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How to Grow Madder From Seed


Freshly germinated madder seedlings

This year I am growing dye plants for the first time. I have fallen in love with making hand dyed, machine pieced, hand quilted quilts with natural fibres and natural dyes. My first natural dye quilt was made with cotton calico and I created colours for it with plants I foraged around the city, including in my favourite woods. You can read more about that quilt here.

This year I am growing several different plants on my allotment with the goal of being able to make my own dyes. I am trying madder, weld, and woad, as well as indigo (indigofera tinctoria), safflower, coreopsis, marigolds, calendula, sulphur cosmos, and black hollyhocks. I’ll share how I get on with each of these as the season progresses.

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Allotment Crafts |

My Natural Dye Sawtooth Star Quilt is Finished


I finished my natural dye quilt at the weekend and took it to the woods for photographs. I’m so pleased with how it turned out and can’t wait to make another quilt with fabric I dye myself with plants. I have big plans for the coming year on the allotment, and plan to grow madder, woad, indigo, dyers chamomile, dyers coreopsis, black hollyhocks, and a few other things that can be used as dye plants. It’ll be really fun to have a wider range of dyes and colours than those I can find in the wild. I am particularly excited about having rich blues and greens, which are hard to create with wild plants.

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Crafts Sewing |