How to Tie a Lotus Mandala

Welcome to the second of three mandala tying tutorials! This week I’m showing you how to tie a lotus mandala.

Lotus Mandala

1. Start by folding in quarters, then into triangles. (See the in-depth mandala folding tutorial for two different ways to form the triangles.)  I added in one extra triangle fold (so three folds on each half) to make the final product more flowery looking.

Three folds on each half made for seven total folds.

It was hard to keep the point from unfolding, so I used a chip clip to keep it in place. Isn’t he cute?

2. Check for the shortest fold of fabric. Using a washable marker, draw your first line at an angle a couple inches inside that fold.

I didn’t actually start very far away from the edge on this one.

3. Continue drawing angles by zig-zagging back and forth until you’ve reached the top.

4. Tie a slip knot in the sinew and wrap it around the fabric, lining it up with the bottom line.

5. Pull the slip knot tight to bunch up the fabric. Make sure the sinew stays along the line. The first one is the hardest to keep in place. Wrap the sinew a couple more times and pull tight to tie off. (Check out my tips for tying tight sinew.) Continue wrapping the fabric along all the drawn lines.

6. Finish off the excess bottom fabric however you like. Try twisting, folding or just crumpling.

The end of this mandala was just crumpled and held together with some rubber bands.

7. Now your fabric is ready to either tie dye or ice dye!

I made two different mandalas using this method, both ice dyed. Tie dyeing would give you greater control over where your colors are placed on the fabric. Ice dyeing has more of a random effect on the final result. If you want to ice dye but want a little more control over where the colors go, you could apply the dye powder directly on the fabric and place the ice over it. I happen to like the random magic of ice dyeing, so I placed the dye over the ice.

The first was just randomly sprinkled with pink and purple (at the top of the photo). Here’s how that turned out:

In the second the dye was sprinkled in lines starting from the center: blue, green, blue, green, yellow, brown.

Check back next week for the final mandala tutorial!

If you like mandalas but don’t want to dye them yourself, I have some hand dyed mandala quilt panels available in my store too.

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