On the weekend, I finally stitched together the back for a quilt that has been in some kind of progress through most of the last year.
The blocks for the front are finished and I hope I have eco printed enough fabric for a border. A friend who was over on the weekend advised me about the sashing. So… now I need to get started on piecing the front together. Don’t hold your breath! Meanwhile, the saltbush seed I collected while we were on holidays is coming up and so are my vegetable seedlings, and I’m contemplating what to do with the home grown indigo and when I should do it!
Tag Archives: E Kingsmillii
I have been so inspired by other dyers’ work with naturally dyed embroidery thread that I decided a while back that perhaps I could include some silk thread in my many dye pots. I dyed a large quantity of wool in small batches over the last few months, so there have been quite a few opportunities. Really, I had friends who like to embroider in mind at the time. I thought I could gift them my little lengths of dyed thread. However, a vast new plan has sprung into my mind. I dug out the embroidery hoop I brought home from an op shop years back, but have never used. It helps enormously but also makes embroidery rather louder than I had anticipated, as if the fabric were a drumhead! I did not expect to find embroidery so thrilling, or so noisy.
This new project has had me out and about in the neighbourhood visiting species of eucalypt I use less. There have been some surprises. The two spindly E Websterianas with their minnirichi bark and their heart-shaped leaves are gone! They were not thriving in that location just a few blocks away, I admit. But I am sorry to have lost them (let alone that someone probably took all that leafage to the dump).
Another day I went to two different E Scoparias, walking further to get to the one which dependably hangs low when I couldn’t reach the leaves of the closest. Gone was the lush straggly undergrowth that used to surround it, and gone was the low hanging branch. I am not sure whom it had offended.
At least the tree is still there, snuggled up to an equally large carob tree. Since major infrastructure came to my neighbourhood and trucks became a constant form of traffic through streets large, medium and small, the low hanging branches of many of my favourite trees have been removed. Apparently no one was considering the suburban gleaner at the time…
On a subsequent trip, I discovered that the largest, most luxurious E Scoparia in my neighbourhood, whose tree hating neighbour had me worried when I was collecting bark, has been pruned with a chain saw so that no longer do its lovely leaves hang anywhere I will be able to reach them without a ladder. Luckily, the bark will fall where I can reach it, and the tree is still there despite having such a determined human enemy.
I have been planning some bundles for quite some time. And, quite frankly, wanting to wear these woolies and not prepared to do that until they are dyed, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Finally, the time came! Naturally, it came after the sun went down, and hence the quality of this picture.
The leaves were collected on a rainy day’s outing when we happened to be passing some trees I know of. My companions were prepared to stop and humour me. They stayed in the car and I studiously ignored passersby while harvesting. This one is E Calycogona Calycogona. Front:
E Kingsmillii Alatissima: Front
And a particularly lovely detail:
I think it would have been better if these bundles spent longer in the pot and my sense of design was better… but I am nevertheless happy. Just between you & me, I like heading out into the world with secret leaves twining up (or down) my body. Secret, since these are layers which I don’t usually wear on the outside. It’s a quiet comfort, especially given the extra warmth of the wool.
Perhaps the tree doesn’t seem obviously wonderful. The buds are truly glorious!
And so are the flowers and the fruits. It turned out I was photographing this tree outside the Botanical Gardens centre for plant diversity. My eucalypt admiration was shared with a woman who came by and offered me more information, so I told her about this beauty being a dye plant. It isn’t every day you get this kind of fun on your way to a conference!
And… for me this is a happy result, pulled from the copper at the Guild as a test during our workshop. I am so prejudiced in the matter of red. I just love it…