Wearable Art Sale at The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts

Posted on Leave a comment

Aldo Leopold Sale

Yesterday was so fun!  I love the Aldo Leopold Sale.  The vendors are really talented, the location is gorgeous, the people are nice and I get to support the nature center.  What could be better?

Matt took a quick shot of me with my tunics and other awesome blue things for sale.  Now I can relax for a little while, which is awesome.

The tunics will soon be available at Blue Bar Quilts in Middleton so be sure to stop by.

Posted on Leave a comment

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!!!


Posted on Leave a comment

Deep Into Indigo Retreat!!!!!

That’s right!  It’s happening!  We hope you can join us!  More exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!

REtreat Flyer 1 - No email link-page0001

All the details here!!!  Registration form here!  Come and play with us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted on Leave a comment

Dark Side

I took the batch of shirts that I dyed last week back into my indigo vat at Paradigm Gardens to redip. They got sooooooo dark! I took the batch of shirts that I dyed last week back into my #indigo vat @paradigmgardens to redip. They got sooooooo dark! Woohoo! That's one of the awesome super powers of indigo dye. The more times to dip your fabric in, the darker it gets. #blueandwhite #darkside #madisonwi #cotton #handdyed #blog. Now they will hang fora few days before I wash them. | February 05, 2016 at 01:53PM
Woohoo! That’s one of the awesome super powers of indigo dye. The more times to dip your fabric in, the darker it gets. Now they will hang for a few days before I wash them.

Posted on Leave a comment

Dye Day!

Yes, Dye Day with an exclamation point!  Because the day was super fun.  I’ve been prepping fabric for a little while now and was planning to dye them on Thursday (today) but I had a meeting and drank so much coffee.  When I got home, dyeing the fabric RIGHT NOW was the only thing that made sense.


I did some random test fabrics just for fun and practice.  They didn’t all work.  The one on the left is a total mess.  It’s still pretty though.


I also bought pretty much every white shirt made with natural fibers that were about my size at Goodwill the other day.  Those were really fun to play with.image4(17)

I’m especially pleased with this one.  It looks super awesome.


I’m a little concerned with the placement of the blue here.  I may have made some shiboobie instead of shibori.  I think I’ll overdye this with another pattern.  image2(16)

More tests just for fun.  Plus a bonus background chicken.


And a set of a dozen napkins.  There are only 11 because of the mess in the first picture.  That’s ok.  I love learning how to do things and I can always make more. In fact, I ordered two dozen more yesterday.

Posted on 2 Comments

Something Blue

I had such a fun morning dyeing with brides to be Denise and Janny.  It was a custom dye job but they did the dyeing.  I just did the constant obsessive chatter about indigo.


Here’s the before picture.  It’s a white linen skirt now…but not for long.


Into the vat to get green (bonus photo bomb by Brad the chicken)


Janny and Denise worked together because we are all suckers for romance.


Hard to tell from the shady picture but we’re watching it turn from green to blue.


They were very happy with the results.  It’s super dark but will lighten up a couple of shades in the wash and will walk down the aisle in a couple of weeks.




Posted on 2 Comments

Left Alone With the Dye Vat

It all started out so innocently…

We had all this indigo left over from our dyeing day and thought we’d knock some more out.
We were deep into experiment mode.

A little of this
A little of that.

Everything looked so awesome!

I’m starting to appreciate the hippy dippy tie dye look that really, as a Madison resident, I should like already.

Cuz it’s dang pretty
Dang Pretty.  I mean that’s just beautiful.
Then, Jennifer had to go home and I was left alone with the dye vat…
My conundrum was that I don’t own any white napkins; I sew my own out of funky colored cotton and linen.  I had already dyed any of my light colored dishtowels.

Then I had this sudden realization:  I can always buy more undershirts!


I also threw some of my regular every day clothes in there.

This shirt was looking very faded and worn
Not any more.
And this white shirt was too sheer – I never wore it.  
Honestly, I only bought in the first place it because it’s a large (the XL was too big) and I’m a sucker for vanity sizing.
That’s ombre dyed, people.  Thanks to Tanya, I know how it works.

Perhaps I went overboard.  I started at about about noon.  It felt like I worked for an hour.  When I went into the house, it was 3:30.  No wonder I was so hungry.
I learned a ton about how indigo behaves and ways to tie things and about good ways to get different hues.
I love learning new stuff!! 
And I had the chickens for company.  
I did exactly this much to finish my linen quilt. So…basically nothing. 
Also, all my clothes are now blue. 
Posted on 3 Comments

Worth it!

I still haven’t finished my quilt top.  But for a good reason!  We ran a test indigo dye class with friends.
We have dyed on our own but really want to share the fun with more people so we experimented on some of our friends
Don’t we look organized?
We happen to have amazing, creative and fabulous friends so it was bound to be fun even if we did everything wrong.
We set up a Shibori (tie dye) station.
When collecting scissors, marbles and other fun stuff starts to feel like work, I’ll let you know.
To me it just looks like treasure.
Why else would I take a picture of rubber bands?
We had some Shibori half way put together to share some techniques.
There were samples to show and, because I just have to be me, library books for reference.
The library is an amazing resource, yo.
Then we were ready to get serious.
This is about the time that Miranda (of Miranda Beyer Photography) started taking pictures.  You can tell which ones are hers because they are beautiful.  She specializes in newborn baby pictures but every picture she takes looks awesome, she has a great eye.
I make my own Kombucha but I happened to have a bunch of Nessalla Kombucha for some guests.  I decided to forgo getting my bottle deposit back so we could use their growlers to tie fabric around.
When I see what folks made using the bottles…
…all I can think…
Worth it!
We tied.
We dyed.
We untied.
We revealed and then…
…we smiled.
Check out these socks.
We were all in it together.  Here three people are undoing the shibori stuff because we can’t wait to see…
This yarn is ombre dyed and knotted so that it achieves a kettle dyed look.  None of us quite knew how to do it but Tanya was willing and excited to experiment.
And it worked really well.
Here are three pieces made by a woman who said she wan’t a crafty person.
What was she thinking?  Her work is awesome and creative.
Another woman who said the same thing.
I’ll never believe them again!
Everyone felt really comfortable trying out new techniques.
Indigo is a great medium to play with.
A great and messy day was had by all.  We plan on offering an indigo dyeing class this fall in Madison WI.  You can follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter to get an announcement closer to the date if you’re interested.Now get out there and make a creative mess.  I will too.  I’m gonna finish that quilt top, dang it!
Posted on 2 Comments

I Stained The Driveway

We ended up with mixed results from our rust dyeing.  
Jennifer had two big pieces of canvas.  This one ended up looking really cool.  
One day soon, it will be an apron.
The other one should have been really amazing, she placed in on coils of wire.  But they didn’t rust, we figure they must have been coated.  
This part sat on the outdoor fireplace grill – a very popular piece.
But this one is fabulous and we learned to test metal first.  If you get it wet and leave it out, you’ll be able to tell if it will rust or not before you play with it.  
I love this, it’s from the grill of the smallest hibachi I’ve ever seen.  Smaller than the one in the link.
This one was wire wrapped around rebar.  It’s my favorite of the stuff I made.  
The lines are from the wire.  
I think it was floral wire – not sure though.  That’s what happens when you buy your supplies at thrift shops and yard sales.  🙂
This is from where the rebar touched the fabric.  I like this part, too.  We’re going to find some larger tubes to wrap fabric around so that more of the fabric gets color.  We’re thinking wine bottles or large pvc tubes.   Stay tuned.
Here’s a sweet little piece that I put on some rail road ties and steel scrubbies. 
 I don’t know how I feel about it, it’s a bit too something something for me.  Geometric, maybe?  
I love this.  It’s a sleeve from a horrifying lilac linen jacket – plus sized with a very unflattering cut – it needed a change.  I laid it on top of a steel screen from our outdoor fire pit.  
I love the all over pattern from it.  
This sleeve I wrapped around a rusty wrench with some various washers and metal doo-dads added in.  Its pretty cool, too.
Psychedelic man!
And here’s the shirt.  I think I like it.  I put it on a drain cover that I found on the side of the road several years ago.  I picked it up because…just because.  
This is the back.  I like the front better than the back.  I covered the stain I wanted to cover.  But all over, I’m not nuts about the look.  It looks stained more than dyed.
Here’s the apron with my bonus shadow.  The apron just looks dirty to me.
Up close, if I were to take the time to appreciate the details, I like them.
But parts also just seem dirty to me.  I think I like the all over patterns better.  The splotchy bits don’t work for me at all.  
Next time – and there will be a next time – I might pick up some iron oxide powder.  You can sprinkle it on the fabric and it colors more of it.  I’m hoping the color will look more intentional.  
Also, it took more than 24 hours because we moved the rusty pieces around to different parts of fabrics to dye more of it.  The difference between vinegar and salt was only in the smell.  I didn’t see a difference.  
We learned a ton.  We’ll be trying this out again maybe on a smaller scale.  I laid out a tarp in the driveway and it took up lots of space.  Jennifer came up with the idea of just putting a piece in a plastic bin.  We could always have a piece rusting if we chose to.  It takes up less space and probably wouldn’t stain the drive way.  Oh yeah, I stained the driveway.