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Botanical Colors FTW

Thanks to Kathy Hattori from Botanical Colors for sharing the chemicals for three different kinds of organic indigo vats at the Deep Into Indigo Retreat. I attended a workshop day in her studio in the spring and I learned so much.  She’s really awesome; generous with her expertise, time and supplies.

 

For starters, you gotta hydrate that indigo before it goes into the vat.  The directions often call for shaking it in a jar with water and marbles but a whisk is just easier and works as well.

Henna vat samples. Both had one dip. The one one the left was tested on the first day, the one on the right was dipped the second day. Henna vats work best a few days after they’re made.

We made an iron vat, a henna vat and a fructose vat.  Like most things I get into, I made lots of really awesome messes and mistakes.

But that didn’t slow us down at all.

Here’s a dip from the iron vat.

To see if the dye is ready, you check under the flower to see if it’s clear and not at all blue-ish.

We put our fabric in stainless steel baskets to keep it from getting stained by the sludge at the bottom.  Also, the liquid was hot and we didn’t want to keep our hands in there.

Oops.  Here’s my favorite mistake of the weekend.  I made a fructose vat. I tripled the recipe but didn’t triple the container size so it made a pretty awesome mess.  Like a kid’s volcano experiment but deeply blue!

I scraped it into the vat and it still worked. Just a little unexpected adventure. And, yes, I did give myself a blue mustache.

There was definitely an “Organic Vat Posse” among the participants.  I also had some pre-reduced indigo crystals from Dharma Trading Company for people to dye with but these ladies were super into the organic vats.

The whole process of using organic vats is really enticing.  It smells way better too.

You can learn more about it on the Botanical Colors website.  Like I said, Kathy is very generous with her knowledge and, along with really high quality dye stuff, her website is chock full of tutorials and advice.

Haley Hundt took all of these gorgeous pictures.  She did such a fantastic job!!

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Sponsor: The Regal Find

Get to know the Deep Into Indigo Retreat Sponsors!

We have a few and really want to thank them and ask for you to check them out.  They are all super awesome and have so much to offer!

The Regal Find in downtown Middleton, WI is a cute, charming, welcoming, warm, delightful, sweet, gift shop (There are truly not enough descriptors in the sentence…it’s a really awesome spot).

They happen to carry some of my indigo dyed pieces there.  Specifically, they have my cute little dainty things like baby stuff (hats, sockies, onseies), ‘kerchiefs and dishtowels, scarves and doggies shirts.

They also carry lots of fabulous gifty things with WI themes, sassy sayings and great taste and humor.  They offer creative workshops for kids and adults.  We really have many of the same priorities: creativity, fun and good food; they are attached to Bloom Bake Shop!

The sweet owner, Jessica Regele, is sending us gifts for our gift baskets: every retreat attendee gets one!

You really need to check this place out.

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Two Days Of Early Bird!

TWO DAYS LEFT!! For Deep Into Indigo Retreat Early Bird Pricing. Come and play with us. You’ll learn how to dye with indigo, shibori and batik as well as just have fun and chill with creative women.

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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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Deep Into Indigo Retreat Dyeing Chat

Deep Into Indigo Retreat Westby Wisconsin Shibori

Jenina and I have been recording some of our thoughts about our Deep Into Indigo Retreat plans.  Also, adding many pretty pictures, because pretty is what it’s all about. Also fun. Also food. Also Friends. The best F words.

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Deep Into Indigo Retreat 2017!!

Deep Into Indigo Retreat Westby Wisconsin Shibori

We’re baaa-aack!  We had so much fun at the Deep Into Indigo Retreat last year, that we are doing it again this summer.  The only changes are that we’ve moved to a more spacious location AND the food will be inspired by the holiday happening on the weekend we are retreating: Bastille Day!

Click the picture for more information.  We hope you can join us!

Deep Into Indigo Retreat
Deep Into Indigo Retreat
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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.