Wednesday, 24 October 2012


Another three weeks have whizzed by without blogging.   I must have
been a) enjoying myself, b) really busy, or c) refining my juggling skills.
A mixture of all three really.

My workshops for the year are now finished.   Two shibori/procion days
extremely colourful.    The final on kantha stitching very quiet and calm.

I will be taking a Shibori in Colour workshop
on 20th January 2013.   For details contact
Walford Mill  Wimborne, Dorset

End of year tidy up - all those files, samples and notes redefined.   They
multiply through the year!    I am finding I do have space in cupboards,
once the 'on longer required on journey' stuff is discarded.

Paperwork almost done, and I can see surfaces again.    

To maintain some sanity I had to have some stitching to hand.   Of course,
on the wall is Blue Moon, a quilt I finished on New Year's Eve, 2009! 
It is constructed from recycled white fabric, gathered over months.  Dyed,
mark making with soy wax and over dyed.    Lack of time required machine
quilting, which I always intended to hand quilt.  It's time has come!

hanging on the wall along with Nic's illustrations
for our family exhibition Raw Talent 

from this

to this

via this

I am so enjoying the result.   This might be my winter project!   There is a
lot of stitching yet to be done.

Nic is on tour with The Paper Cinema's production of the Odyssey until
the end of November.    It could be coming to a town near you!   

Sunday, 7 October 2012

a colouful week

First there were two workshops on Procion dyeing.  Oh the colours, and 
I have to imagine the results as the interesting wrapped packages were 
taken home by students.    I have heard from Joyce who is so excited 
with her dyed cloth, she can't possibly use it!

my summer 'very' slow cloth finished


It started off during a hectic period of disruption.   The small blocks stitched
in quiet times.   As the little pile grew, the blocks were joined and quilted.

flowers detail

the elephant

I thought I might turn it into a cushion with outrageous tassells, I am still 
undecided on that option.  For now it will be a tucked into my Indian 
Applique workshop box.  A very colourful sample for inspiration.

I can feel ideas for my winter slow cloth quilt emerging.

First, there is a great deal of cleaning and sorting to do.   Yucky dye pots,
plus all the paraphernalia involved with teaching.

Three more workshops to go this month, and then thoughts will turn in an
easterly direction!   

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Indigo experiment no. 2

Two weeks ago I intended to process the indigo leaves.    Well, how 
time flies.

Instead I brought them indoors, with the threat of really cold nights.    
I have been nurturing them over the past weeks, hoping to at last achieve
a decent blue.  Amazing plants considering the non summer, bet they 
wished they were in India.

Yesterday I stripped the best leaves, simmered them for a while then
strained the leaves.   Aireated the brew, splish, splosh;  added the 
hydrosulphite, and the vat was ready.

Thinking it might not work
I grabbed a cloth of unknown
providence and scrunched
it with elastic bands

This piece folded and clamped

and the last piece 
loosely folded

Happy day.    The recipe I followed is from Jenny Dean's Wild Colour 
ISBN 781845-1-84533-569-4.   A book I would highly recommend.

The plants are now looking quite sorry for themselves, however......

at last they are flowering.
So, with a little tender care over
the coming months I hope to
harvest the seeds for planting
next Spring.

I must remember not to set the
seeds too early but to be patient.
I've learnt lots about growth
patterns and constant harvesting.
How free plastic forks are perfect
for layering the stalks, which will
then produce further growth.

It's been a real challenge, but
I got there in the end!