Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Not So Wordless Wednesday (Sutherlin, OR)

I haven't done a Not So Wordless Wednesday post in a long time.  So, here are some photos of the wild turkeys doing their turkey thing.

I'm always on the lookout for these guys while on our walks.  Often, we hear them before we see them.  I love watching them when they don't like a certain sound such as a helicopter flying in the distance.
They show their displeasure of the sounds by everyone making a gobbling sound together.  I swear the leader must call out "On the count!  3! 2! 1!"...dip heads and "Gobble! Gobble! Gobble!"
In sync -- "Gobble! Gobble! Gobble!"
It seems like the turkeys have doubled or even tripled since November.  We started out seeing a posse of six to ten turkeys.  Now, we are seeing up to 30+ turkeys.  Many of them look very young.

One very foggy morning, we had over 20 turkeys milling around near our site.  As we watched them, two young males started to fight.  Running around in circles pecking at each other while using their feet and flapping their wings.
Then, the fight got very intense when one aggressive male caught the beak of the other male and started to twist his head downward.  I was worried that he would break the other's neck or his beak.  That's when we noticed that the others were not just milling around, they were watching the fight.  Above, you can see the feet of more turkeys coming down the road.  Most were elders and apparently, they did not like the young males fighting.
One of the larger elders started pecking at the dominating young male while four other elders circled trying to help.  When that did not work, one of the elders managed to wedge his body between the two putting pressure on their heads until the dominating one released the other.  As they moved on down the road away from us, we could see the elders working hard to keep the two separated.  Isn't that interesting?  I'm going to miss our big feathered friends but not their droppings... ;) when we leave here.

Check out this link with Twelve Unusual Facts about Turkeys by the National Wildlife Federation.  I learned a few unusual facts about turkeys.  
Did you know wild turkeys sleep in trees?  I have seen them fly up to 30 feet in the air, but I did not realize that they slept in the trees.
Hey Tom, you are looking a little blue
Another unusual fact is their heads can change color depending on their emotions from pink/red to blue or white.
I need to go back to see what else I can learn about other interesting critters.  

I have been busy quilting away the hours when I'm not watching the antics of turkeys.  I'll post photos of my projects next time.
Happy Quilting!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Bound To Try (Sutherlin, OR)

 I summed up the courage to start my first Hawaiian quilt block.  I have been wanting to make one since reading Jennifer Chiaverini's "The Aloha Quilt".  Reading how Bonnie was taught to make her first block really peaked my curiosity.  The applique techniques sounded so interesting and quite different from anything I have done in the past with applique.
I bought this fabric along with the book (below) last July during the Sister's quilt show.  Gorgeous fabric.  I probably should start with fabric that I don't mind messing up.  But if I'm going to do this, I might as well start with the 'star' fabric because I am not so sure I will want to do this technique very often.  Of course, there is a chance I might take quite a liking to it and do a lot more.  Hard to say...anyway.....

Washed, ironed, and folded....deep breath and I start cutting....
Done.  Not an easy task to cut through so many folded layers of fabric.  I used my spring-loaded precise shears this time.  The shears are meant for flannel rag quilts which I still have not made...yet.  Okay, time to unfold and see what kind of damage I have done.

Oh wow!  This looks great!  I love the way this came out.  Now, I'm getting excited so I need to iron out the folds, pin, and baste.
The basting alone is going to take awhile.  The instructions say I need to baste 1/4 inch around all the edges.  The basting will also be my guide while I am turning under the edge for appliqueing.  I'm going to need my old sewing gauge (ruler) because my eyeing a 1/4 inch will end up very uneven.  I can see those turtles turning into blobs!
I have also been working on binding for all four quilts.  I haven't quilted the last top, but I should have it done within the next couple of days.
So, do you use the bias binding or do you just cut on the straight?  I like using the bias binding.
I was told the stretching of the bias will help make the binding last longer through wear and tear.  That comes in handy when it comes to little ones and their quilts.
So, the binding is folded in half and ready to sew to the quilts.  The turtles are ready for basting with lots of pins holding it in place.  It should make for an interesting evening trying to keep cats off the block while I am basting it!
Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

In The Quilting Zone (Sutherlin, OR)

Yep, I have been in the quilting zone for the past few days.  I'm taking advantage of the foggy weather and getting lots of quilting done.  I found this Sunbonnet Baby Sue pattern in a book almost 20 years ago.  I just love her chubby little belly!  There was no pattern for an Overall Baby Sam, so I made my own.
I had so much fun appliqueing these cuties that I might have to make another one in the future.

For the quilting, I did meandering on the yellow background.  I almost did the white background too, but I think I'll leave it with just an outline around each baby.
 I wasn't sure what to do with the snowball quilt.  I thought about doing a snowflake or an echo pattern, but I like curves more than straight line stitching.  I drew different swirl patterns inside each snowball.  I was able to follow my patterns.....most of the time.  This is the first time I have tried following a pattern while free-motion quilting on the sewing machine.  It is a lot easier to do by hand!  That is for sure!
 Right now, it looks a little messy.  I'm hoping this will look better once I wash out the ink.
On the Jungle Stars, I did a stitch-in-a-ditch to show off the stars as well as the squares.
 And an outline around these two guys.
 I have one more top to layer and quilt.  I finished the applique last night.
Next on the list is to make binding for all four quilts.  I need to get them done before we go back to the coast.  There is a good chance we will be on a limited power source and binding takes a lot of ironing.
Plus with all this cold weather, I'm looking forward to sitting under the quilts while I'm sewing on the binding. Ha!....there is a method to my madness...
Happy Quilting!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Stitching Along (Sutherlin, OR)

We have been doing some shopping and cleaning for the past couple of days so this post will be real short.  I think the spring bug has bitten both of us.  We are ready to get on the road again.
It has been a slow week for my projects.  I did manage to get a little sewing done in the evenings.   I decided to use the perfect circle templates to make the tires for the train and car.  Boy, did they come out perfect!  I might use them for my next set of Happy Campers too.
I'm also on the last embroidery block for All Creatures Great and Small quilt.  I hope to start cutting the fabric for this quilt soon.
Well, back to the cutting board...or the thread and needle...or maybe I'll eat first then decide what to do....yea, feeling a little lazy tonight....let's see what is on TV!
Happy Quilting!

Monday, January 13, 2014

A Cat With His Shoe (Sutherlin, OR)

Slow week for outdoor activities.  Lots of rain with sporadic sunshine making the world around us look fresh and clean.  A real nice change from all the fog we have had for way toooo long.  

Dusty has been moping around because he hasn't been spending as much time outside.  You would think he wouldn't care that it is raining since he has a thick coat, but he does.  As soon as the rain starts, he begins to twitch and runs for the door.  "Let me in!"
not your shoe,  my shoe!
 So, here he sits with his favorite chew shoe...well, it was my shoe until he stole it out of the closet and chewed up the backside which made it hard for me to wear.  Almost every night after we go to bed,   Dusty drags his shoe into our bedroom while doing his cat-a-wallowing howl "I killed the shoe for you!".  He leaves it for me to find in the middle of the night and I, of course, step on it.  That certainly wakes me up.  I'm happy to say with all this rain, he has been sleeping with it.  So, no midnight surprises, but I'm sure that will not last long.

I don't know what it is with my stuff that Dusty feels a need to chew on them.  I have to hide everything from him.  I never thought he would chew on my phone....he did...sigh..
I have no idea what to do with a cat like that except to hide everything of mine from him.  

He does make a great model for my quilts.  That's his silhouette in the wall quilt.  He was actually being good when I took the photo, but I think this looks more appropriate since he is always getting into something.

On The Cutting Board
The only project I have been working on this week is the Kitty's Welcome wall hanging.

So, I want to take this moment to give a big Thank You! to Maggie from Flowers in the Window for featuring my mug rugs in her blog.  You probably remember when I made the Harvey J mug rug last summer?  Harvey J belongs to Maggie and Chris.  We have spent some time talking since discovering each other's blogs.  We both love our pets, quilting, and traveling except she is in England where I would love to be again someday.  Please stop by and say hello!
Here are a few more photos...

A little experimenting with Picasa.  I used the pencil sketch format to see what I would get...
Okay, one more.  This little leaf caught my eye with its bright colors.
Well, I better go see what Dusty is getting into now.  Lately, he has been burrowing under the quilts I have been working on.  I don't think the wall hanging is going to cover him this time.  By the way, all my quilting projects are put away every night...thanks to Dusty...the tables are cleared of all projects.
Happy Quilting!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Feathered Friends and Jungle Stars (Sutherlin, OR)

We drove to the reservoir the other day.  Unlike the ones we have visited in the southwest, this one looked more like a lake and had a lot of bird activity.  We were barely parked and the engine turned off when this hawk popped up.  He was so close to the car that I was afraid to get out of the car, so I took a few photos through the windshield.  I'm surprised this one came out.
After a few shots through the windshield, I tried to get out of the car as quiet and as slow as possible.  No good.  He flew off, but he did not go very far.  I was able to follow him along the shoreline where he was trying very hard to balance himself on this point.  He finally did and had to show off by standing on one foot while watching me. 
In the meantime, I kept hearing a loud chirping behind me.  I turned around to find this little guy making all sorts of noise.  I believe he was mad at me for interrupting his lunch.  He certainly did not mind telling me all about the trouble I had caused him.

Cormarants were everywhere.  I love the way they were all lined up on the pier.  I was hoping they would not mind me getting closer....
but they did...  Well, I managed to upset every bird in the area.  I guess my work is done for now.  Next time, I will take my 500mm lens and maybe I won't disturb my feathered friends.
On The Cutting Board
All right!  I finished the two owl mug rugs.  I just need to add a label to the backs and they will be done. 
I was able to finish the elephant within two nights, so another quilt top is ready to be quilted.
Tonight, I will start appliqueing a car and a train to this top.  Once this top is done, I will have a total of four quilt tops to quilt and bind.
Well, I better get back to my projects.
Happy Quilting!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Knot What It Seams by Elizabeth Craig (Sutherlin, OR)

Knot What It Seams by Elizabeth Craig
This was a quick and fun read.  This is the second in a new series by Elizabeth Craig about a small southern town filled with some unusual folks - a sheriff that would rather be reading Thoreau than catching a murderer, an elderly driver thinks sidewalks are part of the road when she drives (pedestrians beware!), a mail carrier that likes to use people's mail to blackmail them....and then there's the quilting guild called The Village Quilters that is made up of even more quirky members.

The main and the more sane character is Beatrice, a recently retired folk art museum curator from the city.  She is also a new member of the guild, but a novice quilter.  She finds herself in the middle of a mystery involving dead quilters, quilters' with extreme competitive attitudes, judges with even larger egos and opinions of what they consider a show quilt.  In the meantime, Beatrice's next door neighbor and leader of The Village Quilters is busy trying to lure some of the best quilters from the other guild.  There was more talk of competing than quilting in this story, but I still enjoyed it....quirky characters included!  It would be a dull world without them.

On The Cutting Board
Speaking of's what I have been up to for the last few days.  I'm almost done with the two owls.  I just need to quilt them and they will be ready to list in Etsy.  
Owl Mug Rugs
I finished appliqueing the lion to the Jungle Stars quilt and I have started working on the elephant.
I used permanent fabric markers along with crayons and some embroidery to accent the elephant and lion's face.  
And, I started working on the second quilt with the same design using paper foundation.  It certainly goes together a lot faster than most of my quilts.  I have three rows done within a short six-hour time.  That includes setting up and breaking down my sewing areas.
I had more of the focus fabric for this quilt so it will have six blocks across and six blocks down.  I don't have to worry about adding borders like I did to the Jungle Stars.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year, New Plans, and New Friends (Sutherlin, OR)

Are you ready to start the new year?  Did you celebrate big last night or did you do like Dan and I?.....we were asleep by midnight.  But, we were up early this morning to greet the new year.....okay, I was up early to watch the Rose Parade.  I haven't seen it in four years.  An excellent way to start the new year.  It has been my dream for years to see this parade in person and to be a volunteer helping with decorating one of the floats.  Wouldn't that be fun!

In the meantime, I'm ready to start this new year with some finished projects  I'm ready to start traveling again.....soon.....and I am most definitely ready to get started on new projects since I am finishing up some big ones.  

On The Cutting Board
....And that is why I have been absent lately from my blog.  I am spending as much time as I can on some UFOs that I am tired of having around.  I have also been spending time with the Craft group for the last two weeks.  It is nice to sit with others while they work on their projects.  I have to admit they have sparked my inspiration to get some projects done.
The first one done and long overdue - Violet's quilt!  Yes!  This deserve a celebration all by its self.  It took me four years to do all the hand-quilting in a hoop.  Granted, I went months without a single stitch added to it, but still, I should not have taken so long to finish her quilt.  I was really beginning to think I would not give it to my granddaughter until she graduated from high school or worse - her wedding day! 
I'm happy to say that she is young enough to enjoy the quilt for many years before she graduates from high school.  I have one more large quilt top to hand-quilt.  It is a Southwest design that I did for our old bed.  It is a king size and I do not look forward to basting that one!  I wonder how long it will take to finish this next one.  For now, I have decided to take a break from large hand-quilting projects.  I have put my quilt frame away.  I need a break from the quilting frame taking up so much room in our living area.  I want to concentrate on smaller projects for a little while.
I finished the embroidery on the Kitty's Welcome wall-hanging.  It is basted and ready for quilting.  I have two more welcome wall-hangings that I would like to do for my shop.  I have started working on their designs.
Jungle Stars
This is the first of two quilts made from this pattern using up some larger scraps.  There were a couple of times I had to go back through my stash to find another scrap of fabric to finish this one.  I ran out of the focus fabric for the last block, so I used the green polka-dots for the center square.
Of course, I must add some applique.  I think a lion and elephant will be right at home sitting at the bottom of this quilt.  I hope to finish another two tops before the end of this month.

Dan and I have been spending time at the community center getting to know people.  Everyone has been helpful and pleasant.  We have learned a lot about this area and about Roseburg.  Despite the cold foggy days, we have been out walking almost every day.  Even the cats are getting into a routine of spending most of their days lounging in the back, begging to go out in the early afternoons, eating, and back to bed before sunset.  Yep, that's a cat's life for you.
head-bump greetings from Hitch
Well, I'm off to see what kind of scrappy mess I can make this evening.....
Have a Happy New Year!  
May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire. ~Irish Blessing

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