Monday, May 18, 2015

Weaving on the Earth loom



It was beautiful Saturday morning, the loom was calling. I made myself a chai and went out to find weaving materials. I found this bush blooming by our white lilacs, I'm not sure what its name is but I thought this will work wonderful.



Working on the Sun Burst is not as easy (or neat) as straight line weaving, but a lot of fun.



I woven in a few rows of the branches and then a row of white wool.





The dew was still on the Lady's Mantle (alchemilla) plants.



The drops look like glass beads on the edges of the leaves.



I washed out the solar daffodil dyed wool. Daffodils give a beautiful, buttery yellow. No green cast like dandelions.



Picked myself a bouquet for my desk at work, white lilacs and lily of the valley. Does my desk smell heavenly!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Springtime in Michigan



My quilt guild held our first quilt show, it was very well done and very successful.
They ask me to do a natural dye demonstration. I tried to bring a variety of ideas, from simmering in the pot to solar dyeing. From a few of my finished quilts to a basket of dyed yarn.



I also brought a couple of pieces of Eco dyed wool and unrolled them during the demo. This one was  dandelion flowers.



This one I rolled up dried eucalyptus leaves from last summer. It take a lot of steaming to break them down enough to release their dye. Surprising how much dye is in those dried up leaves.



I found this quilt fascinating, the artist (sorry I didn't get her name) raises peacocks. She used their feathers in some of the blocks,



encasing them behind fine netting and machine quilting in the designs.
 



This is another of her quilts,



with wonderful pieced bird and nature blocks.



In my grandkids art class their learning weaving. I love that their teaching weaving as a art.


They love learning new things.



Here is brothers also with flowers and Mother's day card they made me.



My daughter made me this planter box with screen door handles on the sides filled with lilies.



Cute place for my patchwork chicken pincushion to sit. Picked him up at the quilt show.



I also was gifted this twig trellis. I placed it in front of my herbs. I'm going to plant a climbing flower on it this summer. Orange pansies are blooming from last Falls planting.



Our yard is beautiful with all the Spring flowering bushes and trees.
Azaleas
 



It's been so cold our lilacs are a good week behind. They usually are in full bloom by Mother's day.



Lilacs and flowering crab apple trees. With this cold weather the flowers do last longer.



The apple tree is alive with the buzzing of bees.



A beautiful hanging basket I bought myself. Full of begonias.



And back at work on top of my file when I up all my summer annuals to keep over the winter a beautiful pansy is blooming.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Spring Weekend



Last weekend it was beautiful outside, my husband, son and grandsons went camping, Yea, I had the whole weekend to myself! Out came my pattern,



I began cutting out the Sunshine.



I got it half cut out using my natural dyed wools.
I love it so much I decided to keep going making several different wool Sun blocks and Moon blocks making a lap size sampler quilt.
And as Peggy womanwithwingsblog.blogspot.com says
"everyone needs a Moon quilt!"



Not sure how this will turn out but how about rust dyed Sun block? We'll see if it makes the cut.



The loom was also calling, I warped it and began weaving a Sunburst.



The center is woven with goldenrod dyed wool, then a circle of dandelions followed by cosmos flower dyed strip of wool. The Red bud tree that shaded the loom died this past winter. I'm sure the sun is going to fade the wool fast but it's ok.



Along with the dandelions the violets were calling. There are so many medicinal uses for violets (Peggy goes in depth on her blog), I was interested in this one remedy, which I read on many herbal websites. When you feel a little out of sorts and don't know why, take a tablespoon (of the following recipe) in a glass of cool water and drink it.
I gathered the violets, rinsed them off, let dry.



Put them in a jar with apple cider vinegar. Plastic first, then cap it, store a couple of weeks in a dark cool place, strain the plants out.




 After the long winter and cold Spring I just couldn't stop. Next the daffodils, some were past peak, into the jar they went with mordanted wool to solar dye. I did simmer this in a water bath first to seal the jar so it doesn't mold.



One more jar layered with wool, cochineal, madder root and Osage orange bark.



As I was weaving I noticed this dove tucked in a spruce tree sitting on her nest.



Spring also means baseball. My grandsons love it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Indigo



A pattern for a sun and moon quilt that I designed last year has been calling me, it's time to begin.



Out to the studio I go. The shelves are filled with dried plants, bugs, roots and bark, all great natural dyes.



Just looking at them make me happy.



Until fresh flowers are growing these will do wonderfully.



I began with indigo, crushing the hard chunks into powder.



After a couple of hours I have the background ready for the sun/moon quilt.



The moon is up, the indigo sky beautiful.



Time to take down last years Earth weaving. Back to the earth it goes, it served its purpose, peace,  meditation and teaching, many kids wove on it.  We enjoyed it all year, day time weaving and night time the solar lights glowed. I didn't realize other people were enjoying it also, two neighbors said they loved to see it glow at night.  The Navajo say when a weaving is finished and comes off the loom you have to warped the loom for a new one right away. Mine isn't quite ready, I did add to new top beam and have this years design planned, a round Sunburst.


Friday, April 24, 2015

Earth day, birthday



Earth day, birthday, that is my day.  This year my kids gave me a surprise birthday party. Complete with Spring flowers and a gluten-free cake



Live music played by the twins with their new recorders.



The best birthday cards, made by the grandsons.



Complete with the earth, suns, moons and one spaceman circling the earth tethered to his rocket.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo
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