Thursday, May 16, 2019

making ink: flowering crab blossoms

My flowering crab is in full bloom.  The bees are all over it, being such happy bees.  To enjoy the delicious scent a little longer, I cut a few branches and put them in a vase inside the house.  This morning the petals were starting to drop on the table, but instead of running the branches out to the compost, I decided to make ink!

I used a ratio of 2 to 1,  water to blossoms.  I simmered the blossoms for about 2 hours with a tablespoon of vinegar and a tablespoon of salt. (Trying to somewhat follow directions in Make Ink by Jason Logan.)

After straining, brushing some ink on watercolour paper, and letting it dry, I had a big surprise!

Yes! my lovely flowering crab ink dries green. But it is a lovely shade of green!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Prepping: Dye Thickener Workshop

On Sunday I will be teaching a workshop on using thickened dyes.  It occurred to me that having a sample of the colours on fabric instead of on printed colour charts would help the students and also tell me what else I needed to mix before the class... 

A few of the ideas I will share with the class:

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Natural dye: avocado

I save all my avocado skins and pits.  When the bucket is full, it's dye time! The nice thing about cooking up a pot of avocado dye is, it doesn't need a mordant added to the mix.  There is enough tannin in the pits to self mordant.  Or at least that is what I read.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Nameless quilt blocks...

I usually have a name for a quilt as I am beginning to work.  Easy to do when it is an art quilt  - names like, Barn Quilt, Poppies, Jes Face, Rusty Fish, etc.  The names usually change after the quilt is done.  For instance, "Jes Face" became "Discipline".  (I used a photo from basic graduation to cut a stencil for this quilt.)

Yesterday, while being stuck inside due to cold and rainy (and even a bit of snow!) weather, I worked on blocks for my brother and soon to be sister-in-laws quilt.  I won't post any pictures yet, just in case Michelle is snooping about!  I also worked on finishing the blocks I've been sewing to make a new quilt for my bed.  Poor quilt doesn't have a name.  The name in my head when I think about it is, "Swedish Death Cleaning Use Up Some Fabric From The Closet Before I Run Out Of Space" quilt.  I think that name is too long.

Anyway - the blocks are all sewn.  Sometime this summer after Arrianne comes home from school, I'll put her to work laying out the blocks.  She enjoys doing the design work - just doesn't like to cut and sew...  I'll see if she can come up with a name for the quilt!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Natural dye: Dandelions

Last week when I did my natural dye presentation for the library quilt group, one person asked how much plant matter I use for a pot of dye.  One lady said, "probably as much as her pot will hold".  How true that is.  Yesterday, I set out picking dandelions (between rain showers), and picked every flower in bloom in the yard!  Not enough to fill my cooking pot, but enough to cook and make a lovely yellow colour.  I did not use a mordant, but believe there is enough colour left in the pan to simmer another piece of fabric today and add some alum to the mixture.