Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tea Dye For: Redwork

Back in 1998 when I picked up crewel & embroidery after a 15 year hiatus from needlework, I started using water & air soluble transfer pens to draw or copy patterns on to cotton. I stopped for a few reasons. 1.) They are not free & I have lots of pencils lying around. & 2.) Why would I use a pen or marker on my fabric when I know they aren't pH balanced? Then I found this & I have never gone back to using them again.

That being said, I do have some orphaned redwork blocks lying around waiting to be included in a project. Some of these blocks are from the time before I used pencil. &, yes, they were discolored, possibly due to the blue transfer pen. Oh, what to do...

The answer: tea dye them!

I used loose tea, but tea bags are just as effective

Brew the tea with hot water, but steep longer than you would for your cuppa

Discolored redwork blocks I decided to tea dye

Pour the brewed tea on the blocks using a clean baking dish
I placed block upon block in the dish and added more tea as needed

Tea dyeing in progress

Squeezing out the hot tea. Cold tea can be used for a less intense color.

Rinsing the blocks with cold water
After rinsing, the blocks head to the dryer for 30 mins.

Fresh from the dryer

Tea dyed blocks made into small pillows.
Tea dyeing is a pretty simple process. You can use other teas for different colors or browns, pinks & yellows.

Friday, October 11, 2013

I'm in a SHOP!

Fabulous news!

My mother & I have rented space in a shop in Greenwich, NY. The Grand Opening is tomorrow & I am very excited. Unfortunately, I will not be at the opening due to my "day job," but Mom will be there for a little while & so will the other women we are sharing the shop with.

Here are the dets:

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Ruby's Marketplace
81 Main St
Greenwich, NY 12834

10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Spinning demo 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.)

Hand embroidery & redwork (by me- Aprilsongstress)
Quilts, aprons, backpacks, tea cozies, fabric cornucopias, et al (by Mom- Just-A-Duck)
Vintage Clothes (by Ruby's Nimble Thimble)
Yarn & pottery (by Annette Arnold)
Jewelry (by Mina)
Stamped stationary & cards (by Beth)

Oh, & there is a classic car show in town, so bring the other half, or a friend.

Sneak peek at my display at Ruby's Marketplace 2013

The event is also listed on my Facebook page. Head over & 'like' it!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Movie to stitch to: Part One: Marathon

I embroider as much as I can. I love it. It de-stresses me (except when the floss knots for no reason & I let fly a few choice words.) I embroider mostly when I am watching TV or a movie at home. (I would embroider in the movie theater but book lights are kind of frowned upon as distracting to other viewers. Humph!)

Enough with the parenthetical statements... I am starting a series of blog posts based on the movies I stitch to & the projects I am working on at the time. Sometimes they may correlate, sometimes not. You can also check my twitter feed (@aprilsongstress), as I often tweet using #MovieToStitchTo. Feel free to start using it too...

Yesterday, having been deserted by both my parents, & my daughter, I decided to have a "Movie To Stitch To" Marathon. I watched 4 movies & finished one project. (Yes, embroidery is time-consuming, but well worth it!)

Oh... these posts may contain *Spoilers*!

 I started off with Before Sunset, which I am ashamed to say, I had never seen before. Not only is it a smart, witty, thoughtful film, it is also a near perfect "Movie To Stitch To" & I will tell you why. It is very dialog heavy. Jesse (Ethan Hawke) & Celine (Julie Delpy) talk through the whole movie. This allows you to embroider without loosing much when you glance down at what you are doing. & when the few silences do occur, you know you need to pay attention & look at the screen. This is definitely a movie I need to own & will stitch to it again & again!

Project complete- Autumn Leaves napkins

Next up: Good Deeds. I have never watched a Tyler Perry movie before, partly because the Madea franchise is of no interest to me what-so-ever & he has to put his brand all over everything. Thandie Newton is amazing, as always. I am thankful to have a supportive family that has enabled me to to care for my daughter & this movie reminded me that things could have been so much different. Though not a bad movie, the contrived, unrealistic ending kind of killed it. (How many 6-year-olds have a passport? You can't just hop on a plane to Africa with less than 24 hours notice.) Anyway, it is a good Movie To Stitch To because of the amount of dialog & you don't have to stay glued to the screen, though you will catch yourself wanting to watch Thandie Newton!

The 3rd movie I chose was another I've never seen. (I should mention I borrowed all of these from the library. FREE!) Win a Date With Tad Hamilton is a typical romantic comedy featuring a bunch of actors I enjoy watching, so I thought I would give it a try. I would have liked more Topher Grace, Ginnifer Goodwin & Kathryn Hahn. Again, the ending forces the movie into forgettable-land. Good Movie To Stitch To, because you don't need to pay strict attention to it, but not something I would need to watch again.

Placemats are finished- waiting to be ironed

The final movie of the day was my old stand-by. The Keira Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice (though not the most faithful adaptation) is lovely. I love Matthew MacFadyen as Mr. Darcy. As I own this one, I have seen the movie so many times that I know my favorite, not-to-be-missed parts. Another near-perfect Movie To Stitch To.

I hope to make this a sort-of-regular thing. Let me know what movies you like to stitch to!