Monday, January 30, 2017

Diamond Star Sampler Finish

I woke up Monday morning feeling overwhelmed. 
Too many deadlines (and perhaps too much upsetting news) are making it hard to prioritize a day's demands. 

There was a little downy woodpecker in my pantry and I needed to take him to the wildlife rehab center.  He's "my" little downy who comes to the feeders faithfully every day.  This fall, I watched him work hard for a week to enlarge the hole on my chickadee house so he could get inside.  Then the clever little bugger figured out how to land on the finch feeder and gobble up chipped sunflower seed.  Sunday evening, I found him on the ground under the feeders at dusk.
Once I determined that he could not fly, I scooped him up and put him in a cat carrier. 
He ate some suet after I put him in the carrier and spent a quiet warm night in my pantry.
So he was my first priority!

Off we went to the local wildlife rehab center where I was warmly greeted -- I'm something of a regular visitor -- and on examination, they found a broken wing.  The swelling needs to come down before they will be able to determine the exact location of the break and his recovery potential.  If it's not treatable, they will put him down but if it is and he responds well, there is a chance he'll be able to return to the neighborhood!

UPDATE -- 3/10/2017
Two days ago, I headed back out to the rehab center to pick up "my" downy woodpecker!!  He was much admired by the center's staff for his feisty resilience and making such a good recovery!  I released him back into "his" yard and have been waiting for 36 hours to catch a sight of him. 
At 8:30 a.m., I was delighted to see him land on the finch feeder for a quick feed!!

We had fresh snow overnight and since I was in a park, I headed down the trail to get a bit of exercise (walking in the snow is a good aerobic activity). I was delighted to discover that I was only the third person to walk the trail and as is always the case, the beauty around me soothed my soul and prepared me to head back into the studio and tackle the next priority
 In 2014, I ran a series here on the blog, the Diamond Star Sampler, to show how to apply the techniques featured in Set-In Piecing Simplified, my DVD workshop that teaches how to chain piece through y-seams. 
All the posts are gathered together under that tab up at the top of the page -- Diamond Star Playtime!

This set of stars appeared in many of those posts to demonstrate working with strips, fussy cutting, and using other shapes related to 60 degree diamonds plus more.
When I assembled the blocks into a quilt top, I chose to use a honeycomb setting with half stars to complete the center row. 
And this is where I left it two years ago -- auditioning possible border fabrics.
This past fall, I pulled the stars out again as I began to plan and prepare for a two-day workshop in March, Studying the Stars.  One of my goals for the workshop is to provide multiple setting examples for hexagonal blocks to inspire my students.
Finally I had the motivation (and a deadline) to make a decision about the border fabrics and quilt this piece.

I've been chipping away at the quilting since the first of January and finally finished over the weekend.  Monday's task was to bind it and get it ready to display in the teacher's gallery at the Lake Metroparks Farm Park annual show which opens February 17.
There were still four openings in the workshop, Studying the Stars on 3/17 & 3/18 if you can come!!
It was my intention to confine the quilting to basic straight lines or a simple grid.
But when I sat down at the machine, arcs started happening on the stars.
And a stylized trillium appeared in the background hexagons.
I finally got around to the straight lines to frame the central part of the quilt and in the border.
Now it just needed binding and tying off some odd threads to get it ready to display.
I finished listening to Jane Austen's Persuasion on Hoopla (perhaps my fifth "reading" of it) while working.  
(Much as I love Pride and PrejudicePersuasion is my favorite Austen story!)
Then I rushed to get outdoors for some photos before the good light disappeared.
Happily my yard is encircled with split rail fencing, but avoiding all the garages and sheds in the background can be a bit of a challenge.
How about hanging in a tree?
Bonus -- it is one of my 2017 Finish Along goals for the first quarter, too!!
Check out the first quarter link-up HERE!
Here's one more photo from the park this morning.
One of my favorite winter scenes is when the snow sticks in the trees and outlines the architecture of the trees.  I love the way it highlights their structure.
I'm seeing lots of "impatience" expressed on Instagram -- folks (in the Northern hemisphere) are anxious for spring -- but I find it beneficial to my mental health to enjoy winter -- and we still have a couple months of it to go!!



  1. Great post to cheer me up this sad morning for America: a woodpecker rescue, a beautiful quilt and your meditation on the beauty of trees plus snow. Thanks Mary. Peace to you.

  2. Its a lovely quilt. I like what you picked for the border. Just right. Blessings,