Friday, November 30, 2012

Falling-Snow Moon

This months moon was know by the North Eastern Native Americans as Falling-Snow Moon, Cold Moon and Long-Nights Moon.
Full Cold Moon announced the arrival of winter, the coldest season of the year between autumn and spring, marked by the shortest days and the longest nights.
Full Long-Nights Moon describes the sky in December when the moon appears earlier and rides lower across the evening horizon and the stars put on the brightest show of the year.
The name Full Falling-Snow Moon signaled that it was the time to begin observing the ways of snow and ice.
During the winter months, Native Americans would split up into extended family groups, dispersing to campsites in more sheltered locations. After the women and children were settled in their winter lodges, the men and boys would head out to their winter hunting grounds.
For evening fun and entertainment, young women seated around the fire would make birch bark pictures. Using their eye teeth they would bite figures on the soft inner layers of the inner bark of the paper birch. Their designs were patterned after local flowers, leaves animals or landmarks. some pictures were kept as mementos, but most were used as bead work patterns for clothing and headbands.
Magical Moons &Seasonal Circles by Susan Betz

And here in Michigan winter arrived right on time with the Full-Snow Moon. It didn't last long but long enough for me to take a few pictures with my moon block.
This block is setting in front of a little critters home in our old cherry tree.

Thanksgiving weekend I started a quilt project, I traced one of each of the grandkids feet on wool fabric,

and each of their hands on another color of wool,

and when you lay them together on another piece of wool fabric you get a wonderful moose or Chris moose/reindeer wallhanging. I have enough of this tan wool to make a great wool blanket with white wool snow flakes swirling around. I'm not sure yet what this will become I just new the kids feet were getting bigger and bigger and needed to be traced!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Deer Hunting Widow

Here in the North this past week was the  annual "deer hunting week". My husband goes with his friend, he doesn't usually get a deer but loves the hours of hiking through the cedar swamps. For me it's the annual "bring my quilting to work week" as I spend the whole day at work, not just my normal  few hours. This year I brought in two pieced snowmen from quilt camp. My daughter's done with batiks and pieced by Deb C. (thank you Deb!) and mine a little more folksy with moons and stars swirling in the background. I brought in wool for the hats and noses. I blanket-stitched them on then layered them with batting and hand-quilted.

One almost finished just waiting for his scarf, boy I get a lot done at work, love this week!!!

Back home showing the whole snowman, I just have to trim the edges and bind him. He kind-of looks like a fence post!

Another "deer hunting tradition" I've bee doing for years and years is one evening during the week I meet with my other quilt friends, we have supper together and this year pieced Christmas table runners made from  boarder fabrics. Simple, simple, sew two long boarder strips together, cut some 60 degree angles and their ready for quilting. (It's really a little more challenging than that but Laura the mathematician of the group figured it out for us). This is Laura's runner for her Christmas table.

A few of us used this boarder print, up close it has wonderful woodland animals and trees.

See the pieced angle bottom.

There is some cut off waste, from the waste I pieced together a mat for my daughter.

A couple friends each made a candy stripe runner. This isn't laying very flat on the couch.

And to end my deer hunter's widows week there was a beautiful crescent moon shinning through the trees into my window.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am very thankful for all of you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Quilting Retreat

A perfect week with friends, nothing to do but quilt from early morning into the wee hours of night. We arrived at the cottage, removed all the furniture from the middle of the room, set up our tables and machines. With a beautiful view of the creek running by everyone sewed their little hearts out.
The following pictures show just a small portioin of the quilts that were pieced during the week.

Speaking of early morning Deb snapped my picture as I was ironing and doing my hair at the same time. I am a big multi-tasker!

Kay's daughter came a couple of days to work on Christmas stockings for her family. We love to see young people quilt!

Here she is "punch needling" a snowman picture for the cuff of the stocking.

She finished piecing all four stockings, soon all the cuffs will be finished and sewed on.

Deb taking a break after finish piecing her son's wedding quilt.

Her future daughter-in-law picked out the fabrics. It turned out beautiful with plenty of time left for Deb to quilt it.

She also made them a tree skirt for a shower present with matching Christmas stockings to come.

(OK, this was suppose to be before the tree skirt picture), Close up detail of the corner and fabric of the wedding quilt.

Two different pieced patterns using the same batik fabrics. Love the quilts, one made for a gift.

Martha made this cute Christmas reindeer lap quilt for her granddaughters. One of the reindeer's will have red nose, "Where's Waldo" style.

Deb made this cute snowman before she came (sorry I don't know the pattern name). We all loved it and quilt a few were pieced by the time we went home, now waiting to be quilted.

Everyday Deb and I would take a walk to Lake Michigan. We passed by this wonderful old barn on our way.

What refreshing walks they were after quilting for hours. 

The lake is always beautiful,

And among the dunes was bittersweet! We each picked some to take home.

When I got home I made mine into a wreath to hang over the piano.

This will last quite awhile.

I finished piecing my quilt for this years quilt bee challenge. Mine is queen size made for my daughter.

In front of our cottage, built into the hill is this old field stone storage shed with a wonderful green wooden door calling out to be photographed. 

I spent many hours working on my "families navy" quilt. After the retreat I photographed it in front of the US SILVERSIDES, a submarine from World War II. We have a Navel museum on Lake Michigan. I took many pictures of it trying to fit the whole sub/quilt into the picture but this was the best I could do.

This was a labor of love using their uniforms, patches and pictures. As soon as I finish the boarder and quilt it I will give it to my father, then someday it will be passed on to my brother then onto his daughter.

As long as were talking Navy quilts a few years ago my friend Jamie made this quilt for her father. What a lovely tribute to remember our Service men and women.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pumpkin Pie

It's that time of year to get ready for pumpkin pies. Last weekend I cooked my small pie pumpkins (sliced in half, placed upside down in the microwave or oven until tender), then I scoop out the pumpkin flesh.

I use a hand mixer to break it down. I freeze it in 3 cup packages ready to use for pies. Once you use your own pumpkin you can't go back to the canned.
The following is a recipe I found 30 some years ago in an old, old cookbook, I added a little more spice and have been using it ever since. It makes two large pies, if I have filling left over I put it in cupcake pans (with papers and sprayed with Pam) and bake it. It's a great pumpkin custard with whip cream on top.

Pumpkin Pie
3 cups pumpkin
5 eggs
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
2 Tablespoons flour or corn starch
1 teaspoon each of salt, ginger, & nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
3 Cups hot milk (I use a large can of evaporated milk mixed with regular milk)
Mix altogether, pour in unbaked crust and bake-
400 degrees for 15 minutes
then turn the oven down and bake
325 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes (watch carefully so they don't over bake).

I also cooked down (the same way) these buttercup squash. They're a homely green/gray color but full of flavor. Martha Stewart recommends this type for baking. It is the best, I use it for all my pumpkin muffin recipes.

While I cooked inside my husband put up my new light (with the help of  Miss Tigress). 

The light looks like it should be on Snow White's cottage.  When we were ready to leave my parents place in Florida, as we were stepping in our vehicle I looked at the light and said to my husband "can we take it down" 5 minutes later it was down and we were on the road.

The most wonderful thing about this lamp is it is old, old, old. It's very heavy, hand forged, with thick wavy hand-made glass!

Well, I'll see you next week, I'm off with my other quilt bee girlfriends for our annual week  quilting retreat. One of my projects I'm going to be working on is a wallhanging for my father made from some his old navy uniforms. We have alot of white ones but only one blue, so I'm taking out the large pant hem to use. Also the wallhanging will include fabric from my brothers Navy uniform and from his daughters Navy uniform. We will have 3 generations represented. Also I transferred their Navy photos to fabric (including my other brother who was in the Air Force).
This is what my clothes line looked like last weekend as I washed and hung them out to dry. My dads dark blue wool and white cotton from World War II 1940's, my brothers dark blue cotton from the 1980's-90's and his daughters blue camo from right now.
Have a great week.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo