Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cathy's Giveaway

A crazy quilting friend from CQI is having a 100th blog giveaway. Check out Cathy's Blog. She is very talented and a great inspiration. Can't imagine posting 100 times. Congratulations, Cathy.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Robins Flying In and Out

I saw a robin in the back yard yesterday. In fact, there were 3 of them. Our weeping willow tree was cut down during the winter and now they will have to find new digs. I think they moved over to the jack pine.

The flickers are none to happy with us cutting down that tree either. We found several large flicker nests bored out inside the trunk of the tree when we cut it into sections. The grandkids got a front row seat lesson in nest building from Poppy. Of course, they told their friends about it too. Our neighbors, who home school, brought their children to see the nests and suddenly we were the talk of the neighborhood. We had all kinds of people knocking at the door wanting to go around and take a peek at what the flickers had done. It is amazing how they make such a small hole on the outside of the tree to use as their front door and then bore out the center of the limb to nest in. They were even using some of the sawdust they had created to pad the nest. I haven't heard them drilling on the house (they prefer the heater vents) to attract their mates yet but I see them in the yard. I know that Spring is just around the corner, I just know it!

I have been working on a Round Robin (RR) called Fabulous First Timers #5 through Crazy Quilt International. I sent the two small box top blocks that I spoke of in my last blog. The first block I got in return was a 10" square block from Diane in New Orleans. It is a lovely block of white, ivory, and creams with a touch of gold and silver. I completed my portion of the stitchery today.

I attached the silkie of the fairy by placing it on a very light weight piece of polyfiber batting and then appliqueing it to the patch. I highlighted the wings and gossamer clothing of the fairy in Kreinik blending filaments. Silk ribbon embroidery, beads and an attached green flower (formerly an ear ring) completed the embellishment of the silkie. I framed it in some of the sequins and beads that I purchased at the skating costumer's last month. I also added a couple of seams done in simple lazy daisy stitches and a bullions with more beads, a heavily beaded butterfly lace motif and a silver rolled rose from an old prom dress that is made of a silver metallic/satin ribbon. Now that my part is done I will send this Robin out the door and move it north to Canada to RoseAnne's home before the week is over.

In the mail today I received Magareet's block for FFT5, already stitched on by Diane. Margareet is from the Netherlands. This is what it looks like now. I have a month to add my own work. I will need to do a minimum of 2 seams treatments and 2 patch motifs/fillings. There are extra seams and patches so if it speaks to me I may end up doing more. Isn't that scalloped white patch stunning! I think, maybe, I hear it calling my name.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

February: Have A Happy Heart

Happy Ground Hog's Day. It looks like we will be having 6 more weeks of winter. It hasn't been so bad in my neighborhood but back East it seems dreadful. I am sending warm thoughts your way.

I sent off my 6" CQ'd heart for the Heart Swap on CQForNewbies a few days ago. The deadline was yesterday and I made it by the hair of my chinny chin chin. Here is a photo of it after I added two seam treatments and a motif. I am not happy with the yellow and purple seam. It just didn't seem to come together the way I would have liked. I am happy with the feather stitched vine with beads. The mother of pearl button is the size of a nickel with a 1/4 inch square glass bead that is swirled inside with purple. I really like that bead and hope whoever gets this heart in the swap will like it too. I wish I had time to complete the block - in the past I would have completed it. This time I just met the minimum requirements. Having my 3 grandchildren living here has a way of making me reassess my priorities.

"God sends children for another purpose than merely to keep up the race -- to enlarge our hearts; and to make us unselfish and full of kindly sympathies and affections; to give our souls higher aims; to call out all our faculties to extended enterprise and exertion; and to bring round our firesides bright faces, happy smiles, and tender, loving hearts. My soul blesses the great Father every day, that He has gladdened the earth with little children."......Mary Howitt

I have begun to do my stitching only at night, late night. My grandchildren are sooooo into my stitching, literally. They like the look of it, the feel of it and as the baby says, "The preddy dings you use, Nana." When I think of all the time I used to spend stitching - before THEY moved in....I sometimes get a little resentful. That is when I try to recall what Mary Howitt wrote. Then, I remember why it is more important right now to have tea parties, work puzzles, read stories and help with homework. We have those bright happy faces around our fireside. I hope all of you have the same good fortune. A happy heart is a healthy heart.