jude hill spirit cloth

Old House

Building Plans

In the scheme of things this pleases me very much, how much like drawing it has become.

Some old nine patch done Skitch Skatch style, maybe from Small Cloth class? Can't remember.  Another layer of sketch made it #5 in the Just Home series. I kind of like how this looks like an architectural drawing.

roof patch and then I dyed it.

I wanted to tone it down a bit

The forever soup

the old copper dyepo(e)t sat on the porch all winter.  Frozen most of the time.

What if?

So What If (?)  I  dye over the Sketch? Skye.

I think I might be finding a new path here.  And this OLD Home might become a series in itself.   First off it might be  important to say that  I patched before I asked that question. Because it was already there,  so it was more like What If (?) I dye over the  skatchwork? And also, that this dyepot always has a brew in it. So there was also What If (?) I revive the Dye Po(e)t?

Anyway, I am back to what if(?) .  I should talk. drawwithdye

I've added a dyeing overview page to the Methods Index as a place holder.   Stuff will be added there.


  1. love this conversation and always loved the “what iffing?” even if I wasn’t really participating. I think of thinking that way often and since I used to teach children, I loved asking them similar questions. You could just see their brains working…. I like to think we artists are good at keeping our brains working way into the aging process!

  2. Since moving, I have not been able to set up a dye studio at all. After hearing you this morning, I thought, what if? What if a dye pot can be simple, shapes can be small, I can dabble……perhaps also exploring the idea of what home is, now….

  3. Dakotah

    Your blog is the only one I follow on a regular basis. I tried others but didn’t care for some of the comments sometimes.
    I like your houses very much. I need to try a tin can again. I looove the stripes rubber bands leave on the fabric. ☮️💟🧚🏻‍♀️

  4. Diantha

    I think the What if question leads you to explore and think outside of the box. Considering…. The tin can dyeing sure worked out really well. The lines absolutely enhance the piece. Something I will be trying with tannin and rust in the future.

  5. What if… I guess I can see how this might disconcert someone brought up on “Don’t ask questions. Do as you’re told.” For me (probably everyone still with you), it is freeing to ask, although I’m not always sure what follows “what if…”

    For now my what iffing about dying will wait. Steeping in the back of my mind. I have a lovely rusted iron pot that I think would be interesting, but my biggest demon is trying to do too many things at once and I want to get beyond sketching and make some visible progress on the skitch skatching.

    • jude

      when I get to what-iffing, it never remains about one thing. today it was dye, tomorrow who knows? I think it is just a way to break process into smaller thoughts, no matter what you are working on.

  6. What if I draw back from my now too big projects that have become exhausting sapping creativity. Others are free to pick them up and continue. But I have learnt and collected so much (too much?) and probably have all I need to try less complicated ideas with new eyes. Going back to unfinished smaller ideas …… might be satisfying and will, I know, lead off down unexplored paths. I love these paths but will I know when to stop?

  7. Acey

    just trying to see if I’m invisible or what. before this I replied to what Deb Gorr said and got sent back to my own long neglected WP blog after I hit post comment.

    We got snow turned to rain later in the day. I found a wild honeybee queen around midnight in my basement. it seemed important you know this. Gave her water as she was I guess kind of hallucinating trying to drink the water condensation she could see on the other side of the plastic covers of my seed starting trays. I sprayed more on top for her and she drank up every drop. I don’t know where she went or how she can possibly survive. But in that moment, there she was.

    (am figuring somehow this will be something like all those george harrison anecdotes i told you for years without realizing how on point they’d always be for you…)

  8. cednie

    I was trying to maintain a long-term dyepot once, I forget what the bath was. Something simple. I left the pot on a chair in the bedroom and the man here threw his shorts into it in the dark. I’m still laughing, although he didn’t find it that funny… Maybe need to rethink how I keep that pot! I am grateful for every opportunity to ask “what if…” because it means my mind and my creativity are working. I am very excited by dyeing adventures and your little cloth looks fabulous.

  9. Laura

    While my son was a kid, he used to open conversations with “You ever wonder…?”. I loved it.

    What if? you wear your own hat, stay on your path, and just let the ones who complain about it just wander off?
    (I’m saying that with a smile.) If I knew how to send you a song, it would be SD Jr., singing “I’ve Gotta Be Me”!

  10. Sharon Koch

    what-iffing is one of the great joys of my life. love to start the day that way, with dyeing. pencil marks on cloth are fabulous. what if they were multi-colored marks? what if they bled after they were overdyed? oh, yeah…

      • perhaps it’s in the nature of the choice of material… graphite & charcoal enjoy the tooth of paper, diamond works best for drawing on glass, steel for silver, fire for wood, the needle is the perfect mark making tool for cloth and I do love how it can be undone!

        • jude

          There is such an interesting link between materials and technique. What interests me is the link to style and how we use those materials. And how new techniques might emerge though crossover.

  11. Marti

    What if…suppose that…wonder if… for me, all good ways to experiment, good ways to face what’s coming, good ways to go about creating, good ways to open discussions and communicate. So much of my journey of naturally dyeing cloth started and continues to start out with asking this question of possibilities…

    • Marti

      AND I wanted to add, that here in this new place, sweeping up the myriad of leaves from the high winds that we have been having, I plunked them them into my copper pot and of course, threw in some cloth. This morning, I’m making veggie soup so of course I added to my dye pot soup by throwing in some carrot tops and onion skins…what if they all come together to give me some unusual color combinations and what if they don’t, doesn’t matter because it is all about the what iffing journey!

  12. Jen NyBlom

    Personally, I LOVE when you challenge: to THINK, to IMAGINE, to TRY something new…whether a thought, a question, stitching, a way thru….

    And now I want to wrap everything around cans and plunge them in the dye pot!!!! Wheeeeeeeee!!

    (& WHY can’t people just be nice?! ugh.)

    • jude

      Who knows? I suppose I have engaged once or twice in talking behind people’s back. Maybe human nature.
      Still it’s always awful for find out.
      I always love your Wheeeeeeees.

      • Jen NyBlom

        Yah. Human nature ( we ALL have it) not always bad, sometimes: wonderful!
        Have a BEAUTIFUL Day!! <3 😀 XOXOX

  13. What if folks were just kind? What if folks just didn’t click on a free blog if it doesn’t work for them? What if questions weren’t asked, where would we be, where would Jeopardy be? Geez Jude, that experience sounds kinda off and I’m sorry it was hurtful to you. Humans. Sheesh.
    I love the lines in this. The dye pot gave it additional life! I am imagining a whole quilt of little houses like this one, all the same idea, no two alike 🙂 Shes a beauty this one. xo

  14. oooo looking forward to your dying page. I make ecodyed papers with the steam iron but have so far not managed to get things together for cloth (altho I do plan on trying cloth with the steam iron – cloth that won’t be washed – collage and book covers)

  15. janstevenson
  16. “What if …” is such a great way to get started … and to keep going

    and as I listened to this, I thought about how much I like rust on cloth, but how difficult it is to stitch through the resulting marks, which is why I’ve avoided it

    but now I’m reconsidering … even though there is a risk since rust is so unpredictable, what if applying rust becomes the last step in the process of creating cloth rather than the first?

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