January 7, 2014

New Year 2014

Holidays are over and it's time to wrap up a few things to get the New Year into a good start. I still had a few more gifts to make so these last few days I spent the evenings making them. These are not Christmas gifts, but gifts to dear friends. I like to give handmade gifts too. Will post photos of them after they have been received. 

This year is going to be another busy one for me. It's good to have a few things planned. I booked to travel to Laos, Cambodia and Thailand in March with some friends. That will be the highlight of 2014 for me. Later on in the year Mr Notjustnat and I are going for a short trip to Tasmania. We are so near, but so far to get there! 

One of my New Year resolutions is to finish some of my UFO (unfinished projects). I know that I can't hold myself to it because new and interesting ideas would come along and I will be slipping into it without even known it... Well it's a good idea, I thought!

I will show a few Christmas gifts I made from this big stash of indigo fabric I have been accumulating over the years. These are large piece at least 2 meters or more. I made a quilt last year and used some of it, but I still have plenty more left. 

Here is one of the bags I made using indigo fabric from the stash. I couldn't blog it before until they were received. The width of the bag is the same width as kimono fabric (14" wide). The fabric for the above bag is Katazume (stencil and indigo dyed) vintage fabric.

The second bag is also Katazome, but it's new fabric, indigo dyed from China. A friend of mine who lives in Hong Kong sent this to me. It's a lovely indigo fabric. The bag has a gusset and a few pleats on the top. 

The lining is from cotton Yukata that I unpicked. I have enough fabric for an inside pocket and a bit more for the handles. I gave one bag to DIL and another one to my daughter Kitiya. I made one for me too, naturally! 

The down side about having family over is when they left. I spent a sad day after they were gone. The house was empty and quiet. I kept finding toys and clothing that reminded me of them. The past weekend I cleaned and washed the bedding ready for the next visitors. 

This is a close up of a crazy quilt on the wall. I had it on our bedroom wall for a few years and took it down to use as a tree skirt. I decided to put it in the guest room this year. I found it in Oxford, UK at an outdoor market years ago. I believed it's an original Victorian crazy quilt, but I can't be sure!

I spent a busy weekend packing away the Christmas decorations and general house work. In the end I thought it was time to do something for me. I treated myself with freshly squeezed pomegranate juice. 

I have been wanting to dye for a few days now, but there are other priorities to take care of. In the weekend I gathered the Christmas bouquet that we had on the Christmas table. I packed it in a dye pot and soaked it until I get a chance to steam it.

Inspired by Peggy at Woman with wings I wrapped pomegranate skin and the pulp in silk. Hopefully I will get some colour from them!

Here it is all wrapped and ready for steaming. It was really windy for steaming then so I kept going and made more bundles!

In this bundle I put some of my favourite eucalyptus leaves and flax pods that we have been growing in our garden. I used the pods once a couple years ago and I had lovely purple blue colour from them. I hope I get the same again. 

In the next bundle I put rose and hydrangea leaves. I added some flax pods and some seeds DGS gave me for Christmas and bits of eucalyptus bark. I have a good feeling about this bundle.

All bundled but I can't steam them because of the strong wind. It's like all dressed up and nowhere to go! Anyway,  I hope I can steam them in the next few days. Letting the bundles resting for a few days might do them good as well. I haven't done this before so we just have to wait and see!

Hope you all had a lovely start to the New Year. 
The Chinese New Year is not too far away. This year it falls on the 31 January. This Chinese year  is the year of the horse. Read here if you were born in the horse year. 

Until next time


Shasta Matova said...

That is lovely indigo fabric. I am sure the bags were well received. I love your guest room all decorated with quilts! I haven't dyed anything, but it does sound like an interesting process.

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Great post and interesting dyeing coming up! Good trips for you too! How did you get pomegranate juice?

Needled Mom said...

I can't wait to see the results of your steaming. It looks like it is going to be spectacular.

It is always sad when the house is quiet again - especially when you find all of the little rememberances of the visit.

Your gifts are beautiful. I am sure they were loved. The indigo looks so pretty.

I LOVE your crazy quilt too. They make such pretty quilts.

Peggy said...

I love the tote bags you made, all those indigo fabrics are so beautiful. And that quilt on the bed!!! Can't wait to see your dye bundles unrolled -- happy, happy 2014, Nat! xo

Janet said...

What beautiful totes you made, I bet the gifts were received with delight. The dyed bundles look so good, it must be such a great surprise when you unwrap them. Happy new year Nat, it sounds great with the trips.

Nedra said...

I know that feeling you describe right as everyone leaves. The house just seems empty, and it takes a while to get back to feeling normal again. But, I've discovered working on projects helps! Love how you are using pomegranate for dying. You are always so creative!

Anne said...

I love the bags the indigo fabric beautiful !
The bundles look interesting I love the beautiful pomegranate colour!

Els said...

Oh, how I love the look of blue stashes ;-)
That bottom one just looks like some delicate Indonesian batik ... really
gorgeous !

Your bundles are very intrigueing...
you have a copper pipe inside, I think I can see ...
We have to be patient before they show up again here ;-)

Terry said...

Happy tour with you and your current work. Pretty indigo bags. Waiting to see what the bundles are this time.

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