Friday, August 31, 2018

natural dyes / coleus

I couldn't bring myself to compost the coleus after cutting them back.   After simmering the leaves for an hour, I added the fabric and some iron mordant for an hour, then turned off the heat and let it sit until cool.

I adore the grey colour!  I will need to grow many more plants next year!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

natural dyes / tansy

When tansy is simmering it has a medicinal smell.  I don't like it.

I do like the fabric, however...  

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

natural dyes / indigo

I have been growing indigo for 4 years.  I may have finally made some dyeing progress.

After grinding up the leaves with my blender, I added ice.

and then added the fabric and some vinegar. I let it soak for an hour.

Then hung it outside on the line for 30 minutes. The fabric on the left is a piece of linen. No blue... On the right, the very small piece is a cotton hankie.  Also no blue.  The 2 pieces in the middle are the big winners! Silk...  Also notice the plants on the left... more indigo plants!

Back to the dye pot to soak overnight.

Fabric has been dipped twice, rinsed well and dried.  I am loving the colours.  The linen and cotton look lovely.  I am very happy with the silk.  The top piece is cotton.  The silk is in the back.

Guess I forgot to photograph the linen.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

natural dyes / coffee

Coffee seemed like a logical dye bath for this project.  With so many stains on my clothing, I just knew that it would be a lovely dye.  I steeped about a half cup of dye wrapped in a hankie for about an hour, then added my fabric. I'm not real happy with the colour.  Too light.  The photos make the fabric look even lighter than it is. Oh well, I can always over dye it.

Monday, August 27, 2018

natural dyes / tumeric

I went to the cupboard for today's dye. Tumeric.  I used a tablespoon in about 8 cups of water. After heating the tumeric to a gentle boil, I reduced the heat and simmered the dye for about 30 minutes.  Added vinegar and the fabric and simmered for about an hour.  I had plans away from home for the day, so I left the fabric in the dye bath to soak all day.  Rich beautiful colour, but will the smell ever leave the fabric?

Friday, August 24, 2018

natural dyes / elderberry

I found a few elderberries growing behind the chicken house.  I think the raccoons have been feasting and there were not many left.

Simmering... The smell filled the house.  Very sweet..

The colour on the fabric is so subtle. But, I like it.  Not everything has to be, in your face bright and bold.  I imagine if I had used more berries and less cloth, it would look very different.  Next year...

Thursday, August 23, 2018

natural dyes / hibiscus flowers

I have a hibiscus growing in my flower garden, but for this experiment I used a bag of flowers that my son gave me years ago to make tea.  Never did that, but still had the bag on the shelf.

I boiled the flowers and added vinegar to the mix. What beautiful colour!

After an all night soak and rinse... where did the colour go?

Cat approved...

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

natural dyes / black walnut leaves

The side benefit of dyeing with black walnut is the lovely brown fingernails you are left with if you don't wear gloves!

Leaves were chopped, boiled, and steeped.  I may have added a little vinegar to the pot.  The next morning I strained the leaves and added my fabric. After bringing the dye to a boil, I reduced the heat and let it simmer for an hour.  The colour wasn't the greatest, so I added some iron mordant.  Magically, the fabric turned brown. I did 4 samples of fabric.  The darkest was in the longest and was first in the pot.  The others were in for different lengths of time.  I am liking all of them!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Monday, August 20, 2018

Natural dye / Willow leaves

I have wanted to natural dye fabric for a quilt for some time.  While searching boxes for yard sale items, I came across dyed wool samples from 1985!  The colours still look amazing.  Now I am in a race against time to make dyes before we leave in September on a trip.  I'm afraid that when we return, a frost will have killed off everything.  The race has begun!

My first experiment was with willow leaves. I'm not going to go into detail as to what I did.  I'm not being very scientific about the whole project, just want to have fun!

I did weigh my plant material for this project.  6 ounces of leaves was about all my pan would hold.  In future dyeing this fall, I'll just use the same pan and fill to the same level.  Very scientific, right?

The directions I read said to chop the leaves.  I didn't bother this time.  Just boiled them and let them steep overnight before straining and dyeing the fabric.

The fabric I dyed with the willow dye was an old sugar sack from the 1940's.  It was white to begin with.  

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Random shots from the garden

I'm not getting any art done, but make sure I take my camera with when I'm walking the dog...

Friday, August 17, 2018

veggie play

Today I took some time to play with flowers and veggies!  I was picking material for dye bundles, but had to play with them first.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Morning tea

I've been trying to do a little bit of stitching every morning while drinking my tea.  Some days all I do is thread the needle.  Other days, I find myself drinking a second or third cup because I don't want to stop.  Thank you Beth for gently pushing me to this stitching adventure!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Rolled ice cream

Not the best pictures with glass between us and the ice cream artist, but wanted to share this fun experience in Kansas City.  Rolled ice cream.  The cream and "toppings" were mixed on the "griddle".  Very very cold griddle...  20 below C.

Next he used a "paint scrapper" to spread the ingredients into a square shape.

Then the rolling began!

Arrianne was very happy with her ice cream art!  She also told me that it tasted good.  I don't eat dairy, so I just enjoyed watching.