Mother’s Day presents for my girls “organic cotton bandanas”

Organic cotton bandanas….that would be a nice cottage industry! I was going to be lazy and buy blanks and print them, but it is almost impossible to find organic cotton bandanas! Not that it took all that long to hem 8 squares (they each got three and I kept two for myself).

Base dye was chaparral (yellow) but over dyed a few of them with cutch. Various leaves were applied, some worked well, others not so great. Sprinkled some dye powders on them (madder, cochineal, turmeric),  covered with rust cloth and steamed for an hour.

My two bandanas were not eco printed. I used them to practice with painting on natural dye pigments (such as was done on the previous post of the give away dress). :/ haven’t taken photos of them yet. Their base colors were chaparral and cutch.


Eco Print dresses for Jo and her dolly

Thought it would be fun to make Josephine and her doll dresses for her birthday. The doll made it there in time, the dresses were a bit late 😦


photo by Lillian Short

Used a pattern called “Easy Peazy Pleats” by Olive Ann Designs.

The base fabric (cotton/hemp blend) was dyed with kamala, then overdyed with madder. I used mainly used guava leaves with some flowers in the ‘circles’ (the flowers did NOT turn out well) for the eco prints.

Originally I was going to stamp some bees on it too, with earth pigments….but ran out of time. So will save that idea for some bandanas I want to make.

Precut fabric for Lilly…..

The thought is in the air for doing some collaborative projects….. with me dyeing the fabric and Lilly sewing it into one of a kind garments.

Here is a dress blank that I dyed for her, using a 100actsofsewing pattern. The photos are a bit ‘rough’ as I was trying to take photos quickly with a camera whose battery needed recharging (wanted to get the package in the mail today).

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A Small Quilt For Ellie’s First Birthday

My littlest quilt to date. Not that I’ve made many, which might be obvious to most people 😉

And technically it’s not a ‘quilt’…. since there is no quilting involved. An eco print patchwork comforter with alpaca ties anchoring it….. a mouthful! Quilt is so much easier to say!

One side, my favorite, is a large piece of eco printed silk charmeuse. The other is squares of eco printed raw silk, with naturally dyed strips between. Organic cotton batting sandwiched in-between.

These photos were shot this morning, before I was finished. Wanted to catch the early morning light…..



Interesting that the marigold leaves printed yellow on the charmeuse and green on the raw silk!





A seed for thought…..

I was sad to hear that India Flint won’t be coming back to Eugene in May, although I entirely understand her reasons why.

And as I sat here thinking…. I’ll never be able to take a workshop, I can’t afford most of them. A bit of self pity here 😉 to be sure….. this idea popped into my head!!

How about an “Eco Print Gathering”!!

A gathering for like minded people to get together and share ideas. Do some wandering and gathering, bundling and ‘cooking’. No, or very little, cost. No teacher.

I am still roughing out the idea. I want it to be in the Portland, OR area and in late September. I’ll keep you all updated on plans as they firm up.

Yesterday’s scarf…..

IMG_3095 IMG_3097 IMG_3098

IMG_3102IMG_3103The last two photos are yesterday’s scarf paired up with last week’s scarf. I love them together!!

Not so successful eco prints on cotton…..

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These prints were made on cotton and linen fabrics.

The fabric had been presoaked in a strong ‘tea’ made out of white oak bark, then in salt water with vinegar added, and finally in soy milk with washing soda added to it.

The leaves were soaked in either iron water or rust water, then placed on the fabric….. bundled…… boiled for almost four hours.

I didn’t leave them to ‘cure’ … or even to cool down for that matter. I wanted instant gratification, to combat the low I felt from the blotched job I did on my dress for the wedding (that fabric, by the way, is in plastic bags hoping for a bit of rust to form from the iron).

So… on that note. My mistake on the dress fabric! I thought that it would be easier to cut the dress out and sew the front pieces together, and the back pieces together and dye them at that stage. I wasn’t thinking about the flare to the bottom of the dress, until I was trying to roll up the bundle. I could keep the middle tight. But the sides were floppy and loose.

I thought of ways that I could have rolled the dress differently, but at that stage I didn’t really want to mess with it any more. The iron was leaving too many marks from little drips as it was, so I didn’t want to pick up the leaves, transferring them and more drips and more iron spots.

I will unwrap the fabric next week.

Next time? Probably I’ll dye the whole 5 or 6 yards first, as daunting as that seems. IF I can find a pot large enough to do it in!


A long time ago I started to make my daughter Lilly a quilt. It had alternating squares of handwoven fabric and squares of recycled old velvet and corduroy shirts. It looked pretty…. bright bold colors, mainly purples and oranges.

But I made one major mistake! The seams were much too narrow for handwoven fabric, which has a tendency to unravel. I couldn’t figure out what to do to remedy the problem. I finally tried to iron on interfacing to cover the seams….. and there it sits, to this day, languishing away.

A couple of weeks ago, when I started making Jeph an eco printed quilt….  some pieces I put together that didn’t really fit in with the rest. It was these pieces that ‘spawned’ the idea of a quilt for Lilly! To make up for the long ago birthday present she never got.

So “Happy Birthday”….. a decade late!! Image