Saturday, September 26, 2015

Dances With Butterflies

I love it when people "get me".
The Ranger says that if I was an Indian Princess,
my name would be Dances With Butterflies.
He claims that I am childish like a child.
Me:  "I really need to focus and get this done.
Oh, look, a butterfly!"

And off I go, task forgotten.

That said, NO, I didn't meet my September goal for
Sew Bitter Sweet Design's "A Lovely Year of Finishes".
There were just too many distractions.
But you can click HERE to see who did!

Speaking of dancing with butterflies,
I had the opportunity to see
Leah Day's Dancing Butterfly quilt up close and personal.
Well, it wasn't HERS, but it was made during her quilt along
by a very talented Maritimes Modern Quilt Guild member.

I wish I had a better picture to show you,
as it was absolutely stunning.
Now I want to make one, too!
Leah does an incredible job walking you through FMQing each block.
Add it to the list!!
No wonder I'm so overwhelmed!

I am a Virgo.
And true to my sign, I am a perfectionist.
I like a clean, professional finish to my projects.
Whenever I am making something that needs to be
turned right side out and topstitched or handstitched closed,
I always add an extra 1/4" to that seam allowance
to give me something to work neatly with
with no fuss.

Today I am linking up to

Have a great day.
Take a moment to seek your inner child.

XO, Karen

Saturday, September 19, 2015

You Otter Been There

Last week, I had the distinct pleasure
of attending the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild (MMQG) meeting

in Halifax, NS with Linda from Scrapmaster.
(I spent the most wonderful three days with
Linda and her family.)

I'd like to thank all the 'girls' for making me feel so welcomed.
It was just delightful to be able to meet and put a face to
some of the members of that guild who are also bloggers -
Anja, of Anja Quilts
Miss Valerie, of Purple Boots and Pigtails
Jenn, blogging over at A Quarter Inch from the Edge
Adrienne, the pres, of Chezzetcook Modern Quilts
Aimee, from Candy Coated Quilts
Dominique, of The Running Thimble
and Karen, at Sugarfree Quilts, who needs a little 
encouragement to write some posts.
We'll be hearing more from Karen, and I can't wait to share!

During the evening, there was a fun swap.
Linda and her swapmate, Miss Valerie, went first.

Do you think they were excited?
It was pretty funny.  Miss Valerie hadn't even opened hers yet!
She was jumping all around because Linda was.
I couldn't get a clear picture for all the tea in China.
Wish I had thought to video it all.
Valerie made a very special and meaningful wallhanging for our Linda.
You can read about it here.
All the swap wallhangings were amazing.
You otter been there.


Speaking of otters...
we went for a little local paddle in our kayaks the other day
and were visited by a new friend.
(Click on pics to enlarge them.)

Isn't he/she just the cutest thing?

They don't appear to be at all afraid, just curious!
I floated up to 15 feet of him/her.
Once I was paddling during the wee hours of the morning
(morning being my favorite time of day)
and  had three swim right by me,
not an arms length away,
and they all three lifted their bodies way up high out of the water
and looked at me as they passed by.
I can't imagine what they might have been thinking!)
This one chatted with me for a few minutes before disappearing.
They grow to about 4.5 feet long and weigh in at 30 pounds.
Experiencing nature like this really makes my heart sing.

I hope something happened during your week
that made your heart sing!!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Summer's End

There is no denying that hummingbirds are
 one of Mother Nature's greatest gifts.

They hold appeal to a great many atisans.

As I say good-bye to my hummers
(there was still one out there this morning)

I'm impelled to share this website with you.

Bottom line, it explains that a hummingbird's migration
They travel just so far, then they need to stop, rest, and refuel.
So this is just a reminder that if you think your hummingbirds have moved on,
keep your feeders up,
so mine will have a place to recharge their energies!

Have a happy and relaxing Labor Day!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Wild Thing, You Make My Heart Sing

Establishing a goal and linking up to 

 ALYOF last month
worked very well for me,
so I believe I will give it another go!
(If and when the internet allows me to.)

I finally have a herd of zebras.

16, to be exact.
All sewn into rows and ready for the border.
My goal will be 
to construct the border units 
and have this quilt finished and bound
by month's end.
I don't think Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilts believes
I'll ever finish this quilt, her amazing design.

The hold up for me was the eyes and nostrils.
I was a little intimidated.

I had to wait until I woke up one morning
with this thought, 
"Today's the day I'm going to do eyes and nostrils!"
It was a while before that happened.

Breezed through the eyes..they probably could have been better.
The nostrils?  Well, I ended up making a template

so that each one was the same.
Worked out pretty good.
Although it has taken me forever to make this quilt,
it has been an enjoyable process.

I love wild things, large and small.  Make believe and real.
While I was out picking blueberries late yesterday afternoon,
I stood to stretch my back (our wild blueberries are close to the ground, ugh!)
And what did I see?

A beautiful Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)!
My heart was singing as I ran down from the meadow for my camera.
It has been a few years since I have observed one on my property.
Hope she finds the Swamp Milkweed I planted!

Here are some interesting facts about Monarch Butterflies:

~Caterpillars eat milkweed, which makes them poisonous to birds.

~Thousands of individuals roost in the exact same trees every year
along their migration routes.

~No other known insect undergoes an annual, two-way, long distance,
large-scale migration.

~It is still a mystery how Monarchs correctly navigate to their
overwintering grounds, since no migrants 
have made the journey before.

Monarch Butterflies like nectar-rich plants such as Joe-Pye-Weed,
Goldenrods, Asters, Boneset, Coneflower, Butterfly Bush,
as well as the invasive and aggressive Angelica, as pictured above.

By planting milkweed as a host plant on my property,
my goal is to help provide a safe, chemical free habitat.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

It's Phenomenal

On August 4th, I linked up to
Sew Bitter Sweet Designs,
committing to finish my Wish Upon a Star quilt
by the end of the month.
Well, I did it with one day to spare!

If I hadn't linked up,
I probably would still be working on it!
So, today I'm linking back up with a finish!
Just click on the button below to see
who else achieved their goal!

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to witness 
A Phenomenon of Nature...

...A murmuration of Least Sandpipers

These migrating wonders are feeding

on little mudshrimps.
Each bird will spend 10 to 15 days foraging on the exposed mudflats

during low tide.
A bird can double its weight over that time, building up the 
fat stores to fuel its non-stop transoceanic flight south.
As the tide comes in,
it forces the shorebirds closer and closer to the shoreline

Click on this picture for a better, clearer view!

where they rest on the ground in tight nervous flocks,
vulnerable to predators and most susceptible to human disturbance.
On another shore not too far from here, 
we obsrved ten plus times this amount... of 
It was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen.
I believe that next year, if we travel to Grand Pre
a week earlier, we'll see even larger numbers.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Plugging Along

The machines are humming
as I try to tick items off my list.
I'm STILL working on the same quilts I started
at the beginning of the summer.


I did dig out this old, leader/ender flimsie.
Borrowing a page from Lesley's book,
I decided to try spray quilt adhesive
because I really detest laying quilts out on the floor
and pin basting them.

The only space available to work with the spray adhesive 
is on my front deck.
Mother Nature hasn't been kindly to us up here this summer,
so I had to wait patiently for a nice dry morning
with no/little wind off the water.

I'm pleased to say it's about 2/3 quilted.
Spray basting works like a charm.
Can't wait to show you when it's finished!
I was digging through my 'stuff' and came across this 
foundation pieced pattern and fabric from 2002.

I never did finish collecting the other fabrics.
The focus fabric is Michael Miller
and is a half yard cut.

The little boy I was going to make it for
is now a grown man.
it's up for grabs!
It's a shame for it to sit in the bottom of a bin forever.

If you are interested,
just sign your comment with an XO,
and you'll be included in the draw.
This sweet thing visited me every day for three weeks.
"These birds are sociable at all seasons,
and it is rare to see just one."

At first, I thought it had been separated from its flock,
and I found it's constant thin, lisping cry
from the tops of my trees disturbing.
Then I decided it was nesting, and I felt better.
Cedar Waxwings join the American Goldfinch as late nesters
because they eat berries.
(American Goldfinch, of course, eat thistle seeds.)

"Named for the red tips on the secondary flight feathers,
which suggest beaded wax, but the fact is that the entire body
of the Cedar Waxwing seems poured from wax.
From the sweptback rakish crest to the yellow-tipped tail,
every feather on the adult seems seamlessly set in place."
(Pete Dunne's Essential Field Guide Companion)

Check out this cool video.
I'd love being able to do this!
Notice the red tips on their secondary flight feathers.

Stay sweet!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Really? A Finish?

I have so few finishes,
I'm excited to be able to share one!

This was actually a July finish,
but the weather prohibited me from taking photos out of doors.

This was a kit, but my daughter added the aqua to the mix.
Good choice!  I love going fabric shopping with her.
I straight line quilted it according to the direction of the rectangles.

Let's talk labels.  I think there are still some of you out there
that don't take the time to label your quilts.
After all the hard work, 
no matter how simple and easy the pattern is to sew,
like this one,
it still deserves a nice label.

It doesn't have to be a major work of art
to compliment your quilt back
and document your efforts.
This one is simple, basic, and took about 15 minutes to throw together,
another 15 to stitch to the back.
I also stitch in the ditch around the borders on the inside
so it lays down nicely, providing a nice, finished look.

Do you get that nice, soft velvety feel to the backing from this picture?
I backed it with corduroy...on sale, 3 metres for $9.99!
How could I resist that price?
I love it.  I'm going to use corduroy more.
I'm so glad I have Stephanie's book,

which happens to be on sale at Connecting Threads right now!
I'm glad I bought 3 metres of raspberry corduroy, too.

Yesterday, this quilt was delivered to a friend
who lost his wife to cancer one year ago this week.
It's been a tough week for him.
I hope it helps to bring him comfort and peace.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit today.
Look who else stopped by to say hello!

Life is good!