Entries in dye (22)

Tuesday
Mar122019

annotto as dye

There has been a lot of velociraptor holding going on here.  He settles for me when he will not settle for anyone else.  It makes life a bit interesting.  And life feels a lot like I should be holding be holding on with both hand while the road winds.  It is good and I am grateful but it is a ride.

Which means things I am working on are taking more time then I thought they would because time and attention.  Dye pots are fun because I just have to remember to stir them.  I had a friend ask me if I ever dyed with annotto.  I told her I had cooked with it but I had not tried dyeing with it.  

That conversation made me curious.  I went to the grocery store and all I could find was ground annotto but I decided I could work with that anyhow.  I have been looking for oranges so why not.

I took a picture of the silk I dyed while it was wet.  It is much more intense this way.  I would like to see if adding more annotto to the pot makes it more intense.

I did dye some cotton.  One piece was also dyed with iron added to the pot.  I wish to add more plant dyed fabrics to my quilts.  In another words, taking a long process and making it even longer.  Yes, that sounds about right!  But I enjoy it very much and it makes me happy so I think that is what truly matters.  

I have a pot of eucalyptus going right now.  I stirred it today and decided to let it go longer.  I will be curious to see how it turns out.  I hope to attend an art installation this coming weekend with lots of plant dyed and printed pieces.  I am pretty sure I can make it happen but there is those curves in the road that come up.  Since it is in a different city and would require a small road trip, I am keeping my fingers crossed!

 

Tuesday
Mar052019

playing with quilts

I decided to do something different with the quilts I am making.  This is it.  I still really love the nine squares so they are a component but I wanted to see what happened when I added larger pieces of fabric.  I have done some of the backs of my quilts this way and people seemed to really like them.  

This is the top.  I had thought about just using a large piece of thrifted flannel for the back but decided to piece it as well.  It will be interesting to see what happens.

I am also dyeing fabric for my quilts.  I have purchased used 100% cotton sheets at thrift stores and have started to put them in dye pots of dye made with plants.  I am very curious what will come of that fabric and quilts that will be put together with those fabrics.  I have a feeling they will be quite harmonious in a strange way.  Combining two things I love will be so cool.

I am hoping my schedule for this week goes better then last but we will have to see.  I am starting to count how many bowls of dough or just dough I have going at any one time.  I will have to share Koda Bear's favorite bun soon because it is pretty fabulous as a cheese sandwich with prosciutto.  That and some fruit, veg, and tea, I could drive cross country.  Yes, ice cream and cookies would also make it pretty spectacular but I could go many miles before I sleep with his favorite buns!  

Life has not slowed down any at all but I have adjusted to the current new normal.  It will change when we start building the sharpening truck.  I will be helping to design and build that before I start doing mobile sharpening.  I am actually very excited.  I could put a small stove top in it for making tea and plant dye.  I have thought of this.

The sharpening truck could mean never again stepping into an office!  In some ways, I hope the truck cabin takes off too!  I just feel like I need to hold on to life because it is going different ways then I could every forsee!

Tuesday
Feb192019

silk and cotton comforter

I have been spending too much time on Instagram and YouTube.  I came across India Flint's eucalyptus printed silk comforter she made her grandbaby.  I also came across the videos of the woman in China (?) who is living a very sustainable life and making silk comforters for those in her life.

The Tall Short Person did not like the idea of the eucalyptus printed fabric for Blue so I dyed some silk cotton fabric I had with a touch of indigo and purple cabbage.  The indigo came out the palest of blues.  It only looks blue against white.  The purple cabbage is a blue lavender.  Almost silver grey.

I quilted wonky straight lines after filling it with two layers of organic cotton.  It felt like I was on a deadline since Blue was already here but I really was not.  More, there was always something else that needed my attention.  That feels fairly normal for right now.  

I bound it with at natural colored silk charmeuse I had and it turned out so soft and lovely.  Now, if the rest of my life was this elegant. 

For someone so small, Blue takes as much time as I expected.  The Tall Short Person takes more time then I expected.  Koda Bear just needs love and attention, which I give freely.  We have had some lovely learnings recently that I will share soon.  

There has been a lot of making going on.  Just not for my shop.  I am trying a new dye pot.  It is steeping as I type and I will see what happens with the silk I put into it in a few days.  I may decided to dye it with stronger solution.  I just have a feeling.  I really wish to see what color spinach would make.  Soon.

Thursday
Oct042018

going down the rabbit hole

I am feeling very creative but only in one direction currently.  Which does make it very interesting for anyone reading a blog!  I still eat very well, bread is being baked, mending is being done (which I will take some pictures of soon), sewing is being done, my shop is being stocked over at Etsy, but I just want to work with plants!  I laugh at myself.  When I realized how easy it is to wrap plants in fabric with a little bit of moisture and see what happens, that is all of what I wish to do!  But it is pretty boring to anyone else unless you are interested in it as well.

There will be more around here then most people will want.

But I said I would write down the process so here it is.

The first thing you need to do is go collect plants.  Any plants.  Fall leaves give very nice prints.  I read where flowers do not print as well as you might expect.  Give it a try.

Lay those plants on top of a piece of fabric that has been dampened with mordant.  In this case, I used a 50% solution of white vinegar (50 percent vinegar, 50 percent water) in a spray bottle.  The flatter the plants are, the better they will print.  

I do not use cling wrap underneath the silk.  Using cling wrap limits how far the colors bleed through the layers.  It becomes more modern art doing it this way.  However, I have prints of leaves and acorns with out the cling wrap that are very clear.  In my class, many people used the cling wrap and there were a lot of leaves.  The little red maple leaves are especially clear.

If you wish to, you can add another layer.  I make big bundles.  This is a cotton sheet that has been ripped into lengths.  It was put into an iron solution where 1/2 teaspoon of iron sulfate was dissolved in 1 liter of water.  Again, this is a mordant.  The goal is to pull the color from the plants into the plant fiber.  On a protein fiber, a  mordant can make a color more vibrant or deeper.

I make sure every layer is damp, whether it is vinegar, tea, iron, whey, or soy milk.  Something.  Even plain water will act as a mordant because tap water has other chemicals and minerals in it.  You can even add some dye to your mordants to see what happens.

When your blundle is as big as you want it, tie it all up.  It needs to be rolled tight so if you think you will not roll it tight enough without help, roll it around a stick.  You can also put a weight on the end of the fabric so you have some resistance to pull against when you are rolling.

One of the tricks I learned at my class, was using a turkey roaster for steam.  My parents had one they did not use so I brought it home.  Put water in it, bring up to a boil, place your bundles in it and leave for 90 minutes.  If you do not wish the water to color the bundles in any way, left out of the water.  You can add dye to that water and over dye them as you are printing.

After 90 minutes, you can turn off the turkey roaster and wait for them to cool so you do not burn yourself.  That is my suggestion.  But if you cannot wait, you can open them right away to see what you will get.

Usually the unexpected.

I have been doing some reading and you can print by just making bundles.  Dampen the cloth or plants, or both.  Lay the bundle out the same and roll it up.  Just let it sit for awhile.  Open it like a surprise!  

I wish to play more with this technique.  The skirt I made recently, that I adore, I look at it and think, "I can mend it this way, print it that way, and dye like that" when it eventually starts to show wear.  Making witchy clothes.

I just do not feel like I have enough time to be creative!

Oh well.  More walks.  More plants.  More bundles.  I can just be told I am going a bit crazy.

Tuesday
May082018

being creative while tired

I am still tired.  I have a friend who thinks it is due to the pollen in the air.  The way my face has looked and my lungs feel, that would not surprise me.  I am happy I am not sick because there are also viruses going around but I do find being this tired makes it hard to be creative.  I can do the tasks in my processes that require repetitions quite easily because I do not have to think very hard.  Being truly creative is hard.

Dyeing has been fun.  I get to put things in pots and walk away.  Come back and stir.  Walk away and wait.  I can go sit and crochet or work on nine squares.  Creations that have points where I do not have to think very hard.  Just do.

I played with madder last week and ended up with the silk in the picture.  It looks almost like an antique burgundy or very dark antique rose in the sun.  Out of the sun, it looks like a chocolate.  It is a color I really like.  

This piece of silk was dyed with mulberry and beet.  Just a touch of iron.  The silk was actually dyed separately in the beet but it just made a gold.  That was until the mulberry was added.  The color in the sun looks like a sage green.  Lots of grey.  On my work table it looks almost silver.  I put a bit of it up in my Etsy store as ribbon. 

I have saved a good portion of the silk back as fabric.  I am tempted to make a slip with it.  I have not had a slip sell in my shop but I do wear them.  I like the lightness of the china silk for slips but then they add more warmth then expected.  I get cold easily.  Combine the mulberry beet fabric with the madder fabric.  It could be very interesting!  

I find that "talking" thoughts out are a good place to be creative when nothing else seems to be working.  Thank you for all who read my posts for the ears.  You get to listen to my babble.  

There is camping in the desert this coming weekend.  I am hoping it will break some of the allergy reactions.  Then maybe I will have some energy back?  I can hope.