Monday, April 25, 2016

Earth Day/ Birthday/ Full Moon block

Our skies cleared in time for the Full moon and I was ready for it with my moon block waiting to be quilted.

This year with it being Earth day, my 60th birthday and a Full moon I had fun making a block to include all.
I appliqued on the moon, padded with extra batting, embroidered on the "60" candles and flames on top, and also embroidered on trees representing the Earth.
Hopefully this isn't an omen that we will have to plant trees on the moon to live:(

Full moon night I sat in bed and quilted it under the moon and my new "beam and read" battery light.

I designed this summer wall hanging to stitch with my wools.
Each layer of the bee skep will be a different yellow.
This past week I began dyeing, a little each day.

A couple of layers were dyed with Osage orange tree bark.

I love these little pieces of plaid and striped wool. I buy them from  It's a wonderful quilt shop I buy little bundles of this wool, just enough to use for applique. (There's no chunks cut out of them.)

Another row was dyed with dried dyers chamomile from my garden last summer.

Of course, I needed daffodils and was not able to find any cut daffodils in the stores, my friend put a message on Facebook and one of her friends donated these to give to me! How wonderful was that, thank you Deb.
I soaked them a few days in water than simmered them in the dye bath with a piece of wool.

Saturday I woke to find this pail full of dandelions picked by my young neighbor girl and left on my porch. She came back later and helped me dye the wool. She's 10 and love herbs, natural dyes and making natural skin creams with me. She'll be a great herbalist someday.

Dyed with dandelions.

And this is the "collection"
Starting on the left, daffodils, dandelions, chamomile and two Osage orange.

I planted some "Ancient sweet pepper" seeds.
I wanted to show you the "green house" I started them in.
This is an organic egg carton you buy filled at the store.
It has a drain tray on the bottom and the plastic lid on the top that the sun will shine through.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Tribute to my mother

Since my last post 6 or so weeks ago my life has changed as it does for so many with elderly parents. Mine are now in need of help with their daily life, I spend a couple hours or so with them almost every day, finding many blessings in this time. I was fortunate to have wonderful parents and lucky to be able to give my time back to them. (not to say I'm not exhausted and in need of some "me" time but I'm trying to squeeze that in).
My mom was never really a quilter but loved to mend clothes. In the mid 1980's when trapunto quilting became popular using young girls bright thick hair yarn for the stuffing, my mom fell in love with it and made several pieces.
I've been appreciating them all over again, they have my moms quiet, kind spirit and love of flowers and nature in them.
I wanted to share a few with you.

She made quite a few pillows.

And I love this happy sunshine with butterflies.

And don't forget Friday, Earth day and full pink moon. I'm working on a block to add to my moon journal. And the "60" candles on top represents my "earth day birthday".
Hopefully,  I'll see you next Tuesday or Wednesday and share my completed moon block and new quilt design and natural dyeing with you!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Winter Camping

Last Wednesday night we had a heavy winter snow, Mother Nature kindly added a row to my earth loom. With a sprinkling of stars tumbling down, it was beautiful.
This picture showed up better on my camera, but you get the idea.

My husband and I left Thursday for a long weekend of nature and solitude at our local State Park. It was quiet and wonderful. The only thing we did was hike, eat, sleep, read and I quilted, a lot. Perfect.

When we went out in the morning we found there had been a party around our camper during the night. Deer,


and raccoon prints were everywhere.

We hiked through the woods and into the dunes.

This moss stays emerald green all winter.

At the top of the dunes,

a quick photo, there was a very cold wind blowing off the water.

The waves were high.

Crackers, cheese and shrimp for supper.

Then out to watch the sunset.

It was so cold but worth it.

Following the Lake home.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Winter stitching

One of the great things about living in the North is the winter is it's the perfect time to curl up by the fire and hand stitch. I do it as often as possible:)
I finished all my sashiko blocks and am ready to sew the top together.

I stitched this little piece for my daughter. I got this pattern off the internet a few years ago, (I can't remember the designer). I think it is so cute with the birds eating the sprinkles that fall off the cupcake.

I've also been quilting on my wool quilt,

trying to finish out lining all of the fiddle head fern prints.
If you see safety pins it's where I still need to quilt.

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.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo