Friday, December 8, 2017

Deer, Totes and Birds!!

I went down to the recreation area at Ft. Fisher and there were a lot of deer hanging around.  It was very late afternoon but lightening up the photos really helped and showed how nice looking they were. 

I think a doe and a fawn from this year.  I haven't seen my bucks again but think they may have dropped their antlers by now so they may be in the crowd.  There were probably 8-10 the other day.

 There was one lone Royal Tern down at Ft. Fisher on this miserable rainy day.

I liked the pose of this Snowy Egret down at Ft. Fisher.

There was a nice flock of Horned Grebes down at Ft. Fisher.  It was very dreary and dark.

Here are three  hanging out.

Drying out his wings.  You can see the one patches on the wings.

Here are eight of the 12 or so Horned Grebes that were down there.

 I have a ton of leftover Dear Jane blocks -- most are the ones from my original DJ exchange.  I have made three quilts already from the blocks,, one king and two queens.  I also gave away about 200 for auction at quilt club.  I still have over 200 so it is time to do something with them.  I did use some as a border on one small quilt.  I have a preliminary thought but we shall see.  I also have a pillow challenge in February.

 I have been using some of my less favorite pieces of ice dyed fabrics to make totes.  These were pieces that I just folded into eighths rather than the mandalas I have been doing lately.  I cut the  pieces into basically fat quarter units so that the front and the back of the bags match.  The neat part is that the sides match also.  I think that Christmas presents are in order!  They are nice sturdy bags lined with both interfacing and fusible fleece.

I have basically two of each bag.  

Monday, December 4, 2017

An All Bird Post -- Mattamuskeet, Pocosin Lakes Wildlife Refuge and Ft. Fisher

Each  year I head up to northern North Carolina to see the Snow Geese and Tundra Swans which winter here each year.  This year I went with my oldest daughter and we were not disappointed.  The only bad thing was the light.  The birds seemed to know where to stand so we could not get good pictures!!  These were three Tundra Swans flying over early in the morning. 

We were lucky enough to see two Bald Eagles way off in the distance in the drive across Lake Mattamuskeet. This was the female on the nest (at least my guess is that it was the female).

This is the male Bald Eagle hanging out on the tree nearest the nest.  Lisa spotted both of these birds from the road and made us stop.  They were very far away!

This was a female Kingfisher standing guard some distance away.  They are hard to capture in pictures.

Two Wigeons also visited the Bald Eagle area.

We spotted this bird in very poor light and tried to guess what it was as all it looked like was a big blue bird in the light.  With some tweaking, found it to be a Kestrel which is one of my favorite hawks.

A Great Blue Heron and two Cormorants were resting along the canal.

Driving back to the hotel from Mattamuskeet along the scenic route (the western road from the top of the lake), we found a huge field filled with Snow Geese.  It was the first we had seen this year.  Last year, I think we only saw one or two.

A closeup of some of the Snow Geese.

First thing the  next morning, we went to Pocosin National Wildlife Refuge.  Lots and lots of Tundra Swans there and a roar from Pungo Lake with all the other birds although we could not get close to the lake for some reason.  We were treated to seeing one bear cross in front of us and five River Otters including a family of four.

Just one of the River Otters swimming away.

This is a picture my daughter too of the family of River Otters.  They were very distant and the light was just after dawn.  She said they looked like they were posing for a family Christmas card!!  I agree!  Best picture either of us took from the trip.  This is the first time we have seen the otters as well!

Back home, I spotted this immature Red-shouldered Hawk down at Ft. Fisher.

 Yesterday, I went down to the pond by the aquarium as someone had spotted some Goldeneye ducks there.  I have seen these before but only one other time.  This is a picture of several of the Hooded Mergansers which frequent the pond each winter.  The males are certainly beautiful.

 These are a couple of female Buffleheads, a frequent visitor to our shores and sometimes the pond.

Right in the center of this picture is the 1st year female Common Goldeneye.  I was surprised to see how different her coloring was and had to look her up on my bird book to make sure what she was!  

There were also a couple of Ruddy Ducks there, another common visitor in the winter.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

QBTS November Meeting with Donna Bergman

It was a great meeting featuring a trunk show by a very talented member of the guild -- Donna Bergman.  She shared many quilts and different techniques with us.  I wish I could have taken her class but didn't know about when my visitor would be here.  They made bowls featuring scenes in each one and they were spectacular.

This and the next quilt were collages which used the quilt as you go technique.

This is made up of pieces made from patterns as well as class pieces.

The next group is scenic inspired by pictures.  I tried to indicate the size somewhat by how big they are in my blog.  Many were quite small studies.

Loved this one!!

This used a VERY interesting technique I haven't seen before.  The sky is "tiled".  Small pieces were cut and collaged on top of another piece leaving a little space between each "tile".  Very very interesting!!

Nice use of pieced blocks in the sky and of course love the birds.

These were small studies.

Nice depth.

These next two were very nice abstracts.

This one was begun in a Jane Sassaman class and includes pieces of Hawaiian applique that was never completed!!

A very nice small color study using analogous colors and good use of different values.

This is an abstract interpretation of a picture of buoys.  I didn't include all of her pieces but most of them.  I of course love to representational work so it was a pleasure to see what someone else is doing.  I have tried to be more abstract but my work always seems to become representational when I am doing free form studies.  Cynthia Corbin was very influential as she told me to just stick with that if that is what I liked doing!  I stopped obsessing on trying to get things to be more abstract.

 As mentioned in my last post, the guild had a postcard challenge this month and we each had to do two postcards with a winter theme.  These are the winners of the challenge.  The three on the left were tied for third place, then Becky with second place and Mary with first.  Below are closeups of the winners.  My non-winning contribution was in yesterday's blog!!

These are just some of the neo-natal quilts that were turned in this month.  For a guild this size, they do an astounding number of quilts supporting the hospital, veterans and Habitat for Humanity.

This was a patriotic sampler quilt done by Anne Millard.

There were quite a few other quilts but as usual, I was not in a position to get good pictures. As usual, I don't have names to go with the quits as I have enough trouble trying to get pics before the ladies bundle them up to take home!

 I arrived later than usual as I had to drive my daughter home after her car was wrecked in about the busiest intersection in Wilmington.  She is okay, the car not so much as a totally distracted driver crossed several lanes of traffic and smashed into the front of her car -- luckily the very front or she would have been hurt.  She is just sore now and the other driver has 100% liability as well as a ticket for her effort so she has a rental and the car is in a collision shop!
Of course I love this scrappy quilt!!