Friday, May 12, 2017

Birds, birds, birds . . . . but still stitching!

The migrating birds have had most of my attention for the past few days.  I live on the south shore of Lake Erie and most birds coming north for the summer don't like to fly across the lake, so the woods and marshes throb with a wide variety of birds for a few weeks in May, resting and feeding to make the final leg of the trip around the lake.  
I'm indulging in the luxury of being able to drop everything else and go look for them!!

I don't photograph birds as a rule -- my camera isn't equipped for it and I prefer to watch them through my binoculars.  But this young red-shouldered hawk was posing, so I took a couple pics of him earlier this afternoon.
The late spring wildflowers are blooming -- this jack-in-the-pulpit was one of the biggest ones I saw today. 
This white wild geranium caught my eye yesterday -- usually they are a pale red-violet color.
And the camas lilies are just beginning to bloom -- they are a lovely native and work well in garden settings, too.  They are available in some bulb catalogs and natural beautifully in moist areas.  Most of them are a pale blue, but we found a white one yesterday -- another rare sight in this region.
The woods in the park nearest to my home is quite wet and today, I came across several clumps of squaw root - it looks like fungi, but it's a native parasitic plant that grows on the roots of woody plants such as oak and beech trees. 
The sewing has slowed down a bit but I did get the courthouse steps blocks for the Long Time Gone SAL pieced while watching a delightful movie (A Bird of the Air) on my Kindle the other evening. 
Do you use Hoopla to borrow movies and audio books?
I just discovered Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in the list of available movies -- love that movie so think it will be a "watch" this weekend!
I cut all the strips for these blocks with one of Marti Michell's Log Cabin rulers -- the blocks just fly together using this method and working with the lengthwise grain strips keeps the blocks square and uniform!! 
I did a slight variation in the value placement making half of the blocks with the darks dominant and the others with the lights dominant.  Its another trick I learned from Marti and I like the balance better. 
I've also started to make the pineapple blocks -- there are quite a few of them and I'm using them as my "leaders and enders" while working on the everything else!
Using Marti's Pineapple Ruler set!!
Here are the Courthouse Steps blocks set into three bands as they will be used in the quilt.
Relying on value (light vs. dark) to make this cheerful set work!! 
Week 9's task was four chevron log cabin blocks -- I was a bit puzzled by the fabric pull on this one since there isn't any need to do "light vs. dark".  After some floundering around, I pulled assortments of fabrics that were compatible with the starter square for each block.
I was surprised in the end by how similar they look and no blues?
Hopefully it will look okay in the quilt! 
If not, they are pretty blocks and will find another home easily.
My last bird of the day this afternoon was lurking behind this stump as I walked along the trail.
Peek-a-boo!!  See that little glint of red?
And out popped a pileated woodpecker (about the size of a chicken).  He was busy tearing up a rotten log searching for insects.  Nice!!
One more day of intense over the top birding and then I need to reel it in for a few days and attend to my garden and house.  One benefit of staying outside all day is that I'm not having any trouble sleeping!!

I hope the weekend is a good one for you!!


  1. love your birds - I know what you mean about getting pictures of them though - they usually move too fast for me to get good photos. I love the courthouse steps you are doing. Have seen the newsprint fabric so much lately and I have none - I love how it looks - I must look for some

  2. Do you think the deer would eat camas lilies? They would be a nice garden addition.

    Enjoyed your pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Way before I read your post, I was looking at the photos of your Courthouse Steps blocks, and I thought that you might have cut your strips lengthwise, they do look square and, it's certainly quicker than paper piecing them. Lovely!!

  4. These are great little blocks and so good for using up scraps! Thanks for linking up to #scraptastictuesday

  5. Beautiful blocks - so bright and cheery! And lucky you to see the hawk - one of my favorite birds!

  6. So lovely to see the birds out and about and so close to your house to enjoy! Have a great week.