Passage of time ::: India Flint on Lopez Island : part two


[ click HERE to read part one ]

Breakfast bundles the second morning ... looking as tasty as blueberry, cinnamon,
and maple-covered scones, no?  Worth getting up for
and better than Christmas
in my books.

Purple carrots made for a colorful line.  So much diversity from one humble vegetable.
These heirlooms were a group growing effort by the Lopez gals so the harvest was plentiful ...
the color diversity from the dye baths, out of this world.

They look innocent enough.  Ha.

Brazen floozies.

As we settled into stitching our squares together, I began to experiment
with different types of thread; length of stitch, 2-ply vs. 4-ply, silk
compared to cotton, 1-ply silk like gossamer, oh my ...

When we hung our nine-patches in the loafing shed
- the sheltered overhang area next to the barn -
it was like standing inside a stained glass cathedral.
This may sound a bit dramatic but with the backlighting
the effect was quite close to ethereal.
Our cloths moved with the breeze ~
seams, stitch marks, overlaps,
everything revealed.

Still, we were nowhere near close to done.
India had one more surprise up her sleeve [in her pockets?] ...

Behind us on a table lay this pieced beauty - an example of things to come.
Look closely.
Think scissors.
Think chop, chop, chop.

[enter expletives]

Brave souls,
we marched.

Back in the workroom with tasks at hand, all did not go as planned ...
we sewed upside down, dropped our favorite needles, jostled over the ironing board,
blew the circuit breaker, spilled our coffee, got tipsy on chocolate
and in the end
the whole room seemed to come down with   one giant case of the sillies.

And then,
and we dissolved into uproarious laughter. 

When ones only mode of transportation is a pair of crutches,
improvise  and carry your cloth on your head ...
that's using the ole noodle, S!

My own cloth began to come together & I grew fonder of my mark [there
on the purple silk].  They were laborious to stitch, one mark needed for each
of the nine squares.  I am NOT a fast stitcher, but in the end
I was grateful to have them ["That one's mine!"  "No, it's mine!" etc.].
The thread I used took the dye beautifully
and has a lovely sheen.

Poppy, this picture is for you ~
here's to "rustic running stitches."

Home now.

As I continue with stitching, I remember more teachings & inspiration;
the different ways water quality can effect color -
well water compared to rainwater,  vs. treated from the tap;
how post-mordanting with common scrap metals
like an iron or copper bath [try old pennies]
can enhance marks and deepen - or "sadden" - color;
how poetry, music, long walks in quiet,
and the ability to just go on no matter the odds,
these all bring meaning to art ... to life ... to the cloth.

"We don't stop playing because we grow old;
we grow old because we stop playing."

~ George Bernard Shaw ~

When someone offers a very special gift,
one that might unleash hours of wild abandon,
one that might propel you through abundant fields never before crossed,
or lead to the most exhilarating of discoveries,
right there, on your own patch of earth ...
there's really only one thing to do.

Thank you, India, for sharing your life's work with us.


  1. OMG Christi, these are some of the best eco dyes I've seen! What made that glorious turquoise blue color? Truly awesome.

    1. Hi Connie ~ I believe those bundles were wrapped around pieces of copper. They are wet in those photos so the hue was a bit more tame as it dried down.

  2. such beautiful results. sounds like it was a beautiful and grand experience.

  3. The gift of wonder and beauty all wrapped up in a bundle of cloth using gleanings of magnificent color . Add to that the laughter and sharing of community, guided by the knowledge and vision of India, and you have a recipe not only for amazing cloth but simply for JOY in the doing...quite the terrific experience.

  4. Oh siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh Christi, thank you so much for these wonderful photos.
    I was "there" in my mind, since I knew three "known" ladies were sharing
    this great workshop experiance with India. It has been a very special time
    for all of you out there !
    THANKS !

  5. it was a very special time for me too
    in countless ways
    i found another place that feels like home

  6. Oh myyyyyy lordy! I can't remember when I enjoyed a blog post as much as I've loved this one...... and purple carrots! who knew!

  7. So much fun to be had! I must run out and get some of those carrots right away!

  8. oh my goodness how I love this post - exhilarating - divine play indeed!

  9. What a fabulous post, such wonderful colours, I'd better get some purple carrots.

  10. yes. very yes. that photo of india, #7, is a gem. must try to grow some heirloom carrots for food (and color).

  11. Oh dear, now she will be expecting me to grow purple carrots!!!!
    I am envious of the wonderful time you all had and congratulate you all on the magical results.

    1. Dear Arija ~ they are very pretty on a plate, too.

  12. Purple carrots, unbelievable. Love the nine patches and all the photgraphs which tell such a delightful story. Some day I hope to participate in an India Flint workshop.

  13. What a lovely picture you've conjured up in my mind with your words and images. Thanks

  14. What a fantastic post, it brought back fond memories of my time with India at a course in August in England in the heart of the Stroud valleys. What wonderful colours you have achieved I must see if purple carrots will grow here.
    Sewing the cloths together and then cutting them up again was the most alarming part of the course but I am so glad that I did, I love my final piece and I'm still experimenting.

  15. Fabulous post!! I felt like I was right there - only thing missing the sound effects of the quiet chatter of women, the laughter and giggles and groans (when it didn't work as planned). Wonderful, wonderful inspiration.

  16. Wow! thank you for sharing with such great photos and word pictures.

  17. Wonderful, Gorgeous, Outstanding, Lust-worthy, and some of the best photos of our dear India ever. xoxoxoC

  18. such a beautiful post
    the bundles
    the garden, the building and people
    the stitching and cloth
    life as it should be!

  19. Inspirational! Genius women's work.

  20. Oh, sigh and sigh again! We did have such fun playing.
    xxoo, sus

    1. I may not stop sighing for a while myself, Sus ...

  21. the colors and prints are absolutely delicious! wish i'd been there. i was wondering if you scrub and mordent the silk before you dyed it.

    1. Hi Carolyne ~ no, I don't bother (other gals in our group prefer to do so, however). Since I work with secondhand clothing & linens primarily, they have usually been laundered multiple times as it is.

  22. Gosh, folks ... am a bit overwhelmed with all your responses here, thank you, thank you. I've the distinct feeling that we may be seeing an explosion of purple carrot experiments here on the internet if these comments are any indication ;>]]

    To those who have expressed interest, may I nudge you: do go the *extra mile* and do whatever it takes to give yourself the opportunity to study with India. There is a plethora of misinformation & misdirected intent about "natural dyeing" traveling the interpixies these days, yet India sets all those turned-on-their-ear notions to right.

    Thanks again for all your visits here & for taking the time to leave such kind words.

  23. what a gorgeous glorious time!

  24. What an amazing experience this must have been and so beautifully captured in your photos. Thank you for sharing all this.

  25. What a magical time you all shared. I can read it in your descriptions and see it clearly in your photos. Wow! Those blues are unlike anything I've seen. Purple carrots. What a find? Thanks for sharing!

  26. Although you are always full of wonder and courage, this workshop experience seems to have been a a catalyst for even more play, even more experimenting, and an even greater spiritual connection to your work. It makes me feel deeply happy to know that for you, India and her workshop on Lopez are a beautiful and lasting gift!

  27. Looks like so much fun. What beautiful results, and to experience all of this in person with India is really wonderful.

  28. i was re reading this again as it makes me happy to look at all of the luscious dyed pieces and was curious as to what you did with those scissors after you had stitched the nine pieces together.

  29. What a beautiful place and space and India working her magic. Perfect!

    1. oh indeed ... one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life, Bryan.
      Seeing firsthand India's affinity with botanicals, cloth, and *time* has changed me forever. And what can you ever possibly say to any teacher who has given you that?

      So very pleased to have you visit my blog.