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Posts Tagged ‘walnut’

At In The Stitch Zone, the weekly embroidery class I run locally (information in the tab at the top) we’re working on a longer project based on my avocado dyed long cloth which I began back in 2011 and am still stitching into on an occasional basis.

Avocado long cloth 1

Time to make up packs of natural dyed fabrics, threads, lace, ribbon etc. for everyone. I found some avocado, red cabbage and walnut dyed fabrics from sessions I’d done before, which was a good start.  I’d only even dyed with red cabbage and a touch of vinegar, so hearing that you could get an amazing range of greens with bicarbonate of soda I decided to experiment. The greens really are gorgeous – especially against some avocado and red cabbage (with vinegar) dyed pieces!

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DSCN7529 As I dye everything in the kitchen using my ordinary utensils, I don’t mordant and only use food stuffs as dyes. I know red cabbage is supposed to be fugitive, but some of the pieces I found (admittedly in a drawer) from the last lot of dyeing I did are eight or nine years old and are still a lovely colour.

I also bought some annatto seeds from our local oriental grocer and they were an complete revelation! Bright orange initially with golden yellow as the dye bath became exhausted and they even dyed a piece of nylon lace (which I unfortunately forgot to get a photo of…) No filter needed on these silk samples.

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As the annatto seeds are incredibly hard and I didn’t want to stain the coffee grinder bright orange, I crushed some in a pestle and mortar and when that got too difficult, just put the whole lot into the slow cooker to create the dye bath. Then, of course, they were nice and soft, so after I’d done the first lot of dyeing, I whizzed them up in the food processor (didn’t stain it, I’m glad to report!) and got a second dye bath out of the pulverised seeds. A softer golden yellow, but still lovely.

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Packs for everyone plus some spares.

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They are slowly turning into some gorgeous pieces of work!

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The cuff book is finished. But I forgot to take a photo of it! Not that it’s changed much – just had the pages stitched to the spine with a single line of pamphlet stitch, decorated with some seed beads.

So is the leather bracelet. Both flowers completed and three matching quartz bead dangles added.

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I finally found the right size drill bit to make setting the cogs easy for the black and white steampunk brooch and once I’d done that, the finishing was easy.

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Then the embroidered pendant for a bow shaped pendant brooch, missing its drop, was the next to be sorted. It started like this:

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Then I put three pieces of walnut dyed vintage fabric together and secured them with beaded blanket stitch. The back is a damask, the middle canvas and this side is some embroidered net that I always understood was associated with my great-grandmother who died in 1970.

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It was a little dull so I went over some of the pattern with silk threads in faded shabby chic tones …

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…and then hung it from the brooch.

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Rather pleased with myself. And to top all that I’ve even got them listed in my Etsy shop:  Flower bracelet, black and white steampunk brooch and pendant brooch. Wonders will never cease!

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There is more ongoing in my Cornwall Holiday journal but things are impossibly busy at the moment and I’ve a sea glass commission on the go so the journal pages have stalled.

Towards the end of the holiday I took the girls to visit my parents in Suffolk and incidentally scored the biggest piece of blue sea glass I’ve ever found on Southwold beach. Very pleased with that!

Southwold beach glass 8.13

On the way home we decided to visit Oxburgh Hall.

Oxburgh Hall

I’ve been before but not with the girls…

Sunflowers!

…and after they had posed as sunflowers, we had a lovely time exploring this gorgeous house. On the way through the wooded area to the loos I found some green walnuts and collected a handful to try some natural dyeing.

Back home, chopped small and boiling in my dye pan.

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And after straining the liquid, this was the result on a range of fabrics.

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I clamped, tied and knotted a few of them before I put them in the pot.

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Knotted silk.

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Silk French lace over silk mix velvet.

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I’d been clearing out the freezer and found some avocado skins and stones so I added them to the first walnut dye bath and went for another batch. There’s not much difference in the colour but I think the brown is a bit warmer and pinkier with the avocado added.

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Some threads.

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A bigger piece of silk dupion dyed in walnut first and then overdyed in walnut and avocado. There is a subtle difference but it’s not very clear in the photo.

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Glad I spotted them on the floor among the vegetation and leaves!

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