A Daily Blog on Textile and Garden Adventures

13. Jan, 2020

This photo began as an opening bud on an agapanthus and manipulating withing picmonkey gave me this light glowing sample which is one of the ones I had a fat quarter printed from Spoonflower. I can see a use for some bits of this possibly in my penguin challenge quilt in this year's Hoffman challenge.

12. Jan, 2020

Every once in a while Spoonflower has free world wide shipping, and I am always tempted to take one of my photos and get some fabric printed. It is very special fabric as it is unique to me. This time I used one of my eco prints -for those of you who have followed the posts on the samples in my eco print quilt you might recognise the top middle piece as the actual sample. The two on either side are manipulations of that fabric - the one to the right is greener than it appears here and the bottom one has been overhazed with a pink tone. I just got fat quarters of the fabric but I am really liking the pinky one. Over the next few days I will show each of the fabrics in a closer up view

11. Jan, 2020

I started off with lots of bits of thread and fabric snippets and pieces of plastic bread bag sandwiched and stitched under wash away. And it was terrible. The scale and colourful bits and pieces overpowered the rest of the quilt. I am running out of time to get the top assembled before my surgery and I have just two weeks after I come home to complete the quilt for submission. I am working the next two days in the shop and then there are just two days before I go to hospital and I must spray the wandering jew weed in that time. Anyway I had this old eco dyed blanket ( a la India Flint) that I had made the bird house out of so I put two layers of polyester fabric under it and roughly quilted around some of the shapes. It is much better. Part of my personal challenge in this "Going Green" quilt is to use primarily repurposed materials so it fit the bill precisely.

10. Jan, 2020

This end of the garden has a number of Japanese maples and they are standing up to the dry quite well. I use these leaves quite a lot in my eco printing but i am resisting the urge to collect leaves for eco dying until I come home after my surgery. The big tree at the top is a magnolia grandiflora and the leaves of this make good subjects for stitching on, Once I have finished the challenge quilt I am working on I want to get back to the stitched leaves quilt and finish that one off.

9. Jan, 2020

Tannin is the binder that helps Alum react with the natural dyes to set the, into the fabric. A lot of eco dyers use oak gall which comes from the wound made from a wasp that injects its eggs into the oak tree, We don't have that wasp in NZ so oak gall is often hard to source and quite expensive. So when my husband was give a large oak burl I wondered if I could extract the tannin from the outside edge for use in my eco dying. some previous research had informed me that a gall is made from an outside influence whereas a burl is made from the trees internal process but both are knobbly outgrowths from the tree. I took some of the knobbly bits and boiled them up and then following instructions from a Facebook page I follow I dipped a paper towel into the liquid. I painted a line of ferrous sulfate across the paper towel. Ferrous sulfate reacts and goes dark black/brown in the presence of tannin. The lighter brown line in the first dip. I repeated the dip and line drawing with ferrous sulfate. The darker line is from the second dip so I think I have found a good source of ferrous sulfate. I just have to convince Rob not to dispose of the outer knobbly bits as he processes the burl.