inhale...exhale...relax your shoulders...repeat as often as needed

Thursday, September 27, 2018

VTMQG Exhibit

During the month of October a gallery in Montpelier will be hosting an exhibit of our VTMQG's work. Any piece hung in the show must be for sale. 

An opportunity.

A chance to take a risk.

To grow.

I'll be helping to hang the show, I'll be attending the opening reception and I'll be there to take it down, too.

Another chance to learn and stretch.

Yup. I'll have a piece hanging in the show. Yup, it will be for sale. Yup, I am sitting with the Buddhist practice of being unattached to outcomes.

Can't wait to see how all the pieces from guild members look gathered together in one space.


I have needed a distraction from today's hearings. Glued to the testimony and taking long breaks, too. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

tula wednesday::oops! week33

 block number 34
from tula pink's 
city sampler
100 modern quilt blocks.
 the wild asters are singing the swan song of summer,
blooming in ditches by the side of the road,
in open meadows 
and right here at our "bit of earth".
their delicate blooms coincide with the 
 change that will turn our green hills
into the spectacular swaths of orange, russet, gold and flame
that vermont is famous for.

it is magical.

Monday, September 24, 2018

good words

This weekend I brought the rosemary plant in to the three season porch. I snipped some marigold blossoms to dry for a dye pot. I gave the houseplants a shower and moved some around. More beets and the onions went in to the root cellar. We bought flower bulbs for planting outdoors and for forcing on the windowsills in the dead of winter. We had an autumnal equinox bonfire on Saturday night, just the two of us. 

Indeed, the seasons are shifting and so is the light.

I watched the Harvest Moon set over the Green Mountains early this morning. This is my favorite time of year, when I feel a depth and richness in our lives up here on the ridge. 



Letting go, too. 

Maybe you feel it.

Here are two lovely pieces that have reminded me of things I already knew. (But reminders are a good thing).

"How can we be present to what's happening in the world without giving in to the despair and hopelessness?" This is a 9 1/2 minute interview with one of my sheroes, Krista Tippett. You can listen to it here. If you are not yet familiar with On Being, CHECK IT OUT! It is a fabulous resource.

"Attentive Idling", written by Iris Graville, in The Wayfarer magazine.

Let me know if you have stumbled across any treasures lately...good words, music, beauty, food...anything that will bring hope and light to those of us who gather in quieter neighborhoods of the internet.

Happy Monday, friends.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

sneak peek

"The difference between who you are 
and who you want to be, 
is what you do."

-Bill Phillips

 stepping way out of my comfort zone
to see what will happen.

just do it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

tula tuesday::week 32

 block number 73
from tula pink's
city sampler
100 modern quilt blocks.

stitched with more homegrown, hand dyed indigo.

before the dye bath,
i ran a few lines of twisted running stitches,
pulled them up tight and knotted each line.
this created the "resist".
after the fabric was dyed, rested and rinsed,
i snipped the stitches, flattened the fabric out
and pressed it.

the birch fabric is one of my top ten favorite prints of all time.

but you already knew that.

this fabulous september sky
provided the inspiration.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

sew and sow::homegrown, hand dyed indigo 2018

Over the weekend, the temperatures were forecast to dip into the mid thirties, which lit a fire under my butt to get the indigo harvested.
 A few of the plants had started to bloom.
Batman helped me cut all the stems and strip the leaves. When I weighed them I discovered that we had FIVE pounds of leaves!
On Saturday afternoon I brewed a one pound jar of leaves and these are the results (above). The yellow is a result of the tansy "tea" I brewed on Saturday as well. Look here to see that fun.
On Monday, I brewed a second pound of indigo and these are the results  (above, drying...and below, pressed). The remaining three pounds of indigo leaves are on a screen in the woodshed, drying for later use. But I've got to do more research to figure out how that may work!
I did some fabric manipulation or shibori with clothespins, clamped mason jar lids, stitched resist and fabric bunching.
To see my indigo dye day from 2016, look here.

My 2017 indigo harvest was successful, but my dye day was a tear producing flop.

That's why I have started a dye journal, as recommended by so many natural dyers. It's a place to keep track of all aspects of the gentle work of dyeing. It's a bit like alchemy...we can set things up for success, but it helps to be open to Mother Nature's whims.

These are the notes I posted on Instagram, explaining the methods I used...

I am using cotton, linen and some of my grandmother’s vintage tablecloths and hankies. I have scoured with soda ash, mordanted with aluminum acetate and done a wheat bran bath before I dye, following instructions in Kristine Vejar’s book The Modern Natural Dyer. (Mordant is not required for indigo, but now I have a generous supply of prepared fabric for other dyes I may try this fall). We harvested 5 pounds of indigo leaves from the garden. I used one pound on Saturday, I have another pound cooking on the stove now and three pounds are drying on a screen in the woodshed. I am following instructions for a (fresh) Japanese Indigo Vat found in Chris McLaughlin’s sweet book, A Garden to Dye For. The tansy was a simple “tea”, one pound of blossoms simmered in water for about 20 minutes.

Growing, dyeing and sewing with color from our gardens here at our bit of earth remains one of my deepest pleasures.


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

tula tuesday::week 31

 block number 12
from tula pink's
city sampler
100 modern quilt blocks

stitched with homegrown, hand dyed tansy and indigo on cotton.
 inspired by everything that is happening around here!
that pot on the stove?
that jar to the right of the stove?
that lettuce spinner?
full of greens from the garden.
those sunflowers?
brought in before the rains came.
that stack of fabric?
results from day one of dyeing.
(wait till you see yesterday's results!
check back on thursday for details).
each spring we plant sunflower seeds in memory of
erin elizabeth potts,
who left this world in 2009 at the tender age of 18.

her life reminds us to cherish

as does remembering the events of today 17 years ago. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

tansy dyed

cotton and linen
dyed with tansy we harvested this afternoon.

still waiting on the indigo...


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

tula tuesday::week 30

block number 54
from tula pink's
city sampler
100 modern quilt blocks.

The mustard colored fabric is a Carolyn Friedlander print, the other two are scraps from a quilt I think I made in the 1990's. These colors seem perfectly matched to some of the leaves that are already starting to change here on the hill. We harvested some squash and pie pumpkins from the garden. The beets and carrots are in the root cellar, the onions are drying on the porch. The indigo is nearly ready for cutting. There's one more day of summer weather in the forecast, and then I think I can officially do my autumn happy dance.