Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy Halloween

Halloween came to my Herb society meeting last week, our topic for the night was "Poison Plants". We meet in a beautiful old mansion built in the late 1800's. One of the members set up this poison plant display. The architecture is so beautiful, all the hand carved wood through out the home make for a beautiful back drop for any decorating.

And our speaker for the evening, our President, with her great witch hat.

Our treat table with ghoulish goodies.

The vege. tray with spider webs and spiders in the vege flowers.

Grave yard pudding and spider candies.

And mummy cupcakes and eye ball candies.

And no party would be complete without chocolate, which at our herb club we've determined is a herb!

A old family painting hanging in the foyer became a perfect place to hang my Halloween quilt, under it we put the hot, spicy cider bowl.

Most of the members of the herb society are also knitters, weavers, quilters, crafters, and artists. So we have a textile show and tell at a lot of our meetings. This is one of our Presidents projects shes knitting. This is made from left over yarn from her and her friends sock projects. It will be a nice size afghan when it's finished.

Back home my husband carved a pumpkin for our family Halloween party. He loves his wood carving set, (thank-you Warren), it works great on pumpkins.
As he carved I wash the seeds, sprinkled on seasoned salt, melted 3 tablespoons of butter on a cookie sheet, added the seeds, baked them in a 350 degree oven for 10 or so minutes. Great munchie while you carve or in my case supervise the carving.

This is this years design which I found in a Martha Stewart magazine. A big owl on a branch with a full moon behind it. It's not carved all the way through the pumpkin so you have to have a bright light bulb inside to light it up. This will be the center piece on the food table.

And the moon glows with the lights off. Have a fun, wonderful Halloween!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Autumn on Lake Superior

Last week my husband and I packed our R.V. and went camping in the Upper Peninsula. You know your almost there when you see the Mackinaw Bridge.

Our first campsite was on the Straits of Mackinaw. The coast is so rocky compared to ours back home.

When we arrived a storm was coming in over the tree tops. Nothing better than sleeping in a camper while it's raining.

The rose hips were beautiful.

Our next campsite was on the Tahquamenon River (it runs into Lake Superior). We love to camp off season, you get the best campsites and hardly any other campers.

The leaves were in full color, perfect for hiking.

On one of our long hikes, tucked in the woods was this large moss patch. I climbed in through the branches to take some pictures. The moss was so thick and squishy, I don't think another human had ever walked on it.

There were wintergreen plants,

and tiny spruce trees,

and wonderful mushrooms. It was so magical looking, I expected to see faries or elves living there.

Early morning looking out of our camper at the fog on the river.

We hiked part of "The North Trail" along Lake Superior. This trail goes from New York to North Dakota.

The leaves were drifting along the shoreline.

What a picture they made.

As we hiked I collected leaves to play with printing them on wool, oak.

And white birch. I bundled and steamed them, now there waiting to be unwrapped. I'll show you how they turned out next week.

For my "family tree" quilt the lattice strips between the house blocks will have on them the hobbies and favorite past times of the family members. While on our vacation I cut and appliqued the first strip. This is my families hobbies, my mom was always a "sun worshiper" and loves to read. My dad loved to fish and hunt for mushrooms. And he always took us all camping. I still have to embroidery in the names and details.

This is how it will look with my childhood home. The blue lattice strip will be embroidered with my dads Navel history. The "yard" of the house which I already embroidered with the family births, deaths etc. I covered with chunks of fabric for some privacy on this big world wide theater!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Girls quilting retreat

Last Wednesday my girlfriends and I took off for 5 days of quilting up at my girlfriends cottage "up north". The leaves were almost at peak color, it was sunny and warm, we packed lots of good food and wine, who could ask for more.

Our view of the lake from the cottage.

The first thing we did was to return each others "row by row" quilt. We began the exchange last September with everyone making their own first row and sending some fabric along if you wanted to for the rest of the rows. It was so exciting to get your quilt back. This was Laura's snowman quilt.

Cathy's black and white with a little spark of color in some of the blocks. (I'm holding them over the living room balcony).

Jody's more subdued quilt to go in her living room.

Joni's quilt for her living room.

Jamie's Christmas quilt. I love the black lattice strips, it makes it very elegant.

And my "Ultimate" Halloween quilt. I took the picture outside on the deck.

The project I worked on I began 15 years ago. I bought some pretreated fabric squares (they were a dirty white color, I can't remember the name of the technique), picked wild flowers from our river property, laid them on the fabric, placed it in the sun for around 10 minutes, then brought them in and rinsed the fabric out in cool water. The fabric turned indigo blue leaving the flower print. I printed 12 of them.
The lattice fabric I ordered years ago, it's cotton from South Africa. I prewashed it quite a few times, the blue keep running.

This is the back of the fabric with their trademark.

This is the beginning of the quilt, the next set of boarders will have the same white stars pieced in them.

Laura pieced and quilted two Halloween quilts for her twin grand kids.

Laura also took her sons favorite Hawaiian shirts from high school, unsewed them and pieced them into a surprise birthday quilt. He was a football player and every Friday the team wore their Hawaiian shirts to school, lots of fun memories. Some of the blocks still have the pockets and the button flaps on them.

Cathy's daughter in law is a music teacher at our local school. This is for her for Christmas. The outer boarder is choir singers.
This is just a few of the tops that were pieced during our stay.

We also took walks collecting leaves.

I brought premordanted silk scarves for everyone. We laid the leaves on them, rolled them up tight, and simmered them awhile. They took them home to unwrap after a few days.

Jamie and I played around pounding leaves on muslim.

Our group photo, what a wonderful time. Thank you Laura!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Home from Florida

I arrived in Florida and off we went to the ocean. The water was warm and the waves were high due to all the hurricans out in the ocean. The boys loved jumping and playing in the water.

OK, they really loved it, we spent two days playing in the waves.

We also took a few hikes. I love the hanging moss.

My favorite purple berries were out in all their splender.

While I sewed on my wool house quilt block the little one sewed little pouches for their "silly bands". I cut them out of red polar fleese, they sewed up the sides and a button on top.
The necklas around my neck I made in the early 1970's. My daughter had it in her sewing box after finding it in mine.

Everyone sewing with their glow-in-the-dark skeleton shirts on. I bought them and also Halloween pj bottoms. We decorated the house and celebrated Halloween the whole time I was there.

My daughter's friend brought this throw home for her from Saudi Arabia.

I don't believe it was made there, it has some beautiful hand work.

Back home looking out my dye studio window with the last flowers of summer.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo