Last week, I went to a workshop (on a whim) called “Colour, mood and plant-based dying.” Instagram made me.
The following day, I had a bunch of kitchen work to do, so I made onion skin, red cabbage leaf and coffee dye baths. While I worked, I dyed some linen scraps to see what colours I could get.
My last foray into natural dying was about 5 years ago and so perturbing that I’ve been avoiding natural dyeing projects ever since. I tried to grow woad from seed as a start to a dye garden. I chose woad because it’s supposed to make a pretty dramatic blue. I got the seeds from Richters and cared for those baby woads everyday. Regardless, they did very poorly (maybe not enough sun? sandy soil?) and by the end of the summer I had just enough woad for ONE dye bath.
The day came when I set it all up. I don’t remember what I used for a mordant, or the fibre that I was using (I want to say it was cotton??), but at the end of about a half a day of prep and soaking, NOTHING HAPPENED. The fabric came out of the process the literal exact colour it was going in. The woad dye project was a complete flop and I have no idea why.
This time though.
I’ve been wanting to make an abstract quilt with winter whites and browns and blues, so I put together two textile pieces that mimic the quilts that have been in my head. I fell deeply in love with the result.
My great friend had asked me if I might be able to donate something to a silent auction for the Qtbipoc Dance Party for the Water Wet’suwet’en Solidarity, and I thought yes. These are the perfect contribution.
So now they are gone. I hope they are loved by whomever has acquired them. Un-attachment, friends. As long as I have the pictures and the blog posts to record my creations, I can do it.