Monday, April 24, 2017

Dyeing with indigo



It was Earth day/ birthday weekend, the weather was warm and sunny and I spent every minute I could outside.  I hung up my Earth day wall hanging, my husband and I took a ride and when we came home, hand-made birthday cards from the grandkids were lined up waiting for me. I love their cards!



Deb Hardman made me this wonderful painted and quilted wall hanging for my last birthday. A view of the earth and moon from outer space.



We bought a weeping cherry tree to celebrate all! The grandson's planted it for me.


Installed the bird bath my friend Donna made.



Almost as soon as it was filled with water a blue bird came.



Sunday afternoon and into the evening I indigo dyed wool blocks for my Sun & Moon quilt.
A crescent moon, I like when I get the indigo dye to seep into the edges, like clouds floating across the moon. A pure white moon would be a little boring.



2nd crescent, not quite as good.
 



I was very happy with this full moon.


I dyed a few star blocks, maybe will be corner squares in the quilt.



And a few "moon phase" filler strips for the quilt.
I also dyed blue yardage for filler strips, on some of the filler strips I'm going to embroider on moon and sun phrases, such as "Love you to the moon and back".



All the blocks so far.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Egg dyeing with cabbage



Easter egg dyeing party!
Start with little plants picked from the yard, a bowl of uncooked eggs and this year, red cabbage.



Add the grandsons, daughter and family and the fun begins.
 



I also had food coloring dyes for the boys.



We laid the fresh leaves on the eggs, wrapped squares of nylon around them and twisted them in the back with a bread twisty.
Layered them in a large pot of chopped up cabbage, water and a glug of whited vinegar. Brought to a boil and simmered an hour or so. They didn't look like they took any of the dye. I wasn't happy. I took them out and as they cooled the color began to show. While they are still wet take off the nylon and the leaves.



They weren't as dark as I thought they'd be but they are beautiful.
When cool I rubbed a little cooking oil on each.






I made up a few "nests" for Easter delivery.



I cooked, cooked and baked for Easter dinner, this was my center piece, fresh carrots, parsley and daffodils from my yard.



In my big pots, out went the winter greens and in fresh pussy willows and a fun metal carrot.




Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Spring's arrived in Michigan!


I have been trying to get back to blogging but family members' illness, work and my illness has kept me hopping. It's been a long 6 weeks!
I did spend the first day of Spring at the Lake finishing the handwork on my bee skep wall hanging. A couple of hours of stitching at the lake is like being on a micro-mini vacation.


The green houses in our area are almost ready to open.
Our garden club had our last meeting there. What a blessing to walk in and feel the warm humid air around you and smell the flowers and soil. It's wonderful after the long, cold winter.
Everywhere carpets of flowers.



More primroses.



Thousands of geraniums.



We each planted our own container. I used a new petunia variety called "Night Skies".  The petunias that were blooming looked just like a night sky, deep purple with white specks scattered all over it.
 


I dyed this wool scarf for my daughter last summer using dyers chamomile.
She put it out as a Spring table runner. I took it home and machine quilted it for her, 



adding a binding.



I went on a weekend quilt retreat with my one quilt bees, just a short one to celebrate Spring.  To get ready to go I put on the dye pot, boiling black walnuts to dye the back ground wool for the project I was going to work on.



We rented a beautiful little cottage on Lake Michigan.


Not as big as our Fall cottage but roomy enough.

With a gas fire place in the corner which we did enjoy.
 



Cute bedrooms tucked upstairs.



Coming down the stairs,



a black & white graduation quilt being made by grandma.



Mary, who loves paper-piecing worked on a miniature quilt with scraps left from a large version she made.


Our son bought a new house last Fall. At quilt retreat I designed, dyed and cut out his house block to go into the Family tree quilt I'm making.
As soon as I get this house stitched into the quilt I'll take a picture of the full quilt.


The pieces are just laid out on the fabric ready to be stitched on and all the details embroidered in. All the personal information will be embroidered in the yard. Birth, address etc.



(Forgot to flip it around)
The lattice strip will show all his hobbies etc.



I finished stitching on the binding at camp.






































Monday, February 13, 2017

Resist dyeing with hearts for Valentine Day!


Wool is folded, clamped and simmered in cochineal dye.



First batch using foam heart stickers as the resist. Okay, but not great.


Next batch, add more cochineal and squeeze a half of lime in to the pot.
Use plastic heart toys from Wal-Mart for the resist, simmer and let set a couple of days. Much more intense.



Same pot with a more cochineal added, I add wool, simmer of few hours and let soak a few days. I end up with almost purple! An over-dye with indigo and it will be a deep purple. There's still dye left in the pot so in goes another piece of wool. The other fabrics behind the purple are the fabrics dyed  with avacados, they have a much more intense color than the picture shows.



Spent a few hours this weekend with my friend creating natural face and  body cream. Also face wash and hand soaps.



Melted the coconut oil, Shea butter, and mango butter, cooled and whipped it until it looked like whip cream.


Added different essential oils to the different creams.
With lavender, frankincense, Full moon, and a comet streaking over I should be free of all wrinkles when I use this cream:)


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Dyeing wool with avacados



Ingredients for guacamole...



Ingredients for a dye pot!
Avocado pits and skins simmered in a water bath,



with premordanted wool



dyes a beautiful peachy apricot color.


 



Cochineal crushed,





tiny little dried bugs from the cactus of the South West.



I folded wool and placed plastic hearts (on each side of the fabric) as a resist.



Two different cochineal pots with two different wool heart fabrics to dye. The second pot I placed a squeezed lime in the dye. When I was in the South West they taught adding the lime juice to the dye would make your wool redder.  We'll see, the results next week:)



Thursday bee last week we finished beading ornaments that Mary started for us.



She had cut and stitched winter/Valentine fabrics,



we stitched on beads to hold the sides together and make the shape.



This was a fun sparkling project to share on a dark winter night. Thank You Mary!
See the pink pin cushion on the table, my friend Jamie made that for me and my friends in my other quilt bee. Thank You Jamie.
What great Valentine presents.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo
  •