Little Pink Worm

The best kind of little pink worm is on the end of a hook enticing a fish to bite it’s dinner, so I can have dinner!  But that isn’t the kind this is…but it looks like some kind of wiggly pink something or other doesn’t it?  This is a piece of snow dyed fabric from last winter’s dye days that was less than stellar.  So I worked for hours and hours stitching and wrapping resist patterns into it. It is in a dye bath of very stinky old walnut dye right now. The photo is a little fuzzy [caterpillar?] but I’m hoping for good things when it’s dyed, dried and untied.


I’m a Published Author! WOOO HOOO

Paper Art 2014  can be purchased from Interweave HERE.   I don’t know the date it will show up in stores. That’s my article on page 56. It came about when I had left over indigo in a vat after a day of dyeing. It was challenging writing instructions. I had to assume the reader didn’t know any of the steps and took it by baby steps so even a beginner can complete the project.


Page 56 ..that's me!

Page 56 ..that’s me!

Wrist Support the cheap way…

As many of you know, I have severe rheumatoid arthritis. Like all people with RA there are good days and days you have to push yourself to get out of bed. That makes it difficult to complete projects.  While in Tennessee at Arrowmont, Joan Morris showed us this great stuff that she wraps her fingers in when she is pulling shibori strings. I don’t know if it is her creative use of it or if it came from the hand therapist she uses.

I have used Nike Dry Fit women’s weight lifting gloves for support. This method is so forgiving  as you move but gives my tendons much needed support while trying to finish a project. It is adjustable and you can place it where you need support the most.  It is the stuff that horse ankles are wrapped with for support. Yes, you can buy it for humans in white at a much much higher price. The stuff for horses at our local feed store is $2.49 a tube and comes in really cool colors.  It can be unstuck and reused when you use it on your hands and wrists.  So, here are what my hands look like wrapped and ready to rumble…’errr quilt….

suppport 1 support

3rd Dip Day Persimmon Dye

After 3 dips in 3 days, this is the color card for the green persimmon dye. You can see the original fabric was very white. The literature on using persimmons says it makes fabrics water resistant and can be painted onto paper or fiber bowls. It was difficult to make the fabric soak up the persimmon after the first day and you could see the moisture bead on the linen piece.  The dupioni silk piece didn’t react and there was very little color change on day 2 so I didn’t bother on day 3. The deepest change was on the rayon piece and I found that same thing using indigo. I’m thinking that rayon is going to be my fabric of choice.

We will pick persimmons again in a week or so, right before they start to turn color and see if that pick makes a difference. In the meantime, I have some experimenting to do with painting on the juice with and without mordants to see what comes out.  I also haven’t tried stitching through this yet so more experimenting.

persimmon dip3

Arkansas Astringent Persimmon Dye

I discovered the information on using persimmon for dyeing over the winter last year. From my reading they need to be the astringent kind, not the sweet ones in the market…the ones that taste like straight alum and send your face into a pucker that lasts into next week. Yep…that’s the kind we have. I have waited patiently for the wild persimmon tree to set fruit. About a week and a half ago Ron and I picked a bucket full of green persimmons, this is when they have the most tannin in them.

They can be used as a tannin mordant and pre-mordant or with successive dips they give wonderful shades of burnt orange. The more dips and the longer it cures in the sun, the darker the color. Or that’s what we have read so we are experimenting.

This is the photo of  some of the persimmons after soaking in a bucket for over a week. The water looks like Lake Okeechobee in Florida full of tannin.

persimmon soak 1week

I used my Cuisinart Food Processor to grind these up. The Japanese textile blog I saw this on grates them to use them unfermented.

After soaking again overnight they more than doubled in volume. This pan was full to the top!

ground persimmon

According to the information I’ve found on this, the cloth must be exposed to the sun and heat. Well, its pretty hot in Arkansas today so I had to try some cloth in the green goo. I used a piece of white handkerchief linen and a piece of white  rayon. Scoured, of course. The pink spiderweb shibori was a piece Ron did  at Arrowmont and was dyed in a madder exhaust. I soaked them in water first, then lay them on the top of the pot, not caring if some of the ground persimmon got on them.  I was shocked at how much color from a single dip and you can see the backside hasn’t been in the sun as long. I can’t wait to dip these again tomorrow . We are expecting 100 degrees so they should do well in the sun.

persimmon dye dip1 persimmon overdye1