Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Rag Rugging, Eco Dyeing Fun & Embroidery Books

  Recently, I  did a workshop at Toowoomba Quilters club with a local lady, Kathy Adams from KoolKat Quilting.  Kathy showed us how to do a rag rug (or bowls, or placemats or another myriad of things) using a ‘toothbrush’ tool.  It was a lot of fun.

 Rag Rug w toothbrush thingy

Mine is quite misshapen at the moment – it is meant to be oval  LOL and will eventually be a placemat.  Think I have to work on the increasing technique Smile


…………….Kathy with the little blue tool.

When Shirley and I went to the recent Embroiderer’s Guild Open Day we found some fantastic books for just $2!!!

Shirley couldn’t resist buying me this one because I have for a long time drooled over her copy.

Inspired to Stitch

This book is so inspirational and it never fails to give you an idea for a creative embroidery which is a passion of both Shirley’s and mine.

I also picked up the following 2 books which are proving to be wonderful.  So many fabulous ideas.

Creative Hand EmbroideryThe stitches of creative Emb

After the visit to the ATASDA display right here in our fair city, Shirley and I were motivated to do some ‘eco dyeing’. 

I was boiling up all sorts of things (much to my husband’s amusement).  Some of them worked – some didn’t.  We need to buy some alum to help set the natural dyes but have yet to find a good source for it at a reasonable price.

Lavender boil up

Lavender boiling up

Fabric in blueberry

Fabric cooking in blueberry juice


Fabric in Redwine vinegar

Fabric soaking in red wine vinegar

Jacaranda pods

Jacaranda seed pods ready for stewing.


Here are some of my dyeings.


Blueberries – tied and pleated.


Turmeric – very bright


Turmeric over fabric stamped with large bubble wrap.

Alas I cannot show you the lavender experiment – it is too pale and insipid.  It would have been a lovely golden yellow brown if I had alum to treat the fabric with first.  The fabric just did not absorb the colour.

The jacaranda pod dye was the most beautiful russet colour but, once again, it didn’t absorb into the fabric.

Instead it got ‘the treatment’ and ended up all rusty

Rusted piece oct 2013

The background is quite grey in real life.

There is more…. but … another time.




Hello DI, Your rag rug class looked great.. Never seen that tool before. Love you new embroidery books. Shirley is very kind to buy you that super book. Your dying experiments were pretty cool.. I did some awhile back with black berries and it turn out a lovely bright pink.. Have a great week. Hugs Judy

shirley said...

Your dyeing results are great Di, I only managed varying shades of beige. Glad you love your book. You will get a lot of inspiration from it.
The rag rug class looked interesting.

Marilyn C said...

The experiments with the dyeing look interesting. The books also look like they should help a lot with some ideas for stitching.

Anneliese said...

I love the photos of your dyeing - it is demanding some discipline to photoshoot when one is working. Often, I don't want to run for the camera. Your experiments are certainly very instructive - and let the DHes laugh! thanks, Dianne for commenting my black bean experiment.