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Dyeing Like Crazy

I’ve been dyeing like crazy to get ready for my December 3rd Sale at the Aldo Leopold Center in Madison.  To be honest, I fear that I made too much.  I’m going to bring a bunch of stuff, display one or two of each type of dyed thing and keep some under the tables.  But you’re in the know, so ask me to bring out more patterns when you stop by my table.

I had a lot of fun dyeing at One One Thousand but only shared pictures through Instagram so here are some collaged screen shots

I’ve been lucky enough to dye in all of the publicly available dye studios in town: Blue Bar Quilts, The Electric Needle and – though it not officially a dye studio – One One Thousand.  They are all my favorite places to dye.  All of them.

So if you are a local dyer, I recommend that you call one up and reserve some time.  They are all equally awesome.  I was treated to a beautiful sunset when leaving One One Thousand so I’m sharing my blurry picture of it with you. I hope I see you tomorrow!!!

 

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Itajime

I recently acquired a box full of itajime blocks.  I plan to have them available at the Deep Into Indigo Retreat.  The Retreat is a blast.  This year, to ensure our sanity, we have decided to ask for a $150 deposit due by January 30th.  If we get 10 people by then, the Retreat will run.  If not, we are going to focus on other events. But we reeeeeally want the Retreat to run.  So if you plan to wait until the last possible minute to register, that minute is coming up really soon.

You don’t need access to acrylic blocks to make gorgeous work, simple rubber bands will do the job very nicely. Itajime is a very simple, yet beautiful and sophisticated technique. Like all shibori techniques, it has a bajillion possible variations.

First you accordion or fan fold your fabric.  Then you do it again. I like to use a triangle fold but you could totally use a square or rectangle. My favorite triangle fold is the equilateral triangle. You make it using a fold and a flip.

As you fold it, you need to go on as you began…finally that advice makes sense to me. Meaning, if your first fold is away from you, after you flip it, all of the folds need to go away from you.  Not that “away from you” is the only way, any way is right as long as you are consistent.  Now, that’s some good advice.

It’s easier to show than to tell, though, so I made a quick video about it.  It’s less than two minutes long.

Once you have made your triangle bundle, you get to pick how to place your resists and which resists to use.  This is also half the fun.  Every slight variation you make in where you put it, will totally change the look of your pattern.  Mighty cool.

Let me know if you have questions about the technique or the Deep Into Indigo Retreat.  Happy dyeing!

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Indigo Update!

Deep Into Indigo Retreat Westby Wisconsin Shibori

My plan for the Deep Into Indigo Retreat is to teach shibori techniques of many kinds, batik techniques and how to make henna, fructose and iron vats and to dye, dye dye!!! And also to -with the help of the awesome Jenina Mella - feed people well in a beautiful and warm environment and bring the fun!! I hope you'll join us. Early bird pricing ends on June 15th!!! Check my bio for the link. Today, I'm dyeing fat quarters on this beautiful summer day. #blog | June 08, 2017 at 11:04AM
My plan for the Deep Into Indigo Retreat is to teach shibori techniques of many kinds, batik techniques and how to make henna, fructose and iron vats and to dye, dye dye!!! And also to – with the help of the awesome Jenina Mella – feed people well in a beautiful and warm environment and bring the fun!!

I hope you’ll join us. Early bird pricing ends on June 15th!!! 

Today, I’m dyeing fat quarters on this beautiful summer day. #blog

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A Mighty Mess

I made a mighty mess.  It’s one of my favorite things to do. I mixed up some rice flour and Gum Arabic, which is also known as sugar glue.  It’s made with the sap from the acacia tree.  I had tried to make a resist from just Gum Arabic – I swear I read a tutorial for that somewhere – and it didn’t really resist the fabric very well.  Here’s the Gum Arabic alone:ga-resistNice, but a little too subtle for me.  I wanted to make something resist-ier.  Hence, the rice flour.  I just stirred a little at a time in to my leftover Gum Arabic goo until it was the consistency of glue…I guess. 1-resistThen I painted it on.  I laid the fabric on some wax paper because it bleeds though.  It dried really fast, though.  I was messy and didn’t really think much about the pattern.  It was drippy and messy to work with and, for me, that makes it fun.  2-resistHere it is after a coupla dips.  The resist did get sticky again. I left it to dry for a few days though I think 24 hours should be plenty.  We run out of good dye days in Wisconsin pretty early and I had to wait for the weather.   I think I dipped it three times.  The vat was old so the result is light.3-resistBoom!  I love the level of resist I got.  There are some bonus little drippy bits here and there.  My random pattern makes me happy too.  I will do this again for sure.

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Pojagi Tutorial with bonus ironing

 I can’t be forever dyeing!  Sometimes I like to dig into old news.  A nice big pile of linen can be seriously inspiring.
So are these gorgeous pojagi.  Not really quilts, though pieced like one, a pojagi is a Korean wrapping cloth.  I was suddenly struck with how ugly the curtain on the door to the garage was. It’s been there as long as we’ve owned the house and has always escaped my notice.  It’s a perfect storm!  Drop everything and MAKE STUFF!!
Notice the aluminum square to the left of the pile.  I cut it up with scissors every now and then to sharpen the blades.  It worked for a short time and was helpful because my scissors are overdue for a sharpening.  But I digress – Check out those orange pants.
 They were at my local thrift shop and I had to have them.  They were 100% linen, Ralph Lauren and PINK.  I thought I could dye them brown but stupidly picked up the terra cotta dye (WHY?) and they went horribly orange and – even if I had grabbed brown – fatally splotchy.   I put them into storage for years.
This is one of the first dye jobs I ever did.  Now I know how to pre-treat fabric so it dyes evenly.  But – AND THIS IS IMPORTANT – you have to do stuff wrong first before you do it right to really learn…climbing off soap box… Also, easy come, easy go.  I can always cut things up and make them into something else.
 So, I cut up several linen pieces (5 pairs pants, 1 red dress, 1 white shirt, 1 orange top) and ironed the bejeebers out of them…so satisfying to get rid of those bejeebers.  I then cut them into smaller squares without giving it too much thought.  I wanted random sizes for a crazy quilt look.
Here’s a quick tute on how to make an enclosed seam:
One of the many cool things about pojagi‘s is that they have no wrong side.  I think this kind of seam is called  a flat felled seam but feel free to correct me.  I layered the square on top about 1/2 inch lower than the edge of the bottom square.
 I sewed the seam down at about 1/4 down from the edge of the top square.
 There is a whole lot of ironing involved with this process but linen is happy to be ironed.  I ironed the overlap from the bottom square into the seam allowance.
 Like so.
 Then I sewed along the ironed under edge and voila!  A completely enclosed seam.  For consistency’s sake, I call this the wrong side
 Here’s the right side.  Time to iron it again to give it a clean look.  I’m not gonna lie, I get a lot of satisfaction from ironing linen…I love you, linen.  Sorry, that should have been private. Anyhoo, I actually messed that up once or twice so I have some wrong side seams on my right side and vice versa but it’s a very forgiving process.  I made several panels and then sewed all those together using the same seam.  It was time consuming but I love the result:
 
Tada!  The Final Curtain.  I rushed the end – it was dinner time – so the top is messy.  I should, and one day may, redo it but I’m just going to leave it for now.  It makes me happy.
 
 Here’s one of the other cool things about pojagi, because they are not quilted – they don’t have to be because the seams are totally enclosed – they are as sheer as the fabric used and look amazing with the light behind them.  Perfect for curtains in a place where privacy isn’t important.  I have the best view from inside my garage.
Backside
Since that view just isn’t observed by everyone, I plan on making another for the kitchen window that looks out to the yard.
I feel like the colors have a fun ’70’s vibe. I like being able to follow my nose and make things in an intuitive way. It’s a great project for people who don’t need a plan to follow.  But, I’m sure planners could make a nice tidy pojagi, if that’s what they’re into.
Have fun with it.  I plan on making a totally indigo dyed version after November, when my month of craft sales is over.  Happy sewing…and linen ironing…mmmm..happy…
Find my adventures and lots of fun pictures at Facebook.com/jenniferdyes.  Thanks for stopping
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Pillow Talk!

Look, I made a pillow:

pillow

I’ve cut out several more and just need to throw them together.  Ha.

 

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Ginkgo-Brella

I was trying for a ginkgo leaf.  It was a whole lotta stitching, which I really enjoy. Ginkgo stitch

But, it’s more of an umbrella.  It was more of a design issue than a technical thing though.  I really love it.  And what’s better than one Ginkgo- brella?ginkgo

Four Ginkgo-brellas!!!!!!!!!  I love learning stuff!!! Ginkgo QuadI’ll be making more…that are maybe a little more leaf like.

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TBT – Before the blue took over.

I made this a few years ago.  It’s inspired by Korean pogaji wrapping clothes.  Which are hand stitched out of scraps of fabric.  Mine isn’t hand stitched.   FrontI used french seams to stitch together linen that I took from thrifted clothes.  You can see my first ever attempt at dyeing in that blotchy orange.  Then I made into a curtain.

Backside

It’s on my garage door, which I see now is very dusty.  I remember making it as a super enjoyable experience.  I LOVE ironing linen almost as much as it loves being ironed.  You need super high heat and a very steamy iron.  It’s extremely satisfying.

I plan on re-making it in shades of blue.  I have another naked window in my kitchen that needs one, too.  They’re on my “to do one day when I have nothing better to do” list.

Then I took a macro picture –

Macro

because I love macro pictures – which distracted me mightily.  So I’ll just post some of the pictures I then took with my macro lens on:

June Flower CollageI hate to stay too on topic.  Now you can see why I never get to that that to do list.

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Shawl Giveaway Winner!!!

 

Wooohoooo! Here’s the ever lovely Rebecca Bernstein modeling the hand dyed shawl she won!!

RUP

 

 

Running a giveaway was super fun.  Imma do another in the spring!  Thanks to everyone who played along!  And HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!!

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Painting Day

It’s been a while since I gave myself a painting day. It’s a great therapy. I bought some large Masonite boards at Home Depot a few weeks ago. Today, I finally took the time to paint them and had a blast.

First things first, I gessoed them.  Masonite tends to be slick and doesn’t really want to hold paint. I made one board white and one black because…just because.

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I did take some process pictures of one of them.  Please forgive my angle, I took the pictures while my phone was charging and that’s as close as I could get to the painting while the phone was plugged in.  I decided that these painting would have several layers. Since the first layer isn’t going to show what it looks like just doesn’t matter. That was a very freeing decision.

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I did dance and paint at the same time which was way fun.  I highly recommend Caravan Palace as dancing/painting music.IMG_5188

I turned the painting a few times as I went along, which gave me different perspectives.

Finally, my phone charged! TADA:

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Layer one of painting one!!  I used warm colors so I didn’t have to worry about my colors turning to mud.  The green is actually yellow but, because I painted onto black, it looks green.

I may actually keep it as it, I love it. It’s mine so I get to change my mind about it all I want. 🙂

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Here’s painting two.  I used cool colors plus yellow.  I did add a titch of reds at the end for fun.  I’m less in love with this one but that’s fine and dandy.  It’s layer one.

I did a lot of thinking about the messages I tell myself while making stuff.  I realized that many of the negative voices I hear are from my college years.  I have a degree in theatre from a very competitive college and had lots and lots of opportunities to have my flaws pointed out to me.  It’s a relief to define those voices them so I can let them go.

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At this point I was having too much fun to stop so I grabbed an old painting – one I wasn’t super crazy about – and painted over it, using quilts as inspiration.  That way I used up my extra paint.  Working on this one was enough painting for one day.  I was ready to stop. I do like this painting way more now.

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I used cheap ass paint and Spackle spreaders to make everything.  That plus the Masonite board costs…next to nothing.  Cheap therapy!

If you’re having a rough day and hearing those mean voices, making a HUGE painting can really set you right.  Really, one is enough. No need to make three paintings.  🙂