Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

My husband and I were out for a ride Saturday and came upon this large flock of turkeys, calmly eating with no worries of the upcoming holiday. There was around 28 of them.

This one looked up and checked us out then went back to eating. When we were teenagers the guys would go turkey hunting and never see a single one. Now their everywhere, it's so nice to see.My friend Kay Wilton designed and made quilt top. It is called "Star of Stars". She also designed it to be a full size quilt. It's beautiful, who doesn't love a star quilt!
(she will be teaching this in 2010 at our local quilt shop, Quilted Memories.

My friend Judy is knitting this cute scarf (commercial pattern, I didn't get the name). It's so cute between each stripe there is a knitted ruffle.

I hope you all have a Blessed Thanksgiving. See you next week!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Birthday quilt

This month was my daughters 30th birthday (I feel like it should be my 30th birthday!) I wanted to make her something special. I decided to make a quilted wall hanging with her boys doing the art work for the blocks. Before we went to visit them last spring for Easter I cut out several 8 1/2" white squares of fabric and ironed them on to freezer paper to stabilize them for coloring. When she went to work I had the boys color their favorite pictures, 2 each plus big brother did the center "Happy Birthday" block.

I heat set the blocks then pieced the top at home, the little back triangles on the corners of the pictures are 3- dimensional and are suppose to look like scrap book corners. The outside boarder fabrics reminds me of doodling. I wanted this top from the kids but not have the boarders "kidish" looking.
This is a little closer look at the drawings.

When my husband and I went back in Oct. I brought a large piece of white fabric and fabric paints. I poured a different color on a paper plate for each boy, they put their hands in it and printed them all over the fabric. When I lifted the fabric up the paint had gone through the fabric and onto the wooden picnic table leaving permanent hand prints. The fabric became the back of the quilt. I machine quilted the wall hanging at home and shipped it to Melissa in time for her birthday. She was very surprised and loved it. When I told her about the picnic table she said she had seen the hand prints and was wondering what she had done with the kids to leave those prints.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Quilt Retreat

The weekend before our quilt retreat Kay, Carla and I got together and natural dyed wool as gifts for the girls on the retreat. We thought they could use the fabric for our next years quilt challenge.It rained all weekend but stopped long enough for us to do the indigo dying outside. This is a picture of our blues and greens (Osage orange bark over dyed with indigo).

I always machine wash my fabric after dying it (if the color doesn't make it in the wash I don't want to use it for making quilts). After washing all the fabric I didn't know where to hang the large amount so I put up lines in my studio. As I looked at it when I finished, it looked like the prayer flags the Buddhist monks hang in Tibet. This shows some of the wonderful colors we got.

This gave everyone a nice color selection for their quilt.

This was a few pieces we dyed at the end when we mixed dye pots and over dyed. I love how all natural dyed pieces go together. Only "nature" can accomplish that!

This was my piece for this years bee challenge (I'm in the up in a balcony photographing it). You were suppose to make a block for every month. The block was to tell a story of your month. I had started making a quilt like that before and just continued on. My blocks were different dye plants and other plants that I use in that month. I designed and hand appliqued and embroiderd each block using my dyed wools. Some of the block stories are of the plants I picked with my grandchildren in Michigan and Florida, another one is from when I went to the dye workshop on the Navajo reservation (wild carrot). The ceder I embroidered when we we're in Seattle on a Native reservation. Ceder is so important in their lives, from the canoes they carve to the hand woven hats they wear.
When I look at this quilt I am reminded of so many wonderful times spent outdoors with my family and friends, hiking to pick the dye plants, simmering them in the studio early mornings, learning ancient family dying techniques with a wonderful Navajo woman and her family in Arizona, and embroidering the blocks while we traveled around America. My wool quilts are so much more to me than making something to keep warm with (although their very warm and cozy), their my way of telling my family stories.

The day was so beautiful I took my quilt out for a "photo shoot"! Lake Michigan in the background. (I still have to quilt this top)

This is Judy's piece, she button-hole stitched all the felt pieces by hand.

Mary made a "base" of crazy quilted blocks (her sewing machine did all the stitches, they almost look hand embroidered). She then sewed on Velcro to hold the small quilts she made to change for every month. This is a few of her months, she tried different techniques on the pieces.

May, she did hand applique and yoyos.

January, hand embroidery.

And November, a pieced "taco salad". Every year Mary makes a taco salad for us to eat while at the cabin.

Lillian made four pieces to represent the special things of each season.

Kay, "recycled" a piece she made in 1984. It was a group piece from a different bee. Everyone made 12 of the same blocks, each representing a different month. Then they got together and exchanged them and each put their on tops together.

We were at the cabin for almost a week so a lot of projects were made. Quite a few were snowmen quits. How can you not love a snowman quilt! This is a few of them, Kay made the red and black one and the little wall hanging (they still need to be quilted). I machine quilted a piece I started a few years ago. Lillian had given us all a large panel of snowwomen having a quilt show. I cut mine apart and pieced it with flannel sashing and added flannel boarders. It made a nice lap size quilt to curl up with this winter.

Close up of the blocks.

I did have a few pictures of the sunsets we had while there but somehow I deleated them, oh well, my camera never looks as good as in real life.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo