Thursday, August 27, 2015

- More nuts than usual

A week of playing with our grandsons (1 and 3 years old) in St Louis and reading Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer was a wonderful blog and stitch-free interlude (although my fingers did itch from time to time).

I came home refreshed, restocked the fridge, and got back to brush and cactus whacking to work off some of my daughter's great home cooking ... which included my first (but not last) taste of Pozole from Blue Apron.

When I picked up our bundled mail, it included a package full of black walnuts from Grace at Windthread. Having never made walnut dye before, I consulted with Grace and Marti, watched a few videos on YouTube, then plunked half of the walnuts into a thrift store coffee pot with some water ...


and soon had an inky brew ...



This quill pen was my first attempt using one of the many turkey feathers gifted by our Rio Grande neighbors this summer ...

The ink got darker by the hour ...

Where would I be without how-to videos like this one?

I also restocked my supply of Nana's Nuts, a double entendre that I came up with as I shared my stash last week with 3 year old Jackson, sprinkling them over our granola and yogurt each morning ... 



Pistachios, almonds and cashews
coated with maple syrup, coconut oil, brown sugar, salt and vanilla
then oven roasted for two and a half hours at 225 degrees

Last, but not least, I tried out a new idea. While I was away, I read blog posts about two patchwork quilts in progress made by Jude Hill and Judy Martin's daughter. Inspired, I started making some paperless patches following Jude's method, but it just didn't make my heart sing as I ironed one small patch after another. Beside the near-scorching of my fingertips, I itched to break beyond squares.

After sleeping on my dilemma, I woke up with the idea to cut a long strip of paper, tear strips of linen to a width slightly larger, then finger press the edges over the paper ...



iron them down ...



remove the paper ...



then fold the edges on one end ...



and cut off individual patches to be basted ...



The result was a series of patches all the same width, but with variable lengths ...



I'll have to make quite a few more before I have enough to start piecing them together, but I must say I'm having a lot more fun! And yes, there are two different linens pictured above: tan and lichen-overdyed orange.

8 comments:

Dana said...

Nana may be nuts, but I don't see it. Clever is what I see. Good luck on the patch and dye work.

Liz Ackert said...

There was a time when I was a wee bit more frenetic than I now am ... I like to think of it as improving with age (although I do have a tendency to backslide). Stay tuned for some linen/walnut sampling ...

Mo Crow said...

good to see you back in Bloglandia!

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

as the walnuts sit, the liquid gets very syrupy over time. if kept covered well, it can
last all the way to next harvest. Just leave it where it can get heat from Sun.

and bless your heart for the little squares....

am glad you're back.....

Liz Ackert said...

Am soooo excited at how quickly the walnuts produced results!

As for heat from sun ... we've got plenty of that!

And little rectilinear things ... we'll see how it goes.

Liz Ackert said...

Equally good to be back!

Birgit Olann said...

Liz, so much to look and to learn from you (here your manner to fold the patches). My English is not good, but I am encouraged to learn too.

Liz Ackert said...

Ah, but the pictures on your blog speak volumes ... I love your most recent pictures of cochineal dyeing, which I have tried with locally gathered beetles (not successfully, but it was a lot of fun)