Website Redesign in Progress-Denim Bags

I finally gave in and decided to have this website redesigned. Anyone who uses WordPress for their website knows how often the updates are issued. This eventually becomes problematic. I have hired Holly Knott to do this work. She is very talented and also makes art quilts. I am very excited about this change. I estimate the new site to be up by mid-March.

In the meantime, I have continued my focus on sewing with old denim. I love the feel. I love the comfort of it. I made a bag for all three of my grandchildren for Christmas. The first two are conservative and practical, for the boys. The third, for my granddaughter, took a completely different direction.. What fun this was! This bag took a lot longer and I almost didn’t finish it by Christmas day. I was still hand sewing the edges as we drove to their home. All three kids love their bags. I wrote sentiments on the inside and the date.

I am optimistic that these bags will connect me with specific people who will embrace them for art as well as a functional bag.

Major concern:

To be copied or added to Pinterest. I admit, I truly don’t think anyone could actually copy me, but, rather take the concept. Thus, I will only show sections of the bag here

The denim used for this bag was prepared by a process to remove some of the indigo dye. I used shibori techniques and loved the results. Each type of denim produced a unique coloration. This truly amazed me and prompted me to think about a completely different look.

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I used original stamps and cut stencils to apply various colors of paint. Her favorite color is purple so that is the main color. The body of the bag is constructed with sections of jeans mixed together. Any pockets are left open and usable. This is challenging. Some motifs are outlined with hand stitching.

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Yo-Yo’s, lace and buttons as embellishments.

More to come about denim bags in my next post.

 

 

Dyeing Fabric-Summer Project

My dying session turned out to last three weeks! This was unplanned….but, when you have it all set up..

AND, you are seeing great results…AND,  you are learning a lot….AND, the weather is perfect..

yes, you keep going. At least I did. What a crazy time. I was completely drained by the end. I had worn old stained clothes too many days. My feet were unsightly…getting a pedicure was embarrassing…the poor woman must have thought I had trudged through swamps!

The first week my friend Barb joined me for 2 days. She dyed 40 yards of fabric in solid colors. She was much more productive than me.

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I discovered I have the perfect set up. I have a side porch on the ground floor that opens to the laundry room. Which also has a fold down ironing board. The porch is covered and on a shady side of the house. The breezes were fantastic. It was perfect.

We could set the fabrics in the sun to cure. Both of us were trying to get mostly a solid color. The colors came out great.

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Barb laid her fabric on the grass to dry. What a picture!

We used a method that is detailed by Lisa Call.  She has figured out how to dye 60-80 yards of fabric in one day. Yes! And, how to dye 4 yards with 1 cup of dye. We did this, it works! The fabric is soaked in clear water only. The first yard is placed in the bin, wrung out and damp. The dye is added and pressed into the fabric. Next, the soda ash solution is poured on and pressed in minimally. Next, the 2nd yard is placed on top of the first yard, and pressed to distribute the dye, followed by soda ash solution. Each yard is done this way. The yard on the bottom will be the darkest most saturated and the subsequent yards will be slightly lighter; creating a gradation.  Read the details and amounts on her blog.

There are several associated posts about her dying methods. They are very easy to understand.image

She also sells PFD  pimatex cotton. This is what we used and I really like it.

The main ingredient she uses that produces bright colors is SALT.

I mixed the chemical water with UREA and SALT.

 

 

This is my batch. The turquoise and marigold produced 5 yards from 1 cup of dye.

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My cats loved the fabric too!

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The following week, I spent with my granddaughter Madeleine. She is now 11. We dyed together. She thought that it was so funny every time I said “I was dying.”

We went to some second-hand shops and found some t-shirts and old linens to dye.

We had lots of fun together.image

She is modeling an old linen scarf that had beautiful embroidery. It would have made a great skirt.

The last week I spent dyeing clothing with a neighbor. We had even more fun! We dyed dresses, slips, linens, place mats, table cloths and more.

In addition, I used good paper to catch the drips. What great papers! I have enough dyed things and ideas to last a lifetime.

Finally, I had to stop. I was completely exhausted.