Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Living in Birdland!

If you click on this picture to enlarge it, you will see three Painted buntings...one on the window, one on the feeder, and one on the vise below the feeder! These are all male (I had to read up on them) so I am hoping their lady friends are around too, perhaps building the nests! They are so pretty to watch...we are just inundated with birds this spring: cardinals, mockingbirds, sparrows, Eastern Bluebirds, bluejays, doves, barn swallows, purple martins....a few hummingbirds (there will be more at the end of the summer)...and of course, our local pair of road runners who visit us nearly daily. Then we always have a variety of those just passing through....robins, cedar waxwings, meadowlarks. Now if we can figure out a way to get the redwing blackbirds to move on without scaring everyone else away, we will have it made! The blackbirds are such pigs! And they keep the little guys from the feeders!!
I have a pair of mocking birds busily building a nest right outside my studio window in a yaupon tree. I am marking progress, looking forward to the "family's" arrival! Mockingbirds are such good parents! Very devoted to their young!
On the sewing side of things, I am working on my Inner City. I did machine quilt the blocks because I discovered as I was pulling the paper out from the back, I guess I was a little too vigorous and also pulled out some seams!! But I have decided to hand quilt the red border so will post it when finished. And am working on my Series of wheels...this assignment is on using the computer to create a fabric picture which I have done before but not to this extent. Will also post it when further along.
I am finishing Ann Packer's "Song Without Words".... kind of a downer...the last three books I have read have been rather depressing...I am going to the library tomorrow and must find something lighter for a change!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Meeting of studio Q

Yesterday, my art guild buddies met at the home of one of the three who went to Ohio to the Nancy Crow workshop to take a dyeing class from Carol Soderlund. They showed us their wonderful notebooks that they made with swatches of cotton and silk fabrics. What they primarily learned was how to dye fabric and get the exact color you want. My friend Heather's blog has much more information about what they did. I took a couple of pics of what they did, but my setting on my camera was off so they are a little fuzzy.

We always have a show and tell with our meetings. It is so great to be able to share information and ideas with these incredibly talented ladies! I have this book my daughter gave me a year or so ago...."Art Quilt Workbook" by Jane Davila & Elin Waterston. Each chapter has techniques and exercises to "ignite creativity", so I decided rather than just read about the ideas to actually do them! So I have resolved to set aside a few hours on Sunday afternoons and work my way through the book. The first exercise was on Perspective and Color...I am going to do a series on Wheels and my first one is in warm colors. It is just 9 x 12 and not complete. I will wait until I finish all my series to decide if I want to finish them up into something.

The studio Q gals have a new challenge for ourselves. Yesterday at our meeting, everyone brought words, phrases, adjectives, emotions, whatever and we put them all in a jar. Then we drew one slip of paper from the jar and that will be our first challenge for our "Recipe Quilt". We are each doing our own thing, not passing around this time. And our starter block will be our individual interpretation of the word "Whimsical"! Each month we will bring what we have done to share and inspire each other! I think it will be fun!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Another week gone by

Today, I talked to almost everyone in my family! Andrea called...is working on her training for her 3-day walk in October; I talked to Dorothy; and Jack called.

Tomorrow I have a meeting with my group of art quilters from studio Q. I will post after that as we always have lots of interesting things to talk about. Three of the gals just got back from a workshop in Ohio on dying fabric and they will have a lot to tell us about!!

So I will keep this short and add more tomorrow.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter All

I have not been very consistent with my blogging...will try to do better! Yesterday, my daughter, granddaughter and I participated in the 5K Race for the Cure in Fort Worth. I have done the race for many years now; started about 15 years ago with my younger daughter after she had done it for a couple of years. Then the daughter the elder joined us with various friends through the years. And two years ago my granddaughter joined us...my younger daughter is not living in the area now, but she is participating in the San Francisco 3 Day Walk (see my sidebar).

And today is Easter...a rainy morning so we had to have our Easter egg hunt inside...even though the kids are getting kind of big for such activities, we and they still enjoy it. We have gone more to quarters rather than as many jelly beans in the eggs; money is almost as important as candy!! My irises are really looking great right now...I love the purple ones especially.
I have finished Toni Morrison's "A Mercy"...very good. A little different from her other books. It takes place in the 1600's; really points out that blacks were not the only ones in bondage...women didn't have it so good either!!!

Friday, April 3, 2009


I know it is not the date for spring yet, but I am ready for it. My irises are blooming; I have planted my bedding plants....probably a mistake as it is supposed to get really cold again in a couple of nights. I will have to cover them as well as Dick covering the tomatoes. We have a couple of crepe myrtles that look a little "burnt" already.

We got energetic and rearranged a lot of furniture...got a new chair on Tuesday for the living room and had to do some changing up to make room for it. While doing that, we decided to do a lot of changing in about every room but my studio!! And I have been sewing on the "Snail Trail" quilt for Veronica....also working on my English paper piecing. It is just about finished except for an outside border and the quilting...in other words, the piecing is done! I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would...a very good project to do when on the go or watching tv.. There is a website for the company that makes the cutouts if you don't want to make them yourself; also patterns to download and color for future projects: www.paperpiecing.com

This is a picture of "Inner City" my English paper pieced quilt. It is wall hanging size; I am thinking of hand quilting it as I did hand piece it. Another good take along project. The colored line above it is not part of it....that is the edge of something else on my design wall.