going raw

I’m just going to say it – I’m not a fan of silk. It’s too swishy for me and drives me nuts the way it slinks around when I try to stitch on it. I’ve avoided it for years until I was at a textile show and became completely enamored with a piece there – the fabric had incredible texture. You could have knocked me over with a feather when the artist told me it was raw silk.

I got all geeky excited after reading this book and decided to try her method of rust dyeing with fabric soaked in tea. (I normally rust dye with fabric soaked in vinegar.) I cut a couple of small silk pieces, gave them a soak in black tea and bundled them up with some rusty objects.


I don’t dislike the results but I can say that I prefer the intensity that I get with vinegar soaked fabric much better. Here is how the two pieces came out (first shot is the piece as a whole and second shot is a close up of it.)

I rinsed them out and set them aside and figured they were done. (If by done you understand that I mean I will print the snot out of them once I use them in a project and perhaps stitch them to death as well.)

If you hang out with me on social media, you know that I’ve become obsessed with plants in every way. The top two that tickle my fancy are succulents and begonias. I’ve been slowly spring cleaning the past couple of weeks and that includes my indoor jungle. Plants are a lot like humans – they can really let themselves go over the winter. I’ve been cutting back and starting new plants off ones that didn’t fare well.

After creating some starts of a new begonia, I realized the veins on the back of the leaves offer printing potential:

I used dark red and gold paint to match the colors already on the leaves. I brushed the paint on the side of the leaf with the veins and pressed it against the fabric.


And here is where I’m leaving them (for now).


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