Enjoying the Slowness

My Tumbling Blocks quilt is growing: albeit very slowly. I’m really not far from finishing the top.

The bright white tunic – previously a sheet – is sitting in a pot of daffodil heads. They were flowers that needed deadheading so I popped them in the dye pot before going to the compost heap. I’m relying on solar power to dye the top. I heated it up when the solar panels were working and the pot is now sitting in the greenhouse. It will probably be there for 10-14 days. It’s not bright white anymore and I’m hoping for a pale yellow as a base colour. We’ll see!

The silk skirt is progressing well. I took it out of the dark and dyed it with onion skins today. I’ll rinse it once it’s dried – in some dyeing traditions this is done to help the colour to take better. I can see it from the window and it’s looking a lovely dark orange now. If I like the colour when it’s rinsed I’ll put it away in the dark for a couple of weeks before wearing it.

And then there’s my dress. Remember this top?

It’s Merchant & Mills Curlew pattern and I’m going to make the dress version using some of the big roll of undyed Irish linen I bought for OneYearOneOutfit. I’ve traced the pattern and I’ve been debating how to make it – machine or hand? I bought some undyed looking cotton to use the machine but now I’m not so sure. I enjoyed last year’s slow progress and wear the top a lot. The hand stitching is holding up fine. And if I do it at speed I’ll probably then make another dress – but I don’t need one.

What do you think?

I will be dyeing it once it’s made – usual slow methods.

Well, that’s the update. Hope there was something there to interest you.

Have a good week.

Norma x



Filed under Clothes, dyeing, patchwork, quilts, sewing, slow dyeing, solar dyeing, textiles, traditional quilts

20 responses to “Enjoying the Slowness

  1. So much fun to see all of your projects! The tumbling blocks are coming along, there are many of them! Can’t wait to see the outcome of your dyeing projects. As for the sewing project, if you prefer hand sewing to machine, I’d say go with what you enjoy most!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! That’s a lot of creativity. If you enjoy the handwork and like the result, do it. You don’t have to please anyone but yourself, and you certainly don’t have to prove that you are productive!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am leaning towards hand making. Someone very experienced told me that she thought it was quicker than unpicking the mistakes she made with a machine.


  3. Deb

    Love the tumbling blocks.😀


  4. Slow sewing is indeed enjoyable. Your quilt is looking awesome and I am following your dyeing experiments with interest.


  5. The quilt is fantastic–you definitely have patience! The dyeing projects are all very interesting. You have made me wonder about the plants that are here in the area I am living–lots of them are used for medicinal purposes but I wonder about dyeing. I vote for hand stitching because it seems more personal. I am enjoying seeing all the progress.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think I’m a patient person. I need a lot of encouragement to keep going with it – I’ve promised to put it in an exhibition in March 2018 so that should do the trick.
      I would guess that a lot of the plants will produce dyes. If you’re interested, it would be worth talking to local practitioners. I would guess there’ll be locals who know and maybe still dye that way? I would love to hear about it if you find anything out.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Meg

    I love the slow nature of your making from the dyeing to a slowly evolving quilt. So refreshing compared to a lot of the blogs and vlogs that see people sewing clothes at a break-neck speed!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, that quilt looks amazing! I bet it takes a lot of concentration to make sure the right pieces are in the correct place.
    I’m learning more and more about the pleasure of slowing things down and taking your time to complete projects. I put way too much pressure on myself last year to get things done for certain events but this year I’m just concentrating on enjoying the process. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Norma! You have done some fascinating work here with the dyeing. I look forward to seeing how the white tunic turns out after the daffodils add some color to it.

    The silk is blooming into a lovely shade of orange. I think having the proper set-up such as yours, where natural resources like sunlight and fresh air, can be put to use makes the dyeing process turn out so much better. When the fabric is drying outdoors do any squirrels or birds cause concern?

    Just to let you know the KonMari Clearing Out method is at work here in Brooklyn. During Easter break I cleared out my little library/reading area. Also cleaned out the closet. I have to post some photos soon. Thanks again. The entire area does indeed feel so different and peaceful now that things are in order and things I don’t need have moved on to the Salvation Army.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Em, Glad the KonMari method is working out for you. I hoped it might be your sort of thing.
      I haven’t had any bird problems – I dry all my laundry outside too. No dryer! I have an undercover drying area too – exposed to wind but not sun / rain – this is a rainy part of the world. It’s ideal for dyeing because it keeps the cloth sheltered from sunlight. We have very few squirrels and I’ve never heard of problems with them.
      The tunic is a sort of creamy yellow. I plan to take it out of the pot this week. Then it’ll be in the dark for a while. I’m hoping to print with leaves in a few weeks.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: More Garden Dyeing | She Sews You Know

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