hand dyed

Knitting for Covid-19 Memorial Blanket Project

There hasn’t been a lot of meditation in any format for me lately. But I changed that a few days ago when I began to knit. A friend passed on information from the CBC regarding a couple of women who were beginning a very large scale project to honour all of the people who have dyed due to Covid-19. The Covid-19 Memorial Blanket Project was conceived by three knitters: Heather Breadner, Allison Day, and Amanda Sharpe. They took inspiration from the National AIDS Memorial Quilt which travelled around the world and a part of it became Canadian AIDS Memorial Quilt.

ball of yarn and knitting needles with a page of instruction from the Covid-19 Memorial Blanket project

All knitters and those that crochet are invited to participate in. Unfortunately, the number of squares they require number 9,193 to date. There will be more.

My husband is really the knitter in the family and he’s already made three blocks. My mother has contributed one as well. She knit hers in just a couple of afternoons. Oh, retirement – sigh!
I have only until November 2020 to get my square to them. They hope to have all of those collected made into a large blanket so it can start its tour across Canada.
But it’s expected that they will need to continue knitting and creating more blankets until necessary. So I recommend reading the information they have posted on their website and keep knitting even if seems November seems to be too soon.

Pillows and more headed for online shop!

I’ve been working on updating my online shop. Taking photographs that do justice to the beautiful nuanced colours of the hand dyed textiles is not easy. Many, many photos are taken to get one or two I really like.

5 hand dyed pillows on white bench and 2 textile paintings

Pillows, scarves, table runners, and a few more things are being photographed and in some cases rephotographed. I am letting these items go to new homes in order to make way for some new ideas, new colours and new fibres.

My newsletter subscribers will get the first option to log in and purchase all items in the online shop for 20% off and free shipping. Then I will open it up to everyone. So subscribe now!

back of a 4x6 cloth postcard with copyright symbol and Doris Lovadina-Lee

Salud! Sit back and enjoy all your savings! You will be happy when the holidays roll around and you’ve done your shopping.

Perfect summer jewellery! Get it Quick!

Don’t worry there will still be an amazing selection of Maria’s jewellery available, but not at this price. Maria’s star is rising and so are her prices. So, the prices in my shop will remain only until the end of the month! Along with a new lower shipping cost!

Pick one pair for yourself and another for a gift! Christmas is coming…
😁

Handmade pop-up and gratitude

My hand dyed scarves, housewares, pillows and photography are available in a pop-up at my day job. I am so fortunate to be able to share my love of dyeing, creating and crafting with my coworkers. 
corner of handmade pop-up ryerson university by doris lovadina-lee

Empty corner desk now filled with hand dyed gifts. Perfect time to pick up a unique handmade item for your mother, father, sister, brother, girl friend, boy friend, anyone you love!

green cotton gauze scarves, butterfly with hearts on aluminum, radiant light chakra photograph on metal by dorislovadinalee

Cotton, silk and cotton, cotton double gauze, cotton voile, cotton/rayon, and cotton lawn indigo scarves. Many fibres and many colours are available! One will suit you.

blank note cards with chakras and flowers on strathmore cards

A mix of quilted art postcards, light up postcard, and fine art greeting cards.

indoigo table runners, placemats, napkins hand dyed by doris lovadima-lee hostess gift canadian made

One of my co-workers persuaded (threatened) me to bring in the first few scarves I made after having taken an indigo dyeing workshop. She was the first to purchase two scarves from me. She encouraged me, rooted for me and supported me. I will be forever grateful for the friendship we have.

Thank you to all of you that have supported me by purchasing handmade!

Ice dyed shibori tops for Flora

Purple and pink are her favourite colours and mine too! so it wasn’t difficult selecting the dyes that I would use to create some special gifts for a little girl.

Ice dyed cotton top in purple hanging on black hanger back of child's ice dyed top by dorislovadinalee

The tops were white to begin and with some folding, ice and time they became colourful, fun and summery!
Racer back t-shirt shibori ice dyed with purple and fuchsia back of shibori hand dyed t-shirt using ice by doris

They will look great with the shorts and leggings in pink, blue and purple. For extra flair the blue leggings are sparkly! Just what every little girl wants!

ice dyed shibori cotton top on hanger by doris lovadina-lee back of ice dyed girls t-shirt in pink and blue

I can’t wait to see these on her. She will be the best dressed, most colourful child on the playground this summer!

Indigo studio!

Sunday

Since the snow is gone (yeah!), I began indigo dyeing. It was finally warm enough during the May long weekend to set up an indigo vat. I happily spent much of the weekend dipping: two tablecloths, a dozen or more napkins, cotton/rayon scarves, linen handkerchiefs, and quilting cotton. Not ready to throw out the indigo vat, I stored it under our deck. 

trestles with board holding indigo vat and equipment for hand dyeing fabrics

A couple of weeks went by before I could get back to dyeing. I pulled out the indigo vat on Sunday to see if it was still viable. I tested a piece of pfd cotton and was surprised to find the indigo vat still had some life left! So I set up a makeshift indigo studio in the laneway.

indigo vat with fabrics floating on top in toronto ontario canada

I experimented with some small pieces of wool suiting, pfd cotton, linen/rayon crinkle scarves, cotton voile and double gauze cotton. The last two are new scarves that I am excited to be adding to my shop.
white cotton prepared for dyeing fabric dipped in indigo on fence
This pfd cotton has been dipped a few times and the colour is deeper than I was expecting.

wool suiting dipped in indigo oxidizing on tree toronto canada
One of the wool suitings scrunched and dipped. I didn’t expect the indigo vat to be viable so I didn’t have my drying rack set up. Instead, I used the bushes in our laneway.indigo dyed wool rolled up and tied with string by doris lovadina-lee toronto dyer
Another wool suiting rolled and tied.

yellow wool suiting dip dyed in indigo hanging from clothes hanger on fence post toronto ontario canada
This pale yellow piece of wool has a few moth holes, but I love the yellow and blue together.

metal stand with two pieces of indigo dyed cloth hanging toronto ontario
My neighbour showed up with this rack that she was going to throw out. It is perfect to use for hanging up the indigo dyed pieces. It just needs a little duct tape and will be a good addition to my dyeing supplies.

white cotton indigo dyed fabric and yellow wool fabric dyed in indigo hanging from metal stand

Here are a few of the pieces I’ve dyed during the second round of indigo dyeing drying on my new rack!

Monday

On Sunday, I left a piece of pfd cotton and a nui shibori scarf in the indigo vat overnight. On Monday, I pulled out the scrunched up pfd cotton and was happy to see a rich blue colour. 

cotton fabric dyed with indigo draped on bush

I recently read about an experiment where the dyer left pieces of fabric in an indigo vat overnight and compared those pieces to fabric that had been repeatedly dipped in the indigo. There was no difference in the depth of colour between the two, suggesting that repeated dips in indigo are not needed to dye a fabric, just a longer time in the vat. I haven’t washed these out yet, so I know that the colour will be lighter. I am happy to have had more time experimenting with this fascinating process.

 

Shop KOKITO for snow dyed shibori scarves!

I spent a lovely day in Prince Edward County meeting Shelley of KOKITO. This is a charming shop on Main Street in the town of Bloomfield, Ontario where the owners, Shelley Durnin and Jennifer Hadenne curate a beautiful selection of Canadian made and designed items. 

 

lamps, hoodies, bags handmade in canada available in Kokito a shop in southern ontario

Bloomfield is a small town located in the centre of the County. The Main Street is lined with small shops, restaurants and galleries. Everything is within walking distance and the shore of Lake Ontario is close by.

scarves, blankets, pillows and cards on display in back of Kokito store, locally made artisan shopThe shop stocks a great selection and variety of products all made by local artisans. Shelley and Jennifer source all the wares they sell in the shop personally, so every member of the family can find something they love. Kokito’s motto is: “Canadian Design and Lakeside Living” and this certainly describes the aesthetic of the shop.  

Shelves with hand made canadian items in KOKITO shop, Bloomfield Ontario

KOKITO store in Bloomfield ontario gift shop

I am happy to share that Kokito will be carrying my snow dyed shibori scarves as well as indigo napkins and table runners. The stack of hand dyed pieces below will already be out on display in the shop. 

shibori scarves, hand dyed placemats, indigo table runner available at Kokito in Bloomfield ontario shop

Prince Edward County is an area of southern Ontario that I had not visited. It has been described by friends as a beautiful, peaceful, yet vibrant place. I can see why! I hope you have the opportunity to travel to Bloomfield and meander around this pretty little town. When you do, visit Kokito and shop the beautiful locally made artisanal products for yourself or to give as gifts. You won’t be disappointed! 

Snow dyed mandala

There is very little snow left on the ground here in Toronto. I wanted to do some more snow dyeing, so I quickly prepared a couple of pieces of pfd cotton before all the snow melted. I folded one of the pieces of cotton so it would result in a mandala shape. The other was folded into a triangular shape.

shibori folded fabric snow dyed blue green toronto doris lovadina-lee

The mandala that emerged is beautiful. I sprinkled the snow topped cotton with a couple of blue dyes and a bit of yellow. I am not a methodical, scientific dyer, so each dyeing session is an experiment.

green mandala snow dyed toronto canada doris lovadina-lee

circular hand dyed cotton fabric mandala design doris lee

The triangular folded cotton is similar in colour, so I could use it in conjunction with the mandala. I really like how the colours are most intense on one edge, fading to a softer more watercolour effect.

shibori hand dyed with snow cotton quilting cotton toronto ontario small batch for sale

Since there was still one tiny pocket of snow left in the yard, I pulled out the last few metres of pfd cotton from my stash. There was just enough snow to cover the two pieces of cotton. I used the same colours of dye in different proportions. The fabric was also arranged differently from the first batch.

snow dyed quilting cotton pfd arashi shibori doris lovadina-lee

The piece above is 1 1/2 metres long and the pattern that reminds me of agate. The photo below is a detail from the piece.

hand dyed with snow cotton pfd toronto artist doris lee nui shibori available to buy

The itajime shibori cotton piece below is from the same snow dyed batch. It is quite different in design and the pfd cotton has absorbed a little more of the yellow to create a beautiful turquoise and green.

itajime shibori snow dyed cotton fabric toronto dorislovadinalee for sale

 

snow dyed itajime shbiori pfd handdyed quiting cotton for sale

I expect that we will not be receiving sufficient snow fall now that we are heading into spring. I do have a couple of other options I am considering to continue ‘snow’ dyeing all year-long.  Now I just have to buy some more fabric to do just that! 

Liberating Linens!

I love fabric in all its forms, especially linen. With age and use, linen becomes soft and drapes beautifully. Linen is extremely durable, it is absorbent, strong, doesn’t abrade and is stronger when it is wet. Linen or flax has been used for clothing, bedding and other household uses for many thousands of years.

Vintage linen hand towel textiles with crocheted monogram Doris lovadina-lee found in Guelph Ontario Canada

Although linen has had a resurgence in popularity, it’s been primarily in the clothing industry. It makes me sad to see beautiful linen napkins, hand towels and tablecloths in thrift shops. Some have beautiful handwork – tatting, crochet, embroidery, cutwork. Someone has lovingly and painstakingly created these precious and useful items.

detail of crocheted edge linen towel Doris lovadina-lee

So, I recently liberated a few pieces of linen from a thrift store. The bureau scarf above has a few small holes but the crocheted monogram and the detail around the entire piece is still pristine.

Doris lovadina-lee vintage bureau scarf white linen with edging
This hand towel with the beautiful deep crochet edge is in excellent condition and just needs to be pressed.

vintage hand crochet textile edges on linen tea towel dorislovadnalee.com

The tatting on the linen hand towel below has a little damage on one end. If it can’t be repaired, I will probably dip it in indigo this spring and then use it in an art project. I could also remove the damaged end, hem the towel. It is just to beautiful to toss!

tatted edge tea towel vintage find Toronto Ontario Doris lee

The hand embroidered flower garland is made of a coarser linen. I’ve washed it a couple of times to remove some stains, but they are stubborn. I will probably cut this one up for a project I have in mind.

vintage textiles tea towel with garland flowers embroidered on edge Toronto doris lovadina-lee

The puppies are also stained but too cute! This too will be cut up into a project.

hand embroidery puppy dogs on yellow tea towel Doris loading-lee

Liberated Linens

Liberating linens is not a new endeavour for me. Whenever I find napkins, towels, table runners or any other linens, I can’t help but bring them home with me. But, I can’t keep them all! 

hand dyed vintage cocktail napkins doris lovadina-lee shop online

The cocktail napkins above are dyed a beautiful purple. The set of 6 would be a fun addition to your next tea party. They are embroidered with a small flower on the corner and hemmed with a beautiful scalloped edge.

vintage napkins hand dyed shibori green repurposed doris lovadina-lee online shop

Two shibori dyed green cocktail napkins. Best with a dry martini!

for sale Thrifted textiles cotton napkins green and blue shibori handdyed by doris lovadina-lee

This set of 2 cotton table napkins in blue and spring green are just perfect for a fun luncheon with your best friend.

doris lovadina-lee online shop blue shibori set of three vintage hand-dyed damask table napkins Toronto

Three elegant napkins are shibori dyed in blue. Enjoy take out in style!

Look for these napkins in my new online shop. If you have any ideas for my newly liberated linens, let me know.

Mid-century modern reupholstery project

Last summer on my way to an appointment, I spotted a mid-century modern two seat lounger on the curb. The upholstery was awful, but the lines of the piece were sleek and modern. When I reached my destination, I called my husband and asked him to look at the piece and to bring it home if he thought it was worthwhile salvaging it.

midcentury modern wooden sette teak doris lovadina-lee

When I arrived home it was sitting on our back deck. The upholstery fabric shouted 1970’s and called for shag carpet. The wood was in great condition, but only three strips of the webbing were not broken. Sitting on the piece was a very delicate matter!

mid-century moderntwo seater teak vintage sofa Toronto doris lovadina-lee

We purchased new webbing and easily fixed the seat. The wood was cleaned and waxed. The upholstery fabric absolutely needed to be changed! I decided that instead of four cushions I wanted to have two. That way I only needed to put in two zippers instead of four and two cushions would look more modern and streamlined.

doris lovadina-lee itajime shibori snow dyed handdyed canvas upholstery fabric

I had been hand dyeing fabrics and scarves and wanted to try dyeing larger pieces of fabric. I was certain I could create an interesting hand dyed piece to use for the cushions. I split the canvas into 2 pieces one for each cushion and cut off a long narrow strip that would be used on the sides. The piece above shows the two ends of the same long strip!

teak midcentury modern sofa snow dyed canvas upholstery toronto dorislovadinalee.com

I snow dyed the fabric and am so happy with the results. The cotton canvas was fan folded and then folded into a triangle. The result of the folding was a tall stack of fabric. I decided to rest the stack of fabric on the bottom of the plastic tub instead of having it suspended above the melted snow.

Danish teak 2 seater lounge chair itajime shibori snowdyed canvas upholstery doris lovadina

As you can see when looking at the photographs, there is a distinct difference in the fabric. The part of the canvas stack sitting in the melted snow absorbed more dye. In the photo above, the cushions show the portion of fabric resting above the melted snow. The design is sharper with more white visible.
hand dyed itajime shibori canvas upholstered mid-century modern two seat teak sofa doris lovadina-lee

In the photo above, the seat cushion shows the part of the cotton canvas that was eventually submerged when the snow melted. This created a softer less distinct pattern. In the photo below, it’s the back cushion fabric that was submerged.

danish style teak lounger snow dyed upholstery doris lovadina-lee

We will be placing this mid-century modern lounger outside on our deck when the weather turns warmer. This summer we will be sitting in style!

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