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Debbie Maddy is coming to Madison!

Debby Maddy teaching a class in Madison WI


Debbie Maddy is coming to town to teach an Indigo and Shibori Intensive!

I’ve been following Debbie Maddy for a while and whenever she posts class photos, I DROOL!  I want to learn those gorgeous and detailed shibori skills!  

So I got this kooky idea: What if I asked real nice and found her an awesome place to teach.  Would she be willing to travel this far north? 

Answer: YES!  She is totally game and The Electric Needle was thrilled to offer their gorgeous dye studio space.  All the parts just came together!

The details are on the Electric Needle’s website.  If you’re interested, please sign up ASAP because this class is going to fill. I’m already signed up!  

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Shibori and Indigo Dyed Class Samples

arashi shibori samples

Today was a cool fall day but I still got out and made some Shibori and Indigo dyed samples for my upcoming indigo dye classes at The Electric Needle.

Fall is coming again. Dang it. I thought summer would go on and on. For some reason (hope related) I always think summer will never end, not this year.  But I was wrong again.

arashi shibori samples
Tight on the left and loose on the right. Really it’s the opposite of how things should be: righty tighty, left loosey.  Oops

I’ve either sold or quilted many of my arashi samples so I knocked out a few more. I just love arashi shibori.  All of these were made by sewing the fabric into a tube that was then put around a PVC pipe and then NOT wrapped with string (ummm…if you’ve never done it before, trust me, that makes more sense when you see the process).  I love how organic and watery they look.  The wider guys are half yards.  One was a tight tube and one was loose, which makes such a dramatic difference!

Arashi shibori samples small

These skinny dudes are actually called “skinny quarters”. They are 9 inches wide. Each one was sewn into a bias tube and put on a tube. Only one was a tight tube and I’m embarrassed to admit that I can’t remember which is which. They are hanging on the line right now. I’m pretty durn sure that it’s the one with more white.

Itajime Star

I also needed some Itajime samples. I met some amazing dye artists last weekend at a Circle of Life Studio event in Eagle River.  They were all so inspiring. I followed the lead of Yukako Kadono of Slow Stitch Studio. I moved my blocks around and got these great color changes. I love this picture especially because you can see the green from the color change that indigo goes through on the left side of the star.

Katano Shibori

I did play a little but with some Katano Shibori.  It’s done with a sewing machine and can really look dramatic.  I haven’t done this one very much but I really enjoy it and plan to do more.

Itajime wrapping cloth

And finally this big one is a blank from Dharma Trading Company that I wanted to test out.  I think this size cloth (about 42 X42) would make awesome wrapping cloths for presents.

I dyed till I ran out of light last night.  If you scroll through all the pictures, you can kinda see the progression of the sun going down.

As much as I’m bummed that summer is ending (NOOOOoooooooOOOO!!!), I’m glad to get back into the Electric Needle Studio to teach. We’ve scheduled classes on the first Saturday of every month from October to May (not including January) and it feels like I’m going home again.  You can check my events page or just head over to the Electric Needle’s class page to learn more and sign up.

I’ll post more about last weekend in another post.  I’m still kinda processing how awesome it was.


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Great Class at Mill House Quilts

I taught another just fabulous class at Mill House Quilts last weekend!

Arashi Indigo Dyed Fat Quarter

The students were very interested in trying out new techniques.  Lots had experience with dyeing but not with indigo, which was super cool.

Stitched embroidery fabric

Chopsticks were very popular in this class.  It’s funny how different patterns will trend in different classes.  But the Mandala is always a popular pattern.

Mandala patterned Fat Quarter

You can still see lots of green in this one.  The indigo is still oxidizing.

It was a chopstick heavy day. They are so lovely!

As I always end up doing there, I tied the lines between two cars. 

Fortunately, this student’s car not only had a roof rack, but was also the right color.

Here’s the other end of the line

And that sky! 

It was hot and buggy but everyone left happy. I love teaching classes and try to get to Mill House at least once a year.  It’s not easy to travel with indigo but the back of the shop is pretty ideal for indigo: breezy and just shady enough in the afternoon.  


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Indigo Dye Retreat last summer! w00t!!!!

This retreat has passed and it was a stone cold blast.  We are in the planning phases of our 2017 Deep Into Indigo Retreat(s?).

Wanna stay in the loop?  Sign up here to get updates:

Friday August 26th – Sunday August 28th, 2016

That’s right. A whole friggin’ weekend dedicated to turning things blue!!

It will be at a gorgeous retreat center in Viroqua (round about 2 hours North West of Madison).

Beds? Got you covered
Food? We got this
Gorgeous Location? Check
Fun? A given
Indigo? Duh

I’ll bring the blue and the shibori toys and the awesome Jenina Mella will bring her serious party planning skills to the food and the many details. We’ll all bring the fun.

Simply put, this will rock your (blue) socks off.  Tell all your best friends!!

More details to come as soon as we figure them out.

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Indigo Workshop at Olbrich Gardens

Last night was my Indigo Dye and Shibori workshop at Olbrich Gardens.  It was so much fun!


Everyone was really nice and had a great time.  I had everyone make four different patterns and then dip them in the indigo as the sun went down.IMG_4310

It was a lovely evening but it was not very conducive to taking pictures of beautiful finished pieces.


There were lots of beautiful finished pieces, but you’ll have to take my word for it.  Because the sun set.


But I did get this shot.  I’ve been promised pictures.  If I get some, I’ll share them with you.  Everything was really gorgeous.  I’m always struck by the little temporary positive community that gets made in a class like this. I love it.

I have class times coming up at Paradigm Gardens.  The next one is September 13th and is an Indigo 101 class.

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Yesterday was blue

But, it was the good kind of blue.  INDIGO, obv.

I had an Indigo 101 class at Paradigm Gardens and it was freakin’ awesome.

I always meet the most amazing and interesting people at my classes.  We made the world pretty and bluer.

I’ll try not to overwhelm you with pictures.


Just kidding.  I’m totally going to try to overwhelm you with pictures.

image3(14)Because these are all so beautiful.image4(14)

image6(13)This becoming…

image7(9)…this is not something you would want to miss.

And that kind of transformation happened a lot.

image8(8)We named this guy Squidward.


He ended up being quite pretty.

Here’s just a bunch of beautiful work presented without (much) comment.

image9(7)image10(5) image11(3)What’s that you say?  There’s a surprising amount of green…


image18image16 image15Well spotted.  All this green turned blue when it oxidized.  That’s just indigo’s way.

image17Here are all those greened up pieces after being in the air for a bit.  The green bits all turn blue and all look gorgeous!

image19I’m kicking myself for not get a picture of this beautiful shawl after it oxidized.  You’ll have to take my word for it, it’s stunning.

image21I did get a picture of this one and I’m blown away by how lovely it is.

The next classes are coming right up and if you’ve actually read this far, you’re hooked and should sign up as soon as you can! They are each $85…sort of.

This Sunday, July 19th is a Shibori only class.  There won’t be any dyeing BUT we will focus on stitching, binding, clamping, folding and other assorted things to make beautiful patterns like the ones you’ve been shamelessly ogling above.

On Saturday, June 25th.  I’ll have an Indigo 102 class.  Welcome to anyone who has any experience dyeing.  It’ll be $20 off if you’ve taken the Shibori classes on the 19th.

Call Paradigm Gardens at 608/241-3800 to sign up.

Call me at 608/852-3970 if you have questions about the classes.

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Arashi Process

Just a quick post to show the process of over-dying the Arashi piece I made.  ImageI’m not crazy about the finished piece but it was worth it to learn more about the process. I’m a totally junky for learning.  That may be one of the reasons I like Shibori so much.  It’s always different and it would take many lifetimes to master it.

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Arashi Explored

I really got excited about arashi shibori and made a bunch of scarves with this technique.  Arashi means storm in Japanese and is made by wrapping the fabric around a pole before dyeing it. I want to try several different ways to make patterns with it.


This one was made with random pleats and no string at all!


Some with by putting the scarf on the pole horizontally.  They’re still so different because it’s such a versatile technique.


image7(7)Accordion folded and wrapped on a diagonal.

image6(11)No string on these either but I put a rubber band at each end to hold it in place.


I couldn’t possible pick a favorite.  I had so much fun making them all and they are all so beautiful.


This is my favorite kind of mess to be left with.