Saturday, February 27, 2021

A New Quilt, Passacaglia Progress and Some Birds


Ready to start a new quilt which I intended just to be an excuse to get rid of some of my brown strips, of which I have two big bags.  I was going to donate it but as I got going on it, I realized it is the colors of my lion quilt which is in my living room  on the wall and it will make a great snuggling quilt up there.  I used my 2 1/2 in strips and also put a 2 1/2 inch square in the middle.  The strips are 5 1/2 inches long.  Next time I would make the centers larger and I wish I had made them greener,  This is how I sort my strips (although the next batch will have the beige strip already sewed on).  I put them  in piles and then randomly take pieces.  I do this with most of my scrappy pieces so they are not totally randomly selected out of bags as some people do.  I like a little more control with my scraps!

Each block takes about ten minutes to make so they are going pretty fast!

Still working along on the Passacaglia block and have the starts to two more and I am further on this one, actually doing the last row.  I am sure I am not going to make the whole thing at this point but will do some subset and consider it done.  The pieces are just too small and my eyes don't need all that strain!  I do like having some hand sewing to do.  

It was an afternoon of birds this week at my daughter's house on a beautiful sunny day teasing of spring to come  This was an Eastern Phoebe, a frequent visitor.

This is a female Bluebird.

And here is her presumptive mate!  They are also frequent visitors.

This is a Yellow-rumped Warbler, also called a "butter butt" down here.

A Great Blue Heron was frequenting the pond.

Way off by the pond was this Northern Flicker high up in a tree.  I am not used to seeing them in trees although they are woodpeckers.  He has a red tuft on the back of his head but the light was bad for photographing him.
There were of course the ever-present Turkey Vultures circling overhead.

There were also hawks off in the distance but I wasn't quick enough to get their pictures.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Alexander Henry Fabric Stack and Whacks - My Favorites - Now What Do I Do?

Still doing stack and whacks.  I had two Alexander Henry Fabrics that I really liked.  However, they are very bright and each very different as the repeat was at least 24 inches.  I really like these blocks individually and call this Alex Henry 1.  These are octagons.  I don't make all the strips octagons but save a couple to make two sets of 4 patch posies instead.  Must not have taken a picture of the posies!!
This is the fabric for the above and was one of my favorite fabrics.  I had two pieces so had to do some fancy cutting and matching to get the eight repeats.

These are from the second Alexander Henry fabric.  I actually have 110 of these blocks and this was the first day's worth!

I do love these "posies".

This is the beginning of the second batch from the fabric  When I cut them from the fabric I had pinned for octagons, I have two sets of four.  Here you can see them paired up as I try to make two different looking blocks.  I have a lot more to go!!

This is the fabric for this second batch.  I haven't pinned the octagons on the wall for picture taking yet!  They have been done for some time.

My great quandary is what to do with these blocks.  They look a little bright for large bed quilts and I like the individual blocks so much, seems there must be a better way to showcase them.  I have been toying with totes, pot holders, hot pads or even some wall hangings!

Passacaglia is coming along, slowly but surely.  It is going much much faster now that I am using a doubled thread instead of the single thread which kept coming unthreaded.  Actually looks better also even though more thread.


Monday, February 15, 2021

Two Tops Finished an an Update on Passacaglia Quilt

Just a couple of birds from the other day -- Amercan Coots -- there used to be a huge flock every year but recently there has just been a few..  It was difficult to get both of these in the shot as they were diving like crazy!

Finally got this top done!

And here is the second one.  I actually used the back side of the red fabric as it was just the right color!  I still have 7 blocks left over and I think they will be pot holders or hot pads!  

I have been working on my Passacaglia quilt lately so will probably spend some time getting a few more pieces cut.  I am probably not going to do this whole quilt as it is pretty tedious sewing and I have to keep re-threading the needle which is beyond annoying.  I do like having something to do with my hands as I am watching tv though!  

I actually have a couple more rows done since I took this picture so I guess I am making some progress but am almost out of pieces to add at this point.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Birds Plus a New Quilt Top Almost

 I found this pile of unmade blocks when making an attempt to clean up my closet in the sewing room.  They were all ready to sew together so 70 blocks later, I have enough for a couple of quilt tops big enough for cots.  They actually look better in a picture than in person!!  In person, this looked very busy and some of the blocks were really pretty and I wanted a better set for them.

This is the Alexander Henry fabric that I used to make these blocks.  I thought it was particularly unattractive and only good for stack and whack type blocks.  

I decided to use this set which I recently spotted on Pinterest for a totally different kind of quilt.  I had never used the plain blocks surrounding the outside before.  I finally found some dark green hand dyed fabric in my stash which reminded me that I needed to dye some more of this color as this was the last of it!

Here are the blocks laid out with the nice beige fabric in between.  I will be  using the green triangles around the outside.  It will measure a good 72 inches long by about 41 inches wide.  You can see it uses 32 blocks with this set which gives me enough for two tops.  I will have 6 blocks left over (and I will  pick my favorites) and will use these for potholders probably!  They are six inch blocks so that will be a good size potholder.

It's almost done!  Then to start on another one which will have to have different color triangles as I don't have enough of the dark green -- maybe red!

The weather down here has been unusually dreadful -- many days with clouds and rain in a row -- much like Rochester in the fall -- ugh.  It does give me the opportunity to see some of my birds without the tourists interfering!!  Here are a couple of Oystercatchers which are one of my favorites and pretty absent most times down at Ft. Fisher

This shows three ibis all in different stages of growth!  They are all the same species with the more solid beige one being the youngest and the middle one being an adult.

There  have been several Great Egrets hanging out down there as well as several of the Snowy Egrets.

Here a Snowy Egret is strutting his stuff.  I think it must be getting to mating season.  There were also many gulls and a Great Blue Heron in the shallows.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Some Birds for a Break!

The above is of course a real Great Blue Heron.  There are many down here but they are territorial so you rarely see more than on in a spot.

The fellow is a Tri-color Heron.  Amazingly I went down to the basin at Ft. Fisher one day and there were no people which has been a real rarity this year -- guess it was too chilly for them.  There were half a dozen Ibis and another half dozen Snowy Egrets as well as some Great Egrets and this Tri-Color.

This was a Snowy Egret that nicely posed for me.

This was a nicely posing Snowy Egret at Carolina Beach Lake that same afternoon.

The now resident Snow Goose also posed for me at Carolina Beach Lake.

When I took this picture I assumed it was a Snowy Egret but when I got home and looked at the bill, I realized it was a juvenile Little Blue Heron,  They are white as juveniles.
A couple of immature White Ibis down at the dock.

This is, of course, a mature White Ibis.

I believe this is an adult Eastern Phoebe who was posing in my daughter's backyard in Wilmington.  
This was also at my daughter's but on a different day and I think it is an Eastern Kingbird rather than a Phoebe.  

This is the pile of 8 tops that are now basted.  They have kept me busy for the last few days but I have finally got them all quilted and have actually bound 2 of them as well.  Keeps me off the streets.

On a cheerful note, I received my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine last week so should be fairly immune starting next week.


Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Great Blue Heron Top Finished!

Working on the Great Blue Heron still and this was my first iteration of placing the blocks so that the straight edges were along the vertical axis.  Because of measurements, I decided that this was not the way to go.  I didn't want to lop off a big part of the central panel which I would have had to do.

Almost done here.  I hand applqued the hexies along the  long side and made them line up by making the seams a little bigger.  The challenge was the straight seams and I had to do some unnatural things to get them to line up!  It ended up a  little wonky but I think I can quilt out the difference.  The nice thing about these one block wonders is that they are a bit busy and so your eye doesn't really notice irregularities without studying it.

It is finished here and now will have to find some backing and get it basted.

I had a pile of these left over from cutting the diamonds -- they were the side pieces.  I decided they had a 90 degree corner so they could end up as four patches so I took a break and sewed them together.

This is what they looked like before sewing them together.

This one is all sewn together!
They are slightly different sizes and are not a traditional posie block but I like the off-centered nature.

I'll figure out something to do with them eventually.