Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Maple leaf dyeing results

After setting a week (in a plastic bag with a pail of water on top) I washed out my wool. This fabric will be the top third of my Family Tree quilt.

The detail is amazing, some leave prints look like the leave is still there.

This wool will be the ground around the tree trunk.

This is the raw silk that was wrapped up with maple leaves and rusty metal. They would make some great scarves.

A picture of my piano.

Don't forget if you have any pumpkins left that you don't carve, put them away in a cold place all winter (not freezing). Next Spring bring them out, cut off the top, fill with good soil, water and place in your garden for the Summer. Hopefully, the seeds inside will grow and you will get pumpkins next Fall.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Autumn leaves and herbs

Last Friday after work I went in our woods and collected the brightest, most colorful leaves I could find. The moon was suppose to be full but the clouds rolled in and then the rain and wind came. I lit a fire in my studio and began dyeing wool boarder fabric for my Family Tree quilt.

First for the ground fabric ( the bottom of the house blocks), instead of plain fabric I wanted a scattering of leaves and flowers, there will be a trunk of a tree appliqued up the center of the quilt. I know this doesn't make since yet but wait until you see it when I finish it in November. I rolled up the last of my red flowers, purple plum and maple leaves in the wool.

The top of the quilt will be the tree tops, wool fabric dyed with maple leaves. These leaves were so bright they looked florescent. Simmered them all an hour and now have them in plastic bags with heavy books on top.

While I was doing this I thought might as well play with a little silk fabric too, cut it long enough for a scarf. Added some rusty metal

and rolled it up.
My Friday night pieces are still processing, the following pieces I did last week.

I started with eucalyptus from the Farmers Market,

rolled in raw silk with a copper tube and rusty metal parts. I did two of them, one with silk the other with wool. Boiled a good hour and then let set in a plastic bag for a week.

The wool washed and dried (with out the copper tube),

and the silk.

with copper tubing.

I also had this rusty metal thing, I foldled it up in some silk, poured vinegar over it and left it a few days,

The silk was a little to fine to pick up a lot of the print,

I need to try wool.

I wanted a nice brown for my tree trunk, first I boiled black walnuts, they were a light greeny brown, so I added peacans, tea bags and coffee grounds hoping to get rid of the green.

At my Herb Society we love, love to study herbs that were used through out history for the different Holidays, and one of our favorite holidays to study is Halloween.
How very sad the wise women, mid wives and healers in the Villages were accused of being witches by the very people their knowledge healed!

Marsha our "Head" herbalist and speaker has studied the different herbs for years and gives a wonderful lecture along with bringing in 100 different samples with cards telling their uses.

You could spend hours reading them.

Have you ever sat in a meeting with pointy hats poking out all over!

The back of mine I made for the meeting and Trick or Treating with the grand kids.

Our snack table was full, I loved this pumpkin dip served in a pumpkin.

A group picture of some of the Herb members in their finery. Marsha on the left.

So this morning as I leave for work who is looking at me from across the street, Tamone, Miss Tigress' old boyfriend, he still comes over looking for her. Kitty love never dies.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fabric Dyeing Weekend

The last of my summer plants were calling me, "use me before the frost". This past weekend between family obligations and 4 end of season football games (which the grand boys teams won), I played with every plant I thought would give a lasting color.
This first flower is dyers chamomile with a couple of flowers still blooming.

Woad which is used like indigo to give blue (but not as strong or easy to use as indigo). I read in an old blog from India Flint  www.prophet-of-bloom.blogspot.com that she used it in her Eco dyeing and achieved a burgundy, we'll try that.

My favorite red flower to give long lasting purple. (can't remember the name).

Add some red and green maple leaves,

place them on my premordanted with alum wet wool and roll up tightly. Hard steam them an hour, leave in the pot overnight, then I place the bundle in a plastic bag and set a heavy book on it for a week.

Unroll. I have a beautiful end of season memory cloth waiting to be used in a quilt.

Close up of the different prints, with rose pink woad leaves.

I'm starting to play with silk and rusty metals (I also learned this from India Flint's book "Eco Color"). Not quite sure what I'm doing yet but experimenting is half the fun.
So I laid out my raw silk and sprinkled on the same flowers and leaves, rolled it up with a copper tube and rusty metals. Tied tightly,

placed in the pot with additional plants, steamed it all for a good hour. Took it out of the pot and placed it in a plastic bag.

A few days later, the unveiling, what different colors come from plants with the different mordants.

And after washed and dried. Look closely and you can see the different leave prints.
This opens the possibilities to a lot of new ideas. But I'm not sure if the metals weaken the fibers. I don't know if I would use it to make a "heirloom" type quilt, maybe just some fun pieces.

Sunday night to my quilt studio I go working on the next house in my Family Tree quilt. And who comes with me, on one side I have little man making his own wool wall hanging, a witch flying on a broom and a full moon.

And on the other side big brother making his own wool piece.

My next house for the quilt. I hope to have all the houses finished before I go on my quilt retreat in November. While there I will finish putting the quilt together. I have a lot more embroidery to finish before then.
See you next week with the rest of my dyeing projects still in plastic bags brewing!

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo