I was pretty happy with the outcome of my Tie-Dye fabric. I decided to go with crimson and Navy Blue. An artist told me a long time ago, never use black if you can get away with dark blues for darkening colors. Black dulls the color, whereas dark blues still reflect something, making the resultant darker hue more vibrant.
Either way, I went with Navy Blue on my Crimson. I tied up two different patterns. The outside, or the “shell”, is the side that everyone else will see if they walk past my hammock while I’m sleeping. I used a standard spiral pattern on the fabric, after cutting the fabric to length.
The inside of the quilt, or the “liner”, is the side that will be right against my back while I am laying in the thing. Instead of another spiral, I wanted something visually different that says, “hey dumbass, this is the inside of your hammock”, when I’m putting it up. I went with a snake-belly pattern. I’m sure it has a real name, but this is what the pattern reminds me of, a snake’s bottom skin.
Tie-Dying nylon is a bit different than your standard cotton t-shirt. I followed instructions on a hammock web site. Loosely tie up your fabric in whatever style you like, and stick it in a ziplock gallon freezer bag. If you use too many rubber bands and bind it tightly, you’ll get no color in the middle. The fabric is treated to make it mildly water repellant, which makes tie-dying interesting.
Use 1 bottle Rit dye, 2 cups of water and 2 cup vinegar. Heat it in a big pot on the stove until it hits 180, while stirring. Once hot, carefully pour it into the bag, which should be sitting in the sink, while you’re wearing clothes you don’t care if you splash dye on them. Using insulated mitts, push all the air out the bag that you can, and seal it up. Leave it sitting for two hours, flipping the bag and mashing on it about every 20-30 minutes. Then open, rinse and wash. Dry on air fluff or low with a couple of dark towels. Then open it up and see what you’ve got.
So I washed and carefully dried my fabric, and then laid out the pattern. I had to do a little thinking and figuring from the drawing I saved off the internet, because it’s art of a PDF and doesn’t zoom in well. I rolled out two sheets of 4 foot wide paper from a big roll someone gave me several years ago, overlapped them and taped everything down. Based on what I saw, I drew this:
Measure the center line, 90″ or 92″ or whatever you want to use. It’s pink and labeled CL. The two sides are mirror images, and designed to work with whatever tie outs you have on your hammock. Where the outer points are, will be loops. I just put the tie out lines through the loops and they hold the quilt in position. If you generally lay down feet to the right of the center and head left, this will work for you. If you lay down feet left and head right and ordered or made a hammock that way, just flip this pattern over, because your quilt won’t match your tie-outs!
The head and foot ends are 24″ wide, that’s 12″ either side of the center line. Measure down 33 inches from either end, and put a mark, then go out 30 inches. Connect the lines (green and blue) to the ends, the go back and cut your darts. The darts are the notches at the outer points. Measure in 9 inches and across 7, and cut the notch out. These will be pulled together and sewed later, which will give your hammock quilt a rounder form and help it hug your body a bit.
The whole process of laying out the paper and drawing the pattern took me about 90 minutes. But now I can lay down a piece of fabric, lay the pattern over it, draw on it with sharpie marker, and cut it out. Its much easier to make a master template than to try and draw it by hand three times on fabric that’s trying to get away from you.
Next step: Cutting the fabric itself, and sewing the channels for the bungie cords that this thing will hang from. The little things take forever on a project like this. There are 6 cord channels to sew, as well as 4 reinforcing patches.