Thursday, November 21, 2013

Eco Print

The water is on the boil and the steam rising up carries a lovely fragrance that permeates the house. No you are wrong. This is not a recipe blog or anything from the kitchen. Well it is from the kitchen but still about quilts. Or the fabric thereof. I am cooking up some fabric. Don’t smile! I can sense the uneasiness behind your smile. I am not ready to be carted off to the loony house. I am just ‘eco dyeing’ some fabric that is wrapped around a bundle of leaves and twigs. We went to the nursery to pick up some plants – a belated birthday gift for dh and I decided to grab some eucalyptus leaves from the trees that line that road. And that’s what is boiling and smells heavenly.

It all started when I decided to make this cushion cover for the challenge in the DQ group. 
I did not have the right colours for the water and decided to paint. Having read a bit about sun dried painting I decided to give it a go. And loved the way it turned out. That made me read more and I learnt about natural dyeing – with flowers and leaves. With a garden at my disposal I decided to go for flower dyeing. The pinky-violet indescribable dahlia and brilliant red African Tulip  were automatic choices. Look at them. 

Do you blame me? After the process the fabric wrapped around the dahlias looked so rich and lovely. The African tulips was however disappointing. But a couple of rinses and the colours washed away leaving me with fabric that looked soiled. More like dh's T-shirts after a bout of gardening. 
Well there was still leaves to try and that is what's cooking today. I am going to let the fabric steep in that liquid for a few days so we are not going to know the result of that experiment until the next blog. And today I learnt about adding salt with paint and scrunchy fabrics and using sea-sponge as an applicator. At this rate all the plain fabrics in my closet are going to end up as guinea pigs.
So what else is happening you ask. Got my new machine and yet to get to know its full working abilities.
 Dh tells everyone that 'you talk and it stitches'. Not quite but it does have some lovely features. I am holding myself back and finishing a quilt - back to one quilt a month target. But am in love with this feature -  thread trimmer set in the foot pedal. I did wonder if these features were just a waste of technology and money. I mean all one needs is a pair of scissors to snip the thread. But using it was an eye-opener. the machine leaves just enough thread to start stitching again. No more issues with the needle becoming unthreaded because the thread was short or having a long tail every time you start. All you need is to sew, back-pedal, trim and move and start stitching. I love it everytime I use it and since this quilt is scrappy and strippy I am using it a lot. And finally last month's projects are all here