Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Making essential oil bath salts



In the winter I love to take a hot bath with a good book and there is nothing better in the water than bath salts. Homemade ones with no chemicals.
I made a batch last week and it is wonderful. This is the simple recipe:
2 cups of Epsom salt (which is magnesium, a naturally occurring mineral that is important for many systems in the body, especially the muscles and nerves.
1 cup of baking soda
your choice of essential oil, I used lavender and rose, both are good for dry skin and relaxing.
I put about 15 or more drops of each in.
Stir it well and enjoy.
You can add however much you want to your bath, I would start with about 1/4 cup.



I've been working hard on my sashiko trying to get big and even stitches. I probably could have stitched three of these pine tree blocks with all the stitches I've taken out and redid. The stitches are suppose to be about the size of a grain of rice, mine are the size of a half. I finally came to the conclusion everyone has their own rhythm and you have to go with it. Mine after 30 years of perfecting the quilting stitch to teeny, tiny, I cannot make the stitch any bigger, just work on keeping them even and the space between them even.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Moon Windows Sashiko Wallhaning


My practice block is finished, it was a little difficult to get in the rhythm of making big stitches.
They say sashiko stitching is the hardest to master for traditional hand quilters.
But I'm ready to begin on the "real" blocks for the Moon wall hanging.



This is the wall hanging laid out on the carpet. (not stitched together)



All the moons are hand appliqued on, 3 from antique Japanese fabric.



I traced on the lines for the stitching,
Moon over Mr. Fuji.
The faint circler lines will not be stitched, and will rub off.



Pine trees.



Spider web.

And there's one more block in the wall hanging I forgot to post, cherry blossoms.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Harley Davidson quilt



My Husqvarna sewing machine I had for 15 years was totally worn out, yesterday I replaced it with this new Bernina. Technology sure came a long way in the last 15 years! I finished machine quilting this quilt last night. Wonderful.



This Harley quilt is for our good friend, my daughter and I made it together, I cut, she pieces, I machine quilt it and we both work on the binding.



Besides quilting I did get out to do a little hiking. We took the grandkids on a hike along a creek with a wonderful old railroad bridge over it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Projects Finished!



I love winter in Michigan and being "snowed in" on the weekends, I get so much done.
The sampler quilt is finished and bound.



My wool scarf finished,



with ruched flower and vintage shell button.



I hate to take down our Christmas lights they look so beautiful under the snow.
Everything looks beautiful in the snow,


and the sunrises on the crisp clear mornings are spectacular.



6 degrees will do it!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Walking in a Winter Wonderland!



It took it's own sweet time coming but the snow and cold are here and I think here to stay.
It's the perfect time to quilt. Last weekend I spent it machine quilting on my winter sampler,
when I looked down I saw snow,



and when I looked up I saw snow.


Along with all the cold and snow comes hot cocoa. My friend from Alaska sent me this wonderful gourmet cocoa mix. I made my husband and I a cup in the early evening, what a burst of energy I got, I quilted until late in the night and still then I couldn't close my eyes!
Thank you Deb, it is wonderful.



Last weekend I also made a batch of face and body cream.



Onto the woodstove went a canning jar filled with equal amounts of coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter and a little bees wax. As soon as it melted I added lavender and rose essential oil, all wonderful for dry skin.


Poured into jars and molds to harden.



Last night was quilt bee, even though it was 16 degrees and snowing we didn't cancel. We were making infinity scarves. This was the one Joni made, with flannel, flat lace and a ruched flower.



Another by Joni.
(She made them ahead of time as examples)



Cathy made this one with cute polka dots. (her stripped shirt doesn't show how cute the scarf is).
She's going to add three silver buttons on the lace.



Joni modeling Jamie's with a little fringe in place of lace.



Laura with her black flannel and lace scarf.



And me, I wanted to use some of my natural dye printed wool, it was a little skinny. The lace is an antique hankie, I'm going to make a ruched flower to sew to it.



Also from our bee Jamie gave us our snowman blocks from our Christmas exchange.
This is a Crabapple design that Jamie hand embroidered.
There's always an overachiever in every group!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Crescent moon with Morning Star



I was out early this frosty morning enjoying the crescent moon with Venus the "morning star" glowing.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Winter Sampler quilt



New Years weekend (and Christmas weekend) found me happily piecing my winter sampler quilt together. I began this last November at quilt camp and have been wanting to get back to it since. The holidays are over and now the winter weekends are mine, (hopefully). Since this picture was taken the boarders are on, soon I'll begin machine quilting it.



Another favorite weekend project of mine is making essential oil creams, scrubs etc. This is a very easy one that everyone can make and everyone will love. It's a brown sugar scrub to help exfoliate and revitalize your skin. This is wonderful on your hands, feet, legs, arms etc.
I stated with a cup of brown sugar, 4 tablespoons of olive oil (you can use other types of oil, I didn't use coconut as it firms up when cold and with our old house plumbing I didn't think that was too good of idea and olive oil is so healing I thought it would be perfect), 10 drops of peppermint and 10 drops of orange essential oil (use your favorite essential oil, peppermint is nice for the winter). Mix all together in a glass dish then put in a low, covered glass jar. The jar has to be low because the oil will work its way to the bottom of the sugar. To use,take a little bit and work it in your hands, arms, etc. for about a minute then rinse off. Your skin will feel heavenly. Try not to get any water into the jar. I have one by our shower and one by the kitchen sink for after washing dishes.
 



When I was showing you  my old New Years quilts I forgot this one, boy I make a lot of New Years quilts and hardly ever make it to midnight! I made this for New Years 2000.
The winter before that New Years Eve my husband and I were camping in the U.P. of Michigan, we headed home early morning, the sky was full of stars and the trees were white with snow. I told him that scene will be my millennium quilt. We stopped at a quilt shop on the way home and picked up the fabrics. I shared some with my girlfriends and that fabric became our "challenge fabric for the year.
The background I did a easy crazy quilt method with lots of blues and silver stars and commemorative 2000 fabrics. The trees, stars and moon I did the same way using whites and silvers.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo
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