Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How to grow plants from the foods you eat:

Apple tree - grow your own apple tree from an apple seed

Avocado - How to grow an avocado tree from a pit

Carrot fun - grow a carrot plant from a carrot top

Celery - grow celery

Scallions - grow scallions indefinitely!

Potatoes - grow them in trenches or towers and another version of growing in towers

Pumpkin - add soil to the pumpkin and watch nature take place!

Romaine Lettuce - same technique as celery

want to read more about it?  I found a book on amazon about it
Don't Throw It, Grow It!: 68 windowsill plants from kitchen scraps

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Safe Motherhood Quilt Project


The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project is a national effort developed to draw public attention to the current maternal death rates, as well as to the gross underreporting of maternal deaths in the United States, and to honor those women who have died of pregnancy-related causes since 1982.

Ina May Gaskin and one of the Safe Motherhood Quilt Panels


  • Why are maternal death rates under reported in the U.S? 
  • Why is there no consistent,  systematic way for documenting maternal deaths?
  • Why is the maternal death rate in other countries lower than in the US?  
  • This information needs to be assessed and analyzed in order to make policy and health-care related proposals to help prevent future pregnancy-related deaths and in turn decrease the maternal death rate!

The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project was founded by Ina May Gaskin, the mother of the U.S. modern midwifery movement over 10 years ago.    Ina May's vision was that each mother who died in childbirth since 1982 (the year after which  no improvement  occurs in maternal mortality) be commemorated with a unique quilt square.  To date, multiple Safe Motherhood Quilts have been made, each consisting of 20 unique squares.  Quilters around the country continue to  design and dedicate quilt squares to the memory of women in the U.S. who have  died of pregnancy-related causes.  The Safe Motherhood Quilt is the voice for women who can no longer speak for themselves.

  • At least 30 other countries have lower maternal death rates than the U.S.
  • There has been no reduction in the maternal death rate in the U.S. since 1982.
  • The CDC acknowledges that we have a massive problem of underreporting of maternal deaths in the U.S. and that our reported rate may be only 1/3 to 1/2 of the actual total number.  Maternal death rates are four times as high in the African-American community as in the Caucasian community.

  • There is no federal requirement that the states carry out a confidential review of all maternal deaths in order to be sure that all are counted, to analyze the principle causes of preventable deaths and to make policy recommendations to prevent such deaths in the future. In most countries with lower maternal death rates than ours, maternal deaths are systematically reviewed and there are lower levels of underreporting of such deaths than the CDC says we have in the U.S."

YouTube Videos
Ina May, first midwife to receive the award, speaks at the Right Livelihood Awards

Quilt blocks and Quilters
please contact me if you'd like your page linked here.

My quilt blocks: Agnes
Other quilter's blocks: Laura

I had the privelege to display a few panels at my local library 
for the month of June 2011

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mystery Piece

Bullion Knots
lime green - 4 wraps - 1 strand (Gutterman thread #7850)
very Dark Blue - 3 wraps -1 strand of Essenital Threads
blue - 3wraps - 1 strand DMC 820 (small circle of blue)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sampler - Bullion Knot

Fantasy Bullion Knot flower

I am trying out a fantasy Bullion Knot flower.  This is actually based upon something I saw on a CQ square (do you see it towards the bottom?) I saw on pinterest.
Each Bullion Knot has about 20-25 wraps on a milliner needle using 1 strand DMC floss.  The beginning and end of the Bullion Knot is very close together on the fabric, so when the thread is pulled through, this results in an arched effect.  The pearl like thread is a sparkly floss from DMC called Pearlescent Effects (E966) and I used 1 strand for the French Knot.  I still need to finish the French Knots.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Another Crazy Quilting diamond

This diamond was made for a project initated by the CQfornewbees group.
  It needed to be made with bright happy colors.  

Below is the top of the diamond. Because the blue fabric has butterflies on it, I decided to
try my hand at the Satin stitch and make a pretty butterfly.  
It didn't come out to bad, but I know I still need lots of practice.

The heart below is made using the Basque stitch and filled in with a Lattice stitch 
that is couched down with yellow thread at the intersections.  The yellow stitching
around the heart consists of lazy daisy stitch (3 leaves) and stem stitch (Curly "S').
The curly Ss are tiny and I just love the stem stitch with tiny stitches.  
I like how this RED heart looks on the green background.

I hope you've enjoy these photos!

My Embroidery Sampler
I've decided to finally make an embroidery sampler for myself to keep track of stitches and their uses, particularly ones that please me.  I won't be updating this blog very often as it is a "back burner" project but now that I've made this blog I will feel obligated to work on it periodically.

I started out with a good size piece of muslin that I've backed with Pellon Shape Flex (all purpose Woven fusible interfacing).  It is basically a piece of lightweight 100% cotton fabric with glue on it, allowing it to be attached to another piece of fabric (via ironing).   Just what i was looking for, nice and easy!  I found it at my local Joan's.

My first stitch was the French knot, and since I liked how my tree came out on the CQ diamond that was made for someone else, I decided I needed to have one of those lovely trees for myself. 

One thing I've discovered for myself is that the thickness of the needle affects the size of the knot.  I was using a very thin embroidery needle (size 11) and decided to try a betweens and, lo and behold, I like the look of the knot much better.  It comes out fatter, more pronounced.

I left the third branch empty on purpose because not only do I like the way the branch looks but I also wanted it for my future reference.  The branches almost disappear with all those French knots and it is hard to see what exactly I did to make the branch.

 I fooled around with colors as you will see.

This heart is made using the BASQUE stitch, which is basically a twisted loop stitch. I've made this heart before on a CQ diamond that was donated and I wanted one for myself!   I used 2 strands of DMC floss.  The inside of the heart is decorated with a lattice stitch (2 strands floss) held down (couched) with 1 strand of yellow DMC floss at each intersection.

I am in the process of embroidering some S shapes and such around the heart, using the stem stitch.

  I need to figure out how to make better enlargements!

Crazy Quilting Diamond
I recently joined the Crazy Quilting for Newbies yahoo group and got involved in a few swaps.  Here's my very first Diamond for Sue U, who wanted a Garden theme.  One of my favs!

For this CQ diamond I was in the mood for Bullion stitches and knot stitches, such as the Coral stitch and French Knots.   

I decided this diamond needed a little tree, especially one with  French Knots for leaves. 

 The tree's trunk is made from 6 strands of brown DMC floss held in place by couching with 1 strand of orange floss.  The 6 strands were divided to make the branch, each branch consists of 2 strands of DMC floss.  I had to cheat a little and borrow some floss from one branch.  Next time I need to figure out in advance how many branches, multiply by 2 (or how ever many strands thick I want the branches) and then start out with that many strands of floss.

this is the seam above the tree, which I think is made from the fly stitch with French knots

I also love the Bullion Stitch and tried my hand at making a sheep.

  I think he came out pretty cute!  

The white fench is made up of the coral stitch.  

I added some echinachea using lazy daisy stitches and French Knot for the center.

The pink roses below the echinacea were made using the Bullion stitch.

I made a floral border along the seam of the blue fabric 

using different color groups of French Knots that were interspersed 
with green French knots for the leaves.

and some more coral stiching, bullion stitch (light blue flowers in between green coral stitch)