I picked the nine of diamonds to make and began by raw stitch appliqueing this arm from a tiny lone star that didn't work out in a previous project. Once I had it on the white background, I decided the white was too harsh. Too bright. So, what's a girl to do? How about have a cup of tea?
I rummaged through my tea stash and found some very very old tea that I know was at least 5 years old. It was pomegranate flavored. I dunked the tea bags in nice hot water and then a test dip on the edges of the piece. I say test dip, but goodness me, if it didn't work out I would have been left with a piece that had tea on it. Next time, I will use a scrap to test with.
Luckily, I was excited by the already changing color and decided to dive right in. So, I did what any girl would do and dunked the whole piece in the bowl with the hot water and tea bags. Brave or crazy? I still didn't know.
I got all the fabric in the tea water and put the tea bags on the top and then walked away for a bit to let it marinade.
I checked it here and there and finally pulled it out after about an hour; once it had achieved a nice brown-like antiqued look. I'm really quite happy with how the whites took the tea dye in a similar way and how the tea accentuated the embroidery on the background fabric!
I rinsed the remaining tea from the fabric until it rinsed clean and then hung it to drip dry. A quick press and I was ready to sandwich and quilt it. I had a little fun quilting it with some of the embroidery stitches from my machine in red and pink thread.
And the last step was to add the nine black diamonds. I used a piece of Styrofoam to make the diamond stamp and dipped it in black fabric paint to add them.
In the end I feel like the tea really worked to get the look I was going for and I can certainly see using tea dye again!! Have you ever tea dyed fabric?