Thursday, September 14, 2017

Dyeing fabric with flower and iron

Last weekend I tried another technique (seen on facebook) to natural dye wool. I had previously soaked rusty nails etc. in water and vinegar for a few weeks. Then I soaked white cotton fabric in the solution. This would be my "iron blanket" to help dye the wool.
After laying out the wool filled with flowers, I covered it with the iron blanket, rolled it up tight and steamed it for a couple of hours.

Left it over night, the next day this is the wool on the left with blanket on the right.

This is so rich in color and much prettier in real life.
The iron blanket will be put back in the solution for another day.

Next piece was colored leaves from my azalea bush and eucalyptus leaves.


I love the outline prints from some of the leaves. Don't know how they came about, this is the magic of natural dyeing. You never can quite create the same effect twice.

And from my herb garden, I had a little bit of purple basil left. On to the cloth it went with a iron blanket.

And the reveal.

Friday, September 8, 2017

End of Summer Flower Dyeing

Near the end of Summer the flowers and leaves are full of dye just waiting to be extracted. First though, a little tour of some of my flowers. These are a newer variety of  Cone flower (echinacea),

the different shades of color in one flower is unbelievable. I haven't tried dyeing with these yet.

                                Another new variety of cone flower.

We've lived in our home 40 years and have had boxer turtles living out back the whole time. Every year one or more will come out to visit.

This wonderful old log home beam on our property is well over a hundred years old, it always looks it's finest in summer.

My flower garden I plant specifically for dyeing with.

                            Everything's ready, lots and lots of cosmos.

Once in awhile I dye with a little bit of metal wrapped in the wool. It gives unpredictable pattern and color results.
                           Metal gear with cosmos and madder roots.

                     Saw blade with ferns and silver dollar eucalyptus.

Old rusted nail with lemon eucalyptus and dyers coreopsis flowers. There is a lot of dye in these little flower, yelow in the lemon eucalyptus.

Honey suckle and dried coreopsis.

Cedar branches and coreopsis.

Purple basil and lemon eucalyptus.

Ready to go in the caldron, all tied up with plants and metal.

Simmering on the fire, too much fun!!
After it simmers an hour or so I leave it over night to cool.

The big reveal.

The rusty saw blade with flowers.

Cosmo flowers and little madder roots (the red prints).
This one is so cute in real life.

Can you see the fern print?

Saw blade print with ferns and silver dollar eucalyptus.
This blades' print remind me of an moth or owl.

Cedar branch prints and cosmos.

This is the lemon eucalyptus and dried coreopsis flowers.

Lemon eucalyptus and purple basil.
This one is really beautiful in real life.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Eclipse on the Lake and into my quilt

The weather people said it was going to be cloudy and very poor viewing, but yea they were wrong! My daughter and I packed up a picnic, including "eclipse" cake I made. Vanilla cake for the sun, fresh blackberries for the moon and swirls of lemon glaze for the few little clouds we had.

With our eclipse glasses packed, off we went to the lake. Watch a minute...

then into the lake to play football then back to watch again.

Ok, this is my pathetic try at taking a picture while wearing the glasses, it didn't work.

My resist dyed indigo wool from a couple of weeks ago,

becoming the base of my eclipse block, which will eventually be sewed into my Sun and Moon quilt. The "moon" hasn't been cut out yet just folded under and will be embroidered with lots of moon "texture" using rayon floss I bought in Mexico years ago.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Natural dyeing cotton fabric

I challenged myself to natural dye with cotton this past weekend. I'm trying to learn the secret. Wool grabs and holds the dyes so beautifully and cotton is a challenge. I started a week ahead mordanting the fabrics. First a drive along country roads to pick sumac leaves to began the first mordant. I simmered the leaves in water, then soaked the fabric in the solution for a few days. Next step, mordant with aluminum acetate, simmered altogether in water for 24 hours. Take out, add a little more alum and simmer again.. The final mordant step is to add the fabric to wheat bran water. I left it in that solution for a few days until I dyed the fabrics.  

Some friends came over Saturday and the fun began. We all had hand-carved wooden stamps and hand-made copper stamps, also a few modern stamps to share.
Working with different natural resists we played with printing the fabrics.

My grandson began stamping with natural henna mixed up with soy powder, lemon juice and water. A bit of practice and I began.

I dyed this piece with cochineal then stamped the design on.

I love the old look with henna designs.

The fabric first dyed with Osage orange bark, then stamped the design in with wooden stamps.

The cotton really grabbed the Osage orange dye.

Cochineal dyed fabric, stamped and over dyed with indigo.

Osage orange dyed, stamped with wooden stamp, and over dyed with indigo.

Thank you for my stamp, Deb C.!

This piece was stamped with a clear resist on white cotton, then over dyed in indigo.

Clear resist in indigo.

My collection of cottons after washed and dried.

A lot of indigo was used last weekend! Yards and yards of cotton by Windi and Becky.

Some with shibori.

Indigo everywhere!!!

Even the skies were indigo.

Ok, we did play with a little wool. Kay tightly twisted  21/2 yards of wool, and soaked it in the indigo pot. It came out beautiful. She's going to layer it and have it machine quilted.

She also played with different plastic resists.

I made this wool Sun piece. Beginning of an eclipse block?!?

Windi over dyed some of her indigo with cochineal.

Becky began dyeing wool blocks for a someday quilt. She dyed many more during the weekend.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo