I hand dye fabric. Occasioanlly, I get to dye a piece of fabric that someone has something specific in mind to make with it. I love seeing the things that my customers make. Indigo Blue is a popular color for interior decor.
Big projects seem to be in the making this month. Shades for a restuarant in LA and covering the cushion of a refinished pew bench are in the works.
Both projects require large pieces of fabric. Cotton duck and bull denim dye similarly. Both are heavy. Both are at least 60″ wide and weigh 6, 7 or 10 ounces per square yard. When they get wet they are a hand full! But the results are fabulous.
The latest order of heavy weight cotton duck was used to reupholster these chairs. I am delighted to share!
Several years ago Katie, from Stitch and Rivet in Washington DC, choose an indigo blue linen to pair with a chocolate brown leather. Stunning!
Indigo blue is such a great accent with gray and the orange accent set off the blue delightfully. Another customer sent pictures of her indigo blued accent pieces.
Another customer choose variety a of patterns for shade covers in an Los Angelos Restaurant. Here are some examples of the array of patterns they chose.
Indigo blue is very popular, but there are great number of other amazing colors to choose from. What is your favorite color?
This project was an adventure. The order was for a king sized duvet cover. The color palette was to be in golds and browns to pull in some interesting wall art in those colors from the clients bedroom. Having never done a lone star, I designed the cover around that design using the fall colors in batik fabrics.
I think the photos really speak for themselves, but I thank Donna at Jorden Fabrics in Grants Pass, Oregon, for the amazing YouTube of how to put a lone star together.
Auditioning the strips
After auditioning some different batiks for the backgrounds for the star we selled on a golden brown batick with flecks of cream.
For the drop we settled on the rich, dark brown batik with Kokopelli and lizards as the fabric of choice. April at Creekside Quilts Oregon was very helpful in finding the right design.
Then with the bits and scraps from the Duvet Cover. I went on to make a fun wonky star twin quilt. It sits on the guest room bed.
It’s been awhile since I posted a blog. I think this is not my best way of communicating! But I have been busy quilting and sewing with my own hand dyed fabric. I have been trying to be sustainable by using all the pieces that get cut, until there is barely any bits of fabric left. I am saving them to use as stuffing for a foot poof.
During the pandemic I decided to use as much of my stash and specifically scraps to be creative. My go to design was wonky stars and paper pieced flying geese. I now have several finished wonky star quilts and few tops done and a box of flying geese in different sizes for further use.
After spending some time finishing up some stray quilt tops and donating them to Northwest Quilters to distribute to charity, my first big project was The Quilted Duvet Cover!
In this age of social media the younger set probably has this down, but for those of us approaching seventy and beyond, maybe not so much.
So after reading an email from Katie @stitchandrivet this morning where she gives great links for things to do to with kids and reminds us of things we could do but have not done for ages, like knitting; being creative with things we have around the house, like paper mache, or cutting up boxes to make fantastic creatures, or using those boxes from our online shopping to create rocket ships and airplanes and castles; making play dough out of flour and water … it occurred to me to share how some grandmas are staying in touch.
Our small quilt group is very social. We meet once a month for hand work and have frequently met for actual sew days with sewing machines and cutting boards. We share things we are working on in-between on messaging when there is a likely project to view. SO, what to do? We are looking into FaceTime or Google Hangouts for our next meeting. We are determined to keep in touch.
I have been FaceTiming with grandsons and interact with them while they make cookies at their house and I have a cooking project at mine. There is laughter and questions, the usual banter as if they were really in the kitchen with me.
My husband and I are recording chapters from books we know they love, so they can hear our voice and we can share virtual intimate moments with them.
My neighbors and I check in with each other every day andtry to minimize trips to the store by seeing if anyone needs anything when we go. So far no, but the quality of the relationship has increased as we navigate how to stay in touch and help each other from afar.
In the midst of this conversation yesterday, it occurred to me that there are ways that wecan get out of the house too and “meet up” .
talk over the fence;
sit on opposite ends of the park bench and have a conversation;
go for a walk around the neighborhood, but stay a few feet apart;
pot your spring plants, prune your hedge, across the lawn together…
share a libation from the safety of your own backyard, but have that conversation over the fence.
share a takeout order, (helps the restaurant owners) but eat in your own yard…
Be creative, be safe and ride this crisis out with as much grace and hope as you can muster.
AND Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to those of you who celebrate!
The other day I recieved an inquiry about ice dyeing a large piece of fabric for a quilt back. It got me to thinking about how I use ice dyed fabric. While working on my year-end inventory I found several items where ice dyed fabric is used. Partly, I think, it is the contrast of whatever the focus fabric or design is to the subtle color that can arise from dyeing wth ice. There is an ethreal quality to the image, softer lines and muted color contrasting with some very sharp lines and bold color.
Ice melting on linen rayon.
One of the things I find fascinating about the ice dyed process is how the dye will travel following the melting ice. Also, how it will break into colors that define the color of the dye when fully wet. If you want to know what dye pigments your color is made from try this method. I think my favorite use of ice dyed fabric is as backing for a quilt top. I know some people just use what they have not really careing, but to me there is an aesthetic that goes along with all the hard work of piecing the quilt top. I try to use a backing that mirrors the colors in the top, or is the same as the sashing in the top, or just adds some kind of aesthetic. I don’t know about you, but my quilts get wrapped around, used as shawls, capes and tents, folded on the end of the bed or couch or chair… I want the visual of the back to be as pleasing as the front.
Whole Cloth Bedspread ice dyed in navy.
Periwinkle Blue Ice Dyed
Rail Improve Quilt
Navy Blue Ice Dyed
Rainbow Rail Quilt
Kingfisher Green Ice Dyed
I feel the same way about the inside of my hand dyed fabric bags. Ice dyed fabric for lining has a lighter feel then the exterior of the bag. It adds another layer of the uniqueness and ‘one of a kind’ attibute of my work.
There is a lot of blue here. I do lean towards that color spectrum. But here are two patches of Pagoda Red ice dyed on linen cotton for a new Baker Bag that is on the sewing table.
So visit my shop dailyhanddyedtextiles.com to see more of these creations. And have a lovely afternoon!
May 2020 bring you all the health and happiness and creative energy you need. This is the season to celebrate and we started our December off with another Kid Makers Fair. This year we included Thomas and his ice dyed rainbow socks – a big seller at the fair. It was so amazing to watch this six year old carefully and judiciuasly applying the dye to the ice, then see him at the end of the process matching his socks into pairs.
My contribution, in part inspired by a class Loic took at Klum House this summer, was to experiment with my linen/cotton blend shibori dyed fabric quilted into Dopp kits. We made several out of umbrella cloth scraps to get the process and the kinks worked out first. I wanted to know what the sewing machine would handle and where we might need to make modifications. Then on to the step of using our fabric to design a new quilted pouch bag.
Another technique I explored was stitched shibori on the cotton twill aprons. I am not happy with the results. I feel like it was a lot of effort to get this less then defined design. It may be that the cotton is two heavy to support this type of stitching. It may be the sinew I used as the thread. It may be that I left the aprons in the dye to long. Clearly a bit of experimentation needs to take place to reach my ideals, but that is the nature of being creative… do, reflect, and do again!
There are always things to be learned about selling. We learned that childrens socks don’t sell as well as larger sizes. For next year we will consider selling the aprons as a package – one adult and one child. (The grandmas loved this.) We also learned that recording our sales carefully will reduce the headache of doing inventory when we get home and finding some things missing – the risk of selling I guess. The bottom line though is that the boys are learning about commerce and making and being creative and just having fun doing it.
Best wishes for a happy holiday and good things to come in 2020.
Or trying to maintain a home business while moving to a new city.
I am looking forward to the new year. My new sewing studio and creative hub of the house looks out over a stand of Douglas Fir and other maple tress that provide amazing color in the fall. The birds chatter, as flocks of them vie for the seed at the feeder. I think the birds have declared the back yard a safe zone. So far we have seen no cats in the neighborhood. This is a great place to let the creative ideas and inspirations percolate, until the finished product is accomplished.
My most recent activity for getting back into the swing of dyeing fabric was to tie up some Kona cotton for shibori fat quarters. Indigo blue is the biggest attraction in my business, and yet I really love playing with other colors and combinations…
but here we go with a few examples of what one can find in a fat quarter bundle of indigo blue Kona Cotton.
And then there is the honeycomb technique. I love the unpredicatbility of the dye flow through the folds of the honeycomb.
Until next time. I have made a vow to myself to not let the distance between blogs be so great !!! We will see, but I appreciate those of you that read this!
I have always said that collaboration makes for a more interesting result. Another person in the conversation brings up the’ we could try ‘… and the ‘what ifs?’… So a quick look into the latest collaboration with ten year old grandson Loic Daily the better half of Daily Hand Dyed Textiles.
Decisions to Make
We were getting him ready for a makers fair at his school. It is a fundraiser for the PTA and he gets to showcase his creativity. I get to join him as the ‘adult’!!! His little brother added some tie dyed t-shirts and I had wares made from my own hand dyed fabrics.
Loic decided on sets of napkins and tea towels. He also was working on a series of scarves.
There is nothing better when dyeing fabric then the reveal. Sometimes we are underwhelmed, but mostly we are delighted. Loic’s shibori napkins has lead us to do more. The most popular color seems to be in the blue range. we sold out the dark blues. But everyone we sold to was delighted by the colors Loic choose. He was the master, I was his trusty helper.
Here is a look at our booth. He did very well for a three hour kid’s fair. We had a wonderful time together.
This idea of using all that we make is very appealing to me. The centers are scraps of linen and linen blends from other projects and garments. We do end up with a lot, don’t we! This is an afternoon of gray skys and dreary thoughts that were channeled into 4 x 6 inch quilt blocks. Then, those blocks were surrounded with neutrals (making more scraps), a random, sort of, approach to design. I had several criteria though – color, size and background. AND using as many scraps as I could to make new blocks.
Below, we have a block surrounded by the neutrals.
In this next photo, I am auditioning back ground color from my hand dyed stash. I am thinking that the backgound will be the more solid teal. I’ll then square up my blocks and arrange for the quilt top.
The rest of this project will wait until after the Bali trip and the work for two entries to shows coming up in the fall.