I thought I'd try a dye comparison between red and brown onion skins on natural colored osnaburg and two colors of Robert Kaufman Essex linen cotton blends.
A gallon ziplock bag each of red and brown onion skins were separated into two pots of water (just enough to cover the skins), brought to a boil, simmered for about an hour, then allowed to cool overnight. The next day the skins were strained from the pots and the liquid was again heated to a slow simmer. A teaspoon of alum (I found this in the spice aisle of the grocery store) was added to each pot.
The fabrics were soaked in hot water with a bit of alum prior to dyeing. The water was squeezed from them and then they were divided into the two dyeing pots. They were simmered for about an hour and left to cool for two days.
After two days the fabrics were removed from the dye baths and rinsed with warm water until the rinse water was clear. The excess water was squeezed from them and then they were put in the dryer.
Aren't they beautiful? I really like the lovely shade of green that the red onion dye imparts on the osnaburg and flax colored linen cotton blend. I can't wait to use them in a project!
Last year I dyed some of the flax colored linen cotton blend with a combination of red and brown onion skins. The result was a beautiful dark golden orange. I used it to accent my quilt of indigo dyed fabrics from Cotton in the Cabin Quilts www.cottoninthecabin.com.
I used a block pattern called "Prizm" by Sara Lawson from The Spendid Sampler http://www.thesplendidsampler.com/blocks-and-bonus-projects/ . The original pattern was 6" x 6", but I needed a 12" block, so I just doubled it. I alternated the onion skin dyed fabric within the block to create accents throughout. I made the border with improvisational triangles, which was kinda fun. It turned out very scrappy (perfect for my style). Now I just need to baste it so that I can hand quilt it with some variegated size 12 thread. I really need to figure out how to get by with less sleep or maybe conjure up more hours in the day. There never seems to be enough time!