Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Halloween

I made this last year from a paper piecing pattern in Quilters Newsletter Magazine. I enlarged the pattern to different sizes to represent my 4 grandchildren. I love the pattern, little kids dressed as ghosts "trick or treating".
It's really hard to get a good picture of all 4 kids at once. This is the neighbors display that we visited everyday, the twins called it "Arts garden".
They weren't too sure about this witch!
We had lots of fun carving pumpkins and roasting the seeds. (my daughter, her children and cousin)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Some more pictures of my wool

Ok, I really did do some weaving, I was just beginning a center pattern when Sarah pulled out the dye pots, then I couldn't focus on weaving, hopefully I finish it this winter, if I'm ever home. (Good thing I love hand work). The dark center color is my indigo dyed yarn, the salmon is madder root. The grays and cream are commercial yarns. The picture is dark and doesn't show the colors well. (Double clicking on the pictures seem to give a much truer color).
The ball on the left is Navajo tea, the second is dried wild carrot root both with Sarah's alum.
I dyed this fabric at home with Rabbit Bush we picked on the way home.

The balls of yarn were dyed with Sage at the workshop, the one on the left Sarah put in her "desert" alum and the one on the right her "cave" alum. The yarn is the most beautiful sagey greens. I wanted that green on my fabric but I had to use my "dyers" alum and it turned a bright yellow.
Same thing with osage orange. The yellow ball I dyed, the olive green balls we're with Sarah's alum she collects in the desert (and I don't know the secret to finding the "cave" alum). Also, as Sarah has no running water, we used rain water for all of our dying, from her rain barrel.
I wanted to get graduated color shadings with black walnuts, They are very easy to dye with.

On our drive home we went through the Rockie Mts. in Colorado, and camped in them one night. The Aspen trees were at peak color and sooo beautiful, it took us 5 hours to go 100 miles because we couldn't help but stop continously and take pictures (of course my pictures doesn't do it justice). This is a picture of a stream running through the mountains, it was early morning and rainy. Also, the wind was very cold with snow on the mountain tops.
A lake in the Mountains.
Aspen with Spruce trees.

I made this wallhanging last year, I had leg surgery and appliqued and quilted it while I had my leg propped up above my heart. I natural dyed all the fabrics except for the black. The orange and green was a cream plaid which I dyed yellow than overdyed with cochineal and indigo.
Well, Saturday I fly to my daughters in Florida, she is having surgery and I'm flying down to take care of my grandsons for two weeks. I can't wait to see them. The oldest is 9, then twins will be 3 Monday and the baby who is one and a half but thinks he's 3. I don't think I'll have time to do much sewing, but we'll see. I'll "see" you the end of October. Have a wonderful fall, it's my favorite time of year and I'm off to balmy Florida, which is still very hot and muggy.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A little more from the weaving workshop

On a couple of afternoons we went on field trips to some local trading posts to see the Navajo rugs. One of the posts was 110 years old. The rugs were so beautiful. This is a couple of weaving looms.

Navajo baskets.
All of the wool is the natural sheep color.
The center design looked like spiders to me.

Another wonderful rug (they were laying in a pile, for sale, and I just photographed them as they were being looked at)
On our field trip we drove down a dirt lane to get a piture of Shiprock mountain, which the town is named after. John and I with his weaving and my dyed wool on the last day of the workshop. Some have asked about the weather, it warmed into the 70's during the day and got quite cold at night. So in the mornings when we started class it was cool. All of our classes were outside, which I love, the scenery was very inspriational.
I still have to take a picture of my part-way finished weaving. I've been trying use up all of my dye plants since I've been home while they are fresh, and haven't has time to weave (oh and I've had to work to).

Friday, October 5, 2007

Weaving workshop

Our weaving workshop (a week long) was at Sarah Natani's compound in Shiprock, New Mexico. She is a master Navajo weaver. She has traveled all over the world teaching. These are her Churro sheep where she gets her wool for her weaving.
I think this is a angora sheep, he's the only one who would look at the camera. He was so cute.
Learning to warp the loom (there are a lot of steps to it).

Wild carrot (canyaigre). We used the dried root of this plant to get a rich gold.
Navajo tea. A nice rich straw yellow dye.
Harvesting Navajo tea by Sarah's hogan.
Sarah cutting up the tea for the dye. We later picked sage bush. When you normally dye with sage you get a pale yellow, but Sarah added (her collected from the desert) desert alum in one pot and "cave" alum to another pot and we got the most beautiful sage greens. Then she added cave alum to the osage orange and we got olive green. At home I've never been able to get a green without dying the wool yellow first then overdying it with indigo. I wished I had some of my wool fabric with me. I'll take a picture of my yarns and show them next week.

John (my husband) learning to weave. He did a great job.
Sarah spinning.
The dying shedd. I spent a lot of time here.

Sarah with her sisters and her sister's rug.
Sarah's daughter weaving a sash for a pagent. She's also a master weaver.
Mary weaving, She is a very accomplished weaver, just comes for the inspiration.

Laura weaving, shes another accomplished weaver who brings her daughters here so Sarah can teach them.
The back of her weaving, the gold was dyed with rhubarb root and blue indigo.
Laura's 13 yr. old daughter (I forgot to rotate the picture), with her second weaving, her 3rd. time here.
Lauta's 11 yr. old daughter with her first weaving, her first time here and she worked steadly and very neatly.

The Navajo believe Spider Women taught the Navajo to weave. Notice the bracelet with the spider on it. Sarah makes beautiful spider pins, silver with a turquoise body.
Sarah's class weaving.
Jamie's first weaving.
Andrew's first weaving.
Next week I'll show some of the Navajo's weavings we saw on our field trips, they're wonderful. Also, some of my dyed wool fabrics and yarn with the "Navajo" plants. And my partially finished weaving, I first have to get the loom back together. Since I've been home I've been dying in my "spare" time with the plants we brought home.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

We're home and back to the real world, darn.

We left on vacation a week and a half before the weaving workshop began and explored the Southeast area of Utah. There is a State Park called Gobling, called this as all the rock sculputres look like goblins, mushrooms, and houses that could have been on the movie Lord of the Rings. This is a few of the scultures.

We love to see ancient rock art and there is a lot in the Southwest. I think this is one of the best. They are life size figures, and some of them have wonderful designs on their "clothing". Archologists believe they are between 4,000 - 7,000 years old. Painted with NATURAL PIGMENTS, isn't that amazing? We had to drive down a 30 mile dirt road to get to the place and then hike down a steep canyon 3.25 miles to see the pictographs, then hike back out 3.25 miles up the canyon (and it was hot out!). Then drive 30 miles back out to get to the main road to go to our campsite. But it was worth all the work, the canyon was a very spiritual place. This is only a few of the figures in the canyon.

The rock was sooo red, I couldn't wait to try it as a dye. They say you can get a light rose color from it. We're going to collect some of it from the road side (out of the park).

After a few days we moved on to Arch's National park. It was awe inspiring. We hiked a lot and took lots of pictures. The rangers there we're very helpful teaching me about the different names of the native plants.

Ute rock art petroglyphs, around 500 years old. Notice the natives riding the horses. Canyon lands national park.

What a place to quilt!! Every evening I would sit out and quilt (until John would make me take a hike with him).

Picking sage bush to bring home to dye my wool fabric with (don't know how much color I will get).

Ancient "storage" ruins in Canyon lands.

Our campsite in Canyon land where we picked up a "pet". A mouse got into our camper at night. I hope he didn't come home to Michigan with us.

Collecting Rabbit bush along the road. We picked so many dye plants we would have to move them out of the camper at night into the truck so we wouldn't sneeze.
Tomorrow I'll put on some of the pictures from the weaving workshop, its so hard to pick which pictures to use as we took over 200 and I'm trying not to bore you.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo