Here's a different take on dyeing that frankly scares me deeply. First make a quilt and THEN dye it. Even the author, C June Barnes, admits that this may not be for the faint-hearted, but after reading through the book and drooling over the photos, I am convinced to give it a go.
The book is called Stitching to dye in quilt art: colour, texture and distortion. It's a Batsford book, so the quality is excellent. The book has eight multi-page exercises that lead the novice through the process, starting with a simple design dyed with the simple immersion dyeing technique.
The basic process is to make a quilt from a variety of natural-fibre fabrics in white, cream or pale prints, then dye it. The dye reacts differently on the various fabrics (some have textures, some are coarse, fine, woven or knitted) and threads that are used for the stitching. The results shown in the book are stunning.
Of course, you can't exactly predict the result, so that's where the fear kicks in. Once you can let go of that, I imagine it would be quite liberating. This is something I will certainly be trying - on a series of small samples, of course! Thanks to my friend Deborah, who gave me this wonderfully inspiring book.