Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Visit to Janet's!!

It was a perfect day to make the drive out to my friend Janet's and pick up five of my quilts which she has kindly kept for me after two shows last fall!!  An extra added treat was that she has many bird feeders which were just filled with birds!!!  All the bird pictures are taken through her windows (which were nice and clean!)  This is an adult Baltimore Oriole.  I love the orioles eating the jelly from his feeder.

Another of the orioles with his bright orange color.

This is a first year Baltimore Oriole -- not quite as colorful!

We were also visited by Orchard Orioles with their very brick red feathers, especially in the shade.

This Grey Catbird also stopped by for some jelly.

Hummingbirds were also visiting their feeder.  This female doesn't have the ruby throat of her mate but does have the iridescent feathers.

There were lots and lots of finches -- here is a House Finch with a pretty summer colored Goldfinch!

Another Goldfinch on a type of feeder I had never seen before -- a large bag filled with seed.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cleaning Up or Why Did I Ever Buy so Many Drapery Samples (Answer Below)

Up until today, the weather here in western NY has been gorgeous!!  The hibiscus are loving it and blooming like crazy but soon be be crowded by our perennial hibiscus which are shooting up and with all the rain the last couple of days....

Anyway, the reason I have so much and believe me it is far too much is because they were 27 inches by 27 inches and between 10 cents and 25 cents each.  At the time I worked near the place which always had tables of them and would go over at lunchtime and pick through picking out the really pretty ones or the all cotton ones, always going for several of the same kind.  I was doing a little broderie perse (an applique technique where you take actual images, cut them out and then arrange them on a background).  I got a little carried away and found myself with 16 boxes of the stuff (not small boxes either).  During the past couple of weeks I have gone through all of these and actually am keeping about 5 smaller boxes of those I couldn't live without.  I have made several "market bags" with these in the past.  There is some gorgeous fabric in there from Germany, Japan, France and Holland -- nice abstracts on interesting backgrounds.  So the rest will be given away within the next two weeks -- sigh..

This is one of the salmon colored hibiscus of which we have several.  Warren lovingly takes them to the beach each fall and brings them back in the spring.  They bloom almost continuously but take up a lot of space in the back of the van!!

Here is one of the pink hibiscus with one of our frequent visitors -- Ruby Throated Hummingbird.  They much prefer the hibiscus to their feeder!

Our neighbors' feeder is usually full of birds but they have been really lacking this year although I have seen them in the trees.  This was one of the House Finches.  Joe says that there has been a large hawk hanging around that has been picking off the laggards so they aren't coming to the feeders as much.  I have seen a few Goldfinches, a Hairy Woodpecker and a Cardinal pair who must have a nest nearby as they are always around.  Today I even spotted a Northern Flicker in the back but he was gone by the time I got my camera out.

Of course, I would see a Red Bellied Woodpecker.  Over the years I have seen almost all varieties of woodpecker in our very wooded back yard!  The Pileated Woodpeckers have been absent though probably because of our hawk friend whose last meal was a Mourning Dove.  It feels like the northern branch of Gail's Fla retreat!

I have found a lot of my old dyeing notes and will be publishing some of those soon!  I also have been cleaning up my dyeing area in the basement and will be back to some ice dyeing and low water immersion dyeing soon.  Amazingly I found my missing class notes from several classes I took -- too bad I can't decipher some of them!!

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Visit with Marcia and Priscilla!!

It was great to see Priscilla again after a long hiatus -- between her move to southern NY and my absence I hadn't seen Priscilla and Marcia in a year or more.

These are just some of the cross-stitched and needlepointed tigers she has collected over the years and all will be included in a new quilt she is working on.  Priscilla LOVES tigers!!

Just one of the tigers..

Marcia shared this piece which I just LOVED!!  It is my colors of course!!  It isn't finished and we talked about how to quilt it for a bit.  Marcia does such a beautiful job and I am sure this quilt will be juried into many shows!!

I especially liked this area of the quilt because of the depth it conveyed.  Marcia laughed and commented that she had also and that this had led to one of the small pieces she did as part of an online class.

She pulled out a couple of the pieces she had done for this class next.

The class assignment was to use all the colors in the color wheel and to make all the backgrounds a different color.  You will recognize the motif from above.  I think we will see more of this motif in future quilts!

This was also a piece constructed as part of the class and was supposed to show motion which I think it very successfully did!!  Marcia (like me) likes to piece all her quilts.  I really liked the joyfullness of this piece and thought it would make a great kid's quilt.

Marcia also shared a couple of "in process" quilts of which this was one.  I also really liked this one and can't wait to see what she does with the quilting.  I think I want to call it "cornstalks and the moon".  This is quite a big piece!

I worked on a kimono jacket using some of my drapery fabrics and will post a picture as soon as I figure out what I really want to do for the front band as I am not happy with the fabric I chose...we shall see.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Back at GVQC

 It was very late in the year that I finally made it to the meeting of my home guild here -- namely the last meeting of the year!  There were one heck of a lot of "comfort quilts" being shown this meeting.  This is a very prolific guild and there were some very pretty quilts.

This is one of the two sample quilts that show what will be offered at the fall retreat called "Fall Migration".  I really miss attending those events.  This one is called "wonky crosses" - very improvisational.

This is the other pattern to be done in Fall Migration - an easy way to do kalaidoscopes.  

These were a couple of the art quilts shown in "show and tell".  I wish I could remember who did these.

These were two landscapes done by Marcia B started in a class with Karen Eckmeier -- who is always a lot of fun!

This was a "watercolor" quilt done by our one male member whose name I don't know!!  Of course I love the heron!!

For some reason there were one heck of a lot of blue and white quilts.  Most were scrap quilts.

 Loved the color choices in this one.

A nice set for this block.

This was a sashiko quilt done by Ann Nash who is a wonderful quilter and spent a lot of time in Japan.  She also hand quilted this quilt as well.

Loved this quilt by Vicki C.!!

It was good to see everyone again.  I haven't been real active in the blog lately as I have been trying to get a grip on getting rid of a lot of stuff!!  I had bought those 27 inch squares pieces of upholstery and drapery samples for years (very very very cheap I should add which accounts for the fact that I have about 15 large boxes full of them).  I went through them all and have saved about four boxes for myself and dragged the rest upstairs and will give them all away!!  There are some beautiful pieces in there as I only bought the 100% cotton or other natural fibers in the drapery fabrics although synthetics in the upholstery fabrics. Many are from Germany, France or Japan.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Visit to Sterling Nature Center -- Great Blue Heron Rookery

I had checked my blog to see when I last visited the rookery and it was just about this time last year and the weather was gorgeous yesterday -- perfect for a visit  There was quite a crowd here among these three nests -- I think I counted nine herons altogether.

Here are mom and dad with the little ones.  Great Blue Herons are normally very solitary birds except during the breeding seasons.  Amazing to see two standing so close together.  There were two or three babies in the nest.  

Here is another parent feeding the young ones.  These were slightly larger babies and I saw many that looked about ready to fledge.  Some were much smaller.

A very nice looking parent and the young ones.

This is a female Red Winged Blackbird disguised as a sparrow!  There were several of these and it was awhile before I saw one of the males.

The male Red Winged Blackbird.  I used to see these constantly when I lived in Batavia, NY but not so much these days.

This is probably the nicest picture I have ever taken of the male Bluebird.  It was the perfect background for this beautiful bird -- he will definitely be in a quilt someday.

I saw this Grey Catbird first on the ground and he was heading right for me.  I couldn't see the little red spot under his tail until he flew up into a tree.  If you double click,  you can probably see it.

Here is the Catbird on the ground as he was coming for a visit.

There were lots of Tree Swallows flitting around the marsh where the Herons were but also several were nesting in the boxes around the Center.  They are so flighty, it is about the only time you can get a picture!!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Back to Rochester - June RAFA Meeting

They knew they would star in my blog today!!  The ladies went to a Matisse exhibit and challenged themselves to do faces and this is the result!!  They even stood in  height order!!.
A closeup of Anne's piece!

As usual, Elaine's was really  nice and she does look happy with it.

Diane did this piece using inks and aloe vera gel as a medium at the suggestion of another RAFA member.  She said she just put a couple of drops of ink in the gel and painted.  You can see the tesselation of the birds.

This is an example of the pattern to be in Fall Migration this year at GVQC.  I do miss those but not enough to stay up north that late....

Marcia created this landscape in the Karen Eckmeier class at GVQC.  She does some lovely things and is a super nice lady besides!!

This new member does quilts using upholstery scraps.  She will be heir to my drapery and upholstery collection!!

This same member also did a number of very interesting weavings incorporating embellishments as well.

Another member whose name escapes me did this lovely little scene.

Mary Louise and Julia have developed their own pattern lines and this is a sample of one of Mary Louise's patterns.

Had to include this picture of the only vendor purchase I made at the quilt show -- a beautiful large basket from Ghana.  It is probably 18 inches across as well as 18 inches deep.  It stays at the beach as a place to put projects I am working on.