Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tray Dyeing

I recently purchased "Tray Dyeing" by Leslie Morgan & Claire Benn, and started trying some of their techniques.  I have used variations on their methods, but I'm always interested in learning how certain patterns are achieved.  So far, I'm pleased with the two pieces - sarongs - I dyed using the 'Water' pattern:

I pretty much stuck to their color scheme on the first one shown here, but used my own color scheme on the second.  I like the blending of the colors on both, as well as the pattern.  Next, I hope to try some of their overdyeing methods to create trees... a pattern I have wanted to do for a few years now.  If you haven't had a chance to review this book yet, and you are interested in learning some beautiful techniques for blending colors and patterns, check it out! 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

tie-dye samples

I am going to do a Trunk Show presentation at our Quilters' Guild later this month with my friend Wendy.  We have a dyeing class coming up in August, and want to give our members a little sample of what kind of techniques we will be demonstrating and teaching in the class.  So I have been doing samples of several, and decided to do a couple of fold techniques we may offer to those who want to give them a try.  The first is a simple diagonal fold across a broad accordion fold:
The other one is a mandala, which I haven't done in awhile... imagine my surprise when I opened it up and found out it worked!

So, I got so inspired I decided I need to do these on some shirts!  They work best on thin fabrics, so I'm limited to the stock I have that is a lightweight jersey as opposed to the standard weight t-shirts, but I might throw one or two of those in just to see how well I can get them to come out.  Artists' Marketplace is coming up on the 30th, and I need to get some more dyeing done! 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Getting ready to plant

I'm getting ready to use my new cold frame and 12" planting beds!  No, they aren't ready to be planted in yet... need to prep the inside of the cold frame to accept the seedlings I'm starting in the bathroom, and I have to trench the foundation of the beds... I plan to create a base of cinder blocks, then put hardware cloth on top, then the wood-sided raised beds, then posts at each corner so I can surround it with screen to keep out the Elk, prairie dogs and other critters.  But I have the seeds started, as well as some herbs:

I planted the herbs (a Chia Herb Garden!) about the beginning of February, and recently divided them to put them into larger pots.
In the seed beds, I have Delphiniums, Hollyhocks, Chives, Dill, Cherry Tomatoes, Bell Peppers and Cucumbers.  I will be planting salad bowl lettuce and carrots directly into the raised beds so they won't need to be transplanted.
I should mention that this is a project I have had in mind for quite awhile... I actually had a little garden in a raised bed when we were in California, but here I have a large lot with great sunlight... just a limited planting season due to our elevation and weather, so the cold frame is going to go a long way toward extending my growing season... I'm really excited about finally getting this started, and look forward to being able to grow some of my veggies and herbs!  Progress reports will be forthcoming... 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Looky what I got!!!

I have been an off-again, on-again gardener for years, mostly off... I love having beautiful flowers, veggies and herbs... just seems like I can't get myself organized early enough to have enough grow time for everything, especially here in Northern Arizona.  I have thought about getting a cold frame to start plants, but couldn't find either a source or even a kit to assemble, and I gave away my power tools a long time ago.  But the good news is... I have a neighbor who is a contractor, and I ran into him the other day at a Home and Garden show, right after I visited the Master Gardeners' booth which had photos of cold frames!  I sent Lawrence over to look at the photos, and told him I wanted one... well, here it is!

He just delivered it yesterday, so it doesn't have any plants in it yet, but I have lots of seeds, peat cups, starter mix, plant food... of course now we are due for two days of wind followed by 2 days of sunshine(during which I hope to get some seeds planted and in the frame!) followed by several days of rain.  So hopefully the next photo I take will have a slight green tinge to it... the sign of sprouting seedlings!