Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Making Herbal Dream Pillows

Last summer while at the Herb Conference I bought this book by Jim Long on how to make herbal pillows. The book is very well written and goes into the history of herbal pillows along with different recipes for the pillows ( such as restful, romantic, lack of nightmares, creative, good memories etc).
This past weekend I made these pillows with my grand kids and daughter. A perfect project for a cold winter day.

We choose the herbs for restful sleep with no nightmares. The herbs we used were:
Lavender-aids restfulness, soothes, reduces stress, eases headaches.
Rose- loving thoughts and warmth.
Rosemary- deep sleep, keeps away bad dreams.
Thyme-restful sleep, lack of nightmares.
Mullein- guards against nightmares.
Some added a pinch of Mugwort to help remember their dreams.

The boys picked out their fabric, I washed it in a detergent with no scent. Cut them approx. 5"x12". These are little pillows that tuck into/with your big bed pillow.
It's also nice to use vintage handkerchiefs, (a great women's gift).

You sew up two sides. Leave the top open for stuffing.

The boys each sewed their own.

Their getting pretty good on my machine.

We discussed each herb and it's benefits then took turns adding them to the bowl, about a 1/2 cup of each.

Everyone broke up the dried Mullein that we harvested last summer.

Aren't kids little hands precious?
After mixing it we added 1/2 cup to each bag, folded the top down and sewed them shut.
The next morning everyone confirmed they had a very good nights sleep with no bad dreams.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dyeing with avocados

I received my Handeye magazine in the mail Friday, this issue was on COLOR in textiles from around the world. It is a wonderful issue. The magazine also has free online issues that they send out every week to your e-mail. There's usually around 3 different articles on traditional textiles from around the world and how the people are bringing them back and relearning the old traditional skills. Once in awhile there are articles on traditional pottery, jewelry etc.
The address to sign up is http://www.handeyemagazine.com/
I was inspired by an article in this issue on dyeing with avocado pits.

So out came my year old dried avocados pits (from the last Super Bowl) that I saved just for this purpose.

I placed them in a pot of water on my wood stove and simmered them for about 2 hours, then placed alum mordanted wool fabric in and simmered another couple of hours, left it to soak overnight. I removed the fabric the next day and put the pot back on the wood stove and boiled it hard for a hour or so, then place another piece of fabric in and let it simmer hard for a couple of hours then left that piece overnight.

I ended up with two peachy pink pieces. They look more pink in real life.

We bought the grandsons new snowshoes, with all of this beautiful snow it was perfect time to try them out. So out we went to the campground where we take them camping every summer.

We hiked along the creek where they play with their nets and catch crayfish in the summer.

The big soccer field is now perfect for making snow angels even with your snowshoes on.

It was beautiful.

With just a little color.

Back home we have so much snow the boys think the snow covered bushes are forts.

They each had their own.

As grandpa finished plowing the driveway down they went on their snowboards.

Friday, January 13, 2012

First Snow

We had our first really beautiful snowfall last night, everything is fluffy and white.

The trees look like their full of cotton.
The kids are so excited to go sledding/snowboarding this weekend, so instead of curling up by the fire quilting I'll be at the sledding hills laughing, drinking hot cocoa and enjoying the snow. OK, that's a fair trade off.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wolf moon

Last night was a bright, clear night perfect for viewing the first full moon of the year called the "wolf moon", so called because the cold, icy branches of trees rubbing together sounded like a wolf's howl. The Native Americans would closely watch the seasonal cycles and named the moons in reference to their life cycles, their gathering of natural foods, planting and harvesting times. They kept track of the seasons by assigning a descriptive name to each recurring full moon. Variations in the names can be found across North America due to climate and temperature conditions affecting local regions.

In Michigan we have alot of cloudy nights due to the lake so this was great.

The light clouds made the moon seem to glow even more.

Being a "sky" watcher, I thought this would make a wonderful series of blocks to work on this year, a new little moon every month. Then add them to my little earth quilt I've been making the past year.
There's a new book out called Magical Moons & Seasonal Circles by Susan Betz about the study of the timing of the natural periodic events in the plant and animal world influenced by the local environment, especially weather, temperature, seasonal change and climate. It goes into detail about the moons' names and their meaning. (all the moon information in this post is from her book).

So, last night after enjoying the moon I went in, grabbed some fabric and supplies, climbed into bed and stitched my own little wolf moon with ice crystals floating from the howling wolf.
(The moon fabric is icy white but appears pink in the picture propped up against my legs)

The next morning I pinned it up on the design wall with my other "earth" blocks, summer solstice, pink moon (May), sliver of a moon Halloween 2010, lunar eclipse, winter storm with a sliver of a moon and my favorite, twilight.

I had to show you a picture of my grandniece who is 1 1/2 years old. She was over the other day and found my new Hancock's fabric catalog, she laid on my bed for the longest time studying it. A future quilter?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tom & Jerry Quilt

My grandson and I spent New Years day piecing his Tom & Jerry quilt. Piecing is a little slower when you have a 5 year old "helping". He even had to press the foot pedal.

Two days later it was finished and he was one happy boy. That night he slept with it on top of all his other quilts I made him, first was his sports quilt ( very puffy batting), then his new Christmas quilt and on top of all that was Tom & Jerry! Mom removed a few once he was asleep.

Vintage Tom & Jerry side.

Flannel Loony Tunes side.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo