Sunday, 12 April 2015

Rusty old stuff!

Brown is not one of my favourite colours. When I'm choosing paints or threads I usually rejoice in light and bright shades that make me itch to make art.

But the serendipity of nature and natural dyeing is amazing. Rust yields such rich and mellow shades of russet and ochre, orange, ginger and cinnamon that it is irresistible to dye with and to stitch on.

I recently dyed some cotton Guipure  lace, cotton threads, silk and muslin with rust. I just wrapped the materials around a piece of rusty metal. I dipped them first in a mixture of malt vinegar and water to get the rusting started.

Then I left them in the garden to do their magic. They got rained on of course and that helped and speeded  up the transformation.

Over Easter I had a bit of time to stitch with some of it. I loved seeing the colours of the materials naturally blend with each other and it was good to have time to do some slow stitching which always slows me down and makes me feel relaxed. 

I added some sewing with some of my favourite hand dyed stranded cotton from 21st Century Yarns. I also added some sequins made from coconut shell.  It isn't finished yet.

I'd love to know what you think. Do you think you'd give it a try too?