Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Art of Bark Cloth

I so have enjoyed my visits to the Denver Art Museum lately--not only for their fine art collections but for the textile exhibits that have been featured this summer.
This exhibit was fascinating to me!
There are textiles--even if you need to find them in tree bark!
Bark cloth is a versatile material that was once common in Asia, Africa, Indonesia, and the Pacific; mainly comes from mulberry or tapa tree.

Of course, we think of using bark cloth as floor or wall coverings

But, for many natives of the islands, it was used for their clothing items

What really got me was how lively the colors were

Design work was usually stamps or rubbings from carvings

intricate designs to look like lace

Tapa can be decorated by rubbing, stamping, stenciling, smoking (Fiji: "masi Kuvui") or dyeing. The patterns of Tongan, Samoan, and Fijian tapa usually form a grid of squares, each of which contains geometric patterns with repeated motifs such as fish and plants, for example four stylized leaves forming a diagonal cross. Traditional dyes are usually black and rust-brown, although other colours are known.
In former times the cloth was primarily used for clothing, but now cotton and other textiles have replaced it. The major problem with tapa clothing is that the tissue loses its strength when wet and falls apart

Nowadays tapa is often worn on formal occasions such as weddings. Another use is as a blanket at night or for room dividers. It is highly prized for its decorative value and is often found hung on the walls as decoration.
In Tonga a family is considered poor, no matter how much money they have, if they do not have any tapa in stock at home to donate at life events like marriages, funerals and so forth. If the tapa was donated to them by a chief or even the royal family, it is more valuable. It has been used in ceremonial masks in Papua New Guinea and the Cook Islands (Mangian masks). It was used to wrap sacred objects, e.g., "God staffs" in the Cook Islands
This is a copy of a carving that could be used for rubbings

"ele is one of the uses of color--check out the info

  Yes, we can find useful ways to achieve clothing from many different native plants and trees.

Monday, June 29, 2015


Just yesterday we were writing about HAPs and patterns by Gudrun Johnston.
Then I found these delightful hat patterns
that are being used for a HATALONG!
I'm loving Gudrun's patterns!
Fringe Association is where you can find this HAT ALONG and this delightful hat pattern.

I do believe I have some lovely blue in worsted weight that will be perfect!

Hermaness Worsted is the name
It's never to early or late to make a hat....................

Sunday, June 28, 2015


A Pattern popped up on my Ravelry page the other day when I was searching for shawl patterns.

HAP--what is a HAP?  Sounded interesting and required more investigative work on my part--

Shetland Trader blog was a good source of information about this Shetland knitted shawl.  The blog is authored by Gudrun Johnston and she has many HAP patterns to be found on Ravelry--just type in HAP and you'll find more than you bargained for!

 Years ago I took a lace spinning and knitting workshop with Margaret Stove-- guess I just wasn't in the right place to get the knack of all that lace stuff.  But, now, as I knit lace, It's all making sense to me.

I noticed that Gudrun uses cards to do her stripe sequences for her HAP knitting.
Ribbels wrapping technique

This is not much different than what weavers do to make their warps--so it seems to me that all crafts meet in the middle.  To the right is Karen I's wrappings for her next woven shawl.

Will you begin a HAP?  I think I will!
Below are several websites that you can browse for the history on HAPS--quite fascinating to me!


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Do You Inkle?

Do you have passion to inkle loom?
One of our WOW study group members, Karen, loves to inkle!
She made this lovely tote with inkle bands.

and this spool of tape for the gift basket for our state conference.
The other day as I was roaming the web--sure do find many interesting features out there in that wide world of information--I came across a blog about inkle weaving.
There is even a cool video and
some great ideas on how to use an inkle band.
check it out
I never thought there were so many uses of this small woven band.  Now, I wish I'd kept my inkle loom--oh, wait--it's most likely in the attic.............................

Friday, June 26, 2015

"Circle of The Sun" Crochet Mystery

I don't crochet often--but, darn, this looks like fun!  Plus, there is an opportunity to learn new techniques in the crochet world.
Lila Bjorn is creating this interesting mystery (and you know I love mysteries!) in overlay and granny squares crochet--
I'm familiar with granny squares but Overlay?? Not a clue!
But, take a look at her blog every Friday--
there will be videos, tutorials, even a Pinterest Board.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Blankets of Love:

This display at the Denver Art Museum is certainly eye catching!
What a super idea by Marie Watt who created Blanket Story: Confluence, Heirloom, and Tenth Mountain Division.  She was a resident in DAM's resident artist program for Native American Arts.
This collection of blankets is sponsored by family, friends, community.  Marie uses the blankets in her large scale exhibits.   

Looking up close you can see a variety of blankets, fabrics, textures, colors and

each has a tag to give the story of this blanket to give one a sense of the owners life.
A must see when you visit the DAM!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Revisit with Blue

I never gave colors a thought until I became interested in fiber arts, weaving, spinning and dyeing--especially natural dyeing.  I also took some painting classes--and then the history of colors came into my scope of being. 
 Woad was the first plant to be used for the color blue but the
  process of making blue with woad was particularly long and noxious- it involved soaking the leaves of the plant for from three days to a week in human urine, ideally urine from men who had been drinking a great deal of alcohol, which was said to improve the colour. The fabric was then soaked for a day in the urine, then put out in the sun, where as it dried it turned blue.
Then along came indigo and the whole world of BLUE has been changed!
In 1498, Vasco de Gama opened a trade route to import indigo from India to Europe. In India, the indigo leaves were soaked in water, fermented, pressed into cakes, dried into bricks, then carried to the ports London, Marseille, Genoa and Bruges. Later, in the 17th century, the British, Spanish and Dutch established indigo plantations in Jamaica, South Carolina, the Virgin Islands and South America, and began to import American indigo to Europe.
So, how did painters use this interesting natural color for their paintings?

A woad mill in Thuringia, in Germany, in 1752. The woad industry was already on its way to extinction, unable to compete with indigo blue.
While blue was an expensive and prestigious colour in European painting, it became a common colour for clothing during the Renaissance. The rise of the colour blue in fashion in the 12th and 13th centuries led to the creation of a thriving blue dye industry in several European cities, notably Amiens, Toulouse and Erfurt. They made a dye called pastel from woad, a plant common in Europe, which had been used to make blue dye by the Celts and German tribes. Blue became a colour worn by domestics and artisans, not just nobles. In 1570, when Pope Pius V listed the colours that could be used for ecclesiastical dress and for altar decoration, he excluded blue, because he considered it too common.[34]

The pastel industry was threatened in the 15th century by the arrival from India of new blue dye, indigo, made from a shrub widely grown in Asia. Indigo blue had the same chemical composition as woad, but it was more concentrated and produced a richer and more stable blue. In 1498, Vasco de Gama opened a trade route to import indigo from India to Europe. In India, the indigo leaves were soaked in water, fermented, pressed into cakes, dried into bricks, then carried to the ports London, Marseille, Genoa and Bruges. Later, in the 17th century, the British, Spanish and Dutch established indigo plantations in Jamaica, South Carolina, the Virgin Islands and South America, and began to import American indigo to Europe.
The countries with large and prosperous pastel industries tried to block the use of indigo. The German government outlawed the use of indigo in 1577,

Michelangelo couldn’t afford ultramarine. His painting The Entombment, the story goes, was left unfinished as the result of his failure to procure the prized pigment

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Back With The BH Gals!

Yeah, I'm back with the BH (Bonnie Hunter) Gals Gathering!  and it feels so good!  The group meets every two weeks at Wooden Spools, Denver, CO.  In the area, check out this unique shop--they buy your quality quilting fabric, thread, etc and resale it.  I find many bargains there.  They also have a complete selection of knitting and crocheting supplies, yarn and wonderful books.
The classroom is brightly lit and always, always a haven of eye candy--quilts that are featured in their workshops.  I really liked this one.

And another class upcoming on their schedule

The gals usually work on the same quilt pattern from Bonnie's books.  This time around they are working on Easy Sunday.

This is Judy's stash being worked up

one finished block--100 more to go!

Marsha is working with bright fabrics

Our fearless leader, Jessica, has some show and tell.
This would be a great baby quilt--hard to tell--but, the border fabric is
yellow tulips!

Here is another one of her creations--a gift for family

I'm working away on my quilt pieces--I chose to do Emery's Stars--a free BH pattern on her website.
I like doing my 1/2 square triangles with paper
I find the print outs at Quilting and Whatnot 

lots of cutting and then tearing of paper--which I do while I'm watching a movie or TV program
Stay tuned for the block placement

Monday, June 22, 2015

Being Creative

How are you creative?  When do you become creative?  Is there a space where you are creative?  A time?  A thought process that allows you to become creative?

Recently, I heard a musician say, "I'm most creative when I'm in the studio"--does that mean his 'Muse' only hits him when he is in the studio?  doesn't he have any other times to channel his 'muse'?  Then he said, "we were walking and discussing a topic and it hit me--let's go back to the studio and make music!"  So, his 'Muse' struck him outside the studio!  But, he was most creative when he returned to the studio.....................................I find this very interesting.

Then, the other day, I was visiting with a long arm quilter--she does free lance quilting--no pano for her!  She said, "some days I put on a quilt and I know immediately what design I should do" but "other days, I sit and sit--wondering what I should do"--Her "Muse" comes and goes. 

We had a lovely lady in our spinning group--sadly to say, she has gone to spinners heaven.  Her "Muse" hit her at the most important times--When we needed a skit for our conference!  We could always count on her "Muse" to appear and we would have the most brilliant skit--song, dance, actions, etc.  Her "Muse" was the greatest!   She would always say, "Let me bring in my "Muse" and there it was!

How creative can you be?  Do you have a "Muse" that suddenly appears and offers up the finest of thoughts?  Or maybe, not so fine but some that can be fine tuned to be worthwhile.

Let's open ourselves up to Our "Muse"......................................................When is your "Muse" time?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Patriot Sewing

I guess we should be thinking about sewing Patriot all year long--shouldn't we?  But, somehow, it only comes to my mind when we are close to a Patriotic celebration.  These two quilts popped up on my radar this week.   Both are free projects through Windham Fabrics.

 American Beauty by Leslie Sonkin
 Regal Eagle by Debby Kratovil

Debby Kratovil is the designer behind many excellent patterns. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

I Found Lost Books!

Recently, we decided to clear out our bookshelves--taking time to go through all the ones we had
took hours--did we read this one?  or that one?
Okay, we put those we think we have read in one pile, another pile for me, a stack for hubby, pile for brown headed daughter,
a box to donate to the library and books that can be posted on Paperback Swap
Amongst all those books, buried in the lowest shelf, this was found!
The Bobbsey Twins at the Seashore has no date on the inside cover--
I remember reading all these books when I was 12--oh so many years ago!
what fond memories this book brings back to life!

There was also this book way in the back of the bookshelf--
you can't imagine how many books we have
I love books about fiber related stories
and this is a good story

Oh, another one to re-read again for the enjoyment!

And this one--so beautiful illustrated with spinning, dyeing, weaving--
can't get any better!
We donated 100 books to the library; posted many on PBS, saved just as many as we
donated and posted, but these four books will remain on MY shelf in plain sight!

Friday, June 19, 2015

There's An App For That!

I'm playing!  Oh my how much fun this is!
I found an app (isn't there an app for anything and everything!!)
that layers photos over each other
needless to say I've been having fun with my photos.
Take this photo
I layer this one

over this one

And this one--I layer
this one over

this one

as you can see I'm having so much fun using my photos with this app

I don't know how I'll use this in the future, but there is always a means to my madness!

The app is Diana on I-phone & I-pad

I'm sure there must be a similar one on android systems.
Take a minute or in my case, an hour or two, and explore
your phone and the apps out there.