Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year!!

This little wool bird was a kit Deb C. made for each of us to work on at our bee Christmas party. I just finished mine, instead of using fiber fill to stuff it, I filled it with dried lavender and a couple drops of lavender essential oil. It smells wonderful.

It's nice to have a hand project to work on during the party, a couple of years ago Kay and I made up kits to embroider these fun snow people. Mine have been finished waiting to be put together. I'm going to photo transfer pictures to fabric of the grand kids playing in the snow and make it into a wall hanging. Hopefully, this winter!

Have a wonderful New Years Eve, we will be celebrating the kids move back to Michigan and looking forward to the adventures we will have in the coming year.
See you next year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

When the mailman delivers a package from Alaska you know it's going to be wonderful! It starts with my favorite wrapping paper, white wool ready for dyeing.

Inside the package was a beautiful, full of texture and color silk scarf, hand dyed/shiborri by Deb H. Topped off with a vintage pin who used to belong to Aunt Ethel.

Perfect for Christmas Eve!

Another package held ornaments from Deb's husband Warren. The center of the ornaments held copies of his original art work he drew and painted many years ago. He was a artist who worked for I believe Hallmark.

His original paintings hang in their home. I was tickled to get these.

Thank-you Warren.

This last two weeks have been sooo busy when I wasn't at work I felt like I was either in the kitchen, laundry room or emergency room. I really needed some me time hand-sewing on my wool quilt. So last evening I lit a fire in my studio, turned on my favorite CD, and curled up on the couch ready to stitch. When what to my wondering eyes should appear... the twins, with their own wool projects that their hand-stitching! After I got them going it turned out to be a nice peaceful evening.

They design and cut out all of their own story characters. The beginning of his turtle in a pond.
Then comes little brother wanting to know when we're starting on his Tom & Jerry quilt!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas

We've had some major illness at our house this past week so some of my Christmas sewing, decorating and baking had to given up but everyone's on the mend and the really important sewing, decorating and baking did get finished. So I guess I'm ready (or mostly).
For all my gardening friends, last week I was at Sam's Club and bought this hydrangea, I was fascinated by the petals, they are icy white, very thick and textured.

Absolutely beautiful. The tag said it was a perennial but I don't know if it would survive a Michigan winter, does anyone have any idea how I should take care of this after the blooms die off?

With all the sickness I missed one of my favorite Christmas parties, my quilt bee party! My quilt friends give the best presents and are the best cooks! Kay delivered my gifts later and I photographed a few of the handmade ones.
Mary made this pincushion with left over scraps from her tree skirt she made this year. Her tree was beautiful with ornaments to match the tree skirt, I was going to photograph it at the party but that's how it goes.

Judy hand stitched this wonderful wool pin cushion. I photographed both cushions tucked in my tree, there so pretty I think a whole tree of hand-made pin cushions would be beautiful. Being quilters we can never have too many. Judy also sent homemade fudge, peanut brittle and white chocolate peppermint candy, how nice was that?

Deb C. bought us all these cute embroidery scissors. Their just too wonderful to look at.

I wish you all a Blessed Christmas.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Herbs & Cookies

Last night was my Herb Society's Christmas party. It was full of wonderful holiday tastes and smells. The talk was on different spice and herbs mixes to make for your holiday cooking, herbs to mix together for potpourri, and hot holiday drinks, like white hot chocolate (sinfully rich:) and spicey hot tea.

We all received a package of a parsley and dill herb dip mix, just mix with sour cream and mayo.

Six lucky winners received herbal "soup wreaths". The different wreaths were made with herbs that either go well with chicken or beef soup.

To make, when your herbs are fresh choose about six springs, bend the longest woody herb to form a loop, wrapping ends around each other. Add herbs and wrap with a long leaf herb such as chives to hold herbs on the wreath. Dry them and then package. They can be embellished with a small dried pepper or chive blossoms.

The out-going board members received a wonderful journal to record all our herb growing/cooking (dyeing) ideas in.

Like you I've been very busy getting everything ready for Christmas, we have two trees up, our whimsical Christmas village is set out, the outside fences are twinkling with little white lights and last weekend we started our cookie baking. This was my mothers favorite cookie book (I believe it's from the 60's).

We always made Mary's sugar cookie, I believe it's the best cut-out cookie there is! It's made with all the perfect ingredients, real butter, real vanilla & almond extract, and powder sugar. I always made them with my kids, using my childhood cookie cutters and now....

I'm making them with my grand kids, still using the my childhood cutters and ones I bought when my kids were little! Try that with 3 little boys!

They each cardfully cut out their own and placed them on the cookie sheet.

This weekend we're baking peanut butter cookies with chocolate stars and snowballs cookies with lots of crushed pecans.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Loony Tune quilt

I just, just finished making and giving my grandsons their Christmas quilts and said "I'm not making them any more quilts until they get married"! Well, my daughter and I we're looking in her cedar chest for something and we found a quilt top she made when she was 14. To make a long story short the youngest grandson loves the Loony Tune cartoons, especially Tom and Jerry. We thought we should finish this quilt and he can have it but there wasn't any Tom and Jerry fabrics in it. I went on e-bay and found a collection of vintage, never used Tom & Jerry fabric. I believe they may been fabric samples, all the edges are cut with pinking sheers.

We were planning to cut it into boarders for the top but there is so much we decided to even up the blocks and piece it together (make one more block), add boarders and use it for the back of the quilt, make it a reversible quilt.

We went to the fabric store to look for some fabric for the boarders and with all the retro fabric so popular now we found some that matched perfectly! The green and blue dot fabric in the middle is the new fabric surrounded by the vintage fabric.

Vintage fabric.

Another close up, I love this piece, could they be from the 50's or 60's?

My grandson is going to help sew his quilt so I told him he needed to draw his pattern. He ran in his room and quickly designed the layout. Perfect.

I guess we're ready to begin!
I just realized the fabric for this quilt will be from the 60's, 1994 and 2011. Try to date this one 100 years from now (if it makes it).

Last night was my quilt guild Christmas party, every year for the leaving Chairman the board makes her a thank-you quilt and presents it to her at the Christmas party. This is this years quilt. This year was our 20th anniversary, during the past year the guild had every member sign a piece of fabric and pieced it into a quilt. One member won that quilt last night. This quilt was based upon that quilt with the board members signing and writing message in the squares and a wonderful appliqued flower vine in the corners.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My favorite type of quilts!

My girlfriend Sandy passed away from breast cancer in 1993, her daughter Vicky was 13. Vicky had learned to quilt with her mom when she was 5. Vicky has now grown into a beautiful women, graduated from college and I believe has 2 master degrees. She has a great job and now is buying her own home. She's done all of this on her own. Well now she has some free time and has begun finishing up her moms quilts. This first one were friendship Christmas blocks made and exchanged between Vicky, my daughter, her mom and me when the girls were around 7 years old. They were never put together, I was so impressed how well Vicky pieced this quilt, (with the little girls piecing blocks every block was a different size). The only instruction Vicky received was talking to me over the phone. She still has two boarders to put on and quilt it.

Her mothers very first quilt she made was also unfinished, it was pieced but needed to be quilted. Vicky took it apart and divided up the blocks, bought new lattice and boarder fabric and proceeded to make two lap quilts for her two brothers for Christmas. How wonderful is that? This is one of them. (I had separate pictures of the two but accidentally deleted one of them).

This is the two together, they just need to be quilted. What a family treasure.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm getting ready for our Thanksgiving guests, we'll be having around 20. This little turkey and quilted mat will be part of our centerpiece, my vintage linen table cloth will be underneath and the candles will be glowing.

This mat was our leaf pounded fabric we made while on our color tour. I trimmed up the sides, added batik boarders, layered it and machine quilted in the leaf veins, a few winter green berries and a acorn. The grand kids signed the back and wrote cute messages to their mom and surprised her with it for her birthday.
I hope you have a wonderful Thansgiving and eat to much!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Northern Mi. Quilt Retreat

Last week was my bee's annual quilt retreat, we are so blessed to be able to get away for a week to a beautiful log home over looking Lake Michigan. Our views from the sewing area are perfect, the colors of the sky and lake continuously change.

We had some stormy weather which makes staying in quilting all the more wonderful.
The following are just a "few" of the projects that were made.

Over achiever Mary pieced this spectacular Christmas tree skirt.

Kay made a tee-shirt quilt for her grandson with his out grown tennis shirts. Her blocks were so nice and crisp, not tee-shirty looking at all.

My daughter came up for the day (then ended spending the night when a storm came up, which was wonderful). She finished piecing a wool quilt she started several years ago. She's going to add black wool boarders.
(Thank you Sandy for all the beautiful wool!)

Martha pieced this summery piece, it would look wonderful on a wicker chair in a sun room.

Our bee challenge this year was using the left over pieces of fabric from the quilt we made Lillian last year. These were made in memory of Lillian.
Martha made the pillow, Lillian had one in this pattern in her sun porch where we quilted. The buttons were from Lillian's button box.
Kay made the wall hanging on the left (she still had to put on the binding), the block pattern was the pattern we used in Lillian's quilt. She added the hearts and hand-quilted it.
Mine is the middle one, it's called "Gracie". Lillian never had any children and loved her cat Gracie. Gracie passed away a few months before Lillian.
Mary made the next one. Lillian had named our group the Log Cabin quilters years ago, Mary made a Log Cabin Friendship Star, actually a Friendship Star in a Friendship Star.

Some of us made this style purse with purchased handles. Mine is made with flower printed wool I dyed for the main body. I love how the clasp are off to the side.

Kay's with hand-dyed wool.

Martha was this great "black butterfly" cotton.

Kay also did a batik bag. The purse easily come off the handles so you can change the bag out.

We had some visitors peak in our windows.

And stay for breakfast.

Mary, who made the intricately pieced tree skirt also made this apron from a Debbie Mumm panel.

She finished piecing this wall hanging.

I was hunched over machine quilting the whole time I was there, except for the small break to make the purse. My neck and shoulders were sore but I finished quilting my grandson's Christmas quilts (I had them pieced before I came). This one is for the youngest, the center is a cute panel with reindeer hanging out the windows stringing Christmas lights on the tree. I pieced the pinwheel blocks around it. The striping along the edge is the binding waiting to be turn back and hand sewn.

I quilted this for one of the twins, binding still needs the hand sewing.

This one I finished before but I brought it along to put the binding on.
I'm going to secretly put them on their beds Thanksgiving night to start the holiday season, they have no idea I made them.

Mary made this very time consuming purse. It's still was not finished, the pocket flaps need big buttons,

the binding needs hand sewing and the strap needs to be put into the side hooks.
It looked like a designer bag, I don't think anyone could do a nicer job making it.

Kay made this great scrap quilt with lots of different batiks. I love it.

A neighbor Eileen Bien who lives near the cottage (Mary met her at a quilting class back home and became friends with her) invited us over for lunch and show and tell. I love this quilt she designed of different "Suns". The workmanship is beautiful!

Living on Lake Michigan you have a lot of inspiration.

And speaking of inspiration I captured this sunset when the sun was just going below the horizon. They say you see a green flash when it does, did I capture that flash?

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo