Natural Egg Dye for Easter

One of my most viewed posts on this Tweetle Dee blog is the natural egg dye post.  You know I love my natural dyes for fabric and thread, but to see the colors on eggs is soo pretty and soo easy, it is a must do for the week of Easter.  I mean, seriously those subtle greys, and greens could only come from nature.  

I wasn't so sure when I started chopping wilted cabbage and peeling onion skins, but it did work and and I love the colors and results.  They are so pretty!  The best part is they really are easy to dye. 

I first started with white eggs from the coop and the store and soft boiled them.  To soft boil, I add the eggs to a pot with cool water.  I heat the water up to boiling and then shut off the heat and cover the pot.  I let the eggs sit in the hot water for 10 minutes and then drain off the hot water and rinse with cool.  

Here is what I used for each color, and again all of these ingredients were what I had on hand.  You can get creative in mixing colors, adding leaves and flowers or all sorts of other things to decorate your eggs.  I wanted mine plain and as bright as possible.

Natural Easter Dyes

Yellow - 1/4 cup Turmeric powder,  4 cups water,  1/2 Teas. vinegar

Green - 1 bunch of fresh spinach (chopped), 4 cups of water, 1/2 Teas. vinegar

Tan - 1 cup instant coffee grounds, 4 cups of water

Purple  - Half a head of red cabbage chopped, 4 cups of water, 1/2 teas vinegar

Blue - 2 cups of frozen blueberries, 4 cups of water, 1/2 teas. vinegar

Orange - skins of 4 yellow onions, 4 cups of water and 1/2 teas vinegar

Red - 4 cups of red onion skins, 4 cups of water and a 1/2 teas of vinegar

In all of these dye baths, I added the ingredients for the color I wanted, heated it to boiling and let it simmer for 30 minutes.  Then I added the vinegar.  Let cool and added the eggs.  The color will vary depending on how ling you leave them in the solution.  I left mine in for five hours.  If I had left them in overnight...the colors would have been more intense.  

I hope this gives you a little encouragement to try dyeing your own eggs naturally.   You will love what you create and so will your littles.  Happy Easter and stay safe while staying home.  xoxo

Read more »

Orchard Star Barn Quilt

Of the 4,600 barn quilts we have painted at Tweetle Dee over the past five years by far our most loved is the Orchard Star.  It is an original design and is now in the shop for order with a pattern releasing soon.  Adapted from our beloved Harvest Star, this star has a deep Old Crow background and colors from our Prairie Paint collection. 

Each of the colors in this design were inspired by the fruits and colors of the orchard on my family's farm.  In the spring and summer, berries bursted with colors of reds, purples, and blues.  In summer, the golden to red apples would appear after the delicate pink and white blossoms disappeared. Soft yellows and peach toned colors are the colors of heavy plums that gave us sweet wine and jams all through the winter. The tall grasses were every shade of green and during apple picking season, their greens faded to tans and yellows as we knelt down to pick up fallen apples for cider. 

The grey pieces around the star were the slate stepping stone path that was laid around our favorite apple tree's base.  There was a thinking bench and stones that laid deep into the soft cool dirt, covered edges of moss pushed back the blades of grass.  These stones were the markers where our most loved pets were laid to rest.  The apple tree grew into a huge tree with a saddle that was perfect to climb into to dream and read during the long summer days.  

This tree was grafted, pruned, supported and loved.  On one of our trips to NY our youngest daughter came along and finding her great-grandmother's journals in the family library she went outside to read.  My cousin's and Aunt looked out the window toward the orchard and to amazement, she found our favorite apple tree and had climbed up in it to read those pages not knowing that same spot had been sat upon for generations.   I tip toed out the back door of the house and around to the orchard to get a picture of her reading in that moment.  It is one of my prized photographs and a testament to the peace felt in that orchard and this special tree.

The tree has now fallen to age and the wood was saved by my cousin.  We hope to make something special with that wood for all of us to keep a piece of it in our hearts.  The orchard between the farmhouse and the barn was where I first felt peace and looked to the stars to see there was more to our existence than where I stood.  

As with most of our original barn quilt and quilt designs there is a lot of thought and meaning that goes into the design and the choice of colors.  The Orchard Star has some of my most favorite Prairie Paint colors.  We are writing this pattern and gathering it into a kit for those of you who like to paint your own barn quilts.   

Designing is a gift.  Truly, to create something that comes from the heart and has it's symbols and significance.   The Orchard Star is my personal most loved barn quilt I've ever painted.  We've painted over 4,600 of them and this one is mine.

Read more »


Farmer's Wife Barn Quilt

One of my favorite designs I have ever made was the Farmer's Wife.  You all know how much I love the Farmer's Daughter and how much I relate to being a farmer's daughter, but I'm also a farmer's wife. I sat down with pencil and paper and graphed out a similar design to the Farmer's Daughter and fell in love with this simple pattern, The Farmer's Wife.

The cross bars represent the anchor that a woman is to those around her with the small color design in the center being her heart.   The points of the design are directed outward to represent the many ways we as women give and share.  

My life is richly blessed by the farmer's wives in my family tree.  Both of my parents came from farm families in upstate New York.  They were equals to their husbands in family life, farming and in business.  I was taught their stories and always saw women as strong and tender, creative and giving.  I am so thankful for their examples to me and my children.  I have raised six daughters of my own and though our little homestead on the mountain is far from the huge life on a large dairy or potato farm,  they were taught those same values and I am so proud of the women they are.  

The barn quilt design of the The Farmer's Wife will soon be available as a fabric quilt pattern.  For now, it is available for purchase In The Shop as a ready to hang barn quilt, a DIY barn quilt kit and as a pattern.  

I hope you enjoy this design and use it as a tribute to the women in your life.

Read more »


Sawtooth Star Barn Quilt

I love my stars!  I try to shoot for the star, look to the stars and paint & quilt stars every day, so it's no wonder that the pattern I made for my Mini Barn Quilt Block Sets has now gone big and bright.   The Sawtooth Star Barn Quilt is now in the Tweetle Dee Shop ready for pre-orders!  It comes in three framed sizes and can be painted in any of our gorgeous Prairie Paint Collection colors.

We also have full color, step by step paint guides available as a PDF download or a ready to ship pattern.  Also, here this week is the Eastern Star Barn Quilt pattern!  Many of you have been waiting for this striking pattern to come to the shop and it is here!

Read more »