October 25, 2013

Cloth and Dye

Not a lot of stitching and no weaving either, but lots of things are happening here to keep me busy! Our son and family came for a quick visit last weekend. It's always lovely to see them and play with the grandchildren. DGD is almost five now and she loves stitching and craft and DGS who is almost three, is into everything his sister does. 

The exhibition "connecting with nature" is getting closer. I set aside next weekend to work on getting all the pieces organized. I should be able to share some exhibition photos on my next post. For today please enjoy some random photos of my week. 

Dear grand daughter is a real crafter. She loves fabric and bright colours, especially pink. I saved some of Kaffe Fassett's fabric that a lovely friend Sally Cutting gave me. One afternoon she and I played stitching together. She said she is making a quilt! 

She designed, and I stitched. I tried to teach her not to put the same colour next to each other. She took the concept to heart as you can see in the above photo all her placements were perfect. No two of the same colour are next to each other except at right angles. Well done Bella. 

We ran out of the little pieces of fabric, but I got larger pieces that she could have to add on to her quilt next time she comes. A true quilter never finishes a quilt in one sitting. She is beginning to be a quilter!

I went through my dyed silk to choose some to put in the exhibition. In doing so, I found a few that needed over-dyeing. Being Friday evening I felt it was a good time to put a batch of dye on. 

Using my favorite windfall leaves I was like a witch playing with her potions. Dyeing is like magic. You stuff the leaves inside a piece of cloth, roll up and tie it with string, and steam it for a while. Then voila, you have a piece of gorgeous cloth ready to use in your creation! 

The spring walnut leaves are starting to appear now. I found some branches under the tree, due to a windy day we had recently. I haven't dyed with walnut leaf before, but if the walnut gives colour the leaf must do too. I love what I got using over-dyed method.

The piece of fabric above is not 100% silk, but I used it once before and I knew that it takes the dye well with some rusty metal pieces. The black lines are created by rusty metal. I love how this piece turned out.

This was the result of the piece above. You can see the placements of the leaves on the bottom photo. The silk is quite thin, but it took the dye very well. It's worth over-dyeing it if you are not happy the first time.


Another result from the batch. Quite lovely with yellow imprints from both long and round shaped leaves. You win some and you lose some, playing with natural dye.

We have had a big storm here these last couple of weeks. One day when I came out of my office a large Eucalyptus tree was knocked over and blocking one of the exits of the university. There are many exits so there was no problem. My first thought was ha, can I get some leaves for dyeing? 

The next morning the tree was cleared away and only the stump and some bits were left. I packed some pieces in the booth of my car hoping that the barks and bits will produce some colour for me, touch wood!!!

I soaked the pieces in rain water and I am hoping for the best. I can't wait to see if it does anything, touch wood again! Dyeing activity is keeping me busy, creative and amused a lot of the time. My silk stock is running low. I must take a trip to Ziguzagu to get more soon. 

Well, that is all from me this week. A lot of exciting things to come in the next couple of weeks including another set of weaving workshops in November and part of December. I have to take advantage of the workshops while they are on offer if I am to master weaving! Before we know it, Christmas will be upon us. It's my turn to have Christmas at our house this year. It means the grand kids will be here again too!

Until next time


neki desu said...

may i suggest you chop the wood further into small chips?
you'll be able to get more color from it. also put it in jars with 30% alcohol to 70 % water. leave it as long as you can and the add some more water and simmer them.
see : http://www.3springshandworks.com/Documents/wooddyeinstructions.pdf

Betty W said...

She is so lucky to have a Grandmother like you to teach her to sew. Her square looks very nice.

Needled Mom said...

Your granddaughter's piecing is wonderful. I know that you two will have many years of creative times ahead.

The silk dying that you do always fascinated me. I love seeing what you use to create those beautiful pieces.

deanna7trees said...

how wonderful that you're teaching your granddaughter to make a quilt. she is so lucky to have you. your dyed pieces are always gorgeous.

Els said...

Your granddaughter sure has talent ! (but she has a very good teacher too !)
Your dyes are (again) gorgeous. I hope the wood will give another good dye bath, Natima ..... ;-)

Anonymous said...

love this!!

Kim said...

Oh look at her sweet little hand.......what a precious gift to have that time with your granddaughter.

Love your dying projects each one is different and so interesting!

Happy Sewing

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Sounds like little Bella is following the footsteps of you and Kitiya Nat...how beautiful!

ria vogelzang said...

So great to see Bella making such lovely quilt-fabric choices! She's becoming a quilter fast! ;)
Don't you think it's such a privilege to enjoy grandchildren? I love to have ours around; can watch and play with them for hours!! :)
Your silk is looking so beautiful! Love what you do with all your dying projects. They are really stunning!
Have a great week towards too exhibition and good luck!!
Love my dear friend and greetz from the Netherlands, Ria

Jeannie said...

I love Bella's first quilt block. So original and organic. Trust me, she will remember sewing with you the rest of her life. I know I cherish those times spent with Gram. Your dyeing - wow!!! You really do have the touch with the beautiful euc leaves. Have fun and I look forward to the photos from the exhibit. xo

Bron and Mark said...

Nat, its so true. our Bella and Finn are very lucky to have such a Yayah as you.
Your post is lovely and thanks for showing me those preview pics of your exhibition; its going to be fantastic.
love always, bron.

Peggy said...

Love this, Nat -- Bella must take after you! I bet she loved those beautiful bright Kaffe Fassett colors, I know I do!

I always admire and learn from your dyeing projects -- oh my, the exhibit is going to be wonderful. Good luck with it, dear friend! xoxo

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