Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Small Works

My days this week have been so full that my sewing has just been bits and pieces. 

I have a couple of swaps that I am enjoying.  One is our Sewing With Friends group.  For this round we are doing mug rugs and this is my summer themed mug rug for Irene.  What says summer better than flip flops? 



Another really fun bee that I am a part of this year is our Gridster Bee.  May's Queen Bee is Rachel and her request is for paper pieced bees with a blue background. 





Many of us are also doing one extra block of each month's choice to keep.  I did my background in a neutral instead of the blue. 



Block Lotto blocks this month were potted cactus.  I made three to be donated this month.  This was a fun block to make.



My days have also been filled with feeding baby birds.  Since the parents were pulling their pin feathers, I removed them and have been hand feeding them.  Initially it was every 3-4 hours, but they are now on a three times a day schedule - much more manageable!!  They are growing nicely, gaining weight and cry when they see me.  Have you ever read the child's book, Are You My Mother?  I think I can relate to it.  They actually look like birds instead of little vultures now.

Before


Now...with feathers and full crops.  Their faces are starting to turn yellow with the orange cheeks. 

While the grands were here for Easter they found a monarch caterpillar on the milkweed.  They collected it for observation.  It was very much the very hungry caterpillar appearing to double in size each day. 



This week it formed its chrysalis.  We are now waiting for it to emerge as a "beautiful butterfly".


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter Week

It was a beautiful Easter in our area with perfect temperatures, sunshine and lots of fun family time.  Our youngest son and his family have been home for Easter so there has not been a lot of stitching going on here.  Time spent with family is much more valuable.


I did participate in Gosia's SEW ALL AROUND six part circular sewing QAL.  This last week was application of the binding to our mini quilt.  I really like the way this piece finished.



As well, I did some embroidery for some of the grandchildren so they always know which washcloth and towel belongs to them.



April has seen a lot of birthdays so I've had fun with fabric postcards.  I've forgotten to take pictures of most of the ones I have sent, but here are a couple of them. 




Spring continues to produce some gorgeous blooms.  It's always a delight to see them reappear each year. 











Just one last photo of the grandchildren at Easter.  Someone even created photos of the two who were missing due to spring break at college not tying in with our Easter celebration.   Boo! 



Thursday, April 6, 2017

Spring Continues

Beautiful spring days continue here.  Along with warmer and longer days, there is so much about spring that is refreshing.  We had grandchildren for several days so there were baseball and volleyball games in the warm sunshine.  Sewing was non existent while we were active grandparents, but it felt good to get some free time to play once things slowed down again. 

I am in the Gridster Bee this year and Elizabeth's blocks last month were little pigs.  I sent my two off to Elizabeth and then made one for myself.  I think I need to do more of these.  She should soon be posting her adorable finish on her blog so be sure to watch for it. The pigs are a slight variation of the pattern found on The Objects of Design blog.


Spring also means the arrival of the fair pigs.  Two of the grandchildren will be fattening these pigs up before August.




My April Gridster Bee blocks were finished and sent to Nancy.  This is her own design and it is really fabulous.



One of our granddaughters turns sixteen in June.  They have each asked for a "grown up" quilt for their 16th birthdays.  I've had a layer cake for some time that she has loved.  Researching patterns for layer cakes, I found a fun one on the Missouri Star tutorials.  I really love the colors and how the design shows off the great fabrics.


March geese are flying to join the flock in my Temperature Quilt.  The temps are moving more into the oranges with a red one in there too.  Yesterday saw another red one with our high of 90*.  I'm glad to see the blues disappearing.  My sister in Alaska is doing this project with me and she is happy that April has seen some temps above freezing so her geese can fly upright.  She has no blog, but you can check out her glorious colors on her IG account (@alaskanquilter)


To close off, I will share a few more fun spring photos.  Springtime brings new little hatchlings.  My mom had her resident hummingbird lay two more eggs in her porch plant again this year.  In the last month we have gone from eggs to babies nearly ready to take flight.






Meanwhile, at our house we also have new hatchings.  We have three little yellow balls of fluff and one white one.  Since they hatch two days apart from each other, the little white one is much smaller than the one who is a week old, but I love how the littlest one manages to crawl into the middle of the pile. 


One final spring picture.....our son and DIL went to see the poppies blooming and sent me this photo.  It's amazing what a normal rainfall year will produce.





Thursday, March 30, 2017

Flowers and Birds

It's such a great time of the year for walks around the gardens.  The rains this year have made such a difference for all of the plants.  Everything just seems to be bigger and better with water from the skies rather than a faucet.

As promised, I grabbed the camera and headed down the road to my BIL's home.  His little hobby of cross pollinating clivia has become a bit of an obsession for him.  He currently has over 6000 plants!!!!  I thought it was about 3500, but I guess I underestimated.  They are growing everywhere in his yard and then he has a HUGE shade cloth covered area for a double level of others. 

Most of us are familiar with the orange ones.  I have a number of those that once belonged to my father, who loved his gardens.  Just look at the wonderful colors and different shaped blooms that we enjoyed.

This is what greets us at the front door.

Some of the petals appear to be shaped more like a lily. 

GREEN.....now we're talkin'!

Practically red!  It looks like Christmas.


This was such a prolific bloomer.


Around the pool area.

Loved the hint of peach on the petals of these.

More around the pool.



The classic orange.

This is the shaded area.  Clivia for as far as you can see and this is only the top level of them.  There is another whole level below these that is just as full.
I couldn't leave without him "forcing" me to load a few in my car!  I wish I had more shady areas in my yard as I could have helped him unload a lot more.  I may have to make a shad cloth area so I can bring all of the ones I loved home with me.  It was the perfect time of the year to go see them in bloom. 

Meanwhile, my own garden is in bloom as well.  I was able to pick the first bouquet of roses - always a welcomed day.


The citrus is in bloom throughout the area and the smell is absolutely intoxicating - especially in the early morning and evening hours.



As well, the jasmine vine and cymbidium orchids are each vying for their own moment to shine.




We had a couple of new visitors to the yard this week.  I was drawn outside by the rat-a-tat-tat I was hearing.  Look what I discovered in the palm trees.



I am assuming they are a pair. 

Next post will be back to stitching...........