Saturday, February 16, 2019

A Rug Workshop with Ruth Humphreys

These are two samples of what the finished pieces will look like.  The red one is a rug by Ruth and the smaller one is a place mat done by Carolyn.

The technique is one I had seen many examples of online and I had coincidentally cut up the small remainders of many of the fabrics I have been working with into 2 1/2 inch strips.  I also had been doing this with all those odd bits of batting from all the quilts I have made this past few months. I was cutting up the batting because I had a nice bunch of strips and a pattern for a tote.  When the class came up, I decided that this would be a fun thing to do.

All the ladies are working hard sewing the strips together into one very long strip.  Then we applied the batting and sewed through the four layers of fabric and four layers of batting!!  The machines all had their work cut out for them.

This is my ball of strips sewn together and batting applied .  

One of the ladies stated sewing the strips together to start the center of her rug.  She had a really lovely palette.

This is the beginning of mine.  My poor old Bernina 830 (the original one) which can sew through almost anything is not crazy about doing a zig zag stitch through all these layers and I have had to slow way down.  I ironed it down and it is nice and flat which is good.

Hopefully I will get it done tomorrow.  The fabrics I used were all pieces left over from the bindings on all those quilts I did or left over border fabric so they don't necessarily go together.  I have a nicer palette still unsewn but wanted to try the technique first using the random scrap fabrics!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Using up the Leftovers from the Blueberry Bagel Quilt!

I had one heck of a lot of triangles left after finishing the Blueberry Bagel quilt so spent one evening pinning darks to lights.  Here are the first 24 squares.  I decided to go with a 4 x 6 arrangement.  It ended up that I had made 49 blocks altogether so had one left over.  This is of course just a simple kaleidoscope block.  Squaring them up is a little easier now that I have new smaller square rulers.  It is still a pain.

I decided that these needed at least one border to contain all the light.  This one is a dark green and will have dark green binding as well.  It is about 44 x 58.  I have completed machine quilting this one as well

I surrounded this one with a blue hand dye with some purple turrounded this one with a blue hand dye with some purple tendencies.I spray basted these two plus one other quilt top I had finished and managed to get the machine quilting done on one of the kaleidoscope quilts.

This  is a closeup of the quilting on the green bordered quilt.  I was do the same with the blue bordered one.  I first stitched in the ditch between each square and then free hand quilted in all the light areas first stitching in the ditch free hand outlining the light area.  

Saturday, February 9, 2019

A Birding Blog - Yearly Trip to Mattamuskeet and North Carolina's Outer Banks

My daughter and I took our annual trip to northeastern North Carolina on a beautiful weekend in late January so that we could catch the Tundra Swans, Northern Pintails and Snow Geese.

A bonus was this lovely sunset over Bodie Lighthouse on the Outer Banks on our first evening.

 Our first surprise was driving along Route 264 on our way to Lake Mattamuskeet.  There was this temporary pond that was filled to overflowing with Tundra Swans who kept taking off and landing.  They were off quite  a distance except the flyovers.  There were obviously some other ducks in the pond as well but not good enough to identify.

These are two of the Tundra Swans that flew over us.  You can see what a beautiful day it was.  We also saw a couple of fields filled with Snow Geese off in the distance (I am assuming they were Snow Geese as that is what I usually see off in those fields).

We weren't disappointed at Mattamuskeet as there were hundreds of Northern Pintails.  We got a couple of pictures before the bright noon day sun was too much to get decent shots -- a common problem at Mattamuskeet for me.  We did see many Northern Shovelers, Blue-winged Teals, and of course lots of American Coots and Canada Geese.  We didn't spot our usual Bald Eagles though.

An unusual treat was to see two of those gigantic rat like creatures -- Nutria -- crossing the road and heading into the water.  I had seen them before but never out of the water.  They have very ugly gigantic blue buck teeth.

This is an American Bittern.  We have seen this bird quite often here but he was in a slightly different place.  He thinks he is hiding from us!  Look at those big yellow feet.

He deserved a closeup in my blog and may find himself in a quilt eventually.

I was surprised by seeing this Meadowlark sitting on top of a small tree off in the field, luckily where the sun was good.  What a handsome fellow.

We headed off to the Outer Banks from Mattusmuskeet.  We had decided that Pocosin Lakes might be too muddy this year as there had been so much rain a couple of weeks before.  Again this was a different angle from Bodie Lighthouse.  I liked all the pastels -- my daughter declared sunsets boring.

 The next morning we headed out bright and early to Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.  I might note that these are all national reserves and therefore unmanned while we were there and the only facilities were porta-potties which fortunately all had paper.  I had gotten only about 4  hours of sleep because of the couple next door who woke me up at 3 and as I was intending to get up at 6, I didn't ask for another room but read for the rest of the night as there was no hope of sleep.  I did take the Do Not Disturb sign off their door the next morning though!

 The above picture and this one are of American Widgeons.  There was so little wind and it was so early in the morning, the light was absolutely ideal for these wonderful pictures of the ducks with their reflections.
 I believe this is a Blue-winged Teal female.

 This is one of the many Gadwalls that were there.

 This is a Greater Scaup.

This is a male Ruddy Duck.  There were a lot more females than male Ruddy Ducks there.

This was just a fun picture of sleeping female Ruddy Ducks and their perfect reflections.

So glad we got to see at least one White Pelican and even got a decent picture before he left!  There were a lot of Tundra Swans here as well.  Off in the distance at Bodie, there was a large flock of Red-headed Ducks but the light was too poor to get pictures.

We hadn't seen any Bald Eagles until we were driving home on Rt. 64.  I was asleep but my daughter spotted this one off in a field on my side of the car!  So we saw our Eagle finally.  We see one almost every time we go there.  

I am getting less mobile each year but hopefully I will get something done about this before the year is out...