Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New natural dye book

This is a wonderful new natural dyeing book by Rebecca Burgess. The chapter on Navajo dyeing was written and photographed while I was in class with Rebecca in Arizona. The photos in this book are beautiful. Lots of great inspiration.

I've been working on my wool quilt, dye printing leaves and cutting out new squares to piece.
Not all of these are sewed together, some are just placed on my new flannel board I made for the dye studio.

My girlfriend Laura quick whipped up this patriotic quilt to be used on the grandkids bed at her cottage this holiday weekend. And when I say quick I mean she is fast! She has made a few other patriotic quilts for the beds, now the babies have theirs.

Oh, and look at this wonderful mushroom growing in our back woods, I love the pointy cap!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday, I see you next week.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Daffodil on linen & cotton

The daffodils were in full bloom last week, I bought this beautiful bunch (with wonderful orange centers) at the Weaver's guild meeting, I put them in a vase for a couple of days then.....

into jars to soak for 3 days getting them ready for the dye pot.

While they were curing I soaked 4 yards cotton fabric and 10 old linen napkins (Thank-you Sandy) in tannin water to begin the mordanting process.

I then simmered them using this type of Alum and water, it's recommended for cotton and linen. I'm very excited to see how they take the dyes, it's very difficult to get a good color on plant fabrics.

The linen (on the left) took the dye beautifully, a nice butter yellow, the cotton was OK, not great. By the end of the summer I should have a 10 beautiful linen napkins all dyed a different natural color.

Next, since we have such a good crop of dandelions in our yard I tried them with the cotton. When I first took it out of the dye and hung it on the line to cure it looked a very pale dirty white, when I washed it with our city water and gentle soap it turned a nice yellow. With wool the dandelion dye is usually a greeny yellow, which I don't care for.

My good friend passed away about 18 years ago when her daughter Vicky was 13, I taught them both how to quilt when Vicky was about 6 years old. Now that Vicky's grown into a wonderful young women (putting herself through college, getting her master degree) she wants to finish up some of her mothers quilt tops. Last Saturday she came over and we set up her new sewing machine. She hadn't sewn on one in years so she decided to begin by making her nephews new "camping" pillow cases.

She bought 4 nice size travel pillows to put in them.

Two ready for camping.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Quilting for tornado victims

Last week our local quilt shop Quilted Memories organized a two day quilting to make quilts for the victims of the tornado's in Mississippi. The owner Jill donated all the fabric, batting and machine quilted all the quilts the volunteers pieced. Mary worked nonstop for the two days, Kay and I came up after work Friday and pieced two. Here we are "team" quilting!

They were very simple pieced but good size with good quality fabric. This top if folded in half.

And a child's quilt made out of this beautiful fairy fabric.

Some of the tops waiting to be quilted.

This machine ran nonstop.

Some of the finished quilts. The final count of the quilts made is around 50!

Cute kids quilts.

A local church that some of the quilters belong to also donated 20 quilts.

Back home I unrolled my wool fabric with the rhododendron leaves. I premordanted them both in alum but the one on the left I soaked overnight in tannin before rolling it in the leaves. It definitely picked up the leaf image better.

Leaf prints.

Pretty yellow prints.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

5 Days spent with the Arts

I spent last Thursday night, Fri. and Sat. quilting with my girlfriends, I added the boarders to Christmas quilt #2, made a easy apron for grilling and also this great purse. I didn't plan on making the purse, Kay brought the fabric and pattern to make one with enough fabric left over that Mary and I could make one too. I love this batik. This is a commercial pattern I believe called Wallet & Grommet (?).

On Sunday my husband and I went to the Grand Rapids Art Museum to see their "Art in Bloom" exhibit . Floral designers created floral arrangement inspired by paintings in the museum. These are a few of my favorites.. cute bird

How wonderful is this.

I love this crane made of dried leaves. The painting is behind him in the middle.

And this is the painting that inspired it.

Another one of my favorites, notice the red house in the middle of the painting with colored squares around it. And the floral design, a little red house made of old barn wood and flowers tucked in square pockets.

This one 2ND place. I believe the painting had the word Ghostly in the title or maybe I just thought that it should.

A tough painting to recreate but wonderfully done.

This piece has little bird nests tucked in with little feathers,

Inspired by this painting filled with passenger pigeons.

A little modern art.

Another modern piece.

Outside the museum by the BOB is a large piece of Steam punk art, a flying pig. I believe the legs move as their are hydraulics in the belly. You can see how large it is by the cars underneath it.

Last night I went to the Woodland Weavers and Spinners guild (I love that name, it should be my blog name Woodland Quilter). This was part of the "show and tell", Joni Rosen wove this tallit (prayer shawl) for her granddaughters Bat mitzvah. It is woven out of fine wool and silk (not quite finished with pins holding the collar on) with secret messages woven in only Joni and her granddaughter can read. She also wove a bag to store it in.

Close-up of the wonderful weaving.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo