A Sweet Smelling Project

A few days ago I posted a picture of a beaded heart on eco-printed and naturally dyed fabric on my other blog. It was the start of an idea. I have a fair bit of naturally dyed and eco-printed silk hanging around the house and wanted to come up with a way to use it. They are all little pieces that had been popped into the dye pot as experiments; a lot of the pieces are smaller than 6 inches by 10 inches which really limits what you can do with them. The idea of making lavender sachets came to me.

blog heart sachet 1

I have been researching deer resistant plants for our place on the coast recently, as the deer eat EVERYTHING. We are slowly reworking areas of the garden that resemble a secret garden and are trying to put in fairly robust plants. It seemed to make sense (or should that be scents! LOL!) to try making a project where I could potentially use the plant’s flowers if we decide to try growing lavender.

blog heart sachet 2

Of course I can never just make something simple. The fabric is dyed in cranberry and madder and eco-printed with onion skin. The sachet is then embellished with hand stitching and beading by hand. Of course I couldn’t resist a few beads on the ties either. The sachet is refillable rather than disposable, and is filled with a mix of flax seed and lavender. I am test driving it as we speak. A pretty and nice smelling addition to a closet, wardrobe or drawer.

blog heart sachet 3


knitting, dyeing, painting, stitching ….lots of “works in progress”

We have been having very cold weather. This morning when I woke up it was -42 C with windchill, I’d love to say this was abnormal, but this year we have seen a lot of -30 and -40 temperatures.The one good thing about brutally cold weather is you tend to spend a lot of time inside and this means time to work on projects.

This morning I decided to take inventory of the works in progress, and there are a lot.

start of a new painting

A new painting is up on the easel and just beginning to be roughed in. Another 16×20 canvas. It seems I went on a 16×20 buying spree so there will be a few paintings of this size in the near future before I get to work on larger ones again.

finished canvas - cabin trees #1

I did manage to finish a canvas last week. The prettier version of it can be viewed here.

fulling swatchesI am still experimenting with fulling swatches and seeing just how far they will shrink. Finally a good reason to do laundry!

dyed then knit - before

dyed then knit – before

dyed then knit - after

dyed then knit – after

The ones dyed first and then knit still have a way to go.

dyed then knit on a larger scaleI am also trying dyed and then knit on a larger scale. This piece is about 15.5 inches across. Kind of a wild color combination but the yarn was dyed with another project in mind. Who would have thought natural dyes could be so bold.  We’ll see what it is like when all is said and done. It is definitely not “conventional”. (Feel free to laugh!)

wool dyed in pomegranateOf course I ended up being short 50 feet of wool for the above test piece. At 1:30 this morning another 60 feet of yarn was popped into the dye pot and dyed in pomegranate. It is almost dry now so that I can finish the knitting today.

naturally dyed hand knit coffee sweatersMore coffee sweaters on the go. These are becoming a lot of fun to make.

dyed hand made buttonsI also have been experimenting with dyeing the hand-made buttons.

fish stitchingI am working on another fish piece. Again the fish are hand printed with natural dyes from a lino cut I made. I want to try a few different things that I didn’t try on the previous fish piece. Composition is a little different from the last one. I am planning for the beading and stitching to be quite different. I see continuing with the fish theme as a long-term possibility.

stitching - grain elevator

The final “work in progress” is the grain elevator. Another naturally dyed piece with beading and stitching. The tansy leaves in the piece are keeping me busy.

The next week or so should be mostly stitching and painting as I am almost flat out of the locally produced wool yarn which is now my go to for the knitted projects. Hopefully I will get an order put in today or tomorrow so that by the end of next week I will be back to the dye pots and knitting.

I also have a beaded project in mind, but I need to find my teeny tiny embroidery hoop first………it’s “somewhere”.


Photography, art, illustration, and fibre wearables & useables
by Debra Hunter

also online at: