In the Dye Studio: Nature is the best medicine.

Adrienne and I just returned from 2 weeks in Minnesota where we were visiting my Mom. She lives 4 hours north of Minneapolis. This is the ultimate retreat away from the frenetic nature of city life. Spending this time in nature is a great reminder how important nature is to me and my creative process. And to take more time on a daily basis to connect with nature. Even the smallest incremental changes in nature, and the observation of them, a bud blooming, leaves falling, can shift something internally.

Here's the island I am moving to. Just kidding. Though can you imagine? Look at that little cabin nestled into the pines. Just a quaint little place to make textiles. Being surrounded by water, my hands down favorite element, inspired a small collection of indigo pieces. I am still in love with Yoshiko Wada's Arimatsu Shibori DVD and have been trying different techniques.

I like to use a longer than average needle (milliners 3/9) so I can load as many stitches possible at one time. I took a ruler and water soluble marker to draw guide lines for my stitching. I adore the YLI quilting thread. Smooth and tightly plied, it is strong and moves through the fabric easily. I double this for durability. The Merchant & Mills Buttonhole scissors are my current favorite as they are sharp, the short nose is easy to control, and the large holes for my fingers allows me to put pick them up and put them down with ease. As I sometimes have scissors over my fingers for 2 hours at a time, the larger holes also help keep hand cramps to a minimum.


In the far bottom left corner of this photo, you can see the positioning of my needle. I twist the fabric around my needle as I stitch.

The pieces being rinsed post-indigo dip.

As I traveled, I stitched as I went. Beyond the technique of how I was wrapping my stitches, I allowed myself space to experiment, playing with different stitch depths and lengths. Here are the results.








Now this begs the question - what to make out of this fabric? My perennial favorite, the Wiksten tank, comes instantly to mind. What about using 2 different prints, one for the front, one for the back, as this designer has done. I have one I made earlier this Spring that I have work to bits.

Other ideas spring to mind - a boxy shirt. And I am dying to draft a drop waist dress.

What would you make?