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Hi, Primmies... I stitch reproduction antique samplers and dolls. I also have lots of great artists and their sites featured as well as tutorials and some recipes for you to enjoy. Eventually we will have our own items for sale. Until then I hope you will enjoy the content, please leave a comment on any post you wish to.

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January 14, 2012

We Dyed Last Night

Hi, Primmies -

I received my order of 25ct. linen and threads for the
Polly Daggett sampler. Here is a photo of it stitched:

Photograph copyright Allen D. Bragdon Publishers, Inc.

This is my scan of a picture from the book of the stitched sampler. The colors in this picture are much lighter than the actual colors used by Polly. I am using DMC floss
because the colors are a truer match to the colors used by
Polly, who stitched with silk. With the exception of one or
two samplers in the book, the floss used is DMC. Two
strands of DMC are the thickness of one strand of silk. It
will be stitched over two threads with a few exceptions
where I will use three or four threads and leave a stray
thread hanging here and there as Polly did. All of her
"mistakes" are charted as in the original which is going to
make this an authentic reproduction. Tomorrow I will
give you some of Polly's background and where she lived
when she stitched her sampler, and what was going on
in the colonies during her time. Today I'm going to show
you how I prepared the linen to "age" it to match the
antique original at the Dukes County Historical Society in Martha's Vineyard, Edgartown,Massachusetts.
I used Tea #1 dye recipe from the historic samplers
book. I was supposed to use Coffee #2 recipe but it called
for the coffee to stand for four weeks and I don't have time
to wait for that. I have to get stitching! So I improvised:
Boil enough water in your kettle to half fill a large pan or
pot. Use 5 or 6 bags of any breakfast tea and allow the tea
to steep about 10 minutes
While the tea steeps wet the linen in plain water if you prefer the dye to be fairly even. If you want the dye to
take unevenly put the dry linen in the dye pot, the
uneven color that some antique samplers have

Biggie wanted to supervise this stage of wetting the linen.
This is the cat that has to drink running water from the
faucet, not the bowl. He likes the shower, too. At this point he was bored...

Squeezed out the tea bags and into the dye bath it goes
Leave the linen in the dye pot for ten minutes and then I
checked the color, trying to match the color of the original.
(Tea dyed linen is supposed to dry one shade lighter than
when wet) I like the color, I think it will be a good match to the original when dry. The next step sets the color so it will
be colorfast in case you want to wash it when you are done
add one teaspoon of alum. I had some in the spice cupboard
from when Mom used to put up crock pickles. It's in the spice aisle at the grocery store
Mr. Glen Oaks wanted to be in on this so he added the alum and stirred it into the dye bath with the fabric still in there.
Stir it up well and you can leave the linen in the dye bath for another ten minutes if you need to for a correct color match. The mister didn't think it was quite dark enough the 
first time so we went with the extra time
We decide that this is a close match so I'm drying the linen.

I rolled it up in a towel because for this sampler I don't want wrinkles and uneven color lines. Remember, I'm trying to match the original.
Save your tea dye bath because if you decide the linen should 
be darker you can dye it again but you need to add
another teaspoon of alum to the dye bath each time you
re-soak the linen.
. Tomorrow the fun starts!


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