Friday, November 24, 2006

What We Did For Thankgiving

Thanksgiving Day, my Husband and I packed a picnic lunch and drove one and a half hours to Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge in Mound City, Missouri, to spend the day looking at wildlife. We have visited here many times over the years and have seen some amazing things. This year, we had a beautiful day. It got to about 65 degrees, was sunny and had a little breeze. The breeze caused it to be a little dusty. I didn't like that part but it really was a nice day.We saw many birds.

There were some Bald Eagles present. Mostly juveniles. This means that they are definitely reproducing! We only saw a couple of adult Bald eagles. My Husband got a picture, of an Eagle, out of the window of our car. That Eagle sat in that tree all day. I think he was posing! A few years ago, they counted over 450 Eagles!

We estimated that there were around 250,000 Snow Geese. It was an amazing sight to see them come in from the West and land on the marsh. They seemed to arrive all at once! We were too far away at the time for a good picture or I would have taken one. It will be a memory that I don't soon forget, though!

There were also a lot of Ducks. Many, many Mallards. We also saw Pintails, Ring necks, Buffleheads, Teals, Shovelers, Gadwalls and Coots. We also had a couple of special sightings of around 20 Tundra Swans and 30 American White Pelicans.

Here are some of the pictures of the Snow Geese. In the first picture, the geese are at rest. In the second picture, there is a flair-up. That's what we called it. There is probably a special term for this. I think this happens when the geese are startled. For example, we would see Eagles fly through the geese, which scared them, and caused a flair-up. As the geese arose from the water, there would be a roar of honks and flapping wings, which would grow in intensity, as more geese joined in the flair-up. They would settle back to the water in a little bit of time but it was an awe inspiring sight and sound! ! If you are interested in learning more about Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge, here is a link.

We had a very nice day. My Husband and I love watching wildlife. We choose many of our vacation destinations around wildlife and nature. We hope you had a very nice Thanksgiving Day, also.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Seams on "Paula's Hearts"

I worked on two of the seams on the pink heart from the "Paula's Heart" quilt last night. I also added a blue lace heart on the pink side and a pink lace heart on the blue side.

I have been using the threads I bought at Quilt Festival in Houston from Artfabrik. I love how colorful they are!

I decided to go with bluish threads on the pink side and pinkish/reds on the blue side. I had thought of keeping each side in the block colors. Pink on pink and blue on blue. There is no use putting a lot of work into something that you can't see the work on. I didn't know how this would look but after doing these two seams, I think I like the look.

After looking at Sharon Boggan's blogs, (see the link on the right side of this page) I am going to try to not be as restrained as I usually am in my embellishments. A little silk ribbon here, buttons there. I wish I could have taken one of her classes at Joggles but I recently quit my job, so I have to restrain myself where money is concerned. Plus going to the Houston Quilt Festival didn't help much!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Links, Blogs, and Web Pages

I have added some links on the right side of my blog to other people's sites and some of my favorite merchants. I will update the list from time to time so check it out.

Paula's Hearts

This is a Crazy Quilt in progress. It is called "Paula's Hearts". It has trims sewn to the seams at this point and I am going to embellish them with stitching and other things like buttons and beads, etc. The fabric the Hearts are laying on will be the background fabric and the Hearts will be appliqued to it and the background will be machine quilted. I will post more pictures as I work on it. I think I will make it as a wall hanging. I thought of making a pillow but I decided not to.

My husband's Uncle Paul died from the treatment for stomach cancer in October, in Denver, CO. He was 71. He was an amazing man and he was married to his Soul-Mate, Paula, for almost 36 years. I married my Soul-Mate so I can relate to what her loss must feel like. I am making this quilt for Aunt Paula.

Uncle Paul was a Methodist Minister and knew that he wanted to be a minister, right out of high school. He marched and was arrested in the 1960's in Mississippi for supporting civil rights for African-Americans. I am sure that this was a very difficult thing for a Caucasian man to do in those days. Many folks that fought for equal rights in the 1960's didn't live through the experience.

Together with his wife Paula, they reached out to person's with AIDS, over 20 years ago and he served as Vice-President of the Board for the Center for the Church and Global AIDS. They traveled to India to provide seminars for education and prevention of the disease. More recently, he was arrested in Colorado for demanding equal rights for same sex couples and has been secretly marrying gay couples for over 30 years as the church did not support this.

Uncle Paul never wavered in his belief for equal rights for all and was committed to justice and inclusiveness for all, no matter race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or geography.

My memory of him is as a gentle, loving man who listened when you talked, had a great sense of humor, and loved his family. The world will be poorer without him. God must need another Angel.

Paula is a loving, sensitive and very special woman. I hope she feels the love that I am sewing into this quilt!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Other Journal Quilts

This is the February Journal Quilt that didn't make the cut to go to Houston with the other five I sent. It was close, though. It almost got to go instead of one of the others. I really like blue and purple together.

Of the other three I did, (I did 9 total) I didn't get all of them done because I didn't like two of them that much and I ran out of time on the other. The colors on two of them seemed boring to me. Maybe if I had embellished them more, I would have liked them better. The three were April, May and June.

I will probably finish the June quilt as I like the color of it a lot. It reminds me of underwater. It is not totally embellished. I put trims on the seams but I still need to stitch and put beads on it.

I got some new threads at Houston from the Artfabrik booth that will look great on it. Her hand-dyed threads are bright and very nice to work with. They are expensive, but you get a lot of yardage with the Pearl Cotton and it lasts a long time. She also has a new Six-Strand Cotton Floss that is very beautiful.

If you want to buy her Pearl Cotton, I would suggest that you go in with a friend and select the colors you want, and split the skeins between you. You will still have a ton of thread left! You could even split it between three people and you would have plenty. I like the sizes #12 and #8. The Six-Strand Cotton Floss comes in 10 yard skeins so you wouldn't need to split them. Her website is:

Monday, November 13, 2006

Houston Quilt Festival

When I was at the Quilt Festival, I spent the first 2 days going through the vendors.

At the end of the second day, I called my friend on my cell phone, (that is how we kept in contact at the show because we had different cruising speeds while shopping) and told her that I was going to swing by the Journal Quilts display and see if I could find my quilts.

I was walking down the last row of vendors, and as I am talking on the phone to her, I look up, and there are my quilts on the end, behind the man sitting down!

This is how they are hung, with the artists statements first in line. They are also hung in order of the months I selected.

The orange one is January, the pink and green is March, the red and black is July, the Purple and green is August, and the orange and green is September.

I tend to be a purple and green quilter but the August quilt was my least favorite in this group. I guess this really did open my eyes to other color possibilities!

This is me looking very proud that even if I didn't have a Juried quilt in the show, I had my Journal Quilts!

Journal Quilts Project

These are five of my Journal Quilts that I did for the Journal Quilts Project. They were at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas in November, 2006. My challenge to myself while making these was to "get out of my box" where color was concerned. I tend to pick the same colors over and over again so I tried to make myself try other color combinations. The funny thing was, I had to make one JQ that used my typical colors and I found that this was probably my least favorite JQ of the 5 that were in my final selection.

The Journal Quilt Project was started on the QuiltArt email list on the Internet and has been an ongoing project for several years now. This was my first submission to it. The rules were that you had to make a Journal Quilt every month for nine months and then you selected your favorite five and they were mounted on a sleeve to be hung at the Quilt Festival in Houston. Each quilt had to measure 8 1/2" by 11". They will also go to the Chicago Quilt Festival in April, 2007.