Archive | Dyeing

Dyeing with onion skins

I have been collecting onion skins for ages now, for dyeing, and I decided the other day that I was sick of the sight of them hanging round.  So I mordanted some pencil roving and some fibre in alum (the pencil roving had previously been dyed with indigo but was fairly pale and patchy).

This is what it looked like all pristine and white:

white pencil roving 

This is it indigo dyed:

indigo dyed pencil roving

I boiled up the onion skins for about 45 minutes and extracted the dye and then simmered the roving in it.  Haven’t got any photos of that stage but here is some silk which I did in the exhaust dye.

silk simmering in onion skin dyestuff

Now it’s hanging on the line:

onion skin dyed rovings on line 

close up of onion skin dyed roving

Here’s the fibre I dyed, drying on some newspaper:

onion skin dyed fibre

And here is a photo of the silk – it is actually a deeper colour than that.

onion skin dyed silk

A trip to Weston

I have been rather neglecting this blog of late so I am going to try and remedy that by bringing in more details of my daily life and what I’m getting up to.  And I’ve also decided to close my Daily Photos blog because I think the photos would be better incorporated into this blog.

A week ago I took the kids on the train to Weston-super-Mare for the day.  It is only across the Bristol Channel from us as the crow flies but by land you have to go all around and through Bristol so I hadn’t been there for several years.  It is a typical Victorian British seaside resort complete with pier:

pier at Weston super Mare

As you can see, the tide goes out a long way!  There weren’t many people on the beach because it was a VERY windy day!

beach shop and cafe at Weston

It also has the usual beach stalls selling balls, wind breaks and other stuff, and a cafe to get your polystyrene cups of tea to warm you up.  There are donkey rides, too, but I only got them inadvertently in the background of a video I took of the kids playing football.

Georgian crescent in Weston

We also discovered this elegant Georgian crescent.

Auditioning fabric

I’ve been moving fabric around all week on my design wall, for this river hanging I’m doing.  (Well, it started as two and I’m still not sure if I’m going to make it as one or two but we shall see.    It’s useful having a camera to take photos at the various stages.  I’ve got to a stage now where I think I’m fairly happy with it… the combination of fabrics together that is, no further than that…

mud hanging

The one on the left and the one on the right are two separate ones, although I might still make it into one long one with the green side at the top….  This was the first attempt.

mud hanging mark 2

This was the next attempt.  Well, more like an in-between stage really!

mark 3 on the left

Here is the next stage of the left hand size.

mark 3 on the right 

And the right side.

final version

And this is how I’ve got it at present (ignore the fabric at the top).  Apart from a few minor modifications…

horizontal stripes hanging

Do you agonize over your fabric choices like this? !

Thank you, by the way, to Brandon, for pointing me to the solution for my Windows Live Writer problem with my other blog!! It’s now sorted!

Playday with friends

Yesterday I had a fun day – I went to visit Gill of An Elegant Sufficiency to deliver the Print Gocco she had bought from me a few weeks ago.  Sue of The Magic Armchair Traveller was there too.  You can see photos of what we got up to over on Gill’s blog.    Sue had fun on Gill’s embellisher machine and I got to play with Gill’s Bind It All!!  This is what I made:

little book made with Bind It All

Amazing, just with a piece of cardstock, some cartridge paper, a guillotine and this little machine…

And Gill got going with the Gocco – from photo to finished product…

Gocco print of 3 friends

Here is mine:

Gocco print from photo

And this morning I got something special in the post.  One of the members of the Etsy Boomers Street Team put up a ‘fairy name generator’ on her blog a week or so ago.  This was mine:

Your fairy is called Bramble Icedancer
She is a bone chilling bringer of justice for the vulnerable.
She lives in leafy dells and bluebell glades.
She is only seen when the bees swarm and the crickets chirrup.
She wears bluebell-blue dresses. She has icy blue butterfly wings.

The fairy names were so popular and the descriptions so evocative that Joan painted us an ACEO to represent our fairy.  This is mine!    You can see the rest of them on Joan’s blog.  Thank you, Joan!!

bluebell fairy - Bramble Icedancer

Print Gocco web links page

I have now put my list of Gocco links on to a blog page – Here it is!

If you know of any other good links please leave a note in the comments section for that page, or email me. I have left several links out, such as the Save Gocco site and the actual Gocco website, because they are in the links on the DIY Definitions article, which has the most comprehensive list of links I know, and is well worth looking at. That is the first link on the page.

I will leave a permanent link to this page on the left sidebar.

Altering a silk wholecloth wallhanging….

I think my design process goes in fits and spurts and sometimes emerges over several months and years

I made this hanging from a piece of hand dyed silk… I started quilting it a year or two ago without much idea of where I was going or what it was going to become.  I eventually saw a sort of fantasy garden emerging..

This is how it was half finished:

silk wallhanging

I added the red scrim to unite the pink at the bottom and the flowers at the top but wasn’t really sure where it was going.  However, I finished off the quilt (or so I thought!).  It hung on my wall for a few months like this:

spring silk wallhanging

But I was never really happy with it as a piece of work.  So yesterday I went mad!!! I have some Tsukineko walnut inks and sprayed the pink bit and around various other parts with it.  I could then see a tree trunk emerging from that piece of scrim… I’m a lot happier with it now.  But I do leap in without thinking!!! I have no idea if the walnut inks will be fast on fabric and I think I’ll have to rinse it to get rid of the excess… watch this space!  Anyone know about the properties of these walnut inks?    Anyway, if it all rinses out, I know what to do now, but I’ll do it with silk paints instead…   What is that they say about fools rushing in?

Here it is at the moment:

silk wallhanging

I cut into the scrim a bit to emphasise the tree trunk idea.  Here is a detail:

detail of silk wallhanging

I will keep you posted on its progress!

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