Category Archives: indigo

Friday Wrap Up

     I spent lots of time this week machine quilting. If I wait until I am finished with it to blog again, it might the year 2013! I feel like a turtle and keep thinking there has to be a quicker way to achieve dense quilting. (Ahh-yes, there is another unmet goal of learning to free motion quilt. I have promised myself to work on it this summer.)

Clamping and folding in the indigo pot. Nice to be able to come back to it and know how to “revive” it and work on new pieces.

 Taking inventory and setting up the dye studio. Fabric has been ordered to dye but way too cold here yet!

Some indigo photos. I love how when you take it out of the dyepot, it is this deep blue green color. And then with air contact , it oxidizes right before your eyes.  I really love watching it happen.

 The little moons need a special piece. Maybe some hand stitching. Linen accepts the dye so beautifully.
 I had bought a bolt of it years ago when a shop went out of business and sadly this is the last piece I had.
Does anyone have a source for ordering linen for purposes of dyeing?

Obsessive Stitching: Mokume

     One of the reasons that I wanted to try working with an indigo vat was for this reason: obsessive stitching to use as a resist can really be beautiful.

 I drew a pattern lightly on a piece of fabric and stitched under the lines. I used Coats and Clark embroidery thread.

 Once I finished stitching,  I wet the fabric and pulled all the lines tightly and tied them  in a knot.

I dipped it  in my indigo pot and this pot was the one containing the Pro Chem  pre-reduced indigo crystals. I used about three dips manipulating under the water . I let it oxidize to blue. I rinsed and started taking out the stitching. Yes, you read it right in that you remove the hours of stitching you put in. And you will be left with this gorgeous patterning . Some of my threads are still there.

That is beautiful texture to be cut up and used in another stitched piece which will be stitched again in the quilting phase.

It makes me fall in love all over again with stitching. Patience and the beauty of the stitch.

Dyeing Blue This Week

     I started two indigo vats this past week-one with the pre-reduced indigo from ProChem and one with the natural indigo in  a lime-fructose-indigo vat. It was easier than I thought it would be and the warm weather helped me jump outdoors and jump into fabric dyeing.

Silk Habotai with natural indigo

Cotton with natural indigo

Pre-reduced indigo with silk 

     It was interesting to see the variety of values between the vats and the different types of fabric I used. The pre-reduced indigo resulted the very dark blue fabrics.  It is a stark difference between the two and I think I enjoy the lighter blues. I used silk, bamboo/cotton blend and cotton to try with this batch. The only assignment was to start the vats and do test swatches which I have done and now labeled for future use this summer.

    I also am continuing on my series but ran out of navy blue for one of my pieces. So out came the  Procion navy blue and few pieces of cotton for the fabric dyeing I needed. I am ready to move on to brighter spring colors to use up what I have already dyed.  Fabric dyeing is time consuming but I didn’t want to waste the 75 degree weather here this week which has been unexpected and pleasant.

Bamboo/cotton with Procion Teal Blue

 Back to work on my blue lines next week.

I can’t get a few of my pictures to load so on that note -off to guitar lessons with my son.

A Peek at Last Week

       I definitely went into class withdrawal last week on my series. But as I did some uploading of photos, I realized that I kept working away for the whole week.

     I went to a demonstration day at our local sewing store given by the group I belong to- Lakeshore Fiber Arts group. We meet monthly to learn new techniques and review what we have worked on the past month. A few of the members gave demonstrations on surface design techniques and it was very well attended.

I also started an indigo vat down my basement using natural indigo, fructose and picking lime for the online class (called a 1-2-3 vat) I am doing given by Glennis Dolce at Shibori Girl studios.  I was just going to be an observer this time and wait until summer.  But thought I would just work a little each week in case I had questions so summer I can start a vat and keep it going in the sun.

Bad lighting in the basement but  this is really a nice range of light blue on linen, silk and a bamboo-cotton blend.

  I spent a day sewing with a friend on my baby quilts for our annual March drive for the NICU at our local hospital.  It is nice to have two of them done for the meeting and fun to catch up with a friend who is very busy. Thanks Betsy!


     And finally, for the week’s work, I was machine quilting an old piece deemed worthy of finishing. I think about ten more hours of work left. And the new week has begun with this piece under my machine.