Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dyeing Results

  I placed the two jars full of wool and dye out in the sun to process for a week. I watched them carefully looking for mold. Last evening it was time to open them for the reveal.

 And of course Miss Tigress was right on my heels checking out everything. Sometimes it's hard to take a picture without her in it.

 First jar had dried eucalyptus leaves (from last year) in it. Disappointed I only got a yellow.

 When I steamed the wool with fresh eucalyptus I get wonderful rusty orange prints.
I need to try simmering the wool with fresh eucalyptus.

 The jar with the cochineal, madder root and Osage orange bark turned the wool into a wonderful piece of cloth, perfect to cut up for applique or use for piecing a quilt.

I tightly wrapped up the coreopsis flowers in a silk scarf and a antique linen napkin. Steamed them for an hour and let set for a few days.

 My napkin turned out so cute.

 This is the collection of my natural dyed antique linen napkins. Most done last summer.

 The silk scarf really grabbed the color beautifully.

 This is my coreopsis collection, wool on the left, middle linen, with the silk scarf on the right.

 The red amaranth produced green and peach "paisley" swirls.

Waiting to be quilted.

I'll see you tomorrow with the August Full Moon block, and at again the end of the month as this year August has two full moons the second being called a Blue Moon.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Natural Dyeing

I bought these wonderful Amaranth flowers at the farmers market.

 I thought I'd read somewhere they were a good dye plant, well we're going to find out.

 First I laid them on my premordanted with alum wool. Rolled it up tightly and tied it with string.

 Placed it in a pot and steamed it for an hour, left it covered overnight. It's now in a plastic bag for a couple of days. Next week we'll see the results.

 I placed the rest of the flowers in another pot and gently simmered them for around an hour. The water was a wonderful bright red.

 The wool came out a beautiful, warm yellow which surprised me, I thought it would be red or perhaps a dull brown. This fabric has orange/red undertones to it.

Knapp weed is doing well in the fields this hot dry summer.

 I picked some, chopped it up and simmered, added my premordanted wool,

And ended up with this dull yellow green. Actually the picture makes the color look better than it really is, it is ugly. At the end of Fall I take all my fabrics that I don't care for, lightly bundle them up and put them in a pot of madder root or cochineal. They turn out beautiful.

 I was really in a dyeing mood this past weekend. So next on my list was a little solar dyeing. I took a large jar, layed some premordanted wool in it and layer it with cochineal, Osage orange and madder root.

 After it was all layered I poured boiling water over it, caped it and set it in the sun for a few days.

 I had some dried eucalyptus left from last year I placed in another jar. Their out in the sun now. You have to watch them very, very carefully as they mold easily. Next week I show you the results.

 You can also do this with wool yarn. I did this hank last summer layering with cochineal, Osage orange and madder root.

Mullein is also ready for harvest. This makes a bright yellow dye.
A local Native American elder makes a wonderful healing cream with the leaves that people swear is the best.
I'm also drying some leaves to make Dream Pillows this Fall with the grandsons.

 Last summer I used the leaves to "dye print" a sunshine for my quilt.

 One of the few plants that are doing well in my dye garden is my coreopsis. In the evening when it starts to cool off I harvest the blossoms.

And look who comes with me every evening, Miss Tigress. She loves the white sage.
Funny thing about Miss Tigress, when she first adopted us the boys named her Tiger well after awhile we figured out she was a girl!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Herbal Salt

 My little herb garden was a over-grown mess

 waiting to be harvested. Although I use a little each day when I cook dinner there was a lot extra needing to be used.

 I picked, rinsed and dryed the herbs preparing them to make herbal salt.

In the salt for chicken/turkey dishes I used thyme, chives, parsley and sage.

The salt for all the other dishes I used thyme, chives, parsley, Greek oregano, rosemary and a little Thai basil.

I filled two bowls with sea salt and my helpers began cutting the herbs into small pieces.
 With a little nibbling along the way. We mixed them in well.

 This is Thai basil, it is a beautiful herb with a purple flower. It has a little bite to it, I hope it was a good ideal to put it in the salt.

 Stripping the thyme leaves off the woody stem. Be careful not to put in stems.

 We filled jars with the salt and now will let it set for a month or so until the herbs impart their flavor into the salt (shaking it once in awhile). You can then strain the herbs out of the salt, but they crumble down so much it's not necessary, I  just fill a salt shaker with it. This is a nice gift for the cooks in your life, maybe put into a vintage glass salt shakers. This salt is heavenly sprinkled on roasted beef, chicken, pork or vegetables. A little goes a long way.
(I love my Foster canning jar, thank-you Pam)!

My friend Windi stopped by and showed me her little salt carrying case with samples of her salt collection. We had a fun "salt" tasting with the grand kids.

Next I think we need to make some herbal sugar for butter/sugar cookies.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dyeing with Correopsis

 My row of correopsis just keeps blooming and blooming. Every evening when it cools off I pick the flowers. I've been drying most of them for this winter when I have more time (hopefully). Last week though I put a couple handfuls in the dye pot, simmered it an hour then put premordanted wool in to simmer and soak overnight. They say to take the wool out after simmering, add a little ammonia, put the wool back in and the fabric will turn a little more coral. I did that with half the fabric but really couldn't see much difference.

There was so much dye left in the pot I threw in another strip of wool. It's a pretty light peachy-pink. These little flowers have so much dye in them.

My horse-tail dye on the other hand wasn't as great. I got a nice tan, good for a background color.

 It's been so hot and humid around here, you really don't feel like doing any more that you have to. I've been sitting in my studio at night working on my wool quilt. I thought I'd have the top done by now and be quilting it but you know how that goes, I'm still putting rows together.

 I've been blanket stitching the blocks/rows together with wool floss. I love, love working on this quilt. From collecting the dye stuff, dyeing the wool, to the hand work.

After I press, this is how the finished seam looks.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

July's Full Moon

 Tonight's full moon has been referred to by the Eastern Native Americans as Thunder moon, Buck moon and Bee moon. Thunder moon because in July when it steamy hot and rain moves in we have powerful thunder storms. The Thunderbird was powerful spirit in the form of a bird. Lightning flashed from his beak and the beating of his wings caused the thunder. This motif has been used for centuries in Native American artwork.
When I was telling my grandson's about this moon one of the 7 year olds said to me "we know the truth Grandma, the lightning is from angels turning the light switches off and on and the thunder is from angels bowling". How beautiful!
I embroidered on the Thunderbird motif and tonight will finish quilting it with "Sliver" thread by Sulky, which gives the piece the effect of twinkling stars in the background.
Buck moon because the white-tail deer bucks begin to re-grow their antlers.
Bee moon because July is peak time of activity for insects.
"Magical Moons and Seasonal Circles" by Susan Betz

 My wool strip from my "heavenly" dye bath. This was a much brighter yellow, I left it in quite long and it got a little dull.
It didn't get any of the green from the dye.

 My husband and I went boating on the river last Saturday, along the way I saw these large Horse Tail plants.

 I picked a bunch for the dye pot. I chopped them up, filled the pot up with water and have it sitting in the hot sun. It's so hot here thought I'd do little solar dyeing

 The water lily's were in full bloom along the river.

 At quilt guild last night Ann Carris was our speaker showing us her beautiful quilts. The professional teacher she took the class from told her these were the worst color fabrics she seen for this quilt! I personally love this quilt.

This was another of my favorites.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo