Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Eco Dyeing & Experimental Machine Sewing Workshop

 I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a Stitch Extreme Combo workshop with Arlee Barr & Karin Millson.  We eco dyed and practiced sewing samples adjusting the upper and lower tensions, using different thread thicknesses and adjusting out stitch lengths and widths.  Here I laid out maple, oak, willow and dogwood leaves.
 Rolled up on 2 wooden dowels which I then bound up tightly.
 Arlee placed all of our bundles in the pot to gently "cook" for an hour.
 The dogwood and oak came out with nice distinctive shapes, the maple and willow leaves were quite pale.
 Onion skins snipped and laid out.  I folded the other half of the cotton over, rolled it on the dowels, bundled it up and put it in the pot for an hour.
 I was so surprised at how good a print the onion skins made!  This will be a fun piece to stitch :)
 I took a lot of notes and here are 2 cransebill leaves with loose tea sprinkled around it.  Arlee gave us some madder root powder to use as well.
 Cranesbill gives a very good print for eco dyeing and as you can see the madder root and loose tea give off good colour as well.
 Here are a few of my sewing samples as we played with adjusting our top and bottom tensions on our sewing machines as well as experimenting with different kinds of threads and stitch widths and lengths.
 While our bundles were eco dyeing Karin had us try all manner of different things most of which I did not know my sewing machine could even do!

 More tea and madder root eco dyeing on silk using oak leaves.
 One of my favourite peices - a rust dyed piece of cotton with raspberry leaves.
 Karin and Arlee were an excellent team and we learned A LOT from them.
Taking a leaf image from one of my dyed pieces I tried to replicate it using some of the sewing techniques we learned.

Eco dyeing and using my sewing machine are definitely in my future.
Have a terrific week everyone :D


  1. It's fun to see the results of experimentation. You've got me all inspired to go to the garden and kitchen and start playing. Thanks!

  2. LOL, looks you had a ton of fun. :D Your onion owl developed quite a whimsical expression in the bath! I am impressed with the definition from both the cranesbill and the raspberry leaves. Is it just water in the pot? Very interesting!

  3. oh oh oh - I see an owl!!!! Wonderful! Isn't Arlee great? She and I got together once a number of years ago and had a grand time. Lucky you to be able to attend her workshop!!

  4. How lucky you were! I would have attended this in a heartbeat! You have some really nice pieces to work with in the future!!! Very nice results!

  5. You certainly do learn and experiment with the most interesting methods of creativity. I am entranced with each eco-dye you shared. I love your onion skin Owl. All the thread stitchings will serve you very well in future projects. Creative Bliss Indeed...

  6. This dying method is quite amazing! I loved how great your freemotion machine embroidery went!

  7. What a great workshop Jeannette! You have produced some lovely dyed fabrics with lots of possibilities for working on. The owl of course is gorgeous! xx

  8. Yay, I can see an owl!!! LOL!
    It is difficult not to imagine you as a little witch with her magic cauldron producing some lovely little wonders :) Great dyed fabrics... your creativity will be endless!

  9. You had some lovely results with the ecoprints, the owl is great! Did you know there was a series of post about ecoprinting on the and then we set it on fire blog? I think you would like it, there's lots of info.

  10. A very clever way of printing with lovely results!

  11. so mnay great dyed pieces from these experiments you certainly produced masses of things to work on, your onion leaf owl I so want to see stitched. Good skills with the FME too

  12. Great results and a most interesting process. I'd love to have a go.

  13. Thanks for the shout out and write up, Sweetie! We had a blast teaching you as well :)

  14. You've had some wonderful success with this Jeanette - especially love your owl experiment. I also wouldn't have thought the onion skins would dye as well as that - they look quite wonderful!


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