Sunday, June 26, 2011

Guilt-free Marathon Sewing

I'm a ""glass is half full" kind of girl, but this Cape Breton weather isn't even for the birds!  Cold, north winds continue to blow, and if the wind changes direction, it's coming off the water from the south and is just as cold!  I don't mind the rain; I DO mind the cold!

It's great for "guilt-free marathon sewing!

On the top, I have made a Sugar Baby
bag designed by Stephanie at Loft
Creations.  It was a delight to make!
All of Stephanie's patterns are "fun".

Here in the middle, I've fashioned
a crayon roll to send off to a very special
young friend in Texas, if Canada Post ever
settles their strike and the mail starts moving.

Lastly, my current Leaders and Enders
project.  I've already made one quilt,
but am so enamoured with this pattern,
I decided to keep right on making squares.

Hope you are enjoying better weather!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Quilters Helping Tornado Victims

This, from Fons and Porter:

Quilters Lose Everything in Tornado

The Town and Country Quilters of Joplin, MO lost everything, including their homes, in a recent and devastating tornado. This quilting group is known for donating many of their quilts to local charities, and could use your help to get started again. They need all tools and supplies restocked because their storage house was also destroyed. Gone are all of the supplies used in the making of charity quilts (rotary cutters, cutting mats, batting, fabric, etc.). If you or your quilt guild would like to donate items, please send them to guild member:

Gloria Park
2921 N. Hickory
Joplin, Missouri 64801


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

HAWKS at a Distance

HAWKS at a Distance
by Jerry Liguori

Circumstances while traveling, and inclement weather, have kept me from actively birding these past few months.  Literally, spring migrants came to me this year, as I had the good fortune to spend a few weeks in a delightful log cabin at the forest’s edge in central Maine.  It was only a matter of stepping out the front door, listening, and then searching amidst the branches of the trees.

Spring, however, did not follow me across the border and onto the shores of eastern Cape Breton, where the cold, wet, and windy days lend themselves, instead, to nestling in front of a warming fire for some quiet reading time.

Hawks at a Distance: Identification of Migrant RaptorsOn the very top of my ‘must read’ pile has been Jerry Liguori’s new book, HAWKS at a Distance, published by Princeton University Press.  Although I not have yet needed to reference this book, as the few raptors I have had the pleasure of observing have been easily identifiable, I am delighted with what I have found between the covers.  Perhaps they were easy because I’ve been reading this book!

Obviously, considerable forethought took place at the conception of the idea for this book, because it is easy to read and to understand, making it a viable resource for the beginner and the experienced birder alike.  This endears the book to me even more, reflecting Jerry’s attitude that anything is possible, even working through and overcoming the difficulties that accompany hawk identification.   I will be an apt pupil, because they almost all look the same to me at a distance!

Jerry uses key identification traits in bold print and keeps the text short, sweet, and to the point, accompanying the well-thought out and expertly displayed images, of which there are many.  In his own words, the purpose of this format is “so that it is easy to remember and so that the book is uncluttered.”

As he points out in his introduction,  people can identify friends and family from a distance because they are so familiar with them - the way they walk or stand or gesture when speaking. His intention is to provide the reader with that same sense of familiarity that is required to identify these magnificent birds from afar, which is where we usually see them.  Consequently, this book is more than a field guide, more than a reference book, and one that should be read and reviewed repeatedly, making it a valuable resource to be included on every birder’s bookshelf.  I will treasure my copy for many years to come.

I have developed the habit of using sticky notes to add key information to the pages of the field guides I carry along with me, and while reading HAWKS at a Distance, I have added many more notes to my birding field guide to help me tease out the difficulties in identifying hawks 'on the spot' until my memory kicks in and hawk identification becomes second nature.   It’s tough getting old!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

American Bittern - CHECK!

Spring weather did not follow me to Cape Breton,
but I had a lovely ride up
through central Maine to Caribou and beyond!!

We happened across a very large flock of the ubiquitous 
Yellow-rumped Warblers (Dendroica coronata),
feasting along the banks of a river,
which afforded a great photo op!

Generally, I'll take several pictures,
hoping for one or two keepers,
but this day, they were all good.

Further along on our trip north, we pulled into a nice, bug infested spot,

hoping to see a Rail or perhaps a Sora.  Much to our surprise, we
found an American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus!),

who graced us with his appearance for quite a long while.
Funny how the black flies didn't seem to be a bother at all
while  I was consumed with the excitementitis at 
the arrival of this bird.

I was amazed at the size of this wading bird
as it flew in to check us out. 
It's wingspan was between 37" - 45" wide.
But then I learned the American Bittern 
is a member of the heron family
and it's size made a little more sense.

If the Bittern thinks it has been seen, it will point it's bill upward,
and blend right in with the reeds and cattails.

If you've never heard a Bittern, you need to
take an extra moment to give a listen!!
You won't be disappointed, but you might be a little surprised.

American Bittern - CHECK!
Number 299 on my life list!!  Yay!

I owe a lot of thanks to my brother-in-law,
who made a special effort to stop here,
knowing I'd never seen any of these three elusive birds
(a Sora, a Rail, or a Bittern).

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

More Quilters Helping Tornado Victims

I posted this just a right about the time Blogger was having issues.
It was removed and I thought it was lost, but here it is!!

More Quilter's Helping Tornado Victims

NEA Modern Quilt Guild in Huntsville Alabama
will be sponsoring a quilt-a-thon to make quilts for the Tornado victims.
They are looking for donations of finished quilts Lap sizes or larger,
Quilt Tops or other quilting supplies such as Batting, thread or fabric.
They will be hosting a sewing day/weekend soon,
dates and time will be announced.

If you are interested in participating
or can donate materials, please contact them at:

Debby Reed at 256-683-2668
or you can go to
for more information.


I have obtained, through Samaritan's Purse,
an address for the collection/distribution point for donations
to help the victims of the recent tornadoes.
This location will accept quilts for children and adults:

SCLC/Tuscaloosa Chapter (Southern Christian Leadership Conference)

Point of Contact:
Rev Smith Moore (205) 310-9836

Bethel Baptist Church
3003 25th St.
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

And pop on over to Stitchin' Mission to see how they are
gearing up to help!!


Quilter's Helping Tornado Victims

A message from The Quilt Show to all my quilting friends out there:

Joplin, MO Guild Loses Everything

The Town and Country Quilters Guild of Joplin, MO, is an active and vital source of charity quilts for the needy in the town of Joplin. Along with the loss of individual member's homes, the guild's "storage house" also was hit by last week's devastating tornado.

Gone are all of the supplies used in the making of charity quilts (rotary cutters, cutting mats, batting, fabric, etc.). If you or your quilt guild would like to donate items, please send them to the address shown below. If you'd rather, you can send a check for larger, more difficult-to-ship items, making the check payable to either Bed, Bath, and Beyond or Block by Block Quilt Shop.

Gloria Park
2921 N. Hickory

Joplin, Missouri 64801