A had a few days off doing nothing after the exhibition opening. I went to the gym to rejuvenate my energy. No time to ponder too long because there are still two more weaving workshops to complete by the end of December, and Christmas is only around the corner! Woo, where did 2013 go? I'm looking forward to having Christmas at my house this year. Every other year my daughter-in-law goes to her family, and this is our year to have them with us.
I'm trying to get the spirit of Christmas by making these mini Christmas stars that Temecula kindly offered as a countdown to a Christmas project. I was so encouraged that I got all geared up and pulled out the red and light print fabric ready to go.
I am making 2 sets of 24 stars. One set is for a Christmas quilt that Temecula is giving out by installment, and the second set is for gift tags. I will piece the alternating blocks to go with the stars soon.
I hand quilted with red thread around the stars and white thread around the outside edges. They are really small just 2" x 2". They will be cute for Christmas gift tags.
Dyeing is going on full time here. When Ziguzagu had a sale earlier this month I stocked up on a lot of vintage silk for dyeing. These were such a good deal that I thought I might as well get them while they were on sale. I'm a sucker for bargains! On my daily walk around the campus where I work I came across something that looked like cochineal insects. In my childhood I remembered them clinging on to our local trees so I'm familiar with them. Never pass on something potentially for dyeing. I took some bits home to try.
This big metal bolt in the picture above was found by DGD up the hill from where she lives. It was such a treasure to have for dyeing! I bundled up a large piece of silk and a mixture of leaves including the branches with cochineal insects.
I stewed and left the bundle for over a week before I opened it. I can never leave the bundles more than a week if I'm home! It was promising when I opened it. The smell is divine as well, but not for everyone!
The first sight you see when you open the bundle is this salad spread snuggled between the two layers of silk. It depends how well you roll the bundle. All the texture and colour of the leaves should transfer onto the silk.
This is what the cochineal insects did on the cloth. I only sprinkled a few of them in the bundle not knowing what will happen. For me the fun part of dyeing is to experiment and experiment!
I bought some cochineal insects from the guild I belong to and I used them a couple of times in eco-prints. I sprinkled a few inside the bundle on the left. I can see the colour seeping out after steaming.
This is the result from the bundle on the right. The purple patches are made by prunnus leaves and the darker patches were from hydrangea green leaves.
When I opened the bundle with the bought cochineal insects I was surprised at how strong the colour was that the insect had produced. I will have to try drying solid colour with them sometimes!
The exhibition Connecting with Nature is on until 29 Nov. I received lovely feedback from friends and colleagues who visited. I'm still in two minds if I should book the exhibition space for next year. I'm still tired from this one and not ready to commit to another exhibition. The thing is that I have to make a booking about a year ahead to secure the spot.
Is everyone ready for Christmas? The Christmas goodies have been out for a while now, but luckily I don't need anything new. What I need is to make some Christmas presents!
Until next time