Friday, April 29, 2011

Me, the birds, the parrot, the dogs, and the quilt

These are the things that fill my days lately.  I'm not complaining mind you.  It's much better than scrubbing toilets.  ;-)  After a long yesterday of D.S.S (Doing Stupid Stuff), the quilt is again progressing nicely.  It's temporarily back up on the wall.  Having determined that the large corner units are indeed too large to fit the center I spent quite a while auditioning colors and fabrics to fill the gap.  In the end I've decided to insert a strip of miscellaneous neutrals which should nicely "float" the center section.  I'm working on getting the flowers positioned and hope to get them all pinned on tonight so I can get busy with the ironing and sewing.

Photos of Stardust are starting to trickle in.  Feel the grandmotherly love.  Sigh.  :-)

This morning I happened to look outside at the right moment and caught the bluebird pair together on their box. (click for detail)

Bright as the bluebirds and cardinals are, and this goldfinch, I find it amazing they are camouflaged so well in the trees and shrubs.  While I was watching this morning a small bird repeatedly dive-bombed a poor squirrel who was trying to climb one of the big trees.  I think it was a bluebird but in the shadows it's so hard to tell!  The poor squirrel had to go find another tree.  :-)

There are still five eggs in the box.

While the bombing etc was going on Father Goose sat quietly preening and sunning himself on the edge of the road by our property marker.

Oh look!!  Grass!

Ooooo.  That grass looks better.

I guess if I get up and move I might even find the gourmet grass.

At some point between the picture above and the one below something upset him and he ran across the road with a great flapping of wings.  I didn't see why.  I wonder if it was that poor persecuted squirrel?  LOL

I went out on the stoop this evening to wait for The Tramp and the bluebird came down onto the feeder watch me.  I wonder if he's used to being fed by people?  I'm going to have to find where to buy mealy worms for him.  Of course when I went for the camera he scarpered.  But this Carolina wren came for dinner.

As well as this odd looking cardinal.

Oh dear.  No wonder he looks odd.  No feathers on his head!

Ah.  There's the bluebird.  Peering at me through the leaves.  He went from tree to tree watching me all the time.  Tomorrow I'll have to find some of those worms.

It must be my day!

Wait a minute.  It is my day.  My birthday (well before midnight it was)....and things just hadda go right for a change.  :-D

Firstly....I actually had my camera with me today.  And there was the heron.  Isn't he/she gorgeous! (click for detail)

And tonight!......   Pardon me while I jump up and down and do cartwheels!!! (Quietly of course....the rest of the household is sleeping.) :-) Wheeeeee! Looky, looky!!!! The center of the quilt is togetherrrrrrrr! Swoon!

My bee met again at my house on Tuesday and I have to thank them for all their excellent suggestions on how to fit this puzzle together. The final result is in - I had cut down the background behind the baskets 1/2" all around. Then the basket weave units fit and as it turned out the flying geese strips fit perfectly. Yessss! One of the bee ladies had a clever fix to make the flying geese strips longer if need be.  Sigh....that would have been easy. (well I guess I could've if I'd wanted to add something on the inner side of them...that might have been a good look) Now I'm going to have to figure out what to add on the outside of them to make the center section fit the big outside corner units as they are about two inches too big. Gulp!

The center applique is all done. Once my hands recovered from all the tracing and cutting of flowers, the sewing turned out to be fun! I had the BEST time using the rainbow of Isacord threads. (The display in the store makes me drool.) And building the speed limiter for the Juki helped immensely.

It took most of yesterday afternoon and evening to get the basket handles sewn on properly. Nothing worked! It took until five o'clock....when the lightbulb finally came on and I realized stabilizer was probably the answer. Duh. No matter what stitch or thread I used it looked bad. Really bad. I am now the frogging queen!! One of those handles was ripped off three times! And another one twice. (Banging. My. Head. On. The. Sewing. Machine. Table.) I had to rush out to the LQS just before it closed for stabilizer and thread. But it's done! Done, done done! *happy dance*

Tomorrow I have to figure out how to fit the corners on. Then I'll lay out the rest of the flowers and get them appliqued. Phew! I'm so excited I don't know how I'll sleep! LOL

Tell me. Does one of the fabrics in the center pinwheel bother you too? Where has my seam ripper got to..........

Thursday, April 28, 2011


I am a champion procrastinator.  (Yes Mom, I hear you.)  So this morning I'm doing this rather than opening mail and paying bills.  :-)  And before I did anything at all this morning I had some quiet time standing at the front window watching the weather and the birds.  I haven't mastered all the new features of my camera but I'm very pleased with it!

Yesterday I progressed on the big mystery quilt.  I've spent several days cutting all the flowers.  The basket flowers are placed...

....and ironed on and the sewing has commenced.

Sigh.  I never have the camera with me at the right moments!  The great blue heron has been hanging around fishing in the pond but it startles easy when I drive by.  So I stopped and tried to zoom in with my phone. (click for detail)

At the front window I caught this migrating rose breasted grosbeak.

The male goldfinches are almost back to their summer yellow.

Mama goose took a few minutes away from her eggs.  But there are always people around.  Walkers, cars, bicycles, kids, so she is always rushing back to the nest.

The last iris.

There are a few cardinals.  I'm hoping they have nests close by.

This mockingbird watched me closely!  :-)

This morning there was a parade of fast-moving birds but I manage to catch a few.


We are under a wind advisory this morning and this cardinal is hanging on amid wildly blowing branches.

Tufted titmice are so fast!  I'm still trying to catch a clear picture.

And this is a woodpecker but I'm not sure which kind.  Maybe a hairy woodpecker because of it's size.

Pair of goldfinches.

Pair of house finches.

Mr. Bluebird.  So gorgeously blue.

Watching over his nest.

Finally he turned around so I could see his red breast. (click for detail)  Painting that post and mailbox are definitely on the spring agenda.

The dogs gave up fussing for their breakfast and patiently waited for me to finish.  Ngaire the Lady.

Maisy the Weird.

Ivy the Devoted.

They like the new carpet.  I like how easy it is to maintain.

Ngaire is white between the toes!

With a few white hairs on her knees.  Look at those feet.  No wonder I'm so devoted to my vacuum cleaners!

Oh well.  Back to what I'm supposed to be doing.  Ugh.