Saturday, October 16, 2021

Passacaglia Progress, Last Stack and Whack and a Bird Break!!

Well, this is the last of the quilts made with the 104 blocks I had and it measures about 40 x 60.  I was convenient to have just dyed some bright green that was 60 inches wide and got used right away!

This is the left half of the Passacaglia just laid out on my design wall but the two halves are not sewn together.  I just wanted to get a glimpse of where I needed to add some more "stuff".  First,  of course, was that half done block on top.  As I mentioned before, the author has you chop off large portions of the rosettes to finish it and after all that stitching, there is no way I would do that!  I didn't have the fabric I used down here but managed to find some that is almost identical and made two more stars and diamonds to finish off that rosette.  I am also going to put rosettes in those two spaces on the left.  
Here I am auditioning a yellow that I think might make a good background.  I doubt I haqve enough in this piece but can dye some of the 60 inch wide cotton close to this color.  This was my experiement to get close to the tangerine color -- a dye I had run out of.  It was 4 parts sun yellow to 1 part golden yellow.  

I am now sewing together the large rosettes on the right side of the quilt and when I have the four sections completed I will sew them together.  This is taking much less time than I thought it would!  I have had to make some more diamonds to fit into places but that has been a piece of cake compared to getting some of those rosettes together!  My stitching is not delicate so the quilt will be one best viewed a couple of feet away!

I try to get over to my daughter's for a swim each day while the weather holds and always take my camera.  She spotted these two Pileated Woodpeckers who entertained us for easily 15 minutes.

This was my favorite of the pictures she took!  Mine were nowhere near as good!

The above is a Catbird and one of the pictures did show the red under his tail.  He was far far away!

This is an Eastern Phoebe and he has appeared multiple times in her yard.

There was quite a flock of Ibis on the corner the other morning!  There were about 20 of them -- adults and juveniles.

This is a Common Buckeye in my daughter's garden.
This is a gardenia bush which I didn't expect to see blooming this time of year!

The above is a Long-tailed Skipper butterfly.

This is a Red-bellied Woodpecker off in the distance.  She has trees all around her yard and has frequent nests and all sorts of critters including red fox this year and oppossums last year!  


Monday, October 11, 2021

Some Miscellaneous Upates!

I have had 104 of these stack and whack blocks done for a couple of years and decided it was time to finally put them all to use!  In a previous post, I showed the column  arrangement for a bigger quilt.  I decided I would utilize the rest for baby quilts and put nice babyish fabric on the backs.  This was the first top completed and measures 40 x 40.

This is the second one which I should complete today!

I had 18 blocks left and I like to make use of every block so came up with this arrangement.  I have since switched the blocks around so it is a semi-one block wonder!

A bit of a challenge trying  to get this one arranged the way I wanted.  I had managed to put individual units upside down and had to rip out stitching and thought I was finished but after looking at the picture, realized that one whole side was now upside down so today I will fix that.  I wanted them to alternate to give a little variety.  I will use the green for the binding.

The other day my friend Dianne and I did some ice dyeing and regular vat dyeing of some extra wide pfd fabric I had.  The top two are ice dyed, the top one mostly navy and the middle one a  mix of navy and grape dyes.  The bottom two are just fat dyed, the top one grape with a bit of eggplant and the bottom one New Navy which looks like denim blue to me!

The top one  here was ice dyed and is a mix of the navies and the greens below.  It is much prettier in person.  For some reason, the color didn't come through so much in this picture.  The bottom two are vat dyed, the top one being a mix of sun yellow and Dharma's Desert Green and the bottom one being Bright Green.  I can never have too much lime green!!

My intention for the dyeing was to make some backs so each of the pieces is about 45 inches x 60  inches.  Probably won't use the vat dyed fabrics for backs as my free motion stitching isn't good enough for a plain back!

This isn't a great picture as I took it at night with my phone!  It is the bottom left of the Passacaglia quilt which I finished sewing together last night.  The rosette in the furthest right position on the bottom (red and green) was wrong in the pattern so I had to add an extra star and diamond to what I thought was a completed rosette.  Of course, the fabric I used to make the original rosette was still in Rochester, I had to improvise and it is roughtly right and you would really have to look to find it!  I am going to add another rosette to the far left side.  The pattern literally calls for cutting off large portions of the rosettes when you add the border and there is no way I would ever do that so need to even things up a bit more and then I will applique onto something.  I haven't yet decided what color I will applique onto but am thinking a really really pale yellow.  I have considered black as well but the quilt will eventually tell me what it wants and I am powerless to object! 


Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Actually Getting Some Projects Further Along the Way!

This is a picture of all the rosettes done minus one on the bottom right.  I have since switched the upper right and lower right large rosettes back to the way they should be.  
A close-up of the bottom.

A close-up of the top.

I think I made these hexies a couple of years ago and I have a lot of them -- over a hundred so auditioning how I want to arrange the and how many quilts and what kind of quilts I want to make.    

They could be quilts I keep, Sweet Charity or smaller Neo-natal quilts.  

I decided that definitely I would do one with the vertical arrangement with some fabric in between.  Still have to decide how many rows and how wide to put the in-between fabrics.  I am sure I will have at least a thin strip of white surrounding each column.

I found this fabric when going through my stash this summer and thought I would use it for a 4 patch posie block as there were only 4 repeats and a little extra.  It looked like a good candidate to me.

These were a bunch of the blocks I have completed.  They all look awfully red to me and I know I will surround them with probably a green although I don't want it to look like a Christmas quilt so we shall see.  I am also thinking that maybe some with green, some with white and some with black.  I have done this before and thought it gave a successful look.
These were more of the same and I am amazed that there are really no duplicates or any that are just a little off from being duplicates.  That is very unusual.  The repeat was 13 inches and I cut 3 inch strips and then blocks so the finished block will be 5 1/2 inches square.

I have quite a few tops accumulated now that I will have to start quilting before too long.  I like to do all the quilting at the same time as it helps in the muscle memory with all the free motion quilting.


Monday, September 27, 2021

A Day at Huntington Beach State Park!

 Well I had the whole blog almost completed and managed to delete the whole thing with one misstep!  I will try again!!

We headed to a different outlook than we normally do and were greeted with a trio of Roseate Spoonbills.  We hadn't seen one on our last trips.  Two of them were asleep most of the time but this one finally woke up to eat!

I liked this one as it shows his bill so well!

Lisa spotted this dull brown bird off in the distance behind a Great Blue Heron.  I am pretty sure it is a Clapper Rail.  He was darting in and out of the reeds.

This is the aforementioned Great Blue Heron taking off

I saw this Anhinga which surprised me as I have only seen them in fresh water areas.

Spreading his wings!

Just for comparison, this is a not very good picture of two Cormorants.  You can easily see the difference in the beaks here.

We saw lots and lots of both Great Egrets like this one and Snowy Egrets.

There were actually more Snowy Egrets than the Great Egrets which was a change!

There were even a few Ibis foraging on the shore.  They are like pigeons down here after a heavy rain and frequent visitors in the winter.

I believe this is a Semi-palmated Sandpiper.

I believe this is a Western Sandpiper.  He and his friend were very small.

I believe this is a Willet, which are common along the beach down here.

There was a huge flock of Wood Storks way off in the distance.  This is a very cropped picture.

This is still cropped but not as much

All in all, it was a great day at the park!

Saturday, August 28, 2021

It's Been a While!

It certainly has been a month since I  posted!!  A  lot of that time was consumed with having a garage sale and then the aches and pains suffered as a result of a very uncomfortable chair I sat in for the sale!

My oldest daughter did take me to the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge for my birthday but it was definitely a bust!  Taking a picture of a starling just to have more than one bird picture!  Every day I see these great posts on FB from other photographers of eagles, Sand Hill Cranes, Roseate Spoonbills, minks etc.!  Well, there is always next year..

With all the rain we had earlier, our Japanese Cherry tree was spectacular this year.  The branches were just loaded with blossoms

It's been unbearably humid lately so haven't gotten to sit outside to see any of the more spectacular butterflies that visit our neighbor's butterfly bush but there is always a Monarch or 2!

I  have been hard at work  on the Passacaglia quilt and have almost all the rosettes either done or in process.  I will try to get a picture of the progress soon.  I am trying to get all the fabric used that I need to finish so that I won't have to drag it down south with me.  I have enough to take down there!!  Then will be the chore of getting it together!  I also have to decide what fabric to applique it to as I refuse to cut it off like she does in the book!  Why would you do all that work and then eliminate it?

I am truly getting really tired of the pandemic and the need to isolate so much and I am trying to stay as upbeat as I can but it is difficult if not impossible.  


Thursday, July 22, 2021

The End of the Boxes!!

After completing three of the Box in a Box quilts, I am calling it quits on this type until I get back to North Carolina and an unlimited supply of already cut strips!  This picture is of the second one I did which is a bit ore controlled than the first one and thus, I didn't feel the need to insert blocks to give your eyes a place to rest.  My approach here was to only use dark browns and navies for the darks and beiges and yellows for the lights.  I also lined up the yellows, beiges, blues and browns with each other as much as possible.  I used random colors for the mediums but also tried to line up colors (like reds next to reds and greens next to greens).  It gives the eye a bit more of a place to rest than totally random scrappy.  I think overall I am a controlled scrappy quilter.  I used the reverse side of a fabric for the border on this one after trying out both the right side and the wrrong side, finding the wrong side a little cheerier!  It's not quite done here.

Here it is completed!

Here is the beginning of the newest and last of the Box in a Box or Box on a Box quilts.

This is my favorite so far.  This is a blue salt painted fabric I made some time ago.  

Here is the design wall with all the big rosettes completed and a few of the more complex rosettes also done.  I am getting to the point where I will be more selective in how I combine colors but first I had to free up my other design wall, finishing all the scrap quilts.

Here I have begun to postion and audition the rosettes I have done.  

I am also in the process of finally quilting the Great Blue Heron quilt which will definitely take me some time as it is pretty big!

While destashing, I came upon this long ago English paper piecing project.  I am not sure what I was thinking or what I planned to do with this.  Each of the petals is about half an inch.  I know I sewed them together by taping the new pieces in place on the front an then just sewing in the back so that no stitches show unlike my current project!  Of course I sewed each one of these petals down on plain paper using dissolvable thread.  Haven't decided whether I will do more with some of the pieces that are all prepared.