I got a finished canvas that was nicely mottled, giving it a bit of texture.

Once the canvas is rinsed until the water runs clear, I washed it on its own in the washer. Once dried to slightly damp, I gave it a good pressing with steam.

Great stuff, that Dylon dye! It works on natural fibers and even on 50-50 blends. It won’t work on synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon.

Not only can you dye raw fabrics as I’ve done here, you can also make different color choices for clothing. For example, I once picked up some white capris on clearance and dyed them indigo to make them more serviceable for me. Ever since, using dye for cloth has been a great solution for getting my own colorway.

You can get your own colorway now that you know it’s not so frightening dying a quilted bucket bag with Dylon. Join us tomorrow, we start putting the pieces of this easy, breezy quilted bucket bag together.

 

Nancy Devine is a self-confessed craft-crazed blogger. She is a regular contributor to A Needle Pulling Thread Magazine, one of the administrators for The Craft Café, a Facebook page devoted to the international sharing of the creative life, and a curator of an impressive collection of fabrics, notions and seam rippers. In her spare time, she wrangles dust bunnies and writes a blog called Nancy Dee Needleworks. Understandably, her house is a mess.

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