Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Not a UFO…..

As I mentioned in the previous post, I was fortunate to enjoy a day and a half workshop with Rayna Gilman.

We started off with her process of making strip sets.  I started with this one……


They were very freeing to make and I could have spent hours making one after the other.  The problem that Rayna pointed out to me was that most of my fabrics were of medium values so she had me add some darker ones to the set.

Next, I took a square and started making cuts and inserting pieces one after the other.  At one point I cut the entire block in half and reversed the pieces.  This is my final result….unfortunately, this piece didn’t make it into the final quilt…..


After making a lot more blocks and playing with some strip sets that were left over from other projects, it was time to throw it all up on the design board…..


As Rayna came around and looked at my work, she made a very discrete comment that “you won’t necessarily be able to all of the pieces that you made in this one quilt”…… ie…these don’t really work together that well!!!

I will admit that, at this point in the process, I was struggling.  I felt like everything was so different and I couldn’t see anyway that it would ever turn into something.  I also was feeling that this was a process that was just TOO far out of my comfort zone!!!   I took a break and walked out of the room, convinced that this was not a process that I enjoyed.

Upon re-entering, I walked back over to the board and it hit me that the biggest problem was that all of my pieces were about the same size of strips….everything was on the small side.

I spent the next 30 minutes making a few larger blocks that only had a few pieces of fabric and then …..voila……DSC08448 

OK….maybe I am starting to like this better.   My friend Deb looked at it and suggested that I turn it on it’s side and give it a horizontal layout.  Rayna liked the idea too and used her I-Pad to take a photo and then rotate it to let me see what it would look like.

I continued working, adding some setting strips and, at Deb’s suggestion, another “window” unit.

This is what I left the workshop with (sorry it is blurry)……


So, two weeks later I started trying to finish up the project as I was determined NOT to have another UFO!!!

I tried adding tons of different borders, which I photographed and then deleted from the camera before I saved them to my computer….ooppss. 

As I was working, I glanced over at my sewing machine chair and noticed the “not so pretty” cover that I had thrown on to keep from putting marks on the wall when I would bump up against it…..

DSC08484I suddenly had the idea to use this piece to make a new cover and I was then excited to finish it off.

I added a really wide outer border on so that I would have plenty to work with and then sat down to do the quilting.   I used Rayna’s method of quilting with parallel, horizontal lines…..


After a bit of measuring, finagling, sewing, un-sewing and re-sewing, I now have a fun new cover for my chair…..


…..and NO unfinished project to add to the UFO stack!!!!!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Great time spent with Rayna Gillman….


Three weeks ago my guild hosted Rayna Gillman for a 1-1/2 day workshop and also as a speaker at our meeting.   I thoroughly enjoyed all of her presentations and was interested in her method of working.

Her plan is to work with lots and lots of different fabrics and to spend time making sets of fabric bits that can eventually be put together into a cohesive quilt.

She showed us how to make strip sets where the strips are cut free-hand so that there are slight curves and variations in the sizes.  Here is one of her strip sets in neutral colors…..


She also takes scraps of fabric and adds bits all around and turns them into miscellaneous blocks…..


Rayna has a real talent for putting pieces together and we were all amazed that she was able to turn this leftover  block set…….


…..into this cool quilt top…….


During the workshop, we saw mostly quilt tops, but at the meeting, Rayna showed several of her finished quilts.  I really liked the simple, straight line quilting that she used.  It did an amazing job of completing the quilt and holding all of the disparate fabrics and blocks together……


…..more to come……

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A sad birdie day…..


Unfortunately we lost our baby birds last night. 

We were worried that the stress of the last few days might have lowered their health level and apparently that is what happened.

Hopefully the Mama and Daddy Cardinal will start another nest and hatch another brood later this spring!!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Bird Rescue Mission

On Wednesday evening we were contacted by the painters (who are re-painting our  outside trim) telling us that they would be arriving early Thursday morning.  We were excited that they were being able to get started…..and then we remembered the birds!!!!  How would they ever survive???

We spoke with the foreman and he told us that they would try to be careful around the nest so we watched and waited.

On the first day, they pressure washed and started painting the second floor windows and trim.  The babies survived and at the end of the day, Mama and Daddy Cardinal were madly feeding the babies before evening.

On day two, things went well until they needed to paint the window that is right by their nest.  Unfortunately, a ladder hit the bush and messed up the nest so that it wasn’t very secure in the bush.  Also, it threw one of the babies out and unfortunately he didn’t survive the fall.

Now for the rescue…..

My sweet and caring husband went outside and used twine to make a sort of net under the nest and also to contract the branches around the nest so that it would be better supported…..


The  Mama and Daddy Cardinals hadn’t been around the nest for several hours so he became worried that the birds might be dehydrated, so out came a cup of water and teaspoon and he spoon-feed a few drops of water into the baby’s waiting mouths…..


The parent Cardinals arrived soon after and, after having a good look around, started once again feeding and brooding their babies. 

Maybe the worst is over!!!!   Our only concern is that, as the babies get larger, the nest may not hold together. 

But for now, we are once again enjoying nature right outside our window!!!!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

We Have Birds!!!


A few weeks ago Michael and I noticed a Cardinal coming and going from a bush just outside of our window.  We realized that she was building a nest and got really excited about watching a new family.  Unfortunately the bush sprouted some new branches and we could no longer see what was going on, but Michael got the idea to hang out of the window and trim off a few of the sprigs so that we had a better view.     We have not been disappointed……

At first there were three beautiful eggs……


Then two cute baby birds, obviously hungry……


There may be a third bird, but we haven’t been able to catch a glimpse yet.

Mama and Daddy have been flitting in and out all day long and we have been able to discretely watch a few of the feeding times.

More fun to follow…….

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