A solar dye bath made from the last of my 'Queen of the Night' tulips, so deep and dark.
A scrap of alumed silk fabric and thread, soaked in the above for a day.
I know from experience that this beautiful blue is fugitive, and not light sensitive. When I tried this last year it faded prettily through shades of green and violet to just a suggestion of grey when left on a sunny windowsill in a matter of weeks. It doesn't make me like it any less though.
:: If you would like to spend a day learning about a very colourfast blue, there are spaces available on my Indigo Day on 20th July at my home workshop. We will be using a fresh leaf technique with the plants I have been hovering anxiously over since February, and also have a vat for some deeper blues. More info here.
Teaching about the restorative powers of textiles has been a big part of my work for some years now. This week I was working with a new group of men and women, in a project that explores the textile heritage of the area they live in. It's a diverse group and English is a second language for many of the participants. I brought out needles, thread, and fabric and watched as a quiet room was transformed into a buzz of chat, demonstration and sharing.
It's good to be reminded of the power of the needle. For me stitching is a common language, it relaxes, unites and inspires.
Does stitching play a part in your life? Share a tale in the comments if you like... .