Friday, August 30, 2013

Natalia To The Rescue

A month ago,
a tragic car accident took the lives
of three young adults
from or near my community.
Among the survivors
is a very special young lady.
She is broken and battered,
but extremely lucky to be alive.
She has a very long recovery period
ahead of her. 
She'll be in the hospital for months.
As a quilter, my first reaction was,
"I've got to make her a quilt!."
I had the perfect flimsy already pieced.
But how do I finish it yesterday?
I put out feelers all through Nova Scotia
and Cape Breton.
No one up here seems to do
custom FMQ.
And then an angel,
disguised as 
Natalia Bonner at Piece N Quilt,
came to my rescue.

Outdoor photo opportunities are not possible today,
and space is limited indoors.  Oh, well.  You get the picture!
I wrote to Natalia and told her my tale.

She said, "Send it to me!!  I'll squeeze you in!"

It took a week to travel to Utah.

And a week to make it's return trip to Nova Scotia.

It probably took me longer to attach the binding and label
than it did for Natalia to quilt it.

But now it's ready to go down to the hospital
in Halifax with her twin tonight!!

Thank you, Natalia,
from the bottom of my heart,
for casting your magic touch
upon this very special quilt!
I'm over-the-moon!!

Have a funderful day.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

We Have a Winner

Lisa, from In the Boon Docks,
is the lucky winner of my Be a Hexie Queen Blog Hop
give away.
(Stop by Lisa's blog - she's needing a little "quilty love")
Congratulations, Lisa.
And thank you, everyone, for visiting my blog
and leaving such sweet comments.
It was tons of fun.
Thank you to Cherie for offering the give away prize.
(Her duffel bag pattern is next on my wish list!!)
And lastly, thank you to Madame Samm and
to Debby Kratovil for all their
hard work to make this hop such a success
and so much fun.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Be a Hexie Queen Blog Hop Stop

Hello, my name is Karen,
and I'm a
Patron Saint of Hexies
Welcome to KaHolly if you are a new visitor,
and thank you for joining me
for my stop on this great blog hop!

I've never participated in a blog hop before,
so this is kind of special for me.
I am a little intimidated, however.
Hexies are my "to go" project.
There are three things I never leave the house without -
my camera, my binoculars and
my hexie to-go box -
- even just the 30 minute ride to, then from, the grocery store,
my little hands are busy making...
(And I look up every few minutes to make sure I don't miss any birds!)
You notice I said, "..a box".
It's just a recycled plastic food container.
Nothing fancy.
But that said, some of my hexie friends have
Hexie To-Go Bags,



inspired by a PDF pattern that I purchased from StudioCherie, and
combined with this great tutorial for a Hexagon Needle Wallet
that I attached to the inside with a short strap.
(Funny how we often make for others,
and not for ourselves!)
I recently needed to make some quick, easy, and fun prizes
for the little sewing group I belong to.
I headed straight to my hexie-to-go-box
and whipped up several of these.

I simply cut a square of coordinating felt,
used an edging stich to  attach the hexie flower,
cut away the excess felt,
then added a little more simple stitching.
Some I bundled up as sets, tied with a pretty ribbon.
Some I coupled with complimentary mugs.
 Here are a few other hexie projects I've made:

What better way to showcase my favorite bird fabric
than with twisted hexie coasters?!
Twisted Hexies tutorials:


More twisted hexies made into lavendar sachets
for friends,

using embroidered monograms designed
and so sweetly shared by Jenny of Elefantz.

A doll blanket,
inspired by Kathleen Tracy of Country Lane Quilts.
Her blog is A Sentimental Quilter.

A gussied-up shopping bag.

More needle wallets inspired by Jenny of Elefantz.
Many years ago,
I made this table topper for a little round marble table.

(I never actually finshed it.)
The use of hexies extends beyond
the sewing room.
I make cards with some of my nature photos
and, influenced by this hop,
thought I'd give the hexie shape a try.

I was rather pleased with the results.

if you've made it this far,
you deserve a little give-away!
Cherie, from StudioCherie
has graciously offered a free PDF of her

3 Zippered Pouches - with strap,
belt loop, and pocket options
for one lucky visitor.
This is the same pattern I used when I made the
Hexie To-Go Bags.

Simply visit StudioCherie ,
then come back here and tell me which one
of her fabulous creations
makes your heart sing the loudest.
Thanks, Cherie!

Be sure to pay a visit
to all of today's scheduled blogs.
Wednesday, August 21

Thanks for stopping by
and an extra big thank you to Madame Samm
and Debby for all their hard work to make this
a happening hop!

And, thank you to Connecting Threads for
being our sponsor.  I have been doing business
with them for years and years,
and have NEVER been disappointed!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Magic Hour

I'm one of those people that can't wait to get up every morning,
the earlier, the better.
This morning was no exception.
Calm, warm, quiet.
Not a whisper of wind,
not a ripple on the water.
I take my first cup of coffee out of doors,
sit, listen, and wait for the sun to rise.
And then the magic hour begins.
I knew it would be a good one today
because just as I made myself comfortable,
I heard a Common Yellowthroat in the willows,
but it was still too dark to see.
I thought they were gone!
Then, as it became lighter, I saw a small moth fly in front of me,
and suddenly, this little bird swooped down out of nowhere
and grabbed it out of mid-air.
Right in front of my face!

Isn't he just adorable!!  You can just see
the black mask beginning to develop.

This photo isn't quite as clear,
but gives a better look at his little face.
He was hard to photograph
because he didn't sit still for hardly a second.
You think I'd learn.
It's the same every year.
The different species that co-habitate with me
fill my air space with song all summer,
bringing me so much joy,
and then, all is quiet.
"Oh, darn", I think, "they're gone already."
Then after a couple of weeks, *poof*, they're back again.
The juveniles.
So darned cute.
While I sit, I THINK I'm going to get some stitching done.
A special label for a very special quilt.
But there's so much activity,
I seldom accomplish much.

This sweet young thing
is taking a much needed break
after chasing around with her siblings.
It's like the Daytona Speedway!
They are out there before first light, too.

Then, as quickly as it begins,
the Magic Hour is over,
and it's time to jump in the shower,
while I pretend to sew!
My dad was an early morning person, too.
He used to always say, "The early bird gets the worm."
He wasn't kidding!
Quite some time ago,
I received this beautiful stitchery
from Nola at Just Ramblin'
that says it all.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Not So Flimsy


My most recent paddling adventure
was to a nesting ground for terns, gulls, and cormorants.
Nesting season is long over,
so there was no danger of disturbing the birds.
I was fascinated with the cormorants nests in particular.

Many of the sticks they use are finger thick,
and you can see, quite long.  They are not so carefully
woven in, out, and around.
They'll carry sticks to the nest from as far away
 as several kilometers.

"Ground-nesting sites are characteristically on
low-lying rock islands or reefs,
away from or with little or no vegetation",
therefore they will build their nest up against anything
that might offer some protection from the weather.

 In many locations, especially in treetops,
cormorants will reuse nests from year to year.
Some of them get quite large. 
But winter storms can be pretty severe here,
and although they are not flimsy in the least,
none of these looked as though they'd been reused.
I'm guessing they have to rebuild each new season.
There were well over 100 nests scattered
all the way down to the end of this spit of land.
The male gathers the nesting material and the female
guards the nest against theives.
Judging from the concentrated population,
that must be an endless, frustrating job.


Here is a picture of a gull's nest for comparison,
flat and matted, almost like peat moss.
The majority of the gull's nest were found in the grasses.
Oh!  Did I say "flimsy"?
I finished one just this morning!

A bright and happy, scrappy 
Fons and Porter's Flower's for Hanna.
My goal is to complete it by Christmastime
to gift a friend.
Our parents were best of friends,
and I was only 7 months old when she was born.
We are literally lifelong friends,
just shy of 60 years.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Not Just Any Port in the Storm

It's no secret that I love my birds.
It was with much delight
that I ventured out around dawn one morning
to discover this first time visitor to my yard.
(Dumetella carolinensis)

So handsome in his suit of slate gray,
and his little black cap -
even with a spot of jelly on his beak.
Not an uncommon species,
yet not common to my immediate habitat.
I am imagining he was on his way south,
just happened upon my feeding station,
and finding not one, but two, dishes full of jelly/jam,
decided to hang out for a spell,
restoring his strength for the remainder of his journey.
I remember when I first discovered Cape Breton
and decided I'd hang out for a spell' here, too.
Days ran into nights,
time stood still.
Seemed as though there was time for everything.
And while embracing the magic,
I took great solace in the wisdom of others,

while learning new things,
like hand applique.

"The secret of happiness is to enjoy the moment."
"In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous."
"If you have built castles in the aire your work need not be lost.
That is where they should be.
Now put the foundations under them."
"Dreams are the touchstones of our character."
"I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sail
so as to always reach my destination."

Perhaps my new bird friend
will return each year,
as did I,
and will continue to gain strength
to move on,
and find peace in his surroundings.
Life is fragile.
Reach out.