Thursday, November 24, 2016

Black Bear Visit to Mattamuskeet and Pocosin Lakes in North Carolina

This was the star of the trip -- a very pudgie Black Bear who took his time lumbering across the field and into the Pocosin.  There is a very large population of Black Bears in this part of Eastern North Carolina -- Pocosin and Mattamuskeet Wildlife Refuges.  The farmers are allowed to farm this state land if they leave half the corn crop behind which feeds these bears.  We saw 20 altogether the day we went.  It was a gorgeous couple of days and it was great to be outside even if we had to get up at 4:30 to make sure we were there at dawn which is when you get to see the bears.

The next three pictures were ones my daughter took of a mama bear and the two cubs who were play fighting.  Towards mating season, she will push the cubs away and they have to find their own territory as the adult males will kill them if they are near mom.

Although tough to see in detail, there are five Bald Eagles in this tree - two adults on the left and three juveniles on the right.  Again, the Eagle was the hawk that we saw the most frequently up here.  Northern Harriers were second.

An Eastern Phoebe.

A Palm Warbler.

A lot of Black Ducks.

There are actually three Snipes hidden in the rushes. Can't believe one of our group spotted
these off in the distance!  

We didn't see anywhere near as much variety in the ducks as we have in the past.  There were Gadwalls and some Northern Pintails but the lighting was impossible to take pictures.  An Eagle had scared off many of the ducks just as we got there and the Tundra Swans were really really far out also.  There were a few Snow Geese but not the 1000s that are sometimes there -- maybe later.  It has been a very very mild fall which I think accounts for the sparcity.  I haven't even seen American Coots down at Carolina Beach Lake and they are always there by now.  There were quite a few at Mattamuskeet so maybe later!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

QBTS Class with Barbara Cline and November Meeting

Fasten your seat belt as this is the longest blog post I have ever done and it is mostly pictures of quilts -- many done by our teacher for the day Barbara Cline, a tiny dynamo of a woman who must quilt 24 hours a day when not writing her next book!!  Her website is Delightful Piecing which you can just click on.  The pictures in her book and here do not do justice to the visual impact of these quilts.  She uses Electric Quilt to do much of her designing and some of these quilts, although looking complex, weren't as complicated as they seemed when she explained how she did it!!

 These next three pictures are the table runners that we finished in class.  This is Dianne's.

This one is mine and uses "stack and whack" blocks.  I think I am going to remove the two ends and make a quilt as I have quite a few additional blocks.  I will vary the white around the edges though.  (I may even take the individual stars apart from each other and vary the position of these white surrounded stars.)
And this is Betty's!

This and the next are a couple more of the unfinished blocks.

This and the following quilts were all done by Barbara Cline.  This was her first foray into new design and is based on equilateral triangles.

This and the following were based on the traditional Lone Star pattern.  She certainly did some unique things with this!!


This next group was versions of the stars that we did in class.  When she broke them down, they didn't seem as complicated.

I can't remember the name of this last one but it isn't in any of her books and is a Virginia block (she is from the Shenandoah Valley and her family were the founders of Patchwork Plus although they no longer own it).

The rest of these quilts were part of Show and Tell.  This is Dianne's Christmas wreath.

 This is Bobbi's scrap quilt which I loved!!

These next three were just some of the neonatal quilts turned in.

The rest are more from Show and Tell.

I think this was a neonatal quilt as well.

This was a great example of recycling old ties.  I have boxes of silk ties at home that I bought when they were a quarter at the thrift stores -- no more!!

The accompanying pillow.

This was my quilt which is now finished (although it wasn't in this picture as I hadn't sewn down the binding yet).  It is called Ode to Albers as it shows the effect hopefully of colors on each other and how one color can look different depending upon its neighbors.  Albers was an artist who did a lot of research on this.