Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Elderberry-Herb of the Year

This past weekend I played around with some wool fabrics that I natural dyed last Fall making a new table runner.

Not wanting to cut up the fabric into small pieces so the leaf and flower prints could be the "Star" of the runner, I just cut the sections apart and pieced them in a pleasing manner.

The blue flower print were bright red flowers with orange Cosmo flower lattice strips and blue indigo lattice strips in between.

The leaf prints were from ornamental cherry trees. I machine quilted this piece.

Before I put the table runner together I went in the studio (with all my little helpers) to indigo dye some flannel for the back. Miss Tigress sitting on her perch by the stove.

One grandson slowly pulling the fabric out of the pot. Trying not to get any air bubbles in the dye.

After a few dips we got a nice blue.

I wanted to show you the wool I used for the binding, I dyed this 16 or 17 YEARS ago, first I dyed it yellow with goldenrod then over dyed with indigo to get green. It looks as great now as it did when I first dyed it. This is when my friend and I first started natural dyeing, before there were any good dyeing books. We had such a wonderful time experimenting and learning.
(Miss those times with you Deb!!)

On to 2013 Herb of the Year- Elderberry by the International Herb Association

This is a fabric panel with a print of The Elderberry Fairy by long ago artist Cicely Mary Barker. I believe she designed them around the 1930's (not exactly sure of the year).
I folded it around a pillow and hand-stitched it for the refreshment table at our Herb Society meeting last night.

Their are so many edible and medicinal qualities to this plant. Last night their was a lot of discussion on it's healing ability for the flu. It was even discussed on ABC World New Tonight with Diane Sawyer as a medically proven remedy. Different herb members brought in their elderberry tinctures and cough syrups that they swear by and make yearly.

Teddy and Chrissy shared a lot of information on this berry.
 The elderberry is considered by some to be a magical tree and is sometimes called "Elder Mother". In ancient times people would pray before elder bushes to bring good health to themselves and their children. some say she helps ward off the devil and would drape their doorways with elder boughs for protection. In times past many folks refuse to cut down or burn an elder bush without first asking permission of its guardian. Legend states that if you sprinkle elder flower and berries or leaves on a person or place, one can make wishes come true.
Susan Betz The Michigan Herb Journal
After studying about the medicinal benifts of this berry you can see why peole long ago thought it had magical powers.

Jody and I were in charge of the treat table, along with making deviled eggs with dill weed  and a warm cracker dip with herbs,

we made deserts using Elderflower concentrate by Saft Flander from Sweden. purchased from Ikea.
Jody made cupcake using the concentrate in the batter and frosting, I made sugar cookies using it in the dough and the frosting. (their suppose to look like mushrooms with snowflakes on top).

P.J made a punch with her preserved elderberry syrup, she also uses this syrup over ice cream, pancakes etc.  We made a drink using the elderflower concentrate and water (directions on the label).
If your interested please take time to research this berry there is so many wonderful, wonderful qualities to it.
Also I checked with our local Health Store and they carry the elderberry tablets, teas and syrups for all your health needs.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

your table runner looks great!! I love elderberry syrup, did not know the good qualities it had. Amazing how God put all these good things into what he created to grow, to nourish us, keep us healthy! Blessings my friend, Deb C

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