Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Girlfriend Weekend

So off we went last Friday, 5 girlfriends ready to laugh, sew and eat, spending the weekend at our friend's cottage, each with a special quilt project to piece during the weekend. We started sewing 9:30 Saturday morning and sewed until Midnight with only breaks to laugh and eat.
I didn't even have time to take many pictures just a few starting with Laura piecing a quilt for her daughters upcoming wedding.

After sewing a half a day on Sunday I took a few photos of the quilt tops hanging over the balcony.
Laura's (folded queen size) top.

Jody's baby quilt for her grandson.

Joni's (queen size) top for a special friend for Christmas.

Cathy working on a "Lil Twister" wall hanging.

And many more Christmas projects she worked on from table runners to pot holders. The star piece she hand pieced from Christmas scraps and now is putting them together into a lap quilt. The tan stars remind me of Christmas sugar cookies.

A new hand piecing project she started (to use up scraps), little paper pieced "grandmother flower garden" blocks. She will be appliqueing them on white blocks.
You may be saying to yourself where is this Kathy's quilt top, well you see I can't show mine as it is a Christmas gift for my friend and I can't let anyone from my bee see it. This year for my bee we put every one's name in a hat and drew, whose ever name you drew you have to make a lap quilt for this Christmas for them. No one knows who drew who.
Also, I'm still not finished with my top!! I thought it would be a quick pattern but no there's a lot of pieces but will be cozy and beautiful when finished.
What I think is so wonderful is how generous quilters are, if there is a special occasion a quilter will spend hours and hours (and lots of money) making a special quilt for that person. They are very giving people.
Thank-you Laura for the Wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Silk rugs and more

Last week my son stopped by my work and took me with him to an estate sale. I wasn't going to go because I know I always like the most expensive things there. So here we go, I walk in and immediately see this rug hanging, after further investigation I find out the people whose estate this was from traveled the world and this was one of their purchases. A silk on silk rug from Istanbul with all the purchase papers, bought in 1990 for $2,050.00. This silk rug was dyed with natural dyes and made with the Turkish knot. It is a prayer rug with a tree of life design. Size about 22"x 36"
It was selling for $600.00, OK that wasn't in my budget so I thought just forget about it. But then that night I remembered Saturday it would be half price and how could you pass that up! So Saturday I went an hour early and was the first one in line (for about 45 minutes) and came home with it. I wish I could photograph it so the shimmering silk would show, it is simply beautiful.

Down the trunk of the tree is lettering, is it the artist signature or name of the piece?

There are 10 birds in the tree.

So much beautiful detail, the more you study it the more you see.

There was another silk rug there also, no paper work. Size about 3'x 5'. I could see it had been used and got it quite cheep.

After research I find it's hand-woven and made with the Turkish knot. I gently washed it and have it by my bed side. It feels so nice to wake up and the first thing my feet touch is silk.

On this rug is a copper identification. After looking at this I believe this one is also from Istanbul.

In the mail that day came my 5 yards of raw silk. New adventures a wait in the natural dyeing world.

Last night was my Herb Society meeting we were making scented tiles. Start by mixing 1 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup cornstarch, add 1/2 cup plus 1/8 cup cold water, and 1 1/8 Tbsp. of crushed dried herbs. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until mixture reaches consistency of moist mashed potatoes (5 -10 minutes).

Remove mixture to plate and cover with a damp cloth, when mixture is cool enough to handle add about 10 drops of essential oil and kneed in. Roll out between wax paper to about 1/4 inch thickness or less and cut into shapes.

You also can press leaves in and pull out to give the leaf imprint.

Allow to dry on a screen.

We also had a speaker there who makes natural home products.  Have you ever heard of "wool dryer balls"? I didn't but apparently everyone else did. There made from wool roving, they are suppose to take the place of dryer sheets (not that I use them), reduce wrinkles, fluff, soften and cut dying time down a lot. Sounds like a good project to make this winter.

A gift from a friend, a box full of black walnuts!  I am so ready to spend some time in the studio.

Monday, September 9, 2013

I'm still here just haven't had a minute to post, soon I'll show you my "new" silk treasures that just seem to keep coming into my life but for today after reading Peggy's ( she a great herbalist, I learn a lot from her) blog I thought I'd share this with you.

"The old people came literally to love the soil and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to mothering power...The soil was soothing, strengthening cleansing and healing..."
-Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Sioux

Have you ever noticed the relationship between children and the soil? Watch how happy they are touching the dirt. The children play in it and eat it. If you are stressed, go to a spot on the Earth, sit  down, put your fingers in the dirt, dig in it. Wash your hands in the soil. When you touch it, notice what it does to your hands. Our bodies love to touch the Earth. Sometimes we get too busy and forget these simple things. Maybe you'll even want to plant a garden or flowers. These things are mentally healthy.
Great Spirit, today let me touch the Earth so the Earth can touch me.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo