Thursday, September 24, 2020

Rocking at Babcock Ranch

 One of the residents in our community began a "Babcock Ranch Rocks" page on FaceBook. The page is used to post painted rocks that you find throughout our community. Every once in a while, if I am lucky, I find a painted rock. When I do, I post my find on the FaceBook page and relocate the rock. 

This is one of the rocks I have found. 

Way back when, I painted some rocks to look like turtles, but sadly, I can't find my pictures of those. They were painted on rocks I found on the beach in Oregon, which were mottled like a turtle shell, so I added features to bring the inner turtle out! I decided that I could paint some more and hide them in our community. It's a lot of fun to create something...and then set it free!


 This is a butterfly I painted. I also created a turtle, a frog and a dog, a ladybug, and some with random designs in bright colors. 


Then, I experimented with painting apple snail shells. Many of these are exotic, invasive species. The shore birds delight in eating the animal (hooray for eliminating the exotic species) and leave the shells on the shore of our lake so that I can find them... and paint them. This is one of my favorites! It is supposed to look like an echinacea flower. 




It's hard to explain, but finding a special rock makes a special day!





Thursday, September 3, 2020

For the Birds

My obsession was started by my BFF. She attended a workshop by Lynne Tyler, and raved about Lynne's "Liberated Birds".  I checked out Lynne's "Patchwork Menagerie" and I was hooked! I adored her simple bird design. I decided that I wanted to make a quilt with her birds.

This was just the beginning...


---of my flock!

I made a bird here... and there. I discovered that each bird had his/her own personality. They became good friends. They "talked" to me!










I positioned my birds on my flannel wall. I tried them this way... and that! I rearranged one side, and changed birds top and bottom. I swapped this guy for that guy. I worked at varying colors and patterns. I stared at my wall, and swapped one bird for another for days! I tried to balance so many variables: color, direction bird is facing, fabric patterns, size, leg color... it just about drove me crazy!


Then came the challenge of putting it all together. Measure twice, cut once... oops! Try again! It was tedious at best, and involved a lot of muttering to myself!


My quilt began with a "charm pack". A charm pack is an assortment of 42 fabrics from a designer's collection. I purchased the pack years ago, and when I saw the birds, decided it met my needs. However, needs were greater than I anticipated. First I had to order more white, Then I needed more dark blue prints. Then I needed more, more, more. As I neared the completion of my birdies I worked on a pieced backing for my quilt with the leftover fabrics. 


Finally the piecing was finished; top and bottom! Hooray - celebration #1!

Next, I very carefully loaded the backing (I needed to keep it straight) and the top on my long arm quilting machine. I quilted some of the birdie wings with swirls or feathers, or added details to their chests. The white fabric was quilted with a meandering leaf design. 


I pulled my quilt off of the long arm machine. Celebration #2: not only was it finished but the backing was perfectly square! Woohoo! The quilt was bound, and sent off to my brother and his wife. He previously shared pictures of their new "cabin" in Idaho. They had tiles with birds on their backsplash. I think this quilt belongs to them! But, to be honest... I am going to miss my little birdies!





WIP (Works in Progress)

I began this post a few weeks ago, um well... to be honest - I began this post in October! Yikes!  When I came back to the post, this is wha...