Wild Berry Jams and Jellies, Plus a Work in Progress

Wild Berry Jams and Jellies, Plus a Work in Progress

I have spent most of September picking, processing and making jams and jellies from the wild berries that grow here at Camp Hahobas.  Salal  berries were the first  berries I picked.  I wasn’t even aware they were edible until I was told they were by one of the brush pickers that harvest the Salal.  The the Salal plant is used by the floral industry.  So the next time you get a pretty bouquet, the greenery in it just might be Salal.








Next I harvested Black Berries.  Mr B says they are also called “Wait a minute vines” cause you need to wait a minute while you untangle yourself from their thorny vines.  Fortunately I have a Black Berry hedge growing in my front yard.  So I didn’t have to go far.

Last I pick the tiny  Kinnikinnick berry or Bearberry.  After doing a search to see if it was edible I discovered that Native Americans smoked Kinnikinnick and the berries are still used medicinally to treat bladder and kidney disorders. Truly, the leaves of Bearberry plant still fill many a pipe today.


The photo (to the right) makes the berries appear bigger that they really are.  The berries in the pan (photo below) gives you a better indication of how small the berries actually are.






When I say tiny, I do mean tiny.  I worked one afternoon for 3 and a half hours and all I collected was two quarts of these little guys. By the time I processed the berries I got 1 and a half quarts juice from them.  I had to add a quart of black berries so I would have enough juice to get one batch of jelly.

I went out a second time to pick the tiny berries again but got rained out, Fall is finally here.  I added two cups of black berries from the very last picking.  But it wasn’t enough so, I added about two cups frozen blue berries, thawed, and it still  wasn’t enough.   So I added enough Apple Juice to make the 5 cups of juice called for in the recipe.  I wasn’t sure what the taste would be, but it’s good.  It tastes something close to cranberry sauce.  It will be good for the Holidays.  Served with fresh hot scones or biscuits with creamy sweet butter, “Yummy!”





A Work in Progress

I want to share a project which is a gift for a loved one in my family.





I drafted the crazy block myself.  It’s getting easier to draft these blocks.  This block is by far the busiest block I’ve done.







I tried my hand at dying a few pieces of lace.  I used alcohol inks mixed into water. I got subtle coloring, which was what I wanted.  I used the yellow lace butterfly  and the flowers in an oval.




Each in  part of the block was designed especially for it’s recipient, right down to the little charms I sewed on it.  Bet you can’t guess what her favorite colors are? All that needs to be done is to put this block into it’s frame.

Until next time,



2020 Crazy Quilt Block Challenge Block – #2

2020 Crazy Quilt Block Challenge Block # 2

A Plan Emerges

Before I get into the highlights of block two, I want to tell you about my plan.  I started this challenge with no real plan other than the goal of adding 2020 items to a crazy quilt.  However, that has changed. I wanted to share an idea I’ve got rattling around in my brain. I know I’m going to have at least 100 blocks when I finish this project.  The problem is this:  How I am I going to put all the blocks together and what will be on the next 98 blocks.

In the training I’ve received in the last two years, I’ve learn there are essentially, two ways to approach making and embellishing quilt blocks (especially crazy quilt blocks): One, is to plan as much of the block you are able, insuring the block is balanced both in regards to the fabrics used and the embellishments used. The other is to work organically or by inspiration of the moment.  This means no planning you just lay fabric and embellishments down and if it looks good then it’s sewn down.  Personally, I like to plan it out before I begin, even right down to the placement of seam treatments, beads and charms.  So, with all this information and inspiration tumbling around in my mind, I let my subconscious deal with it as I slept a few nights. A couple of mornings later, I was rewarded with a fantastic idea.

I remembered a couple of years ago, I picked up a pamphlet from a trip to the Olympic Rain Forest and have kept it because it has this awesome picture done by artist and illustrator, John Dawson. The picture is collage of Olympic forest animals in their habitats. I have kept this pamphlet as inspiration.  It’s a miracle I found it especially after moving. I only had to look in three boxes.  Now I need to figure out how I’m going breakdown the picture and turn it into manageable segments, to make my interpretation of it. I am not going to copy it. It will be exciting to see how this develops.

Ta-Da, here is block number two.


I drafted this block myself, it is the first block I have drafted .  It is constructed with 6 fabrics, 2 flat laces, 19 threads, 3 silk ribbons, 6 embroidery techniques, and 5 seam treatments.  Other embellishments include 24 different beads, 3 sequins, and 5 glass heart beads. There is a total count of 222 beads used on this block.





The Bead and Embroidery Techniques are:


An embroidered beaded bird


An embroidered beaded daisy like flower








Three Forget-Me-Not Flowers beaded with 4 mm glass beads (6 white for the petals and 1 brown for the center) are stitched onto Back Stitched stocks. The embroidered Queen Anne’s Lace Flowers have been embellished with tiny 12/0 white pearl seed beads.










A beaded dragonfly with embroidered silk ribbon wings





                                         A beaded lace basket motif









An Embroidered Monogram B is embellished with 12/0 brown seed beads,  Bullion Stitched roses and rose buds  and tiny 12-0 pearl seed beads add further embellishment.







Each of the flat laces are embellished with beads and embroidery.

The lace above the dragonfly has Detached Chain Stitches which form little flowers. Each flower has a 11/0 teal seed bead sewn into the flowers’ centers.











The lace in the upper left-hand corner is embellished with 12/0 pearl seed bead is sewn onto the lace.


Total Embellishments Used on Block # 2:   65 

Cumulative Total:   112

I continue to use my record keeping pages, so I will know what I’ve used so far.

Until next time,


Four More Hexagon Blocks done

Four More Hexagon Blocks Finished

I have finished four more hexagon blocks which were started as a part of Kathy Shaw’s Intermediate Crazy Quilt Course(ICQC) 103.  They contain the results of tasks given in ICQC 103, 104 and 105.  I have added other embroidery motifs, beaded embroideries, embellishments and seam treatments to fill in the spaces and complete the hexies.

1-Frog and Friends

This block features an embroidered frog at home in his pond. It was a ICQC 103 task.  In which, Kathy Shaw said to tell a story about the embroidery motif.  So I did, I gave him some friends and surroundings a frog might like.  There is a spider, two snails, one charm and the other is embroidered.  Also, a silk ribbon dragonfly, and a Cloisonné butterfly beaded lace butterfly, both fly above the pond.  I added a few cattails to frog’s pond.  To give the Cattails a fluffy look, I used a silk and wool thread.  Seam treatments provide flowers that surround the little pond.


To the right of the pond is a bouquet of beaded Lavender flowers.







2-Twisted Tree in the Garden

Another task in ICQC 103 was to create a twisted tree from different fibers. I used two colors of wool yarn and Pearl Cotton sizes 5 and 8, also in two colors. The leaves are done with 4mm silk ribbon in a Detached Chain Stitch.  A little bird charm sits in the tree.






The spider and its web in the climbing vine were another task from ICQC 103.  I used a DMC metallic thread for the web and two bi-cone glass beads of different sizes for the spider’s head and body. The legs are embroidered in a black silk thread. A Cloisonné bead butterfly and a beaded lace butterfly share this garden.






In a yellow rosebush which stands above the climbing vine, sits a singing Bluebird.

This sweet bird in the rose bush came from a task for ICQC 105, Silk Ribbon Embroidery.

To create my little bird, I used two colors four colors of silk floss.  I stitches the bird in the Chain Stitch to effect feathers.  The eye is a black, 2 mm round bead. For the beak, I used pearl cotton size 8. The roses in the flowering bush, are Fargo Roses made with 7mm and 4 mm silk ribbon.  The leaves are done in Detached Chain Stitch with 4mm silk ribbon.

3- Girl in the Garden

The girl in the center on this block is a Silkie and a ICQC 104 task. I over stitched this little girl’s hair with three types of thread; a rayon, a metallic and a poly-cotton thread. I stitched the little girl’s hair with the Chain Stitch. Last, I added a 4mm silk ribbon bow to the hat. The lace around the collar and the sleeve is done in the Crested Chain Stitch to add a touch of lace.

I used 4 mm silk ribbon for the flowers.  I chose silk ribbon Fargo Roses to over-stitch the roses that make the wreath.  The leaves are done in pearl cotton and I added 2mm ivory glass pearls here and there in the wreath for a little sparkle.

To the right of the silkie is a pair of appliqued, embellished hearts. This was an ICQC 104 task.  For applique, I like to use a technique that employs feather weight fusible interfacing.  This technique is good for simple medium to large shapes. This method ensures the raw edges are nicely turned under. After the hearts were appliquéd onto the block they were embellished with medium blue seed beads, size 8, light blue 4mm glass beads and size 10, crystal seed beads. The front heart is embellished with a rose cluster and three white pearls.




Above the girl is a pair of Pomegranates worked in silk ribbon, and gold silk thread with tiny Rocailles, size 14 pearl beads and 11/0 gold beads. The Pomegranates were a ICQC 105, Silk Ribbon Embroidery task. Finding a needle thin enough to go through the Rocailles, was a bit of a chore but I finally found the thin needles at Michaels Craft Store, in their beading department.

A hand-dyed oval lace motif, has been sewn to the fabric piece to the left of the girl silkie.  I have sewn 2 mm and 3 mm pearls on to the lace motif.





Above the seam treatment which borders the lace motif is a row of beaded blue For-Get-Me-Not Flowers.

                                  Directly below the silkie is a blue beaded button, blue glass flower beads and beaded flower sequins.  A navy blue and gold pressed glass butterfly, is sewn directly below the appliqued hearts.





4- More Critters in the Flower Garden


One of the tasks in ICQC 103 was to create a vine and a spider web.   The spider has anchored its web to the climbing vine, the grass on the ground and the tall grass to the right on the web.  I used a DMC metallic thread for the web and two round glass beads of different sizes for the spider’s head and body. The legs are embroidered in a black silk thread.

Above the climbing vine, flies an embroidered beaded bird.








Above the bird, is a flying Ladybug.








  Around the bird are embroidered beaded flowers; a red flower to the left and a blue flower is to the left of the climbing vine.







The seam treatments add additional flowers to this the garden block.

A Cloisonné bead butterfly and a beaded lace butterfly share this garden with the Ladybug and spider.

I have finished eight of twenty-four hexagon blocks.  So sixteen more to go.

Until next time,




2020 Crazy Quilt Block Challenge – Block One

2020 Crazy Quilt Block Challenge – Block One

                                                                                                    Like many quilters I made a millennium quilt at the turn of the new century.  It started with a June 14, 1999 meeting of 20 Yakima School District’s teachers and paraeducators who also quilt.  Each member brought 20 zip lock baggies each containing 50 – two and a half-inch squares.  These were exchanged so members came away with 1000 – two and a half-inch squares.   







 20 muslin rectangles were passed around which attending members signed.  Each member received one of the rectangles to use as the quilts’ label.











I added 1000 additional fabrics to make 2000 different fabrics.   My mom gave me large scraps from her fabric stash so I would have the additional fabrics to equal 2000.  In addition, I had found three millennium themed print fabrics, two were lights and one a dark. This is a page from my Quilt Journal.




This past June, Sharon Boggon of Pintangle.com issued a 2020 Crazy Block Challenge.  The idea is to make a crazy quilt using 2020 different items by the end of the year 2020.  You can find the guidelines to the 2020 Crazy Quilt Challenge by clicking here. 

I decided to go with a 6 ½” (unfinished) square since I’m already working on a hexagon crazy quilt, the one I started as a part of Kathy Shaw’s Intermediate Crazy Quilt Course 103. This will be the first time I will be making a crazy quilt of this size.  I estimated it will take be 60” x 60”, which is 100 six-inch blocks embellished with 20 unique items.  I plan to count fabrics, threads, and embellishments such as beads, buttons, charms, lace and ribbons.  I will also count different embroidery techniques and seam combinations.


Here is my first block for the 2020 Crazy Quilt Challenge:

I used a modified version of Kathy Shaw’s Mix n’ Match Crazy Blocks, 6”, purchased from Ms. Shaw’s Etsy site. I can’t show it because of copy write laws, but if you have her first book, Crazy Quilting – Volume 1, Beyond Basics, page 79.    I eliminated a couple of the seams to make the fabric pieces a little larger.  I wanted more space for embroidery motifs. 






Here is the block unembellished:







The upper right-hand corner features an applique bird in a silk ribbon rose-bush.  This pattern came from one of the assignments in Kathy Shaw’s Intermediate Crazy Quilt Course 105 – Silk Ribbon Embroidery.






The upper left corner is embellished with ecru lace and a seam treatment of embroidered flowers formed with straight stitches and Bullion Knots flowers.  Below the lace a row of Chevron Stitches  are worked with small 6 mm blue glass heart and seed beads.  A metal bee charm is sewn above the Bullion Knot Flowers.




Lower left-hand corner features an embroidered dragonfly flying over a stand of cattail.  The dragonfly was a part of an embroidered interior decorator fabric.  I added 1/4th inch organdy ribbon stitched over the wings, to add dimension.  I also beaded the body with glass pearls and rice pearls.







Another embroidered interior decorator fabric was pieced into the center of the block.  Using the embroidered vining leaf, and an additional vine for the second flower, which I embroidered.  Then I added a Mother of Pearl flower and glass leaf bead to each vine. 

Above the center piece, this area is embellished with a lace flower, which I over stitched with Thread Gatherer’s Silk n Pearl #10, color:  Easter Parade.  An antique glass pearl button is stitched in the flower’s center.  A Cloisonné Butterfly Bead is sewn to the left of the lace flower. 



The lower right corner is embellished with a 1/4th inch wide vintage Jacquard woven ribbon.  Seam treatments are straight Stitches with Detached Chain Stitches and seed beads above and below are Straight Stitches with seed beads.  Three small antique glass buttons are sewn below the woven ribbon.






Here is my accounting system.  I used the record keeping ideas from both Sharon Boggon and Rosemary Dempster (Thank you ladies), in developing the forms I plan to use.  


















I am keeping track of fabric and embellishments used in a three-ring binder with plastic sleeves.



Until next time,