Welcome to American Homestead. I'm happy you have found my blog. Make yourself comfy and see what's been happening around here. I write about the things that interest me ~ creativity, travel, food, nature and a happy life. I'd love to read your comments.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

I'm A Cover Girl!

Well, okay, not me... but my design is on the cover
of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Magazine - Volume 10.
I just received my advance copy today and I was 
so thrilled!

I can't show the design yet but you can be sure I 
will once the magazine hits the newsstands.

If you look inside you will also find a quilt I made
using the applique block I designed.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Working With Wool/Felt: Changing Colors

I've been working on making new samples
for my wool applique lecture that I give at
Guilds and Quilt Shops.  This is my Grand
Isle pattern made from felted wool.

Here is the same pattern made with wool
felt.  Wool felt is the easiest way to applique.

And here is another one made with wool
felt.  I love that changing the colors can 
make it look like a completely different 

I'm using this one in my studio this week
for Halloween.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

THE HUNT FOR RED (...and yellow, and orange, and maybe some purple) OCTOBER

We are having a glorious Autumn here in 
the American Midwest.  We live in an area
known for beautiful leaf color in the Fall but
this year seems to be particularly beautiful.

I have heard that it is a combination of 
temperature, sunlight and soil temperature
that makes the leaves so vivid.

In this area, people who go out to see the
Autumnal color are called "leaf peepers".

For the past two weeks we have been trying to
figure out when the "peak" of the color will be.

On our days off we would make plans to go
out for a drive to see the foliage but each time
it was very overcast or raining and that doesn't
make for good photos.

I hike in these woods every day and for the 
past week I have forgotten to bring my camera
on my hikes.

Today we were off and the sun was out finally.
It was a perfect Indian Summer day, the temperature
reached 75 F!

But sadly, we missed the peak time, many of 
the leaves are off the trees already.

So no sweeping vistas of trees of many colors...

And with the breezy weather we had today,
the leaves will all be down soon.  They were
falling like snow today.

So enjoy these photos of the color I could find 
on my hike today.

The sky was so blue.  As my old friend
Lucie Anne from England used to say,
"that beautiful American blue sky".

From our American Homestead to wherever you
may call home, I hope you enjoy the show from
Mother Nature.

Enjoy Autumn, Winter is coming soon enough.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Wonderful Woolens

The photo above shows the cabinet where I store
my felted wool.  

I have been collecting 100% wool clothing 
throughout the summer.  I cut it up and wash 
and dry it as shown here. This box was filled 
to the brim, I find it is better to save up my 
purchases and felt it all at once, that way I can
separate into different colors and still have a
good amount of wool in each wash load.

This is what it looks like after I separate the
wool after felting.  That's two large tables
filled with wool.

And this is what it looks like after trimming,
pressing and rolling.  I like to roll as much as 
I can so there are less folds to press out when
I want to work with it.  I have now started adding
a paper band around the roll to try to keep it in
place.  In the past, I would just store the rolls side
by side but I found they could unroll and get
messy.  I'll see how this goes...

This is a bin of wool with interfacing still 
attached.  If it is fused strongly to the wool,
I keep it on and use this for backings or

Here is a lucky mistake.  The wool on top is
the original.  A stray piece got mixed in with
the red and pink wool in the wash and look at
the wonderful result on the bottom.  I plan to 
add some tweeds to the red washes in the future
since I liked this so much.  This is a good reminder
of how important it is to separate colors, especially

And now I'm ready to get stitchin' in 
front of the fireplace.

So I have a few questions for you:
How do you store your wool?
How to you keep your wool together (like the paper band)?
Do you do anything differently as far as felting?

Friday, October 17, 2014

This Little Piggie

This is Ruppert, he is one of my toys from when I
was a child.  I was using this today as a prop in a 
photo shoot and as I looked at it I realized it 
reminded me another thing from my childhood.
A person I vaguely knew from my early days found me 
on facebook and presented himself as a nice, funny 
person.  Sadly, he turned out to be, well... a pig. 
 What a way to ruin a toy I used to liked.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hanging with the Sorority Sisters

Last weekend was the annual Halloween Donor's
Party at the Indianapolis Children's Museum.  
Things have been pretty quiet around here for  the
past few weeks and I confess an hour before we 
were supposed to leave, I was still in my jammies.
I was thinking maybe I could just stay home, but 
the Sorority Girls were coming down from Purdue
to meet us and I wanted to see them.

I got myself together and we all met up for a
nice meal and a stroll through the museum.
When our kids were young, we always had a 
membership here and visited often.  It is now
so funny to go when the kids are all grown up.

The best part of the evening was hanging out
with these beautiful young ladies.  They are 
all so sweet and nice and smart!  They are 
studying aeronautical engineering, actuarial 
science, business and education.

We toured all the exhibits including the Haunted
House and ended the visit as we always do with a
ride on the carousel.

This is my favorite horse and I always
try to ride her.  She is decorated with 
my European Folk Art colors.

Thanks Purdue Girls for a delightful evening!