Thursday, October 31, 2013

Witches' Brew

Hallowe'en today. No ghosts or goblins at our house, we live at the end of a long dirt road with only a few houses on it. Its just not worth it for trick-or-treaters to take the risk that someone down here might be giving out treats. For us, we will be happy with the ravens, deer and squirrels and all the falling maple leaves.

Speaking of falling things, I went in search of windfall lichen on my walk down the driveway to Stacey's house. I found quite a lot! A very good start for my collection - which will eventually be boiled up in a witch's brew of dyestuff to colour some future fibre or other.

Last weekend at the conspiracy I took Wild Extraction with Anna Heywood-Jones. We had a day and a half to play around with extracting colour from plants and give it to fabric and yarn. Look what I came home with - a pile of notes, some samples and a head full of inspiration...  that brilliant yellow was derived from the root of oregon grape that we dug up, and the lovely red-brown came from the bucket of hemlock shavings you can see in my previous blog post. The murkier yellow at the bottom of the pic came from lichen, dyed on woolen cloth. A lifetime of possibilities, read Anna's blog if you want more.

I taught a very short introduction class called Modern Crossroads. My evil plan when I teach is to get people making their own quilts; to step away from using patterns designed by someone else, and to get to know their very own hand. It was a three hour class, and my lovelies worked hard without rulers or rules!

Given more time, we would have made more units, but getting the thing together usually takes a good day or maybe even two, as there is always lots of fiddling to do, so three hours was a perfect amount of time for an introduction to "free piecing". I had a great time and I loved  what people came up with in such a short time.


  1. Beautiful colors and so bright. I have tried this and mine are so dull. I will read her blog. Fun stuff your students produced in your class.

    Love your new header!

  2. Anna says there are so many factors to consider, different mordants, time of year the dyestuff is collected, type of fiber, etc. so many variables! The header is a pic from the quilt forest where Stacey and I hang quilts in my forest and invite the people!