Thursday, May 11, 2017

Quilts, Color, and Mollusks

I want to keep up a blogging presence but I find it hard to put up two posts a week if I don't get it done ahead of time. 

This is a reprint from a guest blog on Anastasia Pollock's blog.

I’m a crafty person both in hobbies and in killing off characters in my action adventure and mystery writing.

One of my hobbies is sewing and making quilt tops. I don’t make near as many as the avid quilter, but I enjoy the process of picking fabrics and putting them together in an eye-pleasing pattern.  The type I like best are baby quilts. They go together faster, and I can pick out fabrics that are fun for not only a baby but the parents, too.

For instance, I had a friend who is a cowgirl at heart and her husband likes old cars. I knew she was having a boy, so I found vintage looking western and car fabric to make the quilt out of. That to me is the fun part, making something that fits a person’s personality
Right now I have a “sunflower” themed quilt that I am sewing together. It’s for me. Sunflowers put a smile on my face and the bright colors that are in the fabrics I picked shout summer and good times to me.

I’m a bright colors kind of person and while researching the Maya for my book Secrets of a Mayan Moon, I discovered some great information about how they dyed their woven fabrics, papers, and even the clay they used. 
The color red came from a tree called brazilwood. The wood was boiled in water to remove the dye. Another source for red came from the cochineal. This is an insect that eats prickly pear cactus. The insects were collected, put in hot water, steamed, or baked; then dried and crushed.

The fruit of the avocado was used to dye cloth green.

Yellow dye came from the blackberry plant, not the berry.

The indigo plant was broken into pieces and boiled to make blue dye and a clay was boiled with cloth to make blue cloth.

Purple came from blackberries which made a deep purple. Wood of the logwood plant gave off a black purple, and the glands of several species of mollusk also gave the Maya a purple dye.
Black was made by grinding the seeds of a genipa tree. 

Blurb: Secrets of a Mayan Moon
Child prodigy and now Doctor of Anthropology, Isabella Mumphrey, is about to lose her job at the university. In the world of publish or perish, her mentor’s request for her assistance on a dig is just the opportunity she’s been seeking. If she can decipher an ancient stone table—and she can—she’ll keep her department. She heads to Guatemala, but drug trafficking bad guys, artifact thieves, and her infatuation for her handsome guide wreak havoc on her scholarly intentions.

DEA agent Tino Kosta, is out to avenge the deaths of his family. He’s deep undercover as a jaguar tracker and sometimes jungle guide, but the appearance of a beautiful, brainy anthropologist heats his Latin blood taking him on a dangerous detour that could leave them both casualties of the jungle.

Secrets of a Mayan Moon is available at Windtree Press, Kindle, Nook  Kobo Apple


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