Thursday, May 31, 2012

Roses, Roses and More Roses -- Maplewood Park

It was such a gorgeous day out, it seemed like the perfect time to go visit Maplewood Park, another of the parks designed by Frederick Law Ohmsted.  Later on they will have a rose festival in the park but with the warm temps, I figured that the roses would be in pretty much full bloom.  They have an amazing collection of 3000 rose bushes covering about an acre of land.  The festival is usually in mid-June but you can see there were many roses in full bloom (and even some over the hill already).

This was one of my favorites called The Julia Child.  There were many shades of gold and yellow and it is a floribunda and there was a carpet of color.
You can see how the park is set up here with rows and rows of rose bushes in the bright sun -- good thing it was a nice cool breezy afternoon!
Another gorgeous display of color.  There were a lot of these pink bushes.
This was my very favorite.  It was climbing up a trellis on the side of the park.  I usually prefer the really double roses but I loved the colors and texture of this one.  As it aged, it turned whiter.  
This was another one I liked a lot called Scentimental (it's in the collage up above as well) and as its name indicates, it has a wonderful strong scent as many of the roses did.  With the slight breeze, the whole area just had this wonderful aroma!

This was another view down the row of roses with the stone wall to the left which of course had more roses and another path.

And a picture of the nice husband who patiently waited for his wife to tour the whole area -- he got through it much faster than I did!!

And here is a totally random picture of the Serendipity quilt I am working on now.  I am hoping to have it eventually large enough to fit on the king sized bed in the blue bedroom at the beach. It is much subtler than this picture shows -- I think because the main fabric is a sateen.  There is no where near this much contrast.  I will be using white as the filler in the background as well.  This is a different version of the block than I have done before as I didn't think the fabric was "strong" enough to make stars in the middle of the hexagons.  It was hard to find the lights I needed in my stash but I think I have enough.  The block with the darker greens may not make the cut -- it was the first block and this has happened before....  

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Treat -- A Trip to Rochester's Seneca Park Zoo

None of these count as real sightings as they were all taken at the zoo and many through fences but it was a day for the "pussy cats" to be out!!  This lovely female Bengal tiger had just finished most of her lunch and was coming back for more.  (She was for you, Priscilla!!)

I had not been to the Seneca Park Zoo here in Rochester for probably 30 plus years even as much as I like zoos in general.  It has changed incredibly from those days.  Going to zoos now is so different from years ago when the animals were in very cramped quarters with very little landscaping.  Now in many zoos, it is hard to even spot the animals (which gives you a more natural feel for sure) as there are lots of plants and landscape elements so that critters can find shade, shelter and a break from prying eyes and crying babies.  The Seneca Park Zoo was designed by the famous Frederick Law Olmsted who also designed Maplewood Park and Highland Park here in Rochester as well as Central Park in NYC.  Much of the character of this naturalistic design is still present and even though the temps were in the high 80s, it was very shady and pleasant with a nice breeze.  The zoo sits right next to the Genesee River and is part of  Seneca Park, from which it derives its name.

This is another tiger view just for Priscilla who loves her tigers.  All the animals in the zoo looked very well cared for and content with shiny coats and sleek bodies.  The hyenas certainly looked better fed than they did in the wild!

There are two female lions and one male lion at the zoo and they are fairly new occupants.  They are all very young (around two) and we did eventually see all three of them although everyone was seeking shade today.

Even the cougar posed for me today -- she had also just finished her noontime meal.

And of course the beautiful snow leopard from Asia with the very long tail and huge paws (like snowshoes I guess).  They were cooling themselves off in a spray mist that was going.  
Not to be missed were these two absolutely beautiful American Bald Eagles who unfortunately had each had a wing broken in the wild.  They seem to be thriving here and had beautiful markings.

Even the Snow Owl was out today and just beautiful.  From what I read while south, there was a huge influx of these birds into the northeast this past winter.  I have never seen one in the wild but Warren had many times when we lived in Batavia and he drove to Niagara Falls every day.  I do love the raptors.

There were flowers everywhere and lots of my favorite iris. The flower to the right was a flowering tree that we used to call a "tulip tree" when I was growing up but will have to do a little research to find out it's name. (Note:  it is indeed a tulip tree or tulip poplar but really a member of the magnolia family and the tallest tree in the Eastern US although it prefers it a little south of here!  It was a beautiful flower well hidden in the leaves.

I couldn't help but take a picture of this absolutely stunning stained glass window that was the size of a full door.  Outside of Tiffany windows, it was one of the most striking I have seen.  It was on the exit from the building that housed snakes, birds and some of the other more tropical species.  This was looking out from the inside.  I will have to find out who did this!  (Note:  It was done by Mr. Peter McGrain.)

After our trip, we headed to Joe's Crab Shack for lunch.  What a fun place and practically empty on a holiday (everyone barbecuing we figured).  The food was absolutely excellent.  This is a chain restaurant we hadn't been to before and is relatively new to the Rochester area.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Clematis

 As predicted, the clematis has gone crazy.  You can't see it, but there are flowers all the way down to the ground.  The temps have been very warm the past week and all the buds flowered at once as  you can see.  Our perennial hibiscus went from little nubs above the ground to foot high plants also in a period of about three days -- they are incredible.

This is a closeup of the clematis. We are going to add an additional plant of a different color for future years!
I absolutely have always loved iris perhaps more than any of the other spring flowers.  Growing up, we had at least a 100 different varieties in our yard that my parents had planted when they first moved there -- they were all different colors and came out over a period of a few weeks as some were later than others.  These are in our neighbor's yard and looked particularly nice with the backdrop of the pink columbine and another yellow flower.

I have spent my last week trying to go through fabrics, patterns and books to get ready for our "garage sale" event at quilt club.  I am determined to get at least the upstairs rooms in reasonable order and slimmed down before heading south again.  The basement stash may have to wait a bit longer -- we shall see!   I have managed to get 3 boxes of fat quarters and another three boxes of yardage accumulated and ready to go.    So I have bravely resisted starting the next quilts -- maybe after quilt club.  Of course, a perfect accompaniment for these cleaning activities are Colin Firth movies that I have seen already (so I don't have to pay close attention)  -- many are even better on repeated viewings like Easy Virtue which is an old Noel Coward play.  

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Spring er...Summer is here

The clematis is going crazy this year and is covered with buds so we should be ablaze with color this week!  

This is a peak into my next door neighbor's back  yard.  They have spectacular gardens covering every square inch of their property.  Even their vegetable garden in the front yard is decorative.  It is particularly spectacular in back this year with all sorts of flowering perennials.

I finally finished up the latest Serendipity quilt made with the blocks from the quilt I took apart.  I improvised the triangles which are white making six pointed stars as I didn't have enough of the fabric hexagons to fill the area.  I just have to decide whether I want to any borders around the outside.  Seems to be an ongoing problem for me -- I would like a queen sized quilt...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Unveiling and What's Next!

It's done!!  I am relatively pleased with how it came out.  I made some executive decisions along the way and left the original color choices a bit as I finished it.  I think I am going to put a small black border and may then include a row of molas.  As it stands, it is about 48 inches by 48 inches and really nice and flat.  I am actually looking forward to quilting it as soon as I decide on the outside...

I will be making another one of these as for some reason I decided I would see how the molas I have collected over the years (purchased from Priscilla after her trips to Panama).  I just placed these on top of the "rocket" blocks to get a feel for how it would look and I LOVED it so the next Lone Star will be started before too long using the same very colorful palette (looks like the palette was made for the molas, doesn't it!    These are the smaller appliqued molas that are really made for the tourists but I have many nice ones that I like -- they are beautifully embroidered -- Priscilla is very picky.

I was bound and determined to finish up and decide what to do with this latest set of Serendipity blocks.  I didn't have enough of the background hexagons to do what I usually do so had to move to plan b.

What I decided on was to use small stars in the background triangles.  The star points alternate blue and green and are on white.  I have done them all but one in this picture.  I will use a medium blue for the background of the rest of the background hexagons.

It was an exciting day as I spotted an Indigo Bunting sitting on Marcia's fence but it flew away as soon as I got my camera out.  I did get a photo of it way on the other side of the field but it is just enough to identify it and not publishable!!  I had heard that we had buntings up here from a club member last week but this is the first time I have seen one.  Maybe before I thought they were bluebirds but this definitely was a Bunting!

Of course I got home and am sure now I have a UTI  -- drat.  It will be a miserable night and will get a prescription hopefully in the morning  -- why do these things happen after doctor's hours?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Awesome Class With Jan Krentz

This is one of the eight points of the eight pointed star that is in the middle of the Summer Salsa quilt which is the two day class I just completed with Jan Krentz (Jan Krentz's website with a description of her workshops). Jan graciously agreed to teach this five day class in two days so we were really really working hard and I did homework last night as well!! Despite the handicap of time, Jan completed her presentation. Rarely have I seen a teacher as well prepared and interactive with her students. I left the second day tired but inspired. Hopefully, this will not be another of my "addictions"!
Barb to the left is working on her Featherweight and her block made of all batiks is in front of her.  On the right is Jan  Krentz working on the sewing machine with another of the students. She took time with everyone in the class.

This was my center star at the halfway point.

I blocked it at home and put it up on my design wall to see how I liked it.  Still not sure about fabric choices but I hadn't put a lot of thought into it as I had very little prep time!

Today we spent a lot of time working on the squares that are the "rocket" blocks in the background and fit between each point of the star.  This was the color choices of Sallye who was the first to get a background block done. Jan spent time with a lot of inspirations for different choices for the background and even though I cut out my "rocket" blocks, I may change my mind and go with another choice.  We shall see....

This is a very over-sized picture of a butterfly called the Red Admiral. I don't think I have seen one (although haven't checked old blogs) but this year there was an "irruption" of these in Rochester due to the very mild winter.  They are all over the place.  They are about 2 inches wide but are great flitters and don't sit still and when they do, they sit more like moths with their wings folded.  I had to wait a bit to find one that momentarily opened his wing in a proper butterfly orientation.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

May Genesee Valley Quilt Club Meeting with Speaker Jan Krentz

I have just returned from North Carolina just in time to attend the May meeting of our quilt club.  It was quite the show!!  There must have been 40 people lined up for Show and Tell and there was one spectacular quilt after another!  This was a group that had done a round robin and this was the final "show".  The quilts are all so different.

This was one of two dahlia quilts done by one of our master quilters -- Judy Laurini.  Like me, she has been working on two series of quilts -- she also had done quite a few one block wonders!  There was of course awesome quilting in the background which you can kind of see.

I don't know the name of the quilter but I thought this was a beautiful star -- one of a couple that quilters showed.

This looks like applique but it is totally pieced and done by Nancy Levant, another of our prolific quilters.

I thought this was a stunning sampler quilt -- I really loved it and it will be on display at Genesee Country Museum eventually.

This is one of Janet R's beautiful quilts.  She can make the simplest patterns just stunning and this was no exception.

This is the back of the above quilt.  Originally the strips in the middle were the borders but Janet decided she liked the plain border better.  I have done some of the same things with my quilts.

These ladies were showing off the "mystery" quilts they did in our Spring Fling.  This was guided by our very talented Janet R and they are all so different!

This is Jan Krentz who was our speaker today, led a class yesterday and who will be teaching a two day class that I will be in on Friday and Saturday.  I hadn't done any of the pre-work as of the meeting so came home, looked over the six pages of instructions and got everything done pronto -- may not be the best or most innovative fabric selections but it will do!  I didn't attempt to stray from her suggested colors which is definitely different for me!!

Jan is known for her diamond quilts and I loved this one.
This is the class she taught yesterday and I really love the quilt.  I would definitely have taken this class if I were in town!!  I may have to buy the book this quilt is in even though I have sworn off more books!!

This was a quilt completed by one of Jan's friends which she purchased. It is absolutely stunning and the woman is a fairly new quilter to top it off!!
This is a variation of the quilt we will be doing tomorrow and Saturday.  

This the quilt we will be working on tomorrow called Summer Salsa. I wanted to take a closeup picture so I could see better how the fabrics worked together.

So I am looking forward to the class tomorrow.  I already know I will be breaking some rules from the supply list description (and what I am NOT bringing)  but "done is better than perfect" is the philosophy I have adopted from Brenda P of Dear Jane fame!!