Today was my junior critique for my senior show. Basically, the professors want to make sure that we're figuring out a direction for our show and honing our skills. It's the only important thing in my life that I haven't been stressed about recently, and the lack of stress was definitely worth it. My two profs came in and jumped into informal discussion about my pieces and what quilting means to me. We basically laughed and talked about what I love for half an hour, talk about not intimidating.

Professor Samuelson had some poignant insight about my show and me and quilting. She said that I need to have three "things" for my show. One is quilting. Two is me. And three I still need to figure out. She explained that when she said "two is me," she meant that I bring my precision and planning and rigor to my quilting. I match the corners and align the angles to a perfection that demands the viewer to whip themselves into shape. No one has ever analyzed my quilting that way before, but I think it is very accurate. I guess I attack quilting just like I attack life. First of all, I attack it, and second, I whip it into shape. Good thing? Bad thing? Perhaps just very true...

Day One of Dyeing

Today I decided to tackle some dyeing. I was met with two obstacles. One, nothing is really growing outside right now, so there's not much to harvest for natural dyeing. Two, even if I did harvest something, it needs to soak for a couple of days. Therefore, no dyeing today. Unfazed my mom and I made a list of the various roots or trees in our yard that we might be able to harvest tomorrow and decided to start with something simpler today: yellow onions.

Following Maura Ambrose' directions over on Folk Fibers, we bought a bag of yellow onions, peeled them, and boiled the skins for half an hour. They need to soak for several days before adding the fabric, so we settled in to watch Brave and Merida's adventures with bows and tapestry needles. The neat thing about onion skins is that they are completely non-toxic, so I can boil them in any old pot from our kitchen without killing off family members. Plus, onions produce a color-fast and light-fast dye without something to set the color. All you have to do is use an aluminum pot. The aluminum from the pot leeches into the water and acts as a mordant itself. So handy. With my first dye project underway, I am already planning all the plants I want to grow in my garden next summer. This is just the beginning!