Blooming Eco-plants & Project Deux

My eco-plants are blooming, which is making me very pleased and excited for the coming season of eco-printing and natural dyeing.  Some of these plants are newish–just planted last autumn–so they have not been tested yet.  Primarily I am talking about the Japanese maple tree and lily of the valley, both of which appeared to be dying last winter.  But they are alive!

Lily of the valley plant in bloom
Japanese maple looking very much alive!

I know that the Japanese maple leaf will probably print well, as friends gave me samples last “printing” season.  I’m unsure what can be done with the lily of the valley, but I really planted it because I have fond memories of collecting these for the May Queen (Catholic grade school).

And then there are last year’s proven eco-printers:  wild rose, golden barberry and false indigo (turns yellow instead of blue).

Wild rosebushes (left) and golden barberry (right)
Japanese (false) indigo plant just sprouting (dark green, center)

And one last note:  I have been working on slow-stitching Project Deux, which started out as our planetary system but which is now evolving in a different way.  Stay tuned.

Project Deux

Eco-Prints + Fabric Stash = Win/Win

As the new eco-print and natural dyeing season approaches in Chicago, I  have begun to focus on incorporating last season’s eco-printed fabric to my current wardrobe.  One special piece continues to attract my attention. This was a scrap of silk which I eco-dyed with eucalyptus and rose leaves.

I gave serious thought about how I might use this piece to its best advantage.  In the meantime, I remembered I had purchased organic cotton jersey, which I had used to make a few scarves.

This silk scrap seemed to go better with my purchased fabric.  I am thinking of a tunic.  The fabric needs to be washed first.  I also found some naturally-dyed lace from last season, and if I decide to go ultra-feminine, there might be some lace added as well.  Stay tuned!

Slow Stitching: Project Une

Thinking about all of my works in progress–and with spring cleaning done (for now)–I decided to choose one and proceed with my slow stitching.  And I chose the largest one.

I added a header, which is a strip of “shades-of-green” homemade felt.  I added a feather, hand-drawn with Derwent pencils and hand-embroidered with DMC cotton. I’ve begun to add words here and there.

 I have more to say.

More Spring Cleaning & WIPS Part 2

Ten days have passed since my first attempt at spring cleaning, and the problem seems to be that as I begin to clean I find more and more fiber treats.  Then, of course, I must sort through them.  That involves remembering when and where I acquired them.  And making new piles of fiber.  And putting aside a few choice pieces for current projects.

And then there’s the roving which I can now use for spinning.  Yes, I am trying to teach myself how to spin.  Don’t those videos of spinners make it look so easy and relaxing?  I am not there yet.

And then there are the small weaving projects which sometimes get incorporated into my slow stitching projects.

And natural dyed scraps which have been tucked away for future projects.             There are buttons, beads and trim, and plenty of embroidery threads.  So many choices and so little time.

Spring Cleaning & WIPS (Part 1)

Lately I’ve been noticing cobwebs–no, not the ones in my brain.  The kind that form around light fixtures, ceiling corners and picture frames.  So I decided to begin spring cleaning today, although outside the ground is covered with snow and ice.  Thought I’d get a jump on the season.

As I began swiping away cobwebs, my mind wandered and ended up on WIPS, you know–those works in progress that never seem to get finished.  Like my slow stitching collection.  I have so much natural dyed cloth that I am constantly beginning new backgrounds for slow stitching adventures.  As I begin to construct cloth scraps and re-arrange them on a larger background, I can’t help beginning to take a few stitches.  And you know how that goes.

So I pulled out some of the WIPS to share with you and left the cobwebs to continue growing. There are more…stay tuned!

International Women’s Day

In celebration of International Women’s Day today, I read some old and new blogs about various forms of needlework.  I found something new and old about the history of quilting, but was most captivated by the Dutch history of the resistance movement during WWII and the creation of the patchwork skirts.  Hope you enjoy!

http://www.historyofquilts.com/feestrok.html