Monday, April 23, 2012

Earth Day/ Birthday

 Earth Day one of my favorite days, it also happens to be my birthday!  I woke up to my favorite kind of card, hand-made cards from my grandchildren.

 This one said it all "Dear Grandma  I think you are going to do sumthing fun for your birthday. Sincerely (a new word he just learned) Paschal. He was right, Grandpa was taking the family North hiking in the woods and I was spending the whole day in the dye studio!!! All day with nothing to do but play.

 I love the boys pictures they draw (no coloring books in our house). This one is a cherry tree with a bee and butterfly.

 And from little brother a happy tree with butterfly's, bees, flowers and him (with the brown afro), me and someone else but he wasn't sure who.

I began my day by picking  myself a bouquet of lilacs,

and lit a fire in the studio.
 I'm still working on my wool dye/printed quilt and I'm out of printed fabrics. I love that I can't run to the fabric store to buy any I have to go to the woods! And I did.
This picture was taken without the flash.

 And this one with the flash. I want to add one more row on the bottom and I need more fabric to finish the top row.

I love this maple leaf print, I used  red Autumn leaves and got this wonderful green print. When I use green leaves I get a yellow print. I'd like to do outside boarders on the quilt with a leaf print like this, first a small plain boarder then this. But I don't want to wait until fall to print the boarder and who knows if I'll get the same color? Decisions, decisions.

 So off I went in the woods behind our house and found Blood Root plants. They have pretty white flowers in the Spring. The Native American's used the root as a red dye for their skin. Early American's would put a drop on a sugar cube to help a sore throat. I did not want to dig up the plant and kill it so I just picked a few leaves to try to dye with. Their a beautiful shape.

 The red sap oozed out of the leaf stem.

 Staining my finger. We'll see how it does on my fabric.

Ok, I don't know how I moved this picture to the side or how to get it back in the middle, they (the blog people) just did a major "update" and I can't find my way around at all. I hate it!

Anyway I also found these cute fiddle head ferns to try.

 Layed them out like they were growing. I'm hoping I get a nice print from this.

 My licorace plant has some nice dark leaves.

 I didn't print any but look at this beautiful patch of violets. Great to add to salads.

Purple and white.
So I rolled the plants up tight in the wool (I also did one with dandelion flowers), steamed it for 1 hour then left it overnight. When I looked this morning I can see plant prints starting. I took the wool out and put them all in a ziplock bag to set for a few days. Next week we'll see the results.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Garden Journals

Yesterday at work I turned a couple of my hand-made papers into a gardening journal. I bought some heavy weight drawing paper for the inside pages, punched holes along the sides and used the hand-made paper for the front and back covers.
(I photographed it on top off my file, my scented rose geraniums and fern are in the background)

Bound the pages together with some of my natural dyed wool yarn and raffia. A couple of hand-made clay birds and leaf beads complete the binding.

At herb society last night we shared our projects, The following are a few ideas. Note cards with the hand-made paper for the background of pressed flowers.


This is the top of a small round wooden box, covered with the paper and two pressed, dried chive blossoms.
Everyone was suprised how nice the poofy chive blossoms pressed and dried.

Book marks, covered with clear contact paper.

Background for a framed leaf.

Back home I picked these beautiful woodland flowers called Virginia Blue Bells, photographed them with sedum in it's wonderful moss covered pot.

They have the cutest bell shape and they start out pink and gradually turn blue.

My niece (in the Navy) is still over in the Middle East, I just received this from her, a traditional women's outfit from Dubai (their last port). It is so beautiful and will be a wonderful addition to my collection.

Close-up of the embroidery with lots of sequins.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Natural Egg dyeing

I wanted to share with you the results of our Easter egg dyeing. We used red cabbage and red beets.

Went out into the yard and picked "feathery" ferns and leaves. The boys dipped them into water and placed them on raw eggs.

Covered them with cheesecloth and secured it in back with a wire twistie.

Placed them in a pot with the chopped up cabbage and about 1/4 cup of white vinegar.

Another pot with the chopped up beets and about 1/4 cup of vinegar. Simmered a couple of hours and then we left them in the pot overnight. The last time we looked at them before bed there was no color.

The next day when we removed them they were beautiful After they dried we rubbed them with cooking oil. The blue was from the cabbage and pinky brown from the beets.

They reminded me a this batik fabric I used to make my daughter a make up bag.

My husband made me this wonderful cake stand for Easter. The post is made from a white birch log with birch strips covering the edge of the plates. Perfect for our "bird nest" cupcakes.
This idea is from Martha Stewart.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Frog Moon

The first dye plants of the season are in bloom and waiting! Daffodils for a lovely pale yellow.

Dandelions for a bright yellow green. This spring I'm going to try dye printing them, but before I can dye anything...

I have to mordant my wool. So into the dye studio. A few spoonfuls of alum and a couple of cream of tarter, pour boiling water over, stir and add to large cool pot of water.

Add wool fabric to pot and bring to a low boil, stir and simmer for an hour. Turn off heat and leave overnight. The next day rinse. Now the fabric is ready, the plants are calling and I'm just lacking one thing...TIME. Maybe after Easter.

Tonight is the full April moon, the Northeastern Natives called this moon Frog moon due to the Spring Peepers you hear now in the wet lands. A sure sign spring is here. They also called it Sprouting grass moon due to of course the grass growing and getting greener. It is also called Egg moon.

With no extra time and trying to keep up with the moons I brought my fabric to work with good intentions of cutting out a frog and appliqueing it to the moon. But that 3/4" frog was not going to happen at work so I just used my green Pigma pen and drew him on. I did embroidery in the grass.
Tonight I will quilt it by the light of the Frog Moon, of course that is after my grandson's and I dye Easter eggs with natural dyes: red cabbage, beets, blueberries and yellow onion skins.

I hope you have a Blessed Easter. My friend Laura made this cute deviled egg plate.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

1930's Quilts

I've never been too interested in 30's quilts, a little to "perky" for me, but I thoroughly enjoyed listening and seeing Kathy Kansier's collection. Our local Art museum and quilt guild brought her in for a series of lectures and classes (on many different quilt subjects). She's a very talented quilter and teacher. She gave me permission to share a few of her 30's quilts with you. She collects 30's quilts with special boarder treatments. These were some of my favorites. This first one is hand appliqued and quilted, beautifully. I'm not a pink person but this was beautiful.

I love the appliqued boarder with yellow/orange berries. And look at all the tiny pink triangles appliqued on. Also lots of wonderful hand quilting.

This quilt had such different color flowers, salmony, pinky, orangey.

How would you like to hand-applique those pointy leaves?

This is different grandmother's flower garden quilt, black flower centers, many boarders with a couple black flowers (bumble bees?)pieced in, ending with a "zig zag" boarder.

A Dresden Plate with orange centers and matching appliqued triangle boarders.

This edge treatment follows the points of the fan blocks.

This edge not only is curved it has little tiny curves around each of the fans blades. Wonderful appliqued bows, sweet for a little girl.

Yo-yo quilt with appliqued yo-yo's to the backing fabric. The yo-yo's were placed in a nice pattern instead of the traditional all over scrap look.

Close up of the appliqued yo-yo's.

Another Dresden plate with a lot of appliqued blades. "ice cream cone" boarder.

Close up.

OK, this would not be my favorite "Sun Bonnet Sue" I've ever saw, I'm not getting the bonnets or umbrella?

The edge has gathered prairie points.

This is a different color daffodil quilt, check out the large "pennant" boarders.

This quilt had spider web quilting designs all over done with black thread.

A beautiful pieced Crazy quilt done in blocks.

With large white rick-rack edging.

Another sweet appliqued quilt.
With beautiful swag applique boarders.

Another fan quilt in a different setting pattern. (can't remember the name)

With pieced fan boarders on three sides.

What little girl wouldn't love this appliqued heart quilt.

With cute appliqued heart edge.

Another fan variation with a different setting, "ice cream cone" boarders.

Embroidered baby quilt.

With little rick-rack boarder.

My friend Kay's appliqued leaf quilt. This was a commercial pattern. I've seen other ones.

Beautifully done.

(Deb H., Kathy said she had the best pumpkin soup at your home! And she loves the little purse you made for her. Yes we were talking about you.)

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo