Monday, February 13, 2017

Resist dyeing with hearts for Valentine Day!

Wool is folded, clamped and simmered in cochineal dye.

First batch using foam heart stickers as the resist. Okay, but not great.

Next batch, add more cochineal and squeeze a half of lime in to the pot.
Use plastic heart toys from Wal-Mart for the resist, simmer and let set a couple of days. Much more intense.

Same pot with a more cochineal added, I add wool, simmer of few hours and let soak a few days. I end up with almost purple! An over-dye with indigo and it will be a deep purple. There's still dye left in the pot so in goes another piece of wool. The other fabrics behind the purple are the fabrics dyed  with avacados, they have a much more intense color than the picture shows.

Spent a few hours this weekend with my friend creating natural face and  body cream. Also face wash and hand soaps.

Melted the coconut oil, Shea butter, and mango butter, cooled and whipped it until it looked like whip cream.

Added different essential oils to the different creams.
With lavender, frankincense, Full moon, and a comet streaking over I should be free of all wrinkles when I use this cream:)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Dyeing wool with avacados

Ingredients for guacamole...

Ingredients for a dye pot!
Avocado pits and skins simmered in a water bath,

with premordanted wool

dyes a beautiful peachy apricot color.


Cochineal crushed,

tiny little dried bugs from the cactus of the South West.

I folded wool and placed plastic hearts (on each side of the fabric) as a resist.

Two different cochineal pots with two different wool heart fabrics to dye. The second pot I placed a squeezed lime in the dye. When I was in the South West they taught adding the lime juice to the dye would make your wool redder.  We'll see, the results next week:)

Thursday bee last week we finished beading ornaments that Mary started for us.

She had cut and stitched winter/Valentine fabrics,

we stitched on beads to hold the sides together and make the shape.

This was a fun sparkling project to share on a dark winter night. Thank You Mary!
See the pink pin cushion on the table, my friend Jamie made that for me and my friends in my other quilt bee. Thank You Jamie.
What great Valentine presents.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Stitching memories with my wool quilt.

January 2013 I finished piecing my wool flower/leave eco print quilt. It was a beautiful January day for Michigan, I took it outside to photograph it on my husbands teepee.

All hand dyed and pieced.

January 31, 2017 and I'm still hand quilting it. I'm getting close to the boarders. This is my winter project, it's much to warm to work on during the rest of the year. I come home at night from work, make dinner, and curl up by the fire and stitch. After stitching a short while I can hardly keep my eyes open, nothing is more relaxing but I don't make a lot of progress stitching with my eyes closed:)

I eco-printed this block with Navajo tea. After spending a week on the Navajo reservation learning to weave and natural dye using plants from New Mexico, Sarah, the Navajo teacher sent  Navajo tea cuttings home with me. When ever I stitch on this block it brings back all the wonderful memories.

 Cosmos from my garden. I love harvesting them in the early evening when it's cool and peaceful. This all comes back to me as I quilt this block.
I think it's fascinating quilters and textile artists remember where every little bit of fabric came from and the wonderful memories it holds.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Wool Sun block and more

I cut out my next Sun for my wool Sun/Moon quilt. I solar dyed this wool last summer, layering wool fabric with cochineal, madder root and a little Osage orange bark.

Here are the blocks so far. Not laid out in any particular order. There will be one more resist dyed crescent moon, pieced stars and indigo pieced filler strips

My favorite moon with moon beams sprinkling down.

Found these wonderful dried berries on a bush.

Beautiful color for winter.

    This year's "Herb of the Year" is Cilantro/Coriander. People either love cilantro or hate it. Our Herb group will be studying and tasting it all this year.  We'll try and have a few of the haters converted. Coriander is the seed from the cilantro plant.
A few facts on the herb. It is indigenous to Italy, cultivated for at least 3,000 years!
 Romans used the crushed seeds made into a strong teas for fever, chills and flu.
Crush seeds and keep in a small container, inhale deeply 5 x several times a day to improve memory and clear thoughts. can mix with ground cloves.
Active ingredient reduces muscle tension & spasms, use in tincture form. Rub oil of coriander on arthritic joints to reduce swelling and pain.

Members made a few soups for the meeting, wonderful with chopped fresh cilantro in them.

A dessert made with the coriander.

I walked in my kitchen and here were my grandsons "flying" the magic carpet! They are so much fun

Friday, January 6, 2017

Winter happenings in Michigan


Like half the country the snow is piling up, even under our covered porch!


The only one outside weaving is Mother Nature.
Love her embellishments!

The dye garden is beautiful in the fresh snow.

Besides putting "Christmas" away I did make a batch of bath salts for winter soaking. Quick and easy but so enjoyable, this is my recipe:
1 cup of Epsom salts (which is not a salt but a mineral)
1/4 cup of baking soda.
15 to 20 drops of good essential oil. I used lavender.
Mix well and store in a covered jar.
I use a good 1/4 to 1/2 cup full in my bath.

I finally had time to work on my "Super Moon"  block representing this past  November's moon.  I resist dyed wool for the moon dyeing it with indigo.  I quilted in "moon beams" with Sliver metallic thread and a halo of glass beads. This will be added with the rest of my moon journal blocks.

I love, love and collect textiles made by Native people from around the world.
Last Fall I went to the best estate sale I'm sure I will ever see. The owner was a Dr. and his wife was a weaver and collected textiles and everything on their vacations around the world. Everything was top quality.
They had a armed guard in the jewelry sale room. I didn't even go in there. People came from other states lining up the night before the sale!
I did buy a few wonderful pieces, the first being this hand knotted rug from Turkey. 

I told my grandsons not to walk on this rug with their shoes on as this is a magic flying carpet, note the magic lamps woven in! I explained that women all over the world put a part on themselves in their textiles, with their own secret thoughts and messages put in.
I know all us quilters do:)

I picked up a assortment of baskets to dry my herbs/dye plants on next summer.


                            A great hand woven cloth from Guatemala.

Hanging with the peppers.

This is a hand woven  huipil  (women's blouse) also from Guatemala.
Woven on a back strap loom. The red weaving is the full huipil with the more intricate weaving stitched on top.

Friday, December 16, 2016


I have my home and yard ready for the Holiday season.
All the planters from summer are filled with spruce branches, holly branches, Michigan holly berries and a few white birch branches.
Tiny lights are on the porches.

The trees are up in the living room.

A small porcelain sea shell angle tree in the bathroom,

sits along side my tropical quilt.

The winter quilt is on the bed along with fresh cedar garland and lights draped on the headboard.

A herd of birch wood deer my husband made are ready for gifting.

The table was set for my first quilt bee Christmas party.

My good friend came dressed in her festive clothes, note the extension cord necklace to "plug" in her outfit!
She is so much fun.

We exchanged snowman blocks again this year. A couple more years and we each will have enough for a full size winter quilt.
I made a star block for the exchange this year, I thought a few twinkling stars mixed in between the snowmen would be nice. We're all making stars for next year.
The following are the new blocks I received.

Frosty looking at the first star.

This cute one was done by machine embroidery program.

This white on white snowman was done by hand doing the twilling embroidery stitch.

He just makes you happy to look at him!

A wonderful 3-D star block.

Our "collection" so far!
(just laid out on white fabric)

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo