Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Years quilts

I thought I'd share with you my two New Year's Eve wall hangings I made several, several years ago, the first in 1987. We we're  spending New Years with our friends on the Mississippi (along with our young kids), that evening Donna and I each pieced a memory block (we've made several when our families would get together never putting them together)

This stayed as a block until 10 years later.

While working as a florist at a flower shop (that had the most beautiful, inspiring ribbons),
I bought a selection and made a basket full of roses for New Year's 1997.

I added a few rhinestone corsage fillers and some antique buttons from Donna.

I used one block for one side of the quilt and the other for the other side.
I hand quilted and bound them together.
I hope you have a beautiful New Year, I'll talk to you soon.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Quilting through the Holidays

I'm now able to share with you some gifts I made for Christmas for my girlfriends.
This acorn (Crabtree pattern) is a pin cushion with needle keeper on the side. It has a wool cap with hand embroidery.

They fit almost perfectly with my woodland tree.


The needle keeper.


At my other Bee Christmas party we try to have a hand-project to work on during the party.
This year we all brought in wool to share,

and with a pattern from Primitive Gatherings made tree ornaments.
They are so cute, they kind of look like mushrooms.

I did mine with different red wools,

and hung it on my dining room tree. It's decorated with hand made snowmen from girlfriends over the years, the oldest from 1993. Some of the friends have since passed away. The quilt  underneath  is from the late 1800's, hubby surprised me years ago.

From deer on the porch greeting the guests to a herd on the piano and the tree in the living room, I filled the house with woodland critters.  An owl on the dessert tray.

Polar bear in the studio.

Woodland birds finding their way in.

A beautiful deer on the window sill.

I bought this gift for myself, it's an antique tin tile. Old man of the North.
Late 1800's.

I had to share with you our good friend's dog Max all dressed up for Christmas in his Grinch antler.

I don't think he's too excited.

Luckily our skies were clear on Christmas, I captured the moon in our backyard through the tree tops.

This is my take on the Christmas moon, a vintage ornament moon.

Someday my moon journal will be stitched together.
No hurry, there's a lot more moons to record.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Snowman quilt blocks

I can finally share with you one of my quilt bee Christmas exchange projects I've been working on.
With this bee we all make 6 of the same snowman quilt block, at our party we exchange them and end up with 6 different blocks. This is our second year and planning to do it again next year.
This was my block I made. I saw the idea on Pinterest there was no pattern, I'm not sure who to give credit to. I appliqued on the heads and hats, then hand embroidered in the branches and berries.

Laura made this cute pieced snowman head.
I photographed them on my "snow" tree skirt, they lay a lot flatter.

Joni made this wonderful guy with a paper-pieced tree.

Cathy hand embroidered this guy.
Two of my friends weren't able to exchanged their blocks, next month.

These are the blocks laid (on my carpet) out. I made a few extra for my quilt.
Another couple of years and we'll all have a nice size friendship quilt.
Tonight is my next bee Christmas party with a totally different exchange, I'll share that with you next week.
I hope you have a beautiful Holiday season.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Birch deer & vintage ornament trees

Our little Christmas work shop has been in full swing, I still can't show you my fabric gifts I've been making yet but I can share with you my husband's birch tree creations.
One of our friends is moving into a new home, hubby made her a birch bark basket, I filled it with an Christmas arrangement. The first thing she said was "I love birch trees".  Perfect.

Hubby's also been making birch deer, a cute couple for our porch.

Tucked in the pot are greens, berries, holly branches, beaver chew sticks from the Mississippi and pine cones. This will all stay green until March.

He also made a lot of little deer, I put in the antlers leaving on the berries.

My herd on our piano. While we were making our deer our friends who live on the Mississippi were busy making their own herd,

with copper antlers and cute scarves. He lives on our piano also.


We went to visit them last week, Donna has a wonderful collection of vintage ornaments she shared with me. 

From an idea on Pinterest we made ornament trees. You start with a knitting needle and slip the ornaments over the pointy end. (No gluing).  The four largest bulbs make the base for the tree to stand on. Just keep slipping on 4 of the next size smaller bulbs until you fill up the tree. A tree topper finishes it off. The only problem is if a bulb slips out of it's cap its falls off and you have to start over.
This one is mine.

And this is Donna's.

It was so much fun we couldn't stop at one. The next day out we went and bought more ornaments at the antique shops. We had some smaller needles with points at each end, so we made a wooden base to hold one end.

My two trees,

and Donna's.
Thank you Donna for sharing all your bulbs They made it home in one piece, so did Ruddy the reindeer!

My one tree on my coffee table in my living room.

Since I'm on vintage ornaments I wanted to share with you the story behind this tiny little bell from the 40's. My aunt who would be near 100 now gave this bell to her girlfriend when they were little.
She scratched in her initials before giving it.

Years later I met the girlfriend and she passed the bell on to me.

Another old family piece from the 30's or 40's is this Christmas tree. It is very light weight and may be made from plaster with glass lite bulbs painted on the inside base to show color. The original base crumbled away years ago, I replaced it with a ceramic one. My elderly 2nd cousin who never married or had children gave it to me when I was very little.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Snow dyeing with flowers

Last week we had our first snowfall, our grandsons love, love playing out in the snow, the youngest especially loves making snowmen. His first this year is a trio of tiny ones in the back of grandpa's work truck.

As I was out photographing him I remembered my winter pansies that were in full bloom before the snow came,

I dug down to them, picked the flowers and tried snow dyeing with them.

I read about this technique from India Flint's book Eco Colour.
She freezes her blue/purple flowers in the freezer before dyeing with them.

I rolled them up in wet wool mordanted with alum, tied a string around the wool and left them in a plastic bag for 6 days.

After washing and drying the wool this is the results.
I think I should have lightly steamed the wool as there was a lot of dye left in the flowers, the color may have been a lot darker.
I won't use this fabric for quilting for quite awhile until I see how the color holds.

One interesting thing is the cotton string (mordanted with alum) grabbed the color too. I don't usually have the greatest luck with cotton.

And a few days after the snowfall, here we are again back to Autumn with no snow in  sight.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo