Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My quilt bee began a "row by row" quilt exchange last fall (see the beginning pictures on my last Oct. blog). There are six of us in the group, and we've been passing the tops around every 2 months after adding a row of blocks and lattice. This is Cathy's quilt, she pieced the first row, black and white with a little bit of tropical color. When she gets it back in July it will have 6 rows of six blocks and lattice.

I started piecing my blocks for it yesterday finishing four. For the color I fussy cut some batik fabrics I bought when I was in the Bahamas. On one of the Bahama islands, Andros, they hand batik their own fabric and sells it only in the Bahamas. Its like hunting for treasure, looking for it while vacationing there. I displayed a few of the fabrics along side of the blocks.

I'm at work uploading my blog pictures when one of our customers comes in and brings us this beautiful group of Easter Lilys, suddenly the whole office smells like "spring". What a wonderful gift.

I hope you have a Blessed Easter.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Last weekend I spent the day dyeing eggs with onion skins. I started by taking a walk in the woods looking for plants to put on the eggs, adding some of my house plants and herbs. I used raw eggs, washed them with water and vinegar, placed the plant on the egg then wrapped the egg with a square of nylon stocking (or you could use cheese cloth) using a twisty to hold it on the back. I filled a stainless steel pan (or glass) with water and a few tablespoons of vinegar. Next I put in a lot of onion skins and the eggs. I simmered them for about a hour and left them to cool. After they cooled I carefully took off the nylon and plant and lightly rinsed them. When they dried completely I rubbed on some vegetable oil. I did this about 13 years ago and used the eggs every year and just threw them away this year. I stored them in my basement and brought them out at Easter, cleaning them up with a little oil. If you want to eat your eggs, simmer the onion skins first then carefully add the eggs and cook for about 15 minutes.
Other great dyes for eggs are turmeric, beets, blueberries and raspberries.

Some of the eggs, I love the fern on the center egg.

The basket I keep them in looks like a bird nest with the green moss.

I also made my girlfriend a basket full.

The wool rabbit table mat was from a commercial pattern. I appliqued this with my natural dyed wool a few years ago.

I finished quilting my wool herb/plant quilt. It's machine quilted, it was so hard to keep the wool from stretching and moving, even having it well pinned and using my walking and free motion foot, it was a pain to quilt. I should have hand quilted it.

I love this quilting design for triangles, it make the quilt look "perky". I mark the bottom center with a dot and then free motion the loops starting with the center, doing one side then the other.

My friend Mary made this wall hanging. She used a picture she took with her camera (the center picture of the iris), transferred it to fabric, then with a "kaleidoscope" program on her computer she manipulated the iris into 12 different kaleidoscope blocks. Printed them onto the fabric. She then pieced them into this wall hanging.

A close up of some of the blocks.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I know I'm a wee bit late but I wanted to share with you the centerpiece at my Herb Society's "treat" table. Every meeting the members take turns bringing in treats and decorating for the season. The plants in the basket are not artificial, they were one of the members outside summer plants that she brought in last fall and babied them all winter. Now the impatients are full of buds and beginning to bloom and the fern is beautiful. Another member brought in her collection of leprechauns and fairies to add to the display.

Another leprechaun with a basket of plants.

My friend Beverly took a class on doing a self portrait with fabric. This is her real picture.

And this is the beginning of her self portrait in fabric. She has the most wonderful eyes, the iris are dark brown/black with rims of bright blue surrounding them. She captured it well in her picture.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Textile exhibit

I went to a wonderful textile exhibit this past week. It was held in Grand Rapids, Mi. at the Inner City Christian Federation building, Michigan's oldest non-profit affordable housing provider. The textiles were displayed along the walls of the 3 floors, beautifully matted and framed. This is as a private collection from a collector in California, around 100 pieces from around the world, vintage traditional pieces to very contemporary pieces. This is a few of them, please double click on the pictures to see the workmanship up close.

Panaderia- Three dimensional embroidery showing how bread is made- Latin

Inuit wall hanging- three dimensional, embroidered and appliqued. -Inuit

Close up.

Close up.

Indian Wedding- mixed media- Wendy Green- British

Indian Garden- mixed media. Wendy Green-British

Old embroidered vest, Transylvania


This exhibit was titled "Loony Figures" by Pat Selman- British. She is severely handicapped and could only work on the piece 15 minutes at a time. Her work was so cute and made you smile.

And the other half of her piece.

Viola 1- multi-colored modern embroidery, Wendy Green-British

Wexford Farmstead-hand painted cotton, hand-appliqued and embroidered. Monica Tierney- Irish

Garden Party at Ram House- Vertical abstract piece incorporating hand and machine stitching, dyeing, cutwork, cording and beading. Machine applique on linen. Rosemary MacCarthy-Morrogh- Irish

Jerpoint- quilted and embroidered. An impressionistic view of the ruin of Jerpoint Abby in County Kilkenny. Kitty Whelan-Irish


I hope I gave credit to all the right artists. This is just a few of the many beautiful pieces, if you are able please take the time to go and see the exhibit. It will be there until April ? Their website for more information http://www.iccf.org/ along with more pictures from the exhibit.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

quilt guild meeting

Last night was our annual baby quilt give away. Every year we donate the quilts to local charities to give away during the year, this year we had 275 quilts.

After the quilt give away we had a "make it and take it" program. The project was these cute mesh zipper bags. The "board" had kits for everyone. They sell this mesh at fabric stores but you can also buy it (much cheaper) at large home improvement stores, called Pet Mesh. It's very supple.

They had tables set up around the room with a board member and a couple of sewing machines at each. We each worked on our own little bag , it took no time at all.

The machine sewed easily through the mesh.

You end up with a cute quilt notions bag.

One of the board ahead of time made a canvas bag with a machine embroidered motif.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo