I am still enjoying hand stitching, and have returned to the natural dyeing pots, this time I think with a bit more understanding of the process and perhaps different expectations; I am already very happy with the colours I am producing, even though I have so far used very basic materials and techniques. I have acquired a little portable cooktop, which is making the process much simpler…having pots simmering outside or in the laundry keeps things separate and easier to manage. I am also achieving some lovely colours with just jars sitting in the sun for a few days with some silk and some dye-worthy material in them..purple carrots have been a revelation! I am setting up some cooked jars using India Flint’s Stuff Steep and Store preserving method; that will really be slow textiles! they will sit for several months.
The resultant fabrics are being stitched into my ongoing cloth books, and into some panels that may become pages, or parts of quilts….the whole flow of the processes, and the tactile pleasure of the stitching and random piecing, is pleasing me enough for now.I have also discovered Jude Hill’s lovely Spirit Cloth blog, and she has recently opened up some of her older classes, which I missed being able to join, for general readers to peruse; a generous gesture that is also very inspiring, and is helping encourage me to keep following my instincts with these pieces.