Friday, January 23, 2015

The best ways to beat the "cabin fever".

Last Saturday we had sunshine and temperatures in the high 30's, it was time to get out of the house. I packed a picnic lunch and off we went to the wilderness. The wonderful thing about Western Michigan is the wildness is never far away.

We found a nice little spot along a creek,

my husband lit a fire

while I sat out our lunch on the back of the sled we used to pull in our packs.
I had made homemade baked beans, and chocolate chip cookies to go with crackers and cheese and sausage.

 I love picnics, food always taste better outside, and I always feel better.

The next great way to beat cabin fever is quilt bee! Last night I met with my girlfriends and we learned a new quilt technique, called Folded Star.  We each made a sample. You start with two different size hexagons and a piece of batting the size of the small hexagon.

Baste a scant quarter of an inch on the edges of the large hexagon.

Layer them together with the batting in between. Fold over the edges of the large piece of fabric and applique the edges down or quilt the edges down over the small hexagon creating a star. We then quilted down the middle of all the star points.

  Once the stars are finished you stitch the edges together.
So many things can be made using this technique. The following pictures were taken off an computer showing Cheryl Berggren's work.

She made a purse using them,

A lap quilt.

The back of the lap quilt. And remember once a star is done the batting is already in and the edges are bound so when you stitch them together there is no finishing work on the quilt. No binding, nothing.
I'm going to try a few blocks this weekend with my dyed wool.

Cheryl also made a wall hanging with miniature hexagons.
Miniatures are always so cute.

And the full size ones made into place matts.

My friend Mary's been making pieced and quilted ornaments for her tree for next Christmas. There about 3" square. Too cute!

I don't know if I should say Mary or Mary's sewing machine made this little mug rug. She has a top off the line computerized sew machine that pieces and embroideries the piece while you just add in the fabrics when it calls you!!
The little clips are holding the binding down while she stitches it. I'm sure the machine would bind it too if she asked nicely.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New Year 2015

Like most of the country our winter is back and with a vengeance. Icy temperatures, blowing and drifting snow have produced beautiful scenery and if you can stay home, it's wonderful. (I'm not one of those people, but I will be this weekend.)

We have 10 or more inches already on the ground and just as much still coming.

I thought the weaving was finished but no Mother Nature still had one more row to go.

and what a beautiful row it is.

As soon as the sun comes out to charge the solar lights it will glow.

I need to lay my antique gate on top of some wool and let Mother Nature rust print it..

Every year I try to keep New Year's Day for myself, no cooking or entertaining company, just put on a pot of soup and quilt while I watch the Rose Parade. This year I marked a few rose colored lattice strips to quilt. This is my perfect way to start the year.

I also changed my piano from Christmas to winter,

 began infusing coconut oil with organic rose petals and calendula blossoms.
The combination is all about helping dry skin.

After infusing on the wood stove in a water bath a few days I strained out the petals,

and added the coconut oil with Shea butter, cocoa butter and local bees wax. After melting together I add rose and lavender essential oils for the ultimate lotion bars.

A wonderful body cream for the winter.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

One more row for the Earth loom

This was this years "theme" for our Christmas table. Vicky did a beautiful job of making all these little penguins out of white frosting and Oreo cookies. ( the idea came from Pinterest).

The kids loved them. They were so cute no one wanted to eat them.

I thought the weaving was done but no, a string of solar lights seemed to be needed.

I think it pretty full right now.

The night view from my kitchen window is beautiful!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Have a Wonderful Holiday.

Last night was my last "girl friend" Christmas party. Off I went with presents wrapped and ready to exchange.

 Deb hosted us in her beautiful home, with a fire burning and a great quilt hanging.

She hand-appliqued and quilted it.  (The lights were low so the colors didn't show well)

After dinner we exchanged our Santa blocks. Kay wanted hers on black backgrounds. Love  it.

The rest of us wanted tan back grounds.
Thank you everyone for the blocks and Deb for the wonderful party.
I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday season.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holilday Gatherings

I so enjoy all the holiday gatherings that come this time of year, from the special holiday concerts and programs, to my quilt bee party's to my Herb Society parties, I love them all.
My first quilt bee party was this week, along with a wonderful meal we exchanged our snowmen blocks. We each made 6 of the same blocks (any size), kept one for ourselves, the rest we wrapped and exchanged at the party. This is my finished snow globe snowman

with a Swarovski crystal snowflake.

What a wonderful variety we all received (missing one that will be ready next month). Every package was so much fun to open.
We're doing this again for the next few Christmases by the end we'll each have enough to put together a nice size friendship snowman quilt.

I have a few blocks I hand embroidered a few years ago that I'm also adding to the quilt.

Our hostess also made us a cute wool mitten ornament,

which I added to my snowman tree. Most of the snowmen are hand-made from my girlfriends starting in 1990. The tree skirt is a hand stitched quilt from the late 1800's. This tree has so many memories. I set it up in my dining room.

My next gathering is Herb Society. For our Christmas party we come together everyone brings green, berries etc. and snacks to share and we spend the afternoon making fresh arrangement for our homes.
I was so busy working on my own I only took a few pictures.
I love the white pine wispiness of this wreath.

An arrangement for the dinner table with fresh flowers.

These arrangements were made for a different tables at a gathering using a lot of dried plants.

Some large door swags were made with sweet grass rope worked through it.
I should have made one of these, next year.

I made this one for my daughter in a vintage ball jar and 3 candy canes for her children.

This one for our very friend (like a daughter) Vicky who loves penguins and is doing our Christmas Eve table in a penguin theme for the kids.

For my living room I made this in my copper pot with copper berries and white doves. My white nativity scene will sit by it.
Notice the beaver chew sticks Donna:)

The next gathering of course is to put up the tree, I had two good little Santa's who did it,

and one little Elf who wasn't much help until the ornaments came out.

I bought this sculpture when we were visiting our friends on the Mississippi. The artist is Isabella Bloom who is now dead but her art work lives on. She is quite famous in the Quad Cities where she lived and had her studio. I visited it once when she was alive and am thankful I had the opportunity.
She is quite heavy about 25 pounds and made of cement.

Her name is Violet, she will sit on my porch this summer by her "brother" along with my large pots of flowers.

I hope you can read this picture, I love the saying (found it on pinterest).
And isn't it so true.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo