Entries in plant dye (13)


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!



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.


and the plant dye comes out

I am the crazy lady who goes to the thrift store to buy baby clothes.  Ziggy Monster has worn mostly thrift store clothes so far.  Because I do not buy newborn clothes new and he was a bit small.

But I did buy some organic cotton onesies to dye.  In two different sizes.  And I also have some quilt cotton fabric that I am going to make a comforter for him.  I got the idea from India Flint who makes silk and cotton quilts for the babies in her life.  She prints them with eucalyptus but the Tall Person did not like that idea.

My Dad bought me a new dye pot at the hardware shop near him.  He showed off the one he bought himself and he had thought that it would be perfect for dying so he got me one.  Since my dye pot has become a bey blade stadium, I can no longer scoff.

I pulled some indigo out of my indigo pot and dyed four onesies a light blue.

The fabric really did not dye as dark as the onesies but that is okay.  It is no longer white.  Which is the whole goal.

I then got the purple cabbage out.  Added water, salt, and iron.  Boiled for a hour.  Strained.  Add four onesies and another piece of fabric.

The cabbage is a purple grey which is what I was looking for.

Again, not white.  Also boy without being so baby.  I can always dye them again if I need to but right now I need to see what they actually wash out too.

The quilt is next.  Soon, I will be done with the current list of projects for Ziggy Monster.  I think it will be nice to work on something else.



Movement was pitiful last week.  But I am moving now.  I even pulled silk out of dye pots.  The silk on the left in the picture is alkanet with iron and the right piece is avocado.  It has been raining since Saturday so I should not be surprised they are hanging in the rain currently.  Maybe the will dry soon so I will know what they will actually look like?  Especially after I wash them.  I find that changes the colors.

This is the washed piece of silk dyed with alkanet.  It is a very soft pink.  A grey pink?  I would say somewhere between pink and lavender.  It is always interesting how a piece of fabric comes out of the pot.  I was reading a dyer's writings about how no piece of fabric is every quite the same.  I would have to say that is very true.  She does much more dramatic things then I do.  She will even dump bundles of fabric in the ocean.  I wish.  

Yes, there is science here.  There is the use of acid and base.  Temperatures.  But plants are not the same across years and across a field.  Maybe I should say that the other way around.  Plants are not the same across a field let alone across years.  Each time a piece of fabric goes into the pot, it will be a discovery when the fabric comes out.

For me it is like baking bread.  Every time I make bread, there is something lovely to eat.  But that does not mean it is exactly the same or the process is the same.  Similar but not identical.  

Life is interesting.



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.