Monthly Archives: March 2023

The mending continues (of course)

This is a close up of patches I added to my partner’s jeans. I must have had a rush of blood to the head during camellia season…

Here is the less romantic view… and now we return to camellia season, and making something I spent hours doing look more exciting than a pair of very much lived in jeans. Those little spots are tiny (on the outside) stitches keeping the patch in place on the inside. They are made with linen thread that will outlast the jeans.

But wait! There’s more! At this degree of remove, I’m a bit entranced by having wanted a lovely picture of these mends so much I took all of these!

Naturally, sock darning also continues. For my daughter in this case.

Naturally both socks needed mending. And all the original wool is long gone. So these mends are done with whatever seems likely to meet the basic requirements for fibre content and durability–and go close enough, with colour.

Here are the pair.

Here is a sock mend I did for myself. These are bamboo fibre socks. Bamboo fibre is not actually a great choice for the environment it turns out–but I have several pairs I received as gifts, or bought myself, before I understood their impact. Really, the idea that these things are individual choices rather than there being industry standards that prohibit pollution is absolute nonsense. *cough* It’s hard to find socks that I can actually wear with comfort these days, so I don’t want to let them go. I’ve darned them with sashiko thread, which is a sturdy, all-cotton option that is thicker than machine sewing thread–meaning I can darn a hole in this lifetime in a machine knit sock and wear it with comfort.

This is a pretty spectacular looking darn (with yarn I made my mother socks from)–but I can’t remember what I was mending here!

Looking at this image it looks like another pair of my daughter’s socks! This looks like the inside view… and perhaps that is enough mending for now?

…or perhaps there is never enough mending. Keep it up, team!


Filed under Natural dyeing

Making and mending for my granddaughter

If you have subscribed for a while, you will have noticed me being absent for over 6 months–thanks for sticking with subscribing! I’m looking back over the photos of that period and selecting some that might be of interest. Here is my little love (not so little really!) gardening in a jumper I knit her. I found almost all of this wool in a regional op shop and spent more on the last ball than on all the rest put together. I made two in different colours and they were favourites for a while, now surely outgrown. I think she is investigating worms in the garden here.

Here she is again in her gumboots, mixing up something special in a bucket. I’ve patched her leggings with a contrast stretch scrap fabric sewn in by hand around the edge of the patch and the turned-under edge of the garment. The circle was traced around something dependable, like a mug. It became clear she liked these all the better for the patch, which made my heart sing!

Here is one in a series of hats. I was away from the blog so long I stopped photographing projects in process, and sometimes took no photos at all! I promise that the sewing (etc) still happened! This hat was made from some beautiful Japanese quilting fabric (or maybe it is just quilt-weight?) with scrap cotton drill as the brim interfacing. I bartered the fabric from another participant at a workshop for something I’d made–she had found a stack of glorious fabrics at an op shop. This hat has had a lot of wear–happiness!


Filed under Natural dyeing

Quilting with scraps

Some years ago, I found that I was constantly creating long, vaguely triangular scraps. Perhaps I had figured out how to use square and rectangular scraps and that was all that remained! At some stage I happened on the idea of creating a kind of swirling log cabin block, foundation piecing it to stabilise grain running every which way.

An archaeological dig through the cupboards turned up 7 plant dyed blocks created in this way, with all kinds of tired old fabrics used as the foundation: worn out napkins and a threadbare dressing gown handed on by my mother-out-law stood out as most recognisable. I created 2 new blocks to make up 9 and set to work on creating sashing from all kinds of black fabrics from my stash. There are a lot of different black fabrics here, mostly cottons and all from stash. I have done this kind of crime against quilting enough times to know that I am OK with it!

I trimmed all the black offcuts and those from making all the blocks the same size and began on the back.

It’s a wild patchwork of all kinds of leaf dyed fabrics.

Then the batting. We made an inventory of the high cupboards. This resulted in some lovely manchester my Mum must have handed on going to a happy new home through Buy Nothing, a quilt I made in the 1990s going to my granddaughter, and the saddest of our woollen blankets being selected as batting.

Oops– mood lighting indoors at night strikes again.

I had some trouble getting it quilted flat but in the end I managed something I could live with. I am quietly confident that people who make really neat, accurately pieced and beautifully quilted quilts, do not do some of the things I do when constructing a quilt. But… I end up with something warm and I’ve had imperfect home made quilts on my bed for many years without feeling bad about their imperfections.

Next stop, binding (with strips of plant dyed fabrics), another great use for narrow strips or prints that are just not that scenic.

I gave this quilt to beloved friends who live in Denmark with the disclaimer that this was a big, heavy thing they might prefer not to take home.

They took one look at it and decided yes! They were prepared to wrestle it back to Denmark. And, that the side I thought of as “the back” was, from their perspective, “the front”. I’m so glad they like it!


Filed under Natural dyeing