Wednesday, March 21, 2018

A Visit with my Sister! Lots of Bird Pictures (of Course)!!

This and the next two pictures are of a male Baltimore Oriole at my sister's feeders.

His orange is beautiful against the bright blue sky.

I liked this view from the back as he got some suet.

This was the first Goldfinch of the season just beginning to morph into his breeding plummage.  

This is his kinda lookalike the Pine Warbler, of which there were many!

This is a very far away Red-tailed hawk which I saw first thing  on my first day at Gail's home in Ocala.

A Downy Woodpecker who was hanging around quite a bit.

This is one of may Red-bellied Woodpeckers.  This one had some strange markings -- the red over the beak, then the white and then more red on the head.

A break from the birds to show the Sherman Fox Squirrel, aka the Monkey Squirrel.  This appears to be a female to me.  They are an endangered species but do frequent Gail's feeders.

Another view of the Fox Squirrel so you can see her tail.

They also have this strange gray squirrel that they have nicknamed Q-tip for obvious reasons!

 There were several very photogenic Blue Jays, some bluer than others!

So pretty against the trees and sky!

Mr. Cardinal!
Mrs. Cardinal.

Palm Warbler with the yellow under the tail.

Yellow Rumped Warbler who has yellow on top of his tail!  We see tons of these down in Kure Beach.

House Finch.  Their color is determined in a large part by the things they eat like the Cedar Waxwings whose red is sometimes yellow or orange.

Last but not least is a Tufted Titmouse who wouldn't pose for me -- they move fast!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Introducing the Sweet Charity Bee

Wilmington's Coastal Sewing and Vac hosted our first "production" meeting of the newly named Sweet Charity Bee.  Our purpose is to use quick processing techniques to make quilts which will be donated to various local organizations.  We managed to finish  mostly six tops that were about 40 x 54 in a little over two hours!!  

We had a couple of people picking the strips to go together (the strips had been cut ahead of time), I think four of us sewing and a couple of people pressing, cutting the strip sets up and trimming the sashing pieces as well as cutting the sashing pieces and borders.  We basically made a 20 piece strip set from 2 1/2 inch strips.  These were then trimmed and cut into three sections.  Sashing was added and then a border around the whole piece.  These will then be quilted and bound.

The pieces are being sorted into groups of 20.

First we sewed them in groups of two, then sewed the two strip pieces together to make four, and then the four strip groups into eight etc until we had all 20 sew in one big strip set.   She is sewing her duos together here!

Here are some larger grouping being put together and Dianne has taken on the ironing role.

Miranda was our general helper and did ironing, trimming, cutting sashing and grouping fabrics in her spare time!!

This was the top that I finished!

Getting close to done!

Another one done!!

Another  one done!!

Here are the ladies with the six mostly completed tops.  Just a little work left on two.  Pretty good for a small group in slightly more than two hours!!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

A Day of Dye Painting

Dianne hosted a day of dye painting with me and Becky on Sunday.  These are Dianne's pieces.  She grumbled in the morning and wasn't sure she liked the whole process but I think her pieces speak for how successful she was!!

We basically were working with dry soda ashed fabric and very thickened, very intense colors.  Instead of making the powders into a liquid, I mixed the dye powders directly into the print paste.  Because there is so much urea in the print paste, it was a cinch.  I then did a brief talk on how to work with these.  Basically if  you want still thick dye but a lighter shade, you just add more print paste to what you have spooned into a separate little cup (we used old cat food plastic cups).  If you want a thinner "paint", you just add water.  As you can see, when you use the intense dyes with a lot of thickener immediately take on the fabric, don't move even when you add additional watered down dyes later.

These  next four pieces were done by Becky.

She microwaved her pieces but nuked this one too long and actually burned it which are those dark spots.  It didn't flame up until she opened the microwave!

The next few pieces are mine and are not particularly good although I like this one and the next one okay.  I was really trying to illustrate what you could do with these dye paints rather than concentrating on creating good pieces.  In this piece, I did very dark crosses, then added print paste and got lighter crosses, and did this a couple of more times.  Then I watered down the dyes and painted the whole piece over the crossed images.  This fabric was not white but was a light blue to begin with.

I used a silk screen I had created to first stamp with very thick dyes and then I watered it down and painted over the whole piece.

This was also a colored piece of fabric to begin with and probably not even pfd!!  I picked up wet dyes that had bubbled on the plastic, then painted some crosses and then painted on wet dyes over the whole piece in a couple of different colors.  It was very wet.

I used household sponges to sponge different colors down on a piece of green fabric (very light green).  I probably shouldn't have added the red last!!  Lots of texture though.  I hate any white spaces on my pieces -- always have so avoid that at all costs!

This was one of my "failure" mandalas that I cut in four and then pieced back together with the pieces formerly on the outside now on the inside!!  I also trimmed off about an inch all the way around.  I thought the newly painted fabric might make good borders around it.  The green one actually looks better than in this picture for some reason!  

I don't know why I feel compelled to take the mandalas that I count as failures and work on them first instead of the ones I like!!  Guess it is the challenge to make something that I like out of something I don't care for!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

QBTS February Meeting -- the Pillow Challenge!

The front of the room is much too small for all the neonatal quilts that were done this past month.  The really bad weather must have been some motivation!!

 The  next three pictures are also all neonatal quilts and there were a lot more!!

These were pillows 1 and 2 in the Pillow Challenge.  The first is a tooth fairy pillow and adorable.  The second was Becky's yo-yo pillow in beautiful colors.

These are pillows 3 through 6.  The first was a beautifully pieced pillow.  The second was our own Michele's bunny pattern.  The third was a vintage cross-stitch which was restored and turned into a pillow and the fourth was a beautiful scrappy strip pieced pillow.

These are pillow 7 though 10.  Who could not love the kitties in pillow 1.  Pillow 2 was all pieced using Ruth McDowell patterns and techniques and the third one was a bit of a mystery to me but I think it was using a weaving technique.  It was subtle and gorgeous.  The fourth one was a collage of pictures of places around North Carolina all transferred to fabric -- incredible!!

This was my addition which was the result of a happy accident.  This was one of those UFOs I had last summer that I finally quilted but didn't bind.  I happened to look at it and think that it might be just the same size as a pillow I had planned on recovering which was sitting in my sewing room.  It was a perfect match.  The pattern was from a class I took probably ten years ago at least as I didn't have my blog back then!!

 These are the last two but certainly not the least.  Incredible piecing on the black one and nice Valentines pillow for the last one.

And the winners are!!!  I voted for the kitties of course and that was first with the spiral second and the leaves piece coming in third!

 This and the next were Quilts of Valor.

 This baby quilt and the teddy bear were made from fragments of clothing from a recently deceased grandfather to be.  It was especially requested by his daughter who gathered up the pieces.  It was just lovely.

Show and Tell is always my favorite part of the evening -- I love seeing what everyone is making!!  The yellow on this photo is merely a shadow.  Beautiful red and white quilt.

This was a piece by our own Michele May.  She is teaching in Houston again this year!! 
This was all Kaffe Fassett fabrics!!  I love Kaffe's fabrics too and will bring them down with me next year.  This year was the black and white which I have yet to use!! 
The next three were baby quilt and tops that all have to be done in two weeks for awaiting babies in the family!! 

This was a very large quilt and the first large quilt doe by a new quilter!!  Beautiful!!

I believe she said that this was a "row by row" quilt.  It was gorgeous and probably my favorite for the evening! 
 A beautiful blue and white sampler quilt.

This was a tote done for a  niece who was leaving soon for Paris.  My daughter would love this for traveling on planes! 

Two very nice table runners.

This was a seahorse made with cross stitch and then quilted.  A close-up of the cross stitch is below. 

Here are three of the pieces done from the recent class.  Miranda was the most creative in her interpretation but I loved the colors they all used.