Sunday, May 19, 2019

spring dyeing

 Last fall I harvested all of our marigold blossoms 
and put them in a mesh bag to dry over the winter in my sewing studio.
Yesterday, I pinched each bloom and tossed the green
part into the compost and put the petals into a pot.
With a ratio of approximately 1 part petals and 3 parts water,
I brought the pot to a boil and then 
simmered the petals for about an hour.
 My kitchen began to small like summer...
My friends Sepi brought avocado pits and skins and set 
a pot to simmer (front, right).
Pauline brought yellow onion skins and we put them on
the stove as well (over the left two burners).
When I took this photo, we had already strained the marigold petals 
out of the dye pot and had submerged some fabric and garments 
into the pot (right rear).
I accordion folded some fabric and clamped it with 
clothespins to create the "resist".
This piece had simmered in the pan of yellow onion skins.
I love the element of surprise as we pulled 
our different pieces from the vats and held them up for
 Pale pink from the avocado.
Three pieces made with the onion skins.
Bright yellow on the right from the marigolds.
I soaked these two pieces overnight.
They are lighter in color than the pieces dyed yesterday
because the dye vat was "exhausting".

I just LOVE the way the fabrics are dancing side by side 
in the breeze up here today!

Pauline, who runs a farm/nursery with her
family asked me about indigo plants sometime last winter.
This spring, she started a bunch of seeds in their greenhouses
and I ordered eight plants from her.
Now they are nestled in our hoop house,
waiting for the warmth they require to thrive
in the raised beds.

The banter and fun with Pauline and Sepi in the kitchen 
was a reminder of the wonders of intergenerational friendship
 and the creative energy that can come from sharing skills. 

And one of these days I will have 
a rainbow of hand dyed fabrics. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

never forget

 May 14, 2019
 At our "bit of earth" in Central Vermont.
That's rhubarb in the foreground.
And garlic poking out of the snow.

Erin Elizabeth Potts was born on May 14, 1991. 
She was taken from this world 
at the tender age of 18 by Ewing Sarcoma.
One of the things that brought her the greatest joy
 was walking in falling snow.
Mother Nature, I am guessing this crazy snowstorm today
is some magical tribute to Erin.
Peace and love and light to you, Erin.
We will never forget you.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

a geranium dress for maggie

 spring comes to our neighborhood...
 ...and the colors are reflected in this sweet  geranium dress.
 it arrived safely in brooklyn
and i'm happy to report that it fits little maggie!

Thursday, May 2, 2019

an improv quilt that went to sweden

 This baby quilt just arrived at its destination in Sweden,
so now I can share it with you here.
Our Vermont Modern Quilt Guild had a challenge this winter.
We were invited to make something quilted featuring
Kona's color of the year "splash".
We were also instructed to use color theory when we chose our fabrics.
I missed the two meetings when the fat quarters were given out,
so I decided to wing it and find similar colors in my fabric stash.
The only fabric I purchased for this quilt was for the backing.
There are many sentimental and sweet fabric scraps sewn into this 
quilt top, including bits from maternity dresses
I sewed for myself 37 years ago!
I tossed a few bits of orange in here and there to 
illustrate "complimentary colors" in my color scheme.
I used Sherri Lynn Wood's book on improv piecing
to inspire me.
This quilt was so much fun to make!
Wonky and off-kilter and spontaneous.
Some of the corners are not even square.
And guess what?
The Quilt Police have not come knocking on my door!
This is officially my new normal.
I admire precision and perfection,
but I am a wabi sabi girl at heart...

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

lightening up

The snow tires have been swapped out, the screens are in the windows again, Batman has been busy puttering in the yard and the snow on the hills across the valley is finally gone. Our garlic, planted last fall, have stretched their sweet sprouts up to the sunshine. 

It seems that Vermont has greened up overnight, and folks all over town are grinning. We compare notes on which roads have the worst frost heaves and mud ruts. We talk about how the sunshine and warm temperatures these last few days has felt a bit intoxicating. Sweet baby lambs are coming on strong. Lots of trees have set their catkins floating in the breezes, the sugar maples are showing their haze of soft red buds. The pussy willows have popped and turned a cheery yellow with their pollen. This morning a bluebird flew over the meadow. We are hoping our bluebird boxes are welcoming enough to keep them close.

As nature freshens up, life seems lighter too. I worked myself into three days of the 100 day project and then honored my gut and let it go. It just wasn't resonating and it felt like an unnecessary burden. Poof. No guilt. Gone.

My sewing studio is tidied up. Spring projects have been prioritized and organized. The sweet little eyelet collar (above) is leftover from the days when I was sewing for my own kids. It had yellowed with age, and so today I soaked it and now it is fresh and ready for a new incarnation. This afternoon I cut out a Geranium Dress from some very pretty fabric I've been hoarding. I finally have a (mostly) free day tomorrow and I can't wait to sit at my dear Bernina to get sewing!

For so very many reasons, this past winter felt heavy and oppressive and challenging. What a relief it is to feel the weight of it lifting. And to feel hope and possibility once again.

How are things at your place, friends? What are you looking forward to?

Sunday, April 21, 2019

the yard is greening up

"practice resurrection"
-Wendell Berry