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Thread: gardening for quilting?

  1. #1
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    gardening for quilting?

    do any of you gardeners grow flowers/herbs or vegetables just to use in dying fabrics?

    I am adding some plants to the front perennial bed this year that will be just that. Plants for dying!
    I already use beets, carrots, onion skins, the usual stuff, but wanted to add some heirloom plants that would have been used back in the day! Of course 90% of the mordants used back then are not illegal to use but I will do what I can with Alum, salt, cream of tartar and vinegar!

    Here are my two fave sites for learning more about using plants for dying!
    http://www.pioneerthinking.com/craft...turaldyes.html

    this one you have to be careful and watch what mordants she recommends. In the UK they have different rules on mordants than our EPA does here!
    http://www.wildcolours.co.uk/

  2. #2
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    that sounds like to much work for me!!!

  3. #3
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    hardly..I love 65% of my flower bed to the heat last year, so we are removing what is left, putting in drip irrigation and misters, so might as well put in plants I can use instead of just "pretty" things! I dye fabric anyway, so why not play with the natural stuff?

  4. #4
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I have never done anything like this. It does sound like fun!

  5. #5
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    yes. it is surprising what you can use. I like flower pounding too

  6. #6
    Super Member Teddybear Lady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciqltznok View Post
    do any of you gardeners grow flowers/herbs or vegetables just to use in dying fabrics?

    I am adding some plants to the front perennial bed this year that will be just that. Plants for dying!
    I already use beets, carrots, onion skins, the usual stuff, but wanted to add some heirloom plants that would have been used back in the day! Of course 90% of the mordants used back then are not illegal to use but I will do what I can with Alum, salt, cream of tartar and vinegar!

    Here are my two fave sites for learning more about using plants for dying!
    http://www.pioneerthinking.com/craft...turaldyes.html

    this one you have to be careful and watch what mordants she recommends. In the UK they have different rules on mordants than our EPA does here!
    http://www.wildcolours.co.uk/
    What is a "mordant"? A preservative or something? I bet you have some pretty "earthy" colors from doing your own fabric dying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teddybear Lady View Post
    What is a "mordant"? A preservative or something? I bet you have some pretty "earthy" colors from doing your own fabric dying.
    yes, the mordant is what sets the color of the plant matter into the fibers of the cotton/wool, etc.
    I tend to go for the stranger colors, always looking for purple, orange, pink, and green...though most plants come out brown, gold, yellow..hehehe

  8. #8
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    I haven't done any dyeing for years, but used to love experimenting with plants and tree barks. Heat and lack of water is a problem here in Western Australia, and where I live in the Darling Ranges the winds are punishing. Fortunately, mass plantings of natives as a wind break along with mulch, mulch and more mulch seem to result in less plant loss. Many herbs and plants I grow are most suitable for dyeing (and fortunately are not too "tender" to survive.

    Thanks for the links.....I have been seriously thinking about getting back into dyeing, Whilst there are so many fantastic fabrics available....hand dyes have a special charm about them. Happy gardening (sorry Master Gardening). Please share some pics of your dyed fabrics....you know how we are about pics.

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    yes, Master gardening..hehehe I planted over 30 varieties of flower seeds, 16 herbs, and 28 vegetables today!
    Now to watch for them to grow while I work on the beds/pots, etc...

    Many of the plants for dying are also great butterfly/bee plants, so that helps in choosing what to plant!
    Name:  front bed 1.JPG
Views: 355
Size:  1.51 MBthis pix is of the front bed two years ago...most of that is now gone, except for the lavender and mums. I have 80' across to replant!

  10. #10
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    Your garden was beautiful.Sorry you lost so much. I love gardening so your topic peeked my interest. The link was very interesting. I think I will have to try it this year.
    Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind see.
    mark Twain

  11. #11
    Junior Member SherryCat's Avatar
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    Very interesting!

  12. #12
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    Interesting sites. I have never dyed fabric, but used to dye Easter eggs with "natural" stuff. That was fun. Of course didn't need mordants for eggs.

  13. #13
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I only grow gift plants and ones that come back every year. Summer heat and dryness here makes it very hard to grow anything. I have some flowering bushes also. So dry and hot last year I almost lost them too. I don't dry fabrics, no basement and I don't need the mess. I only want to make quilts.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  14. #14
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    Your garden is beautiful. I wish I could grow things, but I don't have a green thumb and most of my yard is very sunny, so that kills plants. I have some luck with pots, so I think I will try again this year. I would love to see your yard this year.
    Sue

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    I'd like to see pictures of your dyed fabric with a note as to what plant you used for it's color. Sandy 64

  16. #16
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I absolutely love your flowr bed Jacquie!!! Wish my flower bed looked that nice! I have never dyed anything, yet. I think I need to read up on it and see if it's something I would like to try doing. Probably a lot of hard work!!!
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

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