Friday, December 30, 2016

Progress on Birds of a Feather

Have been making progress and at this point am keeping with the 9 x 13 format of the other quilt..  Amazingly I discovered that half the birds were facing in one direction and half in the opposite direction.  I moved them so that they all faced to the middle!

At this point  I decided that I should make the quilt in a slightly smaller format so that the birds wouldn't get lost as they are supposed to be the focus although not the focal point.

Steadily adding more squares and now things are getting more planned so they aren't completed squares anymore but broken into four parts as I build up the areas.

Starting to rearrange the blocks and decided that the yellow in the middle was looking much too much like a focal point so went for the calmer blue but may change again.

This is where I left the design wall today!  It's getting there!  Lots and lots of moving around at this point and will be more tomorrow I am sure!!  It now has a name as well -- Birds of a Feather.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Progress on the Bird Quilt -- Not Sure Yet.....

Well, getting lots of blocks done and randomly adding them to the wall at this point.  

A few more blocks added.

Lots more blocks but when I came down this morning, most of this was on the floor!!  Seems my daughter's kitties must have been busy!  I am also deciding that the small birds are getting lost in the randomness even adding the black around the edges.

So here is the start of another variation which features the birds in the middle of the quilt.  This arrangement uses all but two of the blocks and those two are the only two that weren't birds.  I want to maintain some of the randomness of the background and a lot of work will have to be done to do that.

I thought I might feature the flower block in the middle but that almost forces me to be more regular and I really don't want to do that.

So this is where it stands now.  I am almost positive that the flower block will be removed.  and replaced with a plain block.  I am in the process of putting together  bunch more blocks.  This is less than half of what I need for the 117 blocks that make up this quilt -- I am doing it the same size as the last one.  This shows the width and with three additional rows on top, that will make up the length (9 x 13 blocks).  Hopefully this will remain on the wall overnight!!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Okay More Sunsets, Some Birds and a Start to My Next Project

 Can't help myself on these perfect evenings for sunsets down at Ft. Fisher.  I took this bunch from a little different perspective.  The trees are Live Oaks and make the scenery look like the African plain even though there is a river in the background here which you can't see as it is too dark!

I really liked the sky in the background.  I used my little point and shoot so I got more into these pictures than the others where I was using my telephoto lens.  

 Just a couple more!!

All done until the next nice evening!!  Really want to get some purples.  I call the sky "sky blue pink" which was actually a color I remember from when I was about 8!

Carolina Beach Lake has had some birds other than the many Cormorants and Coots.  This is a brightly colored male Bufflehead.

This is a Ruddy Duck.

This is a male Scaup -- I used to see tons of these but this is the only one i have seen this year.

The Ruddy Duck joined a male Bufflehead and two females.  The Buffleheads were constantly diving as was the Scaup.

This is a very early start on my next quilt.  I am incorporating many of the smaller Panamanian appliques I purchased from Priscilla Kibbee.  They are a little short of the five inch squares I have been using.  I will be adding a lot of plain black squares in this one as well (there was no black in the other quilt).  I have gotten a ton of these little 4-squares done already so now ready to add in the larger squares and start some assembling!  Progress will be halted as my daughter will be visiting for Christmas and I don't like to isolate myself when she is here!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sunsets, Sunsets, Sunsets and a Few Birds

There was a pair of Buffleheads at Carolina Beach Lake this week.  They stayed far far distant so this was the best I could do

A large flock of Ibis were sleeping down by the lake as well!

Forster's Terns resting  but they are usually flying around like crazy.

A lone Snowy Egret sitting down at Ft. Fisher.

The first of many sunset pictures.  This was taken down at the basin at Ft. Fisher looking toward Zeke Island and the rock wall.

Taken at the same place as above when the sun had pretty much left.

 This and the rest were all taken by the museum at Ft. Fisher looking through the Live Oaks which are so beautiful down there.  I have had many comments that it looks like the African plain which it does in pictures!

My very favorite of all the pictures because of the great variety of color.  Love the juxtaposition of the blues with all the fiery oranges and yellows.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

A Dyeing Day with Dianne and Becky

What a fun day of dyeing I had on Monday at friend Dianne's.  I wanted to do some gradations to fill in what I had in the way of colors down here, especially wanting some Basic Blue and Purple.  This was a gradation of Basic Blue with a 3% solution of Grape added to each step.  I was surprised at how much the purple changed the darkest of the Basic Blues.  Basic Blue is the only one of the Procion pure colors that tends towards red rather than green (turquoise, intense blue and navy are all tending to green).  A little like fuchsia, the Basic Blue hits really fast while the Grape acts more like the yellows or turquoise and tends to spread more evenly.  There is a lot of mottling.

I also did a straight gradation of Basic Blue.  This fabric makes the best skies.

Here are the two sets next to each other.

 I  had bought some blanks from Dharma this summer to make some dresses, t-shirts and blouses for my granddaughter who is 8.  The first was my favorite of the dresses -- it is a cotton velour and is perfect for her.  I basically just laid it out slightly scrunched with the bottom two garments and put turquoise on the top, intense blue in the middle and then grape on the bottom hoping for somewhat of a gradation.  I added the soda ash later as I wanted a more gradual look and not the highly mottled look you would get if you had soaked them first.  I should have washed the garments before dyeing as they repelled the dye at first and I had to do a lot of squishing to get the dye all the way through.  The second and third garments are just a cotton knit and dyed okay but not as bright as the velour.

Hard to see but there is smocking on the very top of this blouse.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Finishing the Star Quilt!

It is finally together and now to figure out what borders to add.  I know that the outside border will be the remainder of the flower fabric but it needs something in between.  My first thought is some pink as that is the predominant color in the flowers.

It is okay but just too bright and too much.  I had decided a white border the width of the white around the stars would be the first border.

I gathered a bunch of the colors in the flowers and decided to put  one inch border containing all the colors.

Then I decided to repeat the green again so that the flowered fabric would be next to a solid.

All done.  I am relatively pleased.  Certainly it is better than the table runner.  It is about 48 inches by 65 at this point so will be good for lying under on the couch on those chilly evenings!

By the way, I decided to call it "Falling Stars" as that is what it looked like with the half stars on the top and bottom (gotta use up all those pieces!).  I would have used more of the background fabric instead of those half stars if I had any left!!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Finally a Few Birds and Re-working a Quilt

Always the first ducks to come to Carolina Beach Lake are the American Coots.  There are about 15 of them now, more than last week but not as many as I have seen previous years.  Last year I was surprised by a Northern Pintail and a male Canvasback, neither of which I had seen there before.

There were several Forster's Terns sitting on the dock down at Ft. Fisher, standing next to a few Laughing Gulls.

A Royal Tern visited.

A Snowy Egret visited as well.

My husband alerted me that the Hooded Mergansers had returned to the pond behind the aquarium.  They disappeared almost immediately but there was a fair sized flock and a couple of Pied Billed Grebes.

You may remember this table runner from a class I took a couple of weeks ago.  Since I really don't use table runners and wasn't crazy about the stripes, I decided to take the additional stack and whack like shapes and make a small quilt.  I am not crazy about the block but had enough fabric to finish it off.

I took the purple off the three blocks and made an additional block here.

Almost all the blocks are done here but I am not finished arranging them.

I have sewn the first three rows together here.  There are half blocks on the top row.  I miraculously had just enough of the green to fill in the sides - literally used all but about 1/2 inch of the fabric!!  Now to decide on how to border it.  It is a little odd with those half blocks but really wanted to emphasize the graphic white strips.  I have been auditioning yellow and pink for possible border inclusion.  The quilt won't be all that big and will be great on the couch -- never have enough quilts for laying down on the sofa for a quick nap (not me but certainly husband and daughter and cats).