Scroll Project Update: I Will be Hanging Them Soon!

The linen scrolls are finally finished! And all 14 of them will be hung in our gallery space in the common areas in the retirement place where I live. Here are some of them hanging ready to be rolled into a room to be quarantined for a week. I began with white linen fabrics that I brought back from India in February—just before the pandemic hit. Way back in March I began dyeing with onion skins from our kitchen’s chef and black walnut dye I made a year ago.

Here is the rest of the 14 in the collection. I began with 9 different fabrics with the idea they would be subtle variations in color when they came out of the dye pots together. One fabric turned out to be silk so in all the different dye baths it was always the lightest one. Usually silk dyes the best and linen the lightest but I used techniques for dyeing linen and the silk wasn’t happy. The Ellis and Boutrup book came to me just at the right time. It’s hard to believe that everything started out white sometimes.

Here is one of the scrolls. I almost always arranged the pieces in the center from light to the dark. Often I basted the swatches to a backing pad I made out of cotton. Then I attached that to the background fabric. To make the small pieces lie flat I used French knots to tack them down.

Since I have been in lockdown all this time, I could not get to my studio to find matching threads for the French knots and stitching. I used what I had, matching the value of the thread to the fabric. Colors of the same value blended in so well they were barely noticeable—just like the threads had matched. I had a lot of spools of thread of different values to work with.

7 thoughts on “Scroll Project Update: I Will be Hanging Them Soon!”

  1. Seeing your scrolls all together is amazing. As individual as they are, now as a collection they’re full of harmony! Thank you for showing them! You write that you used Black Walnut dye which you made a year ago. I’d love to know how you made it so you could preserve it for such a long time. Thank you!

    • I just boiled the black walnuts for the dye. I put it in jugs on my porch and some under the kitchen table. No preservatives at all. I’m glad you like them. I worried they were too subtle and hoped that being a a group would be good.

      • Thank you, I’ll try that! Maybe your scrolls look so great together because they ARE subtle. Still, their simplicity and focus on few features each, like minute differentiation of shades or textures, brings those individual characteristics out far better than if they contained more. I love them! (Perhaps because I love simplicity, yet find it difficult to simplify single items when ideas just keep popping up 😀 )

  2. These are so beautiful. Looking at them makes me feel peaceful. What amazing variety. It must have been so much fun to see your results.


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