January 27, 2013

Australia Day - The True Blue...

Happy Australia Day everyone in Australia and around the world. I have a specially extra long weekend - a four day weekend. It's hard to come by when you are working full time so I'm enjoying it to the full. Yesterday we had the first meeting with the architect to start the process for "Seabird", our beach house. Today is Australia Day and I've planned to host an Australian Day tea party in the afternoon. In the morning Jacky and I played with indigo dye. We had such a fun day stitching shibori pieces and dyeing.  

In the above collage from left to right: An Australian flag and ANZAC biscuits I made for the tea party. Next is the table setting with the homemade lamingtons that Lynda kindly made for us. I made cucumber sandwiches and a platter of fresh fruit. The bottom photo is Jacky and Mr NJN enjoying the bubbly before we started our cuppas. 

In this collage from top left photo going clockwise: Jacky was making fringes on her scarf for dyeing. The next photo is the indigo vat I mixed earlier using an indigo kit. In the next photo Jacky had a first dip. She pulled out her scarf from the vat. It was yellow turning green/blue when it hit the atmosphere. The last photo is the scarf turning blue after leaving it to oxidize for a couple of minutes.

This is a piece of the color catcher I shiboried and dyed last week. I will be using it on a tote-bag to cover the logo. 

We rinsed all the dyed pieces and hung them to dry on the fig tree.  Jacky and I are really happy with the result of our dyeing today. I know I'm addicted to dyeing. Summer is the best time for indigo dye and I really need more experience mixing indigo. I'm getting there though; at least I know when I kill the vat!

This is indigofera tinctoria I found on my walk at work. In my search and research I know that in India they use this plant to produce indigo dye. You need lots and lots of them to produce enough dye. It's interesting to find them growing in my university's garden. 

I mentioned in this post that I'm planning to make quilts for "Seabird". I started these trip around the world blocks last year and still need another twenty blocks before I have enough for a quilt.

And here are the first two blocks for another quilt for "Seabird". I decided to make all the quilts in indigo blue. If it's possible I will use the vintage or recycled fabric that I have in my stash. So far I only make a small dent in my stash. I think I will have enough for 4 quilts.

This tote-bag is the result of the dye from my indigo plants that I processed a few weeks ago. The bag was a conference bag and it had the logo printed all over the front of it. It's cotton and perfect for indigo dyeing. I hid the logo by patching over it with indigo fabric from the same dye batch. I'm really happy with it and I will keep it for myself. I have couple of more bags to make for gifts. 

Enjoy the rest of Australia Day weekend if you are in Australia, but if not, enjoy your weekend anyway.

Until next time


Kim said...

Looks like a fun time! A home by the beach sounds divine, is there anything more tranquil then a walk on the beach? Indigo! Oh how beautiful, now I know why blue has always been my favorite color. A cottage by the sea filled with Indigo quilts sounds like a dream come true Nat!
Happy Australia Day :0)

deanna7trees said...

it's all fabulous. love seeing all that blue. one day i'll get to the blue quilt i want to make. and happy Australia day to you. looks like you had lots of fun.

Connie Eyberg Originals said...

I'm really enjoying your Indigo dyeing. Dyeing is on my bucket list so my ears always perk up when I see a related post. Happy Australia Day!

Jeannie said...

Happy Australia Day, Nat! You spent your day in my favorite ways - dyeing, friends, relaxation. The cloths are gorgeous. Like you, I know when I have killed the vat. Now if I could learn how to give it CPR! LOL! I am counting the months to when I can get out my blue bucket and enjoy the magic of indigo. Wishing you a relaxing and fun filled holiday. (The quilts for Sea Bird are beautiful.)

Jocelyn said...

Happy Australia day Nat. My daughter just returned home on Wednesday from a month long visit to your lovely country. She LOVED it!! Enjoy your holiday.

Ro Bruhn said...

Happy Australia Day Nat. It always amazes me how much you get done in a day, you certainly live life to the full. Your indigo dyeing with Jacky produced some beautiful results, love them all.

Nedra said...

And Happy Australia Day to you, too Nat. Best wishes as you work on lovely things to decorate your beach house. Beautiful dyed fabrics, and I love the simplicity of your quilt blocks.

Jacky said...

Thanks for such a fantastic Australia Day Nat! The afternoon tea was lovely...enjoyed that champers!!!!

Soooo happy with my indigo pieces from yesterday and the beautiful scarves we made. Getting a bit of a stash of indigo dyed fabric now to make myself a special indigo quilt.

See you were at Oakleigh for lunch today...yum! Lee and I went to Hawskburn for lunch (near ZZ, luckily closed).

Jacky xox

Terry said...

Your packing as much as possiable into the weekend good for you.
The trip around quilt and more blocks for Seabird are goingto great.

Bev C said...

Hello Nat,

What a delightful post, the dyeing you all did is so pretty, something about blue quilts etc. Great for you to find the plant in your workplace. Maybe you could take a cutting.

Enjoy your 4 days off.

Happy days.

Tracy said...

Happy Day belated, Nat! Such fun celebrations! Fun hearing about your place, "Seabird"...lovely name! Your latest adventures in quilting and indigo hugely inspire. Your quilt in progress is wonderful. And LOVE, love, love the tote bag!! *swoon*... :o) ((HUGS))

Peggy said...

Hi Nat! This post was so fun. All that dyeing you & Jacky did turned out great. I still have a box of indigo mix in the closet, now I guess I have to wait for summer when it's warm. I absolutely love ALL your quilt blocks for Seabird and the idea of making them all in indigo blue. I recently decided that I want more clothing that same color because it looks okay even when hair starts turning gray! And such a good idea for the totebag! Hope you had a great Australian Day weekend. ;) xx

rivergardenstudio said...

Happy Australia Day to you Nat! Everything looks beautiful here, especially your tea party and artful playing with Jacky!

Annie said...

Love that tote bag nat. Nice to meet you today at Maria,s opening.

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