Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Earthen hues

I've been working on mixing some pure dyes to get get more muted hues.  You will find that when mixing primaries or pure dyes, the more colors you mix together, the less intense color you'll achieve. I am looking to create a palette of earthen hues that remind me of the desert.  I think I am getting close with these. I will adjust the depth of shade so they are lighter in value, but I like the hues. Bark, rust, earth and sage from left to right.  I'd like to add one more hue to add to the mix, I'll work on that today.  Maybe a more reddish earth tone would complement these nicely.

Friday, November 9, 2012

A note on sewing

Here are some new batik napkins....in bright orange and golden yellow. Every time I make a set of these, I am again impressed with Carey's sewing. Carey, owner of GypsyThread, sewed these napkins for me. She makes them out of undyed cotton broadcloth. I ask her to use cotton thread -- that way, the thread dyes at the same time and you get a coordinated look.

I wax and dye these and then boil them to remove the wax. They really take a beating!  But because Carey is such a great seamstress, they don't fall apart. Try that with those napkins you bought at Marshall's! They also keep their shape. Last year, right before Christmas, I bought two dozen napkins from Marshall's. They were a bargain -- about $1.50 each. But after I washed them, they became completely mishapen. I don't really understand that, because they weren't even made from cotton, but some kind of blend. So, they didn't turn out to be the great deal I thought they were. Carey makes these napkins with perfect mitred corners too. A skill absent in my household!

It also makes me feel good to support another American craftsperson!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Working in a smaller scale

I've been working on making some napkins for the holidays.  Napkins work best with small motifs, so I've been creating some new, simple designs that would work well with napkins or small pieces of fabric.  Here are two new designs, both batiks created on silk hemp fabric.  The color I'm calling nutmeg. A warm brown with overtones of deep orange.  I ran a lot of swatches, mixing various blues and oranges to get his hue. It's a terrific hue for fall. I'm going to dye some embroidery floss to match these and will offer them as a small bundle.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Before I immerse myself in dyeing.....

I've just added some silk hemp fat eighths and embroidery floss to my store....all in my Appalachian Trail palette.

Silk hemp is one of my favorites for hand sewing. It is so easy to hand needle. I use it alot for stitching shibori. It stitches easily and it is easy to pull up the stitches and compress them tightly too. Now I'm off to dye some napkins I waxed yesterday.  More photos soon.