This past natural dyeing season–that’s Spring, Summer and Fall in Chicago–went so quickly I scarcely had time to consider all that I dyed. I created lots of hand-dyed scraps of natural cloth, including linen, silk and cotton. Some of the cloth was for my personal story cloth making, and some of it was sold in my Etsy shop.
I also repurposed some old vintage linens, mostly hand towels and napkins. Small pieces, some hand-embroidered by others many years ago. There was nothing so wrong about the linens except that aging look and maybe a few pinholes. I naturally dyed many pieces with madder, logwood, Fustic, mint leaves, chamomile, cutch and black walnut.
I enjoy looking at the special touches added to vintage linens back in the day: monograms and sweet embroidery stitches, scalloped edges, drawn work, and “hidden” texture.
Next time: Repurposed cloth Christmas “patchwork” gifts.
Ever since super moon arrived awhile ago, I have been thinking about creating a Super Moon Cloth as part of the SunMoonStars Series. But super moon has to be really spectacular, doesn’t it?
I found a background cloth of cotton batiste, which I had shibori-dyed with black walnut exhaust. It’s got those nifty little planets roaming around the universe.
And then I found a scrap of cutch-dyed jersey, which looks like an excellent sun or star. But wait a minute. What is the difference between a “star” and a “sun”? Cornell University states that a star is called a sun “…IF (my caps) it is the center of a planetary system.” That’s in the beginner series for those who are astro-curious. And, of course, it’s much more complicated than that. OK… I will need to be careful what I call my scraps of cloth.
The Dakota Access Pipeline. This is what I’ve been thinking about lately. I have taken a short break from natural dyeing and stitching. I read yesterday that police “water cannoned” the peaceful protestors in freezing temperatures. You can read more about it here, and also enjoy the art which has been made in support of the Standing Rock Sioux.
With the USA election now over, I felt a strong need to seek Nature.
So I took a long walk, gazing at trees in all their autumn splendor. I noticed there was one wild rose left on my front yard bushes. That is amazing, considering it is now November in Chicago.
But it wasn’t enough. Yes, this has been a tough election with surprising results. So I decided to detox myself further by making one of my famous Vitamix veggie drinks. This time I included the following fresh vegetables: brussel sprout leaves, baby spinach, broccoli, one red beet, half an avocado, cilantro sprigs and a squeeze of lime.
And then, as Eric Carle’s very hungry caterpillar said, “I felt much better!”
My second version of SunMoonStars is beginning to come together–finally! I feel like I’ve been giving this way too much thought and not enough actual stitching. However, composition is important. I learned this from Jude Hill.
There’s been some thinking about half moons and constellations. About lightening. About use of color and color theory. And all of this is good to think about.