Friday, January 27, 2012

several things

my first English paper pieced block in the rose star pattern
After completing my first block of the rose star pattern in the English paper pieced technique last week, I was hooked. I found myself wanting to cut and baste and sew up more. The various possibilities of color combinations and patters became a fixation that I couldn't resist giving in to this week. I chose several more sets of fabrics and cut them out and made cut paper for them then slowly began basting the cut shapes of fabrics onto the paper pieces. Now they are packaged in individual bags ready to go. I can begin hand stitching them together when ever I have time and motivation. It's easy to carry along and start and stop once this fussy cutting and basting are done. Here are a couple of the sets I have ready.
center panel is some Toile fabric (line etching style print on fabric) of a woman washing clothes in a creek 

center rose clipped from a leftover scrap of chintz I used for my AIDS quilt panel back in 1993.
I also did some sketches this week and a little embroidery on the big Crazy Quilt project but the warmer weather is making those dark wintry fabrics seem too heavy to be appealing at the moment it's 61ºF and a bright sun is shinning after a thunder storm passed by this morning. Winds are picking up speed and the warmer unseasonable weather will likely be swept away soon. It's odd having spring weather in the dead of winter.

green vine on the blue plaid (lower left area) and mauve and green ropes on the maroon paisley(upper right side) 

Mouse Ear Antheriums a tropical treat  used for a special Ikebana workshop last weekend

purple tulips 

flowering quince Keith brought home from Manassas and forced in the warm house
This warm weather leaves me wondering if the spring flowers will come up early or if there will be a real winter cold snap with snow and ice in February the month of the year Washington DC historically gets the most snow.

Monday, January 23, 2012

International Sketch-crawl #34 Washington DC

studies of the various gourd hats

We went to the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery and American Art Galleries for our day of sketching. 14 Artists showed up and met in the great atrium where a lovely crowd was gathered for a veggie event that included the Indigenous Gourd Orchestra from the Richmond Virginia area. They proudly proclaimed that they grew and made all their gourd instruments. We set down to sketch them when they began to play. All the members of the orchestra had hats fashioned from gourds too! What a great bunch of music men they were and they had us all rocking to their tunes.

moving targets: the music was a lot of fun, drawing the music men was too  

Washington DC sketch crawlers showing their sketches to the camera woman 

Then we before we went upstairs to draw in the great Lincoln hall we posed for a group photo or two. The gourd guys came rushing over and wanted to get photos too since they noticed we were making sketches of them during their concert.  I guess they wanted to see what we were drawing before we vanished into the museum.
sketching with pencil for a change

this is where Lincoln's 2nd Inaugural Ball was held in 1865

artists sketching while enjoying the Naguchi seating 
From there the group went upstairs and drew in the great hall. Then to lunch and back for a little more sketching. Where I soon found I was running out of energy to draw and not feeling very good about my results decided it was time to head home on metro before it got dark and cold.
second floor sketch of hall where the "Puritan" bronze statue stands on a marble pedestal  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

EPP stands for English Paper Piecing

in the beginning there were just these pieces of fabric basted onto paper 

I chose reds to make it a little like a rose color

big manila envelope paper is a pretty good type to use 

edging the red rose with pure white muslin shows it off

next make a few dozen more to create a quilt top? Oh my that was a week's work for just one. 

I recently found bloggers doing English Paper Piecing the exceptionally detailed technique of patchwork quilting by hand. After thinking about those posts and reading them carefully I decided to join the "rose star quilt block party" on following the directions in the self sewn: rose star tutorial to make my rose.  As of Saturday it has been a week since I began the rose star. I chose reds as my rose fabric color using fat eighth yard pieces I bought recently with the idea of a red and white quilt in mind. Then the cutting and basting began a little at a time. It took a long evenings work to get started on the fun part which is sewing together of the edges of the paper backed pieces by hand. This can be done anywhere there is light enough to see what you are doing. I did all mine at home and at Mom's this week under my new floor lamp with the goose neck she gave me for Christmas and puts the light where I need it to see. There is still time to join the group! Block party is for anyone willing to take the challenge and post a few photos.
reverse shows all the manila envelope paper I used to piece the pattern. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Flamingo Gardens Ft. Lauderdale treasure

At last I have about 120 photos edited from our visit to Flamingo Gardens while we were in Ft. Lauderdale the first week of the year. I didn't want to start up without all of them sorted and ready to use. I don't want to post them all in a blog so I have loaded them on my flickr. page in a set called Florida 2012 with the other pictures from the proceeding three posts about our visit. Follow the link to go see the remainder of the images. Below are about 43 I liked a lot. I have three movies I will post separately later of the birds putting on a show.
This place is all about Birds! Trees too but mostly Birds and a few native cats, otters, alligators and turtles.
Barn owl keeps mice under control in barns! 

Swallow Tail Kite from the Gulf of Mexico area 

Bird man shows us a swallow tailed Kite 

Hawk that was rescued 

Black vultures in a cage recovering from wounds 

Rescued Barn Owls 

Roseate Spoonbill climbs the tree next to me 

Brown pelicans lounging in the sand and comforts of the aviary 

the amazing male Wood duck so colorful it looks like Disney did the coloring 

white ibis were lovely in the aviary ponds

whistling ducks were squeaking 

Snake headed  bird or Anihanga swims under water for fish then dries it's wet feathers in the sun. 

Red headed duck male is one of my favorites and I have seen them passing south here at home in Wash. DC

Walking tall with wings stretched out the Wood storks were displaying 

Wood stork puts on a show for the others in the aviary 

Roseate spoonbill 

brown pelican 

Cormorants preening in the aviary 

Flamingos are not native to Florida but these are 18-22 years old and were rescued somewhere nearby. 

Bobcats pacing round and round the cage waiting on dinner? 

Native Bob-cats in a cage were moving all the time. this one is on a tree trunk where it was scratching before something nearby caught it's attention 

wild wood storks 

river otters swimming around in their pool 

Pea-hen watching the male near by

Young male Pea-cock making a display for the Pea-hen. 

Bird island open to wild birds mostly white ibis 

Ibis flew over to investigate Keith and I on the deck 

Friendly Ibis 

Peacock in the grass 

The first ever I have seen Sandhill Crane! 

first Alligator we saw 

rare endangered Florida Panther 

huge vines in the trees 

Black and white birds of paradise flowers 

Keith taking photos of the big tree

black bamboo 

pretty color flower at the entrance.