Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wishing on a star

This little piece was so much fun to embroider, it's my grandsons making a wish on the first star. One thing I did so I didn't have to use a hoop was before I started I sprayed basted the back and put batting on. I finished all the detail on the earth, now I will put the backing on and quilt the rest of it. I will quilt each block as I go, I'm not quite sure how I will attach the next blocks maybe embroidery stitches with beads.

Close up of my guys.

Inspiration for my block, drawn by my 5 yr. old grandson.
My daughters womderful about sending pictures the boys draw. For my birthday she sent a envelope of full of "cards". This is a family picture, I asked my grandson is this grandma on the other side of the tree, he said "no, it's his friend Stephan", I said "what happened to grandma", he said "next picture".

My friend Kay gave me these wonderful hand dyed bamboo socks for my birthday. They were beautifully dyed and very soft. The maker is

Just had to share one more picture with you (same artist), he loves dinosaurs, I don't think I've ever saw a cuter one.

Tonight I will start on the next block on my earth quilt, there's a full moon tonight and they call it the "pink"moon due to all the flowering trees and shrubs. We have a very old gnarly apple tree in our yard full of blossoms, I don't know how it still is standing because most of the inside is hollow. I think that will also be a block.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day???

Happy Earth Day?? I guess the Earth may be a little happy, we are trying. Hopefully, we will all try a little more.
I've been thinking about making a "earthy" story quilt for quite awhile and now seemed like the perfect time. I started this piece last night, it's the beginning of my first block. I want to capture nature as the seasons change, as seen through my back window. Each block will be sewed by hand using fabrics I already have.
The first block begins with a hand-marbled piece my daughter made when she was 14. we were playing around with marbling fabrics when she designed this, we called it "Twilight-the first Star". I've always loved it. It represents the earth in my block.
The background is a piece of hand batiked fabric I bought in the Bahamas. The Native Americans call North America "Turtle Island" and the Earth is the back of a huge turtle. My Earth is happily living with many turtles and a few fish.
I think this Earth needs my 4 grandsons wishing on the 1st. star, I'll add that tonight.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Natural dye demonstration

Last night I demonstrated natural dying to the W. Mi. Herb Society. The meeting was held at PJ's fine arts studio. She is a professional artist and art teacher.
Her studio was a great place for the stoves and dye pots, no worry about spills, and plenty of room for the attendees.

I brought 6 dye pots fill with herbs and plants the attendees could have in their own gardens. Some I started ahead at home. I dyed wool yarn as a lot of the members are knitters, spinners, weavers and quilters. I thought they could share the yarn when it was finished. The plants I used were dill (it's the "Herb of the Year"), dried chamomile, beets (not really a great light fast dye), carrot tops, onion skins and black walnuts. (I did premordant all my yarn with alum at home).

This was a unexpected wonderful color, I chopped up carrot tops and simmered them in an iron pot on the wood stove (at home before the meeting) for a couple of days, adding the yarn after one day of simmering. The color is a beautiful "celery" green. Usually with the iron pot it turns out a saddened color.

Outside picture.

The onion skins always give a rich color. The piece of wool fabric on the table I dyed with beets last winter. I didn't get a picture of the yarn dyed with the beets or dill, after I wash and dry them I will post the pictures.

This yarn was dyed with the dried chamomile flowers. Not only did the dye bath smell wonderful the yarn is a beautiful creamy yellow.

I talked about premordanting the wool with alum and showed all of my natural dyed quilts I've made (of course the picture that was taken is the quilt I just showed you a couple of blogs ago).

Just a reminder that daffodils make a beautiful creamy yellow dye on wool. One of the secrets is to pick the flowers and soak them in water a week before putting it all in the dye pot. I have 3 jars full lined up on my window sill solar cooking.

This was a piece painted by a student at the studio. Her name is LynnMarie. I love all the texture in the hair and the hat is 3 dimensional with an applied piece of fabric that has been painted.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I spent a wonderful day yesterday in a class with Letitia Hutching. She's the designer and creator of the pattern line Mount Redoubt Designs. Wonderful 3 dimensional quilt designs. The local quilt guild brought her here for workshops and a lecture. She's from Alaska. The class yesterday was learning new techniques for 3-d flowers, and other fun fabric techniques.

This is Latitia and her 11 year old daughter Olivia. Olivia was a wonderful helper to all of us and a great quilter and someday I'm sure will be designing and teaching her own.

This was the little project we were making with the 3-d flowers, fabric weaving, applying crystals etc.

Olivia showing one of her mothers table runners with wonderful large 3-d flowers.

She does a lot of layering of the petals with a little seam sewed on the back to add dimension.

A few crystals in the center.

One of her Christmas table runners with white poinsettias.

A few more of her quilts, her colors and designs are beautiful.

Weaving along the side.

Her white poinsettia table runner.

Her winter cardinals in the birch tree wall hanging. One of a series.

Another one.

And a wonderful barn with a witch.

And one of my favorites a woven(?) pumpkin with a critter sleeping under a quilt.

A beautiful Indian maiden with crystal corn.

This is just a small sample of her quilts and of course pictures don't do them justice, you can't see the sparkle from the thread to the crystals. If you guild or group is looking for a very good teacher/speaker I highly recommend her.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo