Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Snow dying II

We had a beautiful snowfall over the weekend, my husband and I took a walk through our state park where we take the grand kids camping every summer. The snow gave the park a magical look, it was quiet and peaceful, nothing like in the summer when it's full of life with campers.

Having grown up with a creek in our backyard and one in the woods behind our house, it's one of my favorite places to walk. We followed this creek as far as we could.

The hillside was heavy with snow.

I took a picture of the little grandsons by this grouping of 3 small spruce growing up next to the elder tree last summer. With all this snow inspiration I had to go home and snow dye once again.

This time I didn't use as many colors on each piece, the first was black cherry with eggplant. The second was eggplant with orange, which gave brown tones when the colors mixed.
And the third was my dye rag that in the end I shoved it in a cup and poured the left over bright orange and black cherry dyes on it.

All of the snow dyed fabrics from the two dying sessions . Even though these were done with synthetic dyes it's Mother Nature who performs the magic.

We visited our friends, Lou who has Native American in his heritage is a wonderful beader and spends many hours on the craft. Theses are a few of his pieces. This top picture is a walking stick with a hand carved eagle head (from a deer antler) at the top.

Laying on this table are an assortment of dance sticks and drum sticks he's beaded.

This is his work table with a staff in progress. I like how his wife sewed a covering with pockets along the sides.

A few other walking sticks tucked in the corner.

These dolls were made by a Native American lady, representing the four seasons. The workmanship is beautiful with a miniature shield, Indian corn, and baby.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

With the long winter and all the snow we have here in Michigan I was excited to hear of a fabric dying technique called "snow dying". It's on many different sites on the Internet, I read about it here http://gaylemckay.wordpress.com/ This past weekend I lit a fire in the wood stove to warm up the dye studio and tried my hand at snow dying. First I pretreated 4 yards of cotton fabric with soda ash, (1 1/2 gallons of hot water with 14 Tablespoons of soda ash), added the fabric and let it soak a few hours.

I then squeezed it out and bunched it in a container (one yard per container).

I added 3 to 4 inches of snow on top and poured on the dye. I used Procion dye (5 or 6 years old), this first batch has a warm yellow, red and a purple.

Next container, blue, a little red and a little purple.

Last container, blue, chartreuse green and yellow. I let them set overnight by the wood stove, pushing down the dye with a stick when I couldn't wait any longer. In the morning it looked like a pail of dye with fabric soaking. I didn't think there would be any color variation. I wasn't too hopeful. I carefully lifted the fabric out into my laundry tub and rinsed thoroughly, then put it in the washer with hot water and synthropol. I could not believe how beautifully dyed the fabric is. Its like the snow mixed and released the dyes different times and different mixes. Different colors that make up the dyes showed up on the fabrics. I recommend this technique to anyone with snow and are bored with winter, you will have fun. As matter of fact I'll think I'll play with this next weekend.

And the fabrics, please double click on the picture to see all colors.

And my cute dye rag showing some of the dye colors.

My husband is doing well, but getting very bored at home, I've been taking him for rides to get him out of the house. Michigan is beautiful in the winter (we have no jobs but beautiful scenery!)
This is a few of our local Lake sites.

Our light house starting to be coated with ice from the waves.

On the channel going into Lake Michigan the sea gulls are hanging out away from the lake winds.

As soon as I walked up to the channel all the ducks and swans came swimming up for bread crumbs.

All of them hungry.

Another kind of community springs up every year when our inland lakes freeze over, the ice fishermen. They stay until the ice melts and their shanties are ready to fall in the lake.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day! I made this piece years ago with wonderful hand marbled red fabric I purchased. I tried marbling fabrics but never got a nice rich color. (remember Deb? we had a good time trying though?) I still put this out every Valentines day.

I haven't quilted in the last week, my husband had major surgery on his neck and I've been busy with him. The surgery seems to be successful and will hopefully alleviate some of his constant neck pain when he heals, 6 long winter weeks from now. I did read a good book, it's an older release (I don't remember when) but it's called Stitches in Time By Barbara Michaels. It's a wonderful mystery with a antique quilt involved and a great ending. I really loved the book.

I did want to share with you my light box. Years ago I bought some wooden Pepsi crates and my girlfriends husband made a light box out of one of them. I can't remember if there was a write up on this in a magazine or not. Anyway he cut a board to fit the bottom of the box, painted it white and installed a light fixture on it.
Then added Plexiglas on the top with a few small screws. The cord comes out the side as needed and stores inside when your finished. It's a nice size and works wonderful.
A few other views.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Green wool jacket

I machine quilted my wall hanging (was not easy to do through the wool felt, batt and backing). As I was doing the handwork on the binding I put on the movie How to Make an American Quilt, I could not believe my eyes, near the end of the story Fynn played by Winona Ryder was wearing the exact same jacket (except it was red) that I cut up for my quilt! Exact same applique and embroidery in the same areas on the jacket. So much for thinking the jacket was from the 50's or 60's. Now I have no idea when and where it was made. Maybe it was a very expensive piece of clothing! That would be my luck.

My friend Beverly stopped by showed me some of her new African Folk Embroidery she's been working on. I love how she places her colors. She also added twilling stitches in the middle of the flower.

A few of the other pieces.

My niece in Florida just out of Navy boot camp. She loved it and is excited to be going out to sea soon.

Her new tattoo, she's the 3rd. generation in our family to join the Navy and had the years of enlistments tattooed on. 1944 her grandfather (my father), 1980 her father (my brother), and 2009 for her. I'm very excited for her she wanted to see the world and now she is on her way.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo