Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

Happy New Year
from Texas!!
(Looking down onto
The Riverwalk,
San Antonio)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Signature Quilt - A Group Hug

(deleted post recovery #1,
dated 12/06/12)
Signature Quilts

Whenever  someone in our little community quilting group
faces an illness or an adversity,
I always try to make them a signature quilt
to help comfort them.

It's like a great big, 
perpetual, group hug!

For Helen.

For Lois.

For Marion.

But last fall, I decided we shouldn't have to be sick
in order to each have our own 'group hug',
I worked all summer on a signature quilt,
hand-quilting myself to the moon and back.
When we had our Christmas luncheon,
(the ladies always make sure it coincides to my departure),
we drew names for the quilt.
Here's the lucky, and very pleased,

Thursday, December 13, 2012


I accidently deleted a whole page of blog posts.
It's times like this that I wonder why I even bother.
Does anyone know if I can retrieve/restore them?
Blogger is no help.
No one answers questions in the forum.
And there is no place else to ask.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Being a nature lover and a quilter,
it is sometimes difficult to connect the two in a post.
No doubt about it, quilters and artists have taken  the very best
of nature and incorporated it into their art for centuries. 

I've posted about owls, bees, dragonflies, and more dragonflies.

This morning, I found another connection, albeit ever so slight.

Several of my quilting followers have asked me
what a life list is
when I'm talking about seeing new birds. 

Birders are great listers. 
They have a life list, a yard list, day lists,
trip lists, wish lists, state, county, and even country lists.  
I'm sure I'm forgetting a few. 

Now there is e-Bird,
and they can keep track of their lists on the internet
with thousands upon thousands of other birders. 
This opens up a whole new playing field!

Visiting a new area?  Just hop onto the internet for a list
of birds that you can expect to see while you are there.

I looked 'lister' up on
and discovered that a list is also:

1. a border or bordering strip, usually of cloth.

2. a selvage.
3. selvages collectively.
4. a strip of cloth or other material.
5. a strip or band of any kind.

Therefore, although the term is now obsolete,
a 'lister' is also 'one who applies a border or edge to...'.
Quilters are great listers of lists, as well. 
It's the only way they are able to finish all the projects they've started,
and manage their life around their sewing! 
Have a great weekend.
Hope you check off everything
on your list!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

All the Rage

Dresden Plates are
all the rage. 

Miss Kyra

Isn't this one beautiful??

All proceeds from the sale of this pattern
are being donated to the family
of a very sick little girl.


To learn more, please visit

To order the pattern from Erin's Etsy store
because you're just too excited to help
 and want to do it right now,
click HERE!

Erin has graciously posted tutorials
on how to construct this beautiful quilt.

Not a quilter, but it is in your heart to donate?
Click HERE!

Thank you, Erin, for giving us the opportunity
to help this beautiful girl and her family
as they stumble down this long, rocky path.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Intriguing Owl

Owls have fascinated man from time immemorial - to some cultures they are symbols of wisdom, while to others they are harbingers of doom and death.

Barred Owl
Forest Glen, Nova Scotia

And to crafters, they are just too darned cute!
There are owl cakes, owl quilts, owl jewelry pieces,
owl die-cuts for scrapbookers, and owl just-about-anything-else!
Because owls have stormed the craft world this past year,
I thought it might be fun to post a few owl facts. 
Christmas 2011 gifts for all the kiddos!

Most owls are nocturnal birds of prey with some exceptions:
Several types of owl, however, are crepuscular — active during
the twilight hours of dawn and dusk; one example is the Pygmy owl
Because of the nocturnal habits of owls,
they are a coveted check mark on any birder's life list.
"Their habits, and cryptic plumage,
make it easy for us to walk straight past them."


Worldwide, there are 223 species
In North America, 37
My life list:  only 3 visual, 1 audio

Barred Owl,
Somewhere in Maine

Though owls are typically solitary,
the literary collective noun for a group of owls is a parliament. 
Interestingly, if you look up parliament in the dictionary,
there is no mention of owls.

Sunflower Baking
The smallest owl — weighing as little as 31 g (1.1 oz)
and measuring some 13.5 cm (5.3 inches) — is the Elf Owl . 
The largest owl by length is the the Great Grey Owl,
which measures around 70 cm (28 in) on average
 and can attain a length of 84 cm (33 in).

Scientists studying the diets of owls are helped by
their habit of regurgitating the indigestible parts of their prey
(such as bones, scales and fur) in the form of pellets.
These "owl pellets" are plentiful and easy to interpret,
and are often sold by companies to schools for
dissection by students as a lesson in biology and ecoloogy.

Instead of moving their eyes, owls swivel their head
to visualize their surroundings.
The swiveling radius of the owl’s head is around 270˚,
easily enabling them to see behind them without relocating the torso.

Barred Owl,
San Antonio, TX

I jumped on the owl bandwagon, too, when I saw this adorable quilt kit

For the backing, I used a flannel sheet from a sheet set
that I had purchased at half price after Christmas.   

I appliqued my little friend's name to the accompanying pillowcase!
Now she has a little matching 'set'.

The CROSSLEY ID Guide advises that if you want to see an owl,
"you will have most joy looking on the first calm evening after a storm."
Good Luck!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Creative Attempts and Yummy Give-away

As if I wasn't busy enough birding and sewing,
sewing and birding,
I thought it might be fun to try my hand at
cake decorating.

Yeah, I know, pretty funny.

Not only did I blow through my
monthly allowance in less than 2 weeks,
it really wasn't my thing.

But I learned a few fun tricks, and I'll be able to play
cake, cookies, and cupcakes for special occasions.,
as long as no one looks too closely.

So here's cake #1, made during lesson two.
The owl pattern was taken from a Connecting Threads quilt.

Here's cake #3, after the fourth and final lesson,
inspired by a

for Colourque or Stitchery
© Helen Stubbings, Hugs ‘n Kisses.

(Notice there aren't any roses. Not my thing!
I'll have to practice more.
That is if I can put the binoculars down
and unplug the sewing machine for a little while.)

If you like to play with your food
before you serve it,
I found a most delightful site and a new book.

As a matter of fact, there is a give-away for this
newly released book at Bake at 350,
another fun-to-eat site!!

Cake for breakfast?  You bet!  And now I'm going to
ride the sugar high
and get busy at the sewing machine
take a walk.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

An Enchanted Outing

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Fredicksburg, TX

I never pass up an opportunity to go birding
and when my daughter signed us up for a bird walk  at
I was very excited.

Nestled in the Hill Country, I'd never explored this area before,
on foot, anyway.
Open oak woodland, mesquite grassland,
floodplain, and granite rock formations
sounded like good birding to me!

Having driven two hours before the day dawned
and braving the cold,
here is what was waiting for us upon our arrival:

It was on this day that my camera ceased to function.
My daughter came to my rescue and whipped out her phone.
Technology is amazing!

Cold and dreary did not dominate the day.
The sun came out for a quick visit just as our little troop
approached the massive granite boulders,
and the air filled with birdsong,

lead vocalizations compliments of
the Canyon Wren (Catherpes mexicanus).

It was our good fortune to be in the company of
Dr. Kent Rylander, birding-by-ear extraordinaire,

And my personal good fortune that one of the geeky birders present,
Dr. John Wilbur,
graciously agreed to share some of his pictures with me,
because, you see, I saw FOUR life birds!

(Amphispiza bilineata)

(Spinus psaltria)

(Salpinctes obsoletus)

And last, but not least,

(Melozone fusca)

I have to explain that my daughter claims not to be a birder.
But I raised her to enjoy the out of doors
and to be a good daughter,
and she is always considerate and makes sure I find fulfillment
when I am visiting with her.

Claiming 98 Life Birds, now,
my non-birding daughter made this proclaimation,
"Half-way through, I wanted to go curl up in the car
and wait for you to finish,
but if I had, I wouldn't have seen the Lesser Goldfinches."
Hmmm, sounds like a birder to me!!

I leave you with just one question.
Which path is the right path?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Where's Cupid When You Need Him?

With Valentine's Day just around the corner,
this guy needs a little assistance!

He never did get the girl!!


There's still time to make a special
Valentine's Day project.

I found this pretty wallhanging at


Last evening, I turned on the news, an activity I
usually go out of my way to avoid.
I generally find the news to be disturbing.
Last night was no exception.

I learned that for every dollar already spent on the primaries,
one person in the US is living below the poverty level.
The astounding total is approximately...

...are you ready for this?

47 million.

Is it just me?  Or is this an astounding number?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dragons and Damsels

Yes, indeed, the Nature Gods are smiling down upon us,
with yet another long anticipated field guide
that bridges a gap.

by Dennis Paulson
And the good news doesn't stop there,
because Dennis and the Princeton University Press
have also published the companion volume
(drum roll, please)

Up until now, I cross-referenced between two excellent guide books
and a couple of internet sites.

Now I can have it all in one!  AND damselflies, too!
Imagine my delight!

I am particularly pleased with the fully-illustrated text,
explicit, yet easy to comprehend.
And truly fascinating.

Dennis Paulson does an amazing job
covering description, identification (no easy task),
natural history (so much is still unknown!), habitat,
flight season and range maps. 
Each family is represented with general information
before introducing the 336 stars of the show
with a beautiful array of full-color photographs!

Blue-striped Spreadwing
Cherry Bluet

To learn more, go to  this Princeton University Press page.

Dragonflies are a favorite among crafts persons,
from stained glass

to jewelry

needle work


and even soap!

Everyone loves dragonflies.

Order your copy today!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Special Quilter's Request

It has been brought to my attention,
by a very sweet and caring nurse,
that the babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

located at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio,
need blankets
Home-made blankets. 
Blankets made with love.

Ordinarily, I would prepare a few during the course of
 building my other projects, probably setting them
up as a Leader/Ender project,
and donating a few at a time.

However, these fragile infants
are the babes of our brave military men and women,
so I'm asking for a little help.

Small quilts,  measuring 24" x 24" or larger,
are perfect for keeping the babies warmer in the isolate,
and provide them with a securitiy blanket as they get older. 
The nurse I mentioned will embroider the baby's name on the blankets
if the parents would like that. 

Please e-mail me for an address
if you care to send along a quilt or two. 
I am assuming the responsibility of collecting
and distributing them while I am here in TX.

Here's my first one.

Inspiration for this little quilt came from
She has some great tutorials:

It sure would be great if you could pass this along,
mention it to your friends,
mention it on your own blog.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Ranger to the Rescue

In a previous post, I shared a camping experience,
but had no photos to taunt you with.
After reading my blog,
The Ranger was kind enough to access his archived photos,
and send along a few.
I'd like to share them with you now.

Early morning mist.

Such serentity.  The lake is to the right, the ocean,
out of sight, is to the left, thus, a barrier beach.
The Leach's Storm-Petrels must have been nesting
in burroughs among the tree roots
in that stand of trees in the background.

My kayak is the red one.

Ocean side.

Does it get any better than this?
This is my life.
At least when the weather cooperates!!

Thanks, Ranger!!  I appreciate you.