I'm half way through the first month! If you've been following along you'll recognize the overdyed Laura Ashley scrap in the top left. Below that is a piece of percale that I folded, bound and dipped in the indigo vat, known as itajime. It looks dipdyed, but that's just because it's such a small piece of the whole fabric. I'm not sure where the stripe on the right came from. It appears to be a handloomed cotton, probably from India. I'm using a lighter colored thread here, again, leftover poly core cotton used to tie up the hiranui bundles.
I showed a close-up of this section on Day 2 and today I've added a couple of pieces around it. The far left is the scrap of hem from a pair of pants my daughter shortened, the center is a scrap of upholstery fabric left from a client project and on the right are two pieces of ikat. The bottom is a vintage piece of Japanese cotton that I bought years ago at Yoko Japanese Antiques, a wonderful little shop in South Pasadena. (I can't find them on the web, I'll have to drive by one day and see if they're still in business.) The top piece is a modern indian ikat fabric. The old japanese scrap is a beautiful weight and quality. The indian piece is a bit thin and loosely woven.
Once again I've overdyed a small scrap of cotton I had. This is an old Laura Ashley print from the 80's. Laura Ashley was one of the first designers that got me hooked on prints. Although most of her prints seem a bit dated to me now, a quick dip in the indigo vat makes them work here. The book "Laura Ashley Style" is a great resource for understanding her use of traditional historic fabrics and seeing how they're interpretted for modern applications.
Today I've added a piece of block printed cotton. If you've been following along you might have some sense of where this is, having seen the piece on the right and the piece on the bottom in prior pictures. I'm going to continue photographing close up pictures until I begin the decorative stitchin. Until then, it remains a mystery. To me most of all!
Today I added a little scrap of one of my favorite textiles, a serape. It's more serape-inspired, but it definitely makes you think it's a serape, just without the bulk and the propensity to fray faster than you can stitch. The weft yarns are an orangey-pinkie sort of color which relates to another little scrap that you can't see in this photo. At the bottom is another section of the block printed cotton I overdyed in the indigo vat. At the top is a scrap leftover after trimming a pillow cover that had been machine topstitched. I really never, ever throw away any scrap. I have one of these cheap plastic drawer bin things and have one drawer dedicated to bits and bobs. After I trim something I scoop all the scraps into the drawer. I use them almost as quickly as I stuff them in there.
Everything was looking too much the same, so today I found a couple of scraps with more color. On the lower right is a piece of fabric I'd block printed on years ago. It was awfully muddy and drab, so like just about everything in my life that is white, cream or natural, it had a couple of dips in the indigo vat. To my eye, everything looks better after it's met indigo! I'm constantly amazed that no matter what I throw in the vat, it comes out looking better.
Just a few more stitches today with the aim of getting a nice big area laid out to begin decorative stitching. I'm still using the cotton core thread that I use when pole wrapping cloth for the shibori indigo vat as the stitching thread. It's a nice weight, and given it's a poly core under the cotton it's very strong. The cotton top layer of the thread takes the dye nicely. The pole wrapping creates interesting variations in color, all the way from clearest white to dark indigo blue.
I had a small scrap of upholstery fabric left from a client's project that worked perfectly with the thread I had leftover from my pole-wrapped shibori indigo dye vat. At this point I'm most stitching around the edges of the scraps, just to get them attached, then I'll come back through and add stitches to make sure there aren't any gaps and sags in the finished piece.