Friday, April 24, 2009

They're Here!

There's a littoral area right behind our house that attracts all sorts of wildlife, mainly birds and a few river otters. A few weeks ago I spotted a Sandhill Crane nest right in the middle of the reeds! A neighbor had been watching prior to me and apparently it took three attempts at nest-building before the Mrs. was satisfied! She laid her two eggs and a few weeks later, today, they hatched.

Returning from my walk there were cars and bicycles parked on the side of the road, some people with those huge lenses on their cameras.

By the time I got my camera and returned everyone was gone. I waited a while and the parents took the babies onto the grassy area adjoining the water. I was amazed how close they allowed me to get. Both parents make a purring sound to keep the chicks near, I am guessing.

The chicks were really struggling to get through the grass and reeds and to keep up with the parents. The adults are about three to four feet tall.

The next several weeks will be a real challenge. In addition to avoiding alligators, raptors, and other predators, vehicles pose a real threat.

It is unusual for both chicks to survive. These two seem to be in great shape so I've got my fingers crossed.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Brown Quilt

I didn't do much sewing this past weekend. We had such beautiful weather, warm, sunny and the nicest part, low humidity, I spent some time outdoors. I finished the quilt, Around the Block from On A Roll book by Heather Mulder Peterson on Thursday. It mainly uses Dandelion Girl fabric with just a little Allspice Tapestry and Urban Indigo. I picked up the Jelly Roll at one of the Saturday Jelly Roll classes but decided not to use the apron pattern that came with it. I think it's definitely a brown quilt, my first using that color. I love the way it turned out.

The border looks hard but it is so easy to do and really adds a little pizzazz to a otherwise simple quilt.

It finishes at a twin size, 68 by 81 inches.

Also finished the online Block of the Month I am doing using Christmas fabrics. The red is not that orangey.

These fat quarters are from a line called Victoria's Scatter Garden that came out in 2004. I could never figure out what to do with them.

About a month agao, I saw the Magic Vine line by Eleanor Burns and just couldn't resist getting some. It coordinates nicely with the Scatter Garden fat quarters so I think this will be my next project.

And this is Katherine! We have a small salt water tank and this is one of our hermit crabs. Isn't she cute? She's about a little over an inch wide to give a sense of scale. I think she could use a new shell.
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Fun Escape

I had to share. I picked up this movie, For Roseanna, at the library and highly recommend it. It's lighthearted, sweet, charming, funny, and touching love story. It takes place in a small Italian village, a big plus for me as I absolutely adore anything Italian. Just hearing the language spoken, ohhh, fantastico! Getting back to the movie, the wife has heart trouble and when the time comes wants to be buried in the village's cemetery but it is almost full. Her devoted and creative husband wants to indulge her wishes. I won't say anymore and spoil it. It was made in 1997 and runs about 98 minutes. And surprisingly it's filmed in English although everyone has Italian accents! Family-friendly also.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Happy Easter wishes!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

New Project

Well I've put my prior debacle behind me and started a new project. While I was reading another blog, can't remember whose, I saw a project out of this book. In fact, the cover quilt started. It looked so cute and simple. I need an opportunity for success!

It seemed the perfect project for another Jelly Roll. It's not an "official" Jelly Roll per se but rather a compendium of mainly Dandelion fabrics with some Allspice Tapestry fabrics and others thrown in.

I so love 9 patches. They are so classic and timeless. I had to make a quick run to my LQS to get some fabric for the borders before it was gone. As is, I ended up settling for another color than what I was hoping for. Don't you just love that new ironing board cover? I am so hoping I can keep it nice for a while. It really perks up my sewing room.

Now, on to the scrap giveaway. I'd like to thank everyone for all your nice comments! I wrote everyone's name who commented prior to noon today on a piece of paper and put them into my favorite Pottery Barn cherry bowl and

picked "free indeed". So if you could email me your mailing address I'll get your package off to you! Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Jelly Roll Disaster

For the past several days I've worked with a Oh-Cherry-Oh Jelly Roll that I picked up at a LQS class. It also came with a free pattern from Moda's website called Sultry. It makes a friendship braid quilt when done, something I've never made before but was anxious to try.

All the Jelly Roll strips are cut to 7 inches and then sewn to alternate sides of a beginning square.

After the braid is sewn, the edges need to be trimmed and then the rows sewn together.

Well, somewhere amongst all this sewing, I should have used some starch on all those bias edges. I didn't have any and was too lazy to go get some. I figured it would be ok. It wasn't.

It is so wonky, so crooked, so bowed! Waah, I've never had anything turn out so bad before!

Trust me, it is much worse in actuality than the pictures reveal. You see that top edge? It should lay right along that tile grout line. I was feeling pretty down on the day it happened, but with some distance I've adjusted and console myself with that little aphorism, "Every quilter has a masterpiece within" and mine just hasn't come out yet!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Winter Pines Too

Here's my version of Winter Pines as found in Black and White Quilts by Design. I used a very bright red for the cornerstones. I just love the way it turned out. The black and white fabrics paired with the paper piecing imparts a crispness to the top.

I would have had this posted earlier except we have been having cloudy, windy, or rainy weather which made getting good pictures tough.

I've decided to pass on the leftover scraps. If you are interested, leave a comment on this post and I will randomly select a winner Saturday morning. The scraps are assorted sizes, not large enough to make these trees. Many of them are suitable for half square triangles.

I think I've mentioned our cardinal before. I think our house was built right in the middle of his territory and he's not about to cede any of it! I brought my camera last time I was folding laundry. He actually sits there and watches me.
Thanks for stopping by and for all the nice comments about Winter Pines Too.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Black and White

As I mentioned yesterday I started a project from the book Black and White Quilts By Design by Kay M. Capps Cross. It is paper piecing, something I swear I will never do again after completing the one I am working on.

But this project was so appealing I had to give it a go.

It calls for 20 8 inch blocks. And I had enough of a variety of blacks and whites in my stash that I didn't have to buy any. These are my blocks so far.

This is why I always say I will not do paper piecing! See that 'problem' at the end of the polkadot piece? Aargh! I find myself doing this quite frequently. And of course it is never one of the last pieces sewn so it would be easily corrected!

So far I have had 4 blocks with this problem! Does anyone else do this? I think I must zone out, lost in thought just cruising along listening to music or an audio book. The author suggests using Sulky Soft 'n Sheer rather than paper for the foundation. I am not familiar with this product but apparently it is a permanent, lightweight, nylon stabilizer that you don't (can't) remove. Less bother with paper pieces and worry over distorted stitches. Now that's appealing. I plan on finishing the top today so completed pictures tomorrow. And be sure to check out The Black and White Quilt Challenge Project to see lots more Black and White projects.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Adventures In Cardioland!

I should have known better. I mean I was in the midst of a Bad-Things-Come-In-Threes karma, times two. First my bad fall right before Christmas, a trip I was looking forward to was canceled, a good friend died,a family pet died, and our house was broken into. Someone really needed to take me aside and tell me now was not the best time to schedule a physical. Well, lacking such a prescient person in my life, I scheduled. So, I don't know why I was so surprised when the doctor wanted me to have a stress test done. Eek!

No food 4 hours prior and (the worst part) no caffeine 12 hours prior. In view of the raging caffeine-withdrawal headache I had come appointment time (3:00 pm), I regretted not getting up at 2:30 am and having a cup! I was super nervous remembering all the stories I'd heard of people having a heart attack while being tested. I decided to ask and get some reassurance. Hah! The nurse said "oh, yes, it doesn't happen often but it does happen". Yikes! "But," she continued, "this is a great place to have one!!! We're all certified in ACLS and the doctors are nearby". Great. Well, I made it through but my EKG at rest and exercising showed "abnormal changes". Double yikes! I had to go back for a Nuclear Stress Test which is essentially like the regular stress test on the treadmill but at the end they inject you with a radioactive dye and take pictures of your heart. Then because I had the test done on a Friday, I had to wait until Monday for the results and all is fine!!! Apparently I am just someone who shows a quirky EKG, a not uncommon problem in women.

In between all my tests I found this book at the library. I highly recommend it. I did one of the projects, more about that and pictures next time.
Thanks for stopping by.