Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Concord Grape Juice and Dye

Concord Grape Abundance 2022

        Concord Grapes in the Steam Juicer basket.

Friends were given sixty pounds of organically grown Concord grapes! Yes, this is our season of abundance, and I am thankful for it. My friends knew immediately that this was much more grapes than they could handle.  Being very framily minded, they reached out, contacts were made to share in this bounty; and I was one to receive some of this berry goodness! 

Growing up my favorite jelly was Concord because that is what my mother mostly served. After a little happy dance, I consider what to do with this unexpected gift?

First thought was jelly with that quickly turning to  juice being the best option because with juice, I can drink it, turn some into jelly, or even wine. 

So what do Concord grapes have to do with fiber art? You may already know. It is because of all the dark pigments in this grape's skin. The red and purple pigments in the Concord grape skin are nutrient rich and also make a fabric dye.

This is the juice fresh from the steam juicer before placing it onto the steam canner tray.

Beginning with the discards from the juice, a mixture of stems, unripe green grapes and ones unsuitable, I steam juiced the lot of it and had about a quart of dye juice.  Since I was experimenting with mordants, I added one tablespoon of Citric Acid, stirred to dissolve, then placed in different types of white fabrics, being sure to submerge them all. Of course, the first into the dye bath is the first to begin absorbing the pigments. 


As an afterthought, I decided to toss in a piece of old orange cotton sheet with the Itajime clamp technique. This lot of fabric was simmered for about twenty minutes before removing the pan from the heat and leaving it overnight to improve (I hoped) pigment absorption. I was a little concerned that being in the container overnight would destroy the Itajime design, but I was happily wrong. Something I find after a half century (no kidding) of upcycling, that often washed fabrics readily take in pigments.

Look at that color!  How to hold onto that?  The fabrics were simmered gently for only twenty minutes before removing from heat.  I left the fabric to cool overnight in the dye bath, dried it, ironed it then let it rest a few hours before I washed the fabric in cold water using a mild detergent before a final rinse in cold water. 

I experimented with different rinses on the Concord Grape fabrics


I experimented with a white vinegar rinse, citric acid rinse, a baking soda rinse, and a dish detergent only soap rinse, testing both cold and hot water; to see what were some possibilities within the range of color. Baking soda modified color toward blue to purple gray. I achieved retention of the most grape color with the cold soap water rinse. I usually explore sea salt and will get to that another time.

           If a fabric received a mordant it was Citric Acid.

Here are my beautiful fabrics!  The range of colors comes from using a mixture of mordants on cotton, cotton knit, cotton velveteen and the cotton over dye upcycle on orange.  One orange piece, after testing it with everything, became nearly a purpley brown.

As botanical dyers, you realize that water, being different from location to location, may create different results; so, use my experiments only as a reference point to your own leap toward your own concrete understandings. I suggest that when using tap water for my plants, or botanical dye, that you set the water out for at least an hour or more before using.

Go get some Concord or dark pigmented grapes and have fun and enjoy a food and fiber color adventure!

Many satisfying sewing and fiber adventures to you.


Tuesday, March 9, 2021

63 SUFFRAGIST OF COLOR Quilt in the Grunwald Gallery

Empowering the Women’s Vote and 63 Suffragists of Color

Tuesday, February 09, 2021, 12:00 PM – Friday, March 12, 2021, 4:00 PM







I hope that you are doing well and continue so.  It has taken a while to get back here.  So, begin again.

Wow!  If ever there was a time to work together as a nation, it is now! 

There will never be getting back to usual due to Chronavirus and the National insurrection!

Wow!  Past events caused me to shudder in sadness.  That such a mob insurrection could be allowed to occur by one who was supposed to cherish and protect our government.   

That some called "legislators for the people" continue misuse of power with actions to disenfranchasize citizen voting rights. 

Even as a few damaged threads and hearts unravelled in such a sad way; we the people still shout a great yes toward seeking a just and working democracy; in seeing ourselves as something kinder, more loving, inclusive with a willingness to work together as beings upon this planet. 

The work of coming together will try us in deep ways.  With individual willingness to open and grow then with our collective strength, commitment, love, justice, respect and kindness we can direct our own threads toward hope and loving possibility.  With our working together we can heal from a disparate past. Though deeply hurt and recently further frayed, our rope of many fibers holds strong.  May we choose to work from a place of love; choose to work for a sustainable, regenerative beloved community while we have the opportunity.

I hope that all will be creatively awesome in your own way; embrace love, kindness, generosity, compassion, equality and justice.  Be willing to explore the woven, stitched, colored, detailed, fermented, kneaded, penned, printed, carved or pleated on this  journey of recovery before us. And may we be moved by a most loving spirit, and live our awesome selves.



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Sunday, December 6, 2020

63 Suffragist of Color


63 Suffragist of Color by Patricia C. Coleman

I’m sure that you have heard it said by others for any number of reasons that a project took them places never imagined.

It was doing a random web search on quilting I came across the Bloomington Quilters Guild’s posting about a suffrage quilt exhibit call. My interest was sparked and immediately began considering ideas which led to a bit of reflecting back to my youth visiting the Frederick Douglass museum with my identical twin brothers as a safe place for us to explore. I knew immediately that I wanted to create something that would bring greater awareness of suffragist of color. I wanted to feature Indiana people.

When I say the exhibit call, I was just at the beginning design stage for two lap sized quilts. I really wondered if I had time to add on another quilt project. I decided to make a quilt but it couldn’t get in the way of me compleating the two in process. As I worked on the animal and dinosaur quilts I dove in to researching suffragist.. I spent many hours each day seeking suffragist. As the lap quilts progressed, I began focusing on a decision to use a fabric tessellation pleating as my foundation surface for images. Why? I love fabric tessellations and may put some sort of pleat into future quilts.. As the animal quilt and dinosaur quilt came to completion, it was necessary for me to decide which surface or face of the pleated tesselation I would applque upon. Every tessellation has two distinct surface designs. I pleated a few samples while determining my approach to pleating my fabric.  I finally decided on this pleating.  I plan to auction off a few of the samples made during my process of choosing.  Look for any auction posted to my Instagram.

This being the anniversary year of women gaining the right to vote, I found an abundance of web resources ranging from historical blogs to state blogs offering information on suffragist, including the fact that women of color did not receive the right to vote at the time the amendment passed.

Searching for suffragists of color, I began in Indiana where I learned quickly that this would be challenging because Indiana passed prohibitive legislation regarding african/black persons prohibiting them from moving into Indiana and requiring substantial sums of money from those blacks choosing to remain.

For many hours over many months, I searched out images for suffragist of color; Black, Native American, Asian, Hispanic. Through all of this research, I imagined that I would have 54 Women Suffragists of Color selected for my quilt, in the end I celebrate 63 of the many women who have worked for voter rights.

I missed the deadline for the quilt call. I decided to complete the quilt. Im very pleased to say that the Grunwald Gallery of IU’s Eskanazi Museum has invited the quilt to feature in an exhibit from February 9th to March 12th, 2021.


I am considering an ebook.  Time will see what happens.

May we take care of ourselves and one another during this great transformative time.  May all voices for peace, justice, love and equality be heard, appreciated and respected.  We are all here together and I believe that together we can stand strong as a human species.  


Much love to all, may we hold love and light before us,


Monday, January 27, 2020

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

 Gathering of Crows Celebration C

Greetings in 2020!

I imagine that your lives are as full and layered as most of the people I know, even if we don’t yet have our jet packs! 

Yes! I am excited to live into this year and hope it really is 2020 clarity for me and you!

We do live in amazing times, and I am happy that the natural world is a large part of that even if I recently learned of the removal of nature words from the Oxford Children’s Dictionary (a few years past)! Among the many words removed were dandelion, hazelnut, spinach, poplar, otter, raven and doe. I hope that they find their way back into future children’s dictionaries.

I am fortunate to be living among the trees, and for the really fine heart friends, family, and connections that accompany me on this journey. 

Gratitude always, and love!


I am really pleased to share my designs through my studio on Spoonflower!  There you can choose from my developing collection of designs based on my artwork. Many of you know that I have been exploring suface design of fabric since the late 1970's!  I am amazed at how much time has past and the arts and artist I have met,  and now after so many years, I am really applying some of my college learned design skills! 

Folded Abstract B is from a folded painting and now on Spoonflower
available as finished products, pillows, table cloths, wallpapers,
 bedding and other items.  I love the quality and feel of the petal
Signature Cotton fabric I have printed on so far.  I am eager
to explore some of the other fabric choices, but first
 to create something with my new beauties!

I am (as usual) excitedly developing my design collections to enjoy and be enjoyed!

This is a broader look at where things are with me and quilterscomfort.
1. Teas are available on the menu at the Runcible Spoon.
2. Wholesale for teas and L.A.O. Seasonings is available.  Nightshade Free!
3. Fabric Design in quilterscomfort Design Studio!
4. Turtle Dome progresses – the septic system is now installed.
5. Hart Rock still exist at https://quilterscomfort.com/hartrock.htm
6. I have been on Instagram for about a year as:

Quilter’s Comfort Blog will turn toward fabric design, pleating, and quiltmaking projects.

If you have a professional interest in design for clothing, interior design, fiber arts or quilting, etc., please check out my fabrics! Licensing is available. Custom design projects may be considered.

Local Food Bloomington will continue to turn its focus toward the home table, food security resources, and all changes to the website will be reflective of that.

The domain name Indiana Holistic Health Network is for sale.

May our individual and collective thoughts, words and actions reflect loving, connecting energy patterns into our world.

Thank you for sharing the journey,


Saturday, June 1, 2019

Mango Tart Fruit Flight

Here is the recipe for Mango Tart Fruit Flight Jam I posted recently to @localfoodbloomington on Instagram.  The picture above shows the jam on French Toast made using one of the Ezekial Breads, local eggs and half and half (I was out of my usual Almond or Coconut milks).  I don't recall whichEzekial bread, maybe sesame  with fresh organic blueberries!  

A couple of days ago after experiencing a 100% buckwheat pancake at a friends, I decided to experiment at home to see if I too could have fluffy buckwheat pancakes without the addition of any wheat flours.  I mixed up a batch of organic buckwheat blueberry pancakes using a blend of  organic buckwheat with some brown rice, rye flours, a few tablespoons of my sourdough starter, and the blueberries.  I added a little cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, ginger, and coriander into the mixture to add  additional subtle flavors. 

I topped the pancakes with  organic butter and three different Quilter's Comfort/Grandma jam/jellies.  A smear of Papaya Butter maded with local honey(you know that even using different local honeys will give slightly different taste), Red Bud Flower Jelly and Mango Tart Fruit Flight Jam!  Oh my!  Try something like this!  Flavor to flavor to flavor, really switches things up just a little bit.  I really enjoyed the additional playfulness with my food. 

I made one of the blueberry buckwheat pancakes and cooked until mostly done.  Plated it, cooled, covered and transported to a friend who refrigerated it over night, heated it for breakfast.  I received a note saying "I made organic blueberry syrup for pancake & added fresh strawberries.  Oh my gosh!  Delicious!  Thank you so much!"  I had Mango Tart Fruit Flight jam for her, but forgot to leave it.

Mango Tart Fruit Flight

-1 bottle of Bell's Larry's Passion Fruit Flight
-2 limes (organic) for their juice
-1 cup filtered water (steep herbs in heated water)
-6 teaspoons of Quilter's Chamomile  HipHop (it adds a additional depth for your mouth to explore)
-a pinch of organic rose petals
-1 fresh mango (peeled and cut unto small chunks)\
-3 cups of  sugar (organic)
-2/3 cups pectin (I think that may be about 2 boxes) 

Follow the Instructions for  jam making  inside the pectin box or from a favored recipe book.

Makes aproximalely 12 - 4 oz canning jars plus 

There is but one thing that I would do differently, if that; it would be to use honey in the making.  

If I have the opportunity, next spring, I will make a new small batch and test out the honey idea.

Life is a mystery, and you never know what adventures lay before you!

In my experience, and I have been making beer jellies/jams almost ten years; you have to tweak every beer recipe.  Yes, tweak beer by beer to find just the right ingredient balance of flavors.  Each beer has its only story, and you only have a glimpse of it based on the senses you bring to your tasting.

Allow your life to take flight!  
Enjoy and find love in the moment!  
It is really important!  
More than a few often heard words. 
Now is it!  

Make the recipe.  Use my recipe
and add your own tilt of wing!

Venture to new places!

Recipes can be wings, taking you to new places.  
Find recipes you like and fly!  

Thank you for reading.  If you make this leave a comment here or at @quilterscomfort or  @localfoodbloomington

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Blueberry Lemon Whole Wheat Sourdough Pound Cake with Rose Petals

I picked up my copy of  The New York Times Natural Foods Cookbook by Jean Hewitt at some point in the late 1970's while living in Tucson, Arizona.  It joined the shelf beside a little bread book from a Safeway store checkout display, and the first cookbook I had purchased after moving away from home, Betty Crocker.  That was in 1974.   Here it is 2019, and I am still baking my favorite cake recipe from the Natural Foods Cookbook, Whole Wheat Poundcake.  Through the years, I have played with this recipe, often adding different inclusions like nuts, chips, seeds, homemade jams and jellies, chocolate chips, carob chips and using a variety of grains (this one has brown rice flour and buckwheat).  

Organic Blueberry Lemon Whole Wheat Sourdough with Rose Petals is my latest bit of play with this recipe.  For this experiment I included my wholegrain sourdoughstarter (whole wheat, brown rice, buckwheat and rye) in making a half batch of the recipe.  In this half recipe, I used 2 eggs, ½ cup of sourdough starter, ¾ cup almond milk, 1 tablespoon of rose petal sugar, (organic cane sugar with organic red rose petals – these have been infused for more than a year so the sugar is very full of the rose scent), 1 table spoon Chia seed and 1 tablespoon of crushed red rose petals. Using two baby bundt pans, I filled each with half of a regular quantity of batter and 2 mini bundt pans filled as I normally would. Each of these was cut horizontally and spread with Quilter’s Comfort’s Blueberry Lemon Jam. The mini bundt had their holes filled with the jam. Icing was made using cream cheese blended with the Blueberry Lemon jam and liberally applied. The jam was very chunky with blueberries, so the icing is pretty fruity lumpy. Yum. 

This cake may appear dense looking, but it is light and melts in the mouth!  Because I am playing with the inclusions, the next time I bake this, I will reduce the almond milk, leave out the chia, and as usual change up on the jellies. Perhaps next time, I will use Quilter’s Comfort’s Rosehip Cranberry Jam, or really go out there with a Mango Rose Chutney! I will make these changes and watch how they are reflected in the whole grain texture. 

Note:  Please only use organic roses in cooking to avoid pesticide poisoning.

Enjoy my twist on the poundcake with a steaming cup of Quilter’s Comfort’s I LOVE Me tea! May these teas hold the intention to support your self love in healthy ways. May the vibrational intention of I LOVE Me be with you in every sip! 

Much love in all,