Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wool felt scarves

My girlfriend received this wool felted scarf for Christmas, it looks just OK in the picture but when its worn with a black leather jacket, etc. it is so sharp, she gets all kinds of complements on it. Last night our quilt bee all brought our old wool sweaters we felted to share.

We started by cutting open the seams and taking the sleeves off. Then we picked what colors we wanted to put together and rotary cut out the squares. We're each sewing them at home, hand stitching the squares together, then doing a black wool yarn blanket stitch along the outside edge.
Here's a few laid out ready to stitch.

This is mine.


And another. There were a couple more done in blues and I forgot to get a picture of them. At our next bee meeting (next month) I'll try to get some finished pictures.
We now have lots of wool pieces left over, any good ideas?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Prom/wedding rememberence quilt

When I spoke to the genealogy society I took some of my older "family" quilts I made along to give them different ideas. As I was putting them away last night I snapped a picture of this one I made this in 1992. The middle lace idea was from a pattern but I took it a lot further adding a lot of family pieces. The long white glove (one of the pair) was my cousins who wore them to her prom then passed them on to me to wear to mine. I went to the prom with my future husband. The long black glove was from the pair my daughter wore to her senior prom and the black bow tie my son wore to his senior prom (when I returned his tux I bought the tie). The short white glove (one of the pair) my mother-in law wore to our wedding. Some of the other pieces, the butterfly's came off our wedding cake, the purple ribbon roses my girlfriend made before she passed away from breast cancer. When I was in the hospital one of my friends sent me a piece of tatting she made (above the black glove, right side). The corners I cut antique hankies in quarters and hand stitched them on. My friends shared different lace pieces, some are antique some not. Many of the buttons are very old, some not. The little silver rings were on our 20th anniversary cake.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mi. quilt discovery days

For the past 20 some years Michigan State University have been holding quilt discovery days around the state documenting quilts throughout the state. This past Saturday one was held at our art museum. The weather was horrible, 15 degrees, snowing and blowing but people still came out. The following are a few of my favorites.This log cabin is made from old silk ties and old silk crepe dress scraps. It is so striking in real life.I accidentally put this picture on twice, that's what happens when you blog at work and people keep interrupting me! I meant to have the full size picture of a pomegranate quilt, the close up follows.

This pomegranate quilt is circa 1860's-70's. An elderly man brought it in and said it was given to him in the 1960's (with many others) in a box and tobacco was sprinkled over it all to keep the moths away. The workmanship is beautiful with the little birds in all the corner blocks in the lattice.

Kay studying this pineapple quilt made with wool suiting fabrics, circa late1800's. Kay is quite an expert on antique quilts.

Ok, back to the tulip quilt, on the back it is embroidered 1852.

This is picture of its maker.

This is the owner, her great grandmother made the quilt then passed it down to her granddaughter (the lady in the picture) who then passed it down to her granddaughter (the owner). She said she hopes to pass it on to her granddaughter which at this point she doesn't have.

Another older man brought this baby quilt in, his grandmother made it for him, he was born in 1942. It's the Pied-piper leading the kids out the village. I'm not sure if this was a kit quilt but it was beautifully done.

This was a great Ocean Waves circa 1875.

The half-square triangle quilt fabrics date from the late 1800's but the owner thought it was made in the 30's. There was a matching doll quilt that had been framed but had faded terribly.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dying with lichen

Lichen from our hikes in Florida. I think this lichen is bigger and fluffier due to all the humidity and longer growing season compared to ours in Michigan. We cut it off the sticks, tied it up in cheese cloth and put it in the dye pot. I was not really sure if it is the correct lichen for dying.

I read to use ammonia (or urine), so I dumped a whole bottle of ammonia in the pot and simmered it with the lichen (not a good thing to look at or smell), but the dye was unbelievable, it's a dark rusty color. I put a few wool sample pieces in, one was mordanted with alum the other not. They both dyed the same.
Before I went to work I pulled them out of the pot and hung them on the line, when I came home this is what it looked like.

After I washed and dried them (the first two in the picture) they had great color variations from fawn brown to splotches of rose, also I didn't manipulate the fabric in any way before I put it in the pot. I wished I had cut the pieces bigger, I thought it would make a nice background fabric for some of my house blocks. So, I simmered the pot and added another piece, it turned out this dark gray, rose, purple!

There seems still to be a lot of color left and the dye is looking darker and darker. Very interesting. Next time I go to Florida I'm going to collect more lichen and try it with water instead of ammonia. If anyone has any more information on dying with lichen please let me know, I wasn't able to find much on the web.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Holidays with the grandkids

We had a wonderful time in Florida with the kids and grand kids, the weather was beautiful (but it did not look like Christmas), we did a lot of hiking and spent time at the beach. Now were home and back to the real world! This is a picture of Grandpa with the boys and their Christmas quilts I made. The oldest received his a few years ago. It has wonderful Santa's on it with leopard spot stripes on their socks and the top boarder has Santa snowboarding. I made this quilt double bed size. Someday I'll make the "triplets" bigger pieced keepsake Christmas quilt.

This is a picture of the kids when they opened their quilts. They were so cute studying them. They love snowmen and their favorite movie is Frosty the Snowman.

This is the youngest, I told him this is Grandmas house and that's where they sleep (upstairs window) when they come home. He's pointing at the window asking me where his playpen is he sleeps in.

I looked up and one of the twins was making a "snow angel" on his quilt, they really need to get to Michigan and see real snow.

Last year I made this tree topper for their tree. I took a large styrofoam ball and coated it with craft glue the wrapped yarn around it. The yarn is pure white with little sparkle highlights. For the nose I sharpened a wooden dowel painted orange and buttons for the mouth and eyes. The hat I bought at a party store, it's a kids headband. Then I cut out a polar fleece scarf.

This is it all lit up. My daughter puts so many lites on the tree, it was not fun taking it down.

We did have a lot of fun at the ocean.

The water was cool but it didn't bother the twins.

This was one of our hikes we took just after we watched the movie Kung Fu Panda! Obviously, the boys loved that movie.

While on the hike we found a lot of lichen on sticks. The kids helped me collect it to try using it for natural dying. There is a lot of different types of lichen so I'm not sure if I have the correct type. I looked it up on the web and there's not too much information on the procedure. My husband scrapped it off the sticks for me and I have it soaking in ammonia. It's one of the ways I read, I also read to simmer it in water, I wish I would have divided it up and tried both ways. Right now the water is a dark rust color, which is hard to believe because the lichen is a pale greenish white. I can't wait to put my fabric in. I'll show you the results soon.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo