Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Earth Loom

Mother's Day, my family helped me get the loom ready for this years weaving.
Grandson cut the old weaving off and hubby shored up the loom. Next year we need to replace it but I love this one made from his old tee pee poles.

 A temporary installment into the fire.

The Navajo believe when you take the weaving off you have to warp the loom right away.

It was difficult to warp as I have tiny solar lights hanging on the top and bittersweet vines already growing through the loom.

This years "plan" is to put in a few rows of eco dyed wool then weave a branch of Miss Bittersweet across, continuing that way until I reach the top. The vines will bring the weaving to life and maybe I'll get some berries woven in too.

The first 3 rows.
Hopefully Miss Bittersweet cooperates!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Button Flowers

Inspired by this button flower arrangement my quilt bee got together last week and had.....

button bee!. We used vintage buttons and different containers to each make our own arrangement.

This was mine, an antique Bromo seltzer bottle  with wonderful old buttons (thank you Deb C).
I wish I took close up pictures of all the bottles for you, everyone's was so different.

A customer at work brought me these beautiful iris plants.

The new varieties are so beautiful and the flowers last so long!

Out to my weekly "quilt retreat" on Lake Michigan. It is so good for the spirit after a long week, the waves, the birds, and the stitching it's all so relaxing.
Appliqueing on my last Sun.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Michigan Herb conference 2017

I attended the Michigan Herb conference last week, one of our speakers was Holly Bellebuono. Oh my gosh was she good, I highly recommend her if any herbal/natural medicine group is looking for a educated speaker.
This is her newest book she has out and it is wonderful.

I picked up a few new herbs for my  garden, some I have never had before or are hard to find at the greenhouses. Lovage, a perennial that smells and tastes similar to celery. Salad burnet, tastes similar to cucumber, wonderful in a salad. A new type of lemon eucalyptus I will try using this for dyeing fabric. Chamomile for tea.

In our "goody bag" they gave everyone a cute flower button bouquet arranged in a salt shaker.

My ancient peppers seedlings are sprouting.
Love using these egg cartons as mini green houses for seeds.

"The old people came literally to love the soil, they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mother power. The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing and healing.
Luther Standing Bear
Oglala Sioux

"Have you ever noticed the relationship between children and the soil? Watch how happy they are touching the dirt. The children play in it and eat it. If you are stressed, go to a spot on the Earth, sit down, put your fingers in the dirt, dig in it, wash your hands in the soil. When you touch it, notice what it does to your hands. Our bodies love to touch the Earth. Sometimes we get too busy and forget these simple things. Maybe you'll even want to plant a garden or flowers. These things are mentally healthy.

I planted this dogwood years ago in honor of my friend who passed away from breast cancer. She loved dogwood.
When ever I see them blooming I think of her.

Thank you, Deb C. Love my antique coffee pot and linen table runner!

Thank you putting us up Vicky W.
We had a wonderful time.
Cute table centerpiece with fresh gerbera daisies!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Dyeing with indigo

It was Earth day/ birthday weekend, the weather was warm and sunny and I spent every minute I could outside.  I hung up my Earth day wall hanging, my husband and I took a ride and when we came home, hand-made birthday cards from the grandkids were lined up waiting for me. I love their cards!

Deb Hardman made me this wonderful painted and quilted wall hanging for my last birthday. A view of the earth and moon from outer space.

We bought a weeping cherry tree to celebrate all! The grandson's planted it for me.

Installed the bird bath my friend Donna made.

Almost as soon as it was filled with water a blue bird came.

Sunday afternoon and into the evening I indigo dyed wool blocks for my Sun & Moon quilt.
A crescent moon, I like when I get the indigo dye to seep into the edges, like clouds floating across the moon. A pure white moon would be a little boring.

2nd crescent, not quite as good.

I was very happy with this full moon.

I dyed a few star blocks, maybe will be corner squares in the quilt.

And a few "moon phase" filler strips for the quilt.
I also dyed blue yardage for filler strips, on some of the filler strips I'm going to embroider on moon and sun phrases, such as "Love you to the moon and back".

All the blocks so far.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Egg dyeing with cabbage

Easter egg dyeing party!
Start with little plants picked from the yard, a bowl of uncooked eggs and this year, red cabbage.

Add the grandsons, daughter and family and the fun begins.

I also had food coloring dyes for the boys.

We laid the fresh leaves on the eggs, wrapped squares of nylon around them and twisted them in the back with a bread twisty.
Layered them in a large pot of chopped up cabbage, water and a glug of whited vinegar. Brought to a boil and simmered an hour or so. They didn't look like they took any of the dye. I wasn't happy. I took them out and as they cooled the color began to show. While they are still wet take off the nylon and the leaves.

They weren't as dark as I thought they'd be but they are beautiful.
When cool I rubbed a little cooking oil on each.

I made up a few "nests" for Easter delivery.

I cooked, cooked and baked for Easter dinner, this was my center piece, fresh carrots, parsley and daffodils from my yard.

In my big pots, out went the winter greens and in fresh pussy willows and a fun metal carrot.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Spring's arrived in Michigan!

I have been trying to get back to blogging but family members' illness, work and my illness has kept me hopping. It's been a long 6 weeks!
I did spend the first day of Spring at the Lake finishing the handwork on my bee skep wall hanging. A couple of hours of stitching at the lake is like being on a micro-mini vacation.

The green houses in our area are almost ready to open.
Our garden club had our last meeting there. What a blessing to walk in and feel the warm humid air around you and smell the flowers and soil. It's wonderful after the long, cold winter.
Everywhere carpets of flowers.

More primroses.

Thousands of geraniums.

We each planted our own container. I used a new petunia variety called "Night Skies".  The petunias that were blooming looked just like a night sky, deep purple with white specks scattered all over it.

I dyed this wool scarf for my daughter last summer using dyers chamomile.
She put it out as a Spring table runner. I took it home and machine quilted it for her, 

adding a binding.

I went on a weekend quilt retreat with my one quilt bees, just a short one to celebrate Spring.  To get ready to go I put on the dye pot, boiling black walnuts to dye the back ground wool for the project I was going to work on.

We rented a beautiful little cottage on Lake Michigan.

Not as big as our Fall cottage but roomy enough.

With a gas fire place in the corner which we did enjoy.

Cute bedrooms tucked upstairs.

Coming down the stairs,

a black & white graduation quilt being made by grandma.

Mary, who loves paper-piecing worked on a miniature quilt with scraps left from a large version she made.

Our son bought a new house last Fall. At quilt retreat I designed, dyed and cut out his house block to go into the Family tree quilt I'm making.
As soon as I get this house stitched into the quilt I'll take a picture of the full quilt.

The pieces are just laid out on the fabric ready to be stitched on and all the details embroidered in. All the personal information will be embroidered in the yard. Birth, address etc.

(Forgot to flip it around)
The lattice strip will show all his hobbies etc.

I finished stitching on the binding at camp.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo