Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Natural Jeans......................

I don't usually subscribe to these magazines, but I have a couple
of subscriptions so I can send the paper version to my 96 yr. old
mother, who doesn't have much entertainment but
watching television and reading magazines.

I thumbed through the issues and this one peeked my interest--
what?  someone is bringing  indigo back to farmers.  As a person who
worked as Education Curator on an Louisiana indigo plantation, this
article came to life for me.  
Indigo is different from all other natural dyes (apart from shellfish purple)in that it needs no mordant (a substance used to set dyes on fabrics); it is insoluble and is deposited on the fibers as microscopic particles without needing to form a chemical bond with them. The chemical properties of indigo dye remained baffling well into the 19th century. It was so mysterious and challenging to work with that, in many cultures, folklore arose around the dyeing process. In Bhutan, pregnant women were not allowed near the vat in case the unborn baby stole the blues, and women in Morocco believed the only way to deal with a particularly challenging vat was to start telling outrageous lies. All this trouble was worth the final result. Once dyed, indigo is so colorfast that it can last for centuries or even millennia.

The process from turning the leaf form into this powdery blue magical dye was laborious.
Slaves spent their time walking through the blue sludge every day turning their hands, feet and
every body part that touched the plant, blue.  Even today when you work with indigo,
you will come away with blue hands.  It is always like a magic act when you
use indigo vat to dye--
But, this is the only natural dye that will give you BLUE!
Here we have an industrious company bringing farmers together for
this venture.
They even sell their dyes to independent dyers like me.  
You like that pair of jeans you wear, then you can thank
an indigo vat!

Monday, January 16, 2017

How's Your Day Going?

Are you feeling blue?  Down in the dumps?  Stuck in a funk?
Could this be your Blue Monday? 

The holidays are over, New Year’s resolutions have been broken, and you can’t seem to shake your cold. Tired and overwhelmed, or just downright depressed? You're not alone. Blue Monday — typically the third Monday of the new year — is called the most depressing day on the calendar.
Started as part of a publicity campaign by Sky Travel, this notable date was first published in a press release by psychologist Dr. Cliff Arnall, who at the time worked at the Centre for Lifelong Learning, part of Cardiff University in Wales. Arnall devised a literal mathematical formula to arrive at the Blue Monday theory. It factors in weather, debt and time since Christmas, timing of New Year’s resolutions, low motivational levels, and the urgent feeling that you need to take action. It also reflects that Monday is regarded as the worst day of the week with many dreading the prospect of returning to work.
But the third Monday in January may be redeemed in some eyes. The Guardian calls Arnall's mathematical formula "arguably hokey." As The Guardian reports, "This dubious bit of math was used to give academic weight to a press release put out by Sky Travel to encourage people to cheer themselves up with a holiday."
How to combat the blues on Blue Monday? Arnall advises via the Daily Mail: people can "use the day as a springboard for a higher quality life. For example keeping Christmas spending to a strict budget next year will make you less depressed in the last week of January."

    Conversely, the happiest day of the year falls around midsummer. On the upside? There are some Blue Monday enthusiasts who believe it actually falls on the Monday of the last full week in January — which would mean we'd celebrate it next week. So now you have time to prepare.

    Sunday, January 15, 2017

    Yankee Diary

    Each month in 2017 you'll get a pieced or applique pattern for a Civil War reproduction sampler inspired by several patriotic quilts from the time.

    Barbara Brackman has been reading the diary of Caroline Cowles Richards who worked on many quilts in Canandaigua, New York, in the 1850s and '60s. She wrote about them in her diary, which also gives us insight into life for fortunate girls in the mid-19th century.

    We'll go to upstate New York for our time travel in a Yankee Diary. Sarah and Carrie begin the War in parallel fashion, a little bit spoiled, a little bit self-absorbed. Both matured under very different circumstances.
    the last Wednesday of January,
    which is January 25, 2017---to see the first block.

    Saturday, January 14, 2017

    More Spinning info

    Bobbin Boy's website has such insight into the world of spinning.  Maybe, you are a new spinner and just got a wheel for a gift or maybe you are experienced and need some assistance with your wheel's problems.  This is where you venture for any spinning information.  Check it out!
    Happy treadling!

    Friday, January 13, 2017


    Here we are--Friday, 13th of the month!!  How superstitious are you?

    If you are worried about what's in store this time, then you're not alone. Psychologists have even come up with a word for how you're feeling – paraskavedekatriaphobia, or fear of Friday the 13th.
    One option is to stay tucked up in bed all day to avoid any potential Friday the 13th bad luck that may come your way, or alternatively, you could ignore the superstitious chatter and embrace it. The number 13 has been considered unlucky for many years, even before Christ. The number 12 is historically considered the number of completeness, while its older cousin, 13, has been seen as an outlier.

    • There are 12 months of the year, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 hours of the clock, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 Apostles of Jesus, 12 Descendants of Muhammad Imams, among many incidences of the pattern historically.
    • In many Western countries tall buildings are missing the 13th floor. In China the fourth floor and in some cases all floors with the number four are left out of Chinese buildings.
    • Houses often do not have a number 13, and many hotels, including the Carlton in London, miss out a thirteenth floor.
    • It is considered very unlucky for thirteen people to dine together, and the first to rise will reach serious misfortune – a superstition upheld by US President Roosevelt. He also refused to travel on Friday the 13th.In Somerset, it is said that whoever turns a bed on a Friday turns ships at sea. In Cumbria, babies born on a Friday were laid on the family Bible.In some areas, calling a doctor for the first time on a Friday is a certain omen of death. Cutting hair and nails on a Friday is a certain path to misfortune, and many couples will refrain from marrying on a Friday.
    Dr Caroline Watt of the University of Edinburgh says that it is the belief in the Friday 13th superstition that could, in fact, prove the greatest risk to the average person: “If people believe in the superstition of Friday the 13th then they believe they are in greater danger on that day.
    "As a result they may be more anxious and distracted and this could lead to accidents. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
    “It is like telling someone they are cursed. If they believe they are then they will worry, their blood pressure will go up and they put themselves at risk.”

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

    Dresden Plate Is Where It's At.....................

    It seems that there are two (that I've found) Dresden Plate sew alongs
    this year--Bee In My Bonnet has put her 'spin' on this
    historic pattern.  Why was it so popular during the early 20th century, you may ask.

    "The popular name for this quilt, Dresden Plate, reflects the romance of the Victorian Era with its love of elaborate decoration on household items and d├ęcor. Dresden, Germany was a center of 19th century romanticism movement in art, one that included the fine decoration of porcelain. The plates were embellished with elaborate design using flowers, fruits and foliage. The beautiful plates would surely have been admired by women of the early 20th century."  
    Quilt Doodle Designs has added her touch to this pattern with what she calls
    'a mystery'.  Each month she'll have a different take on the center--

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017


    Bet you never thought that spider webs were useful to the human race!
    Well, guess again!  Some of these facts I already knew, but
    didn't know about painting on cobweb canvases--
    really interesting, huh?
    To us weavers, we think that the spider is the first true weaver of fabric.

     A spider web, spiderweb, spider's web, or cobweb (from the archaic word coppe, meaning "spider") is a device created by a spider out of proteinaceous spider silk extruded from its spinnerets, generally meant to catch its prey.

    Spider webs for humans

    Uses of spider webs

    Helpful spiders