Thursday, December 14, 2023

Part Two as Promised

After the summer whooping crane sightings, we visited the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin to learn more about these fascinating birds and ongoing conservation work on their behalf. 

It was really a neat place where you can stroll the grounds and see cranes of all kinds up close and learn as you go along. 

(Black-Crowned Crane)

(Siberian Crane)

(Wattled Crane)

I highly recommend it if you are ever in the south central Wisconsin area.

* * * * *

In the sewing room, there were a couple more small quilts in process.  I made this blue and green Piccadilly Circus quilt, following the YouTube tutorial by Jo's Country Junction.

As soon as I had posted pictures of the finished quilt on my Facebook page, a friend inquired about it for his new grandson.  So I didn't have it in my hands for long, but that was fun.  I may have to make another one sometime.

Another impromptu quilt came about when I decided to make a bunch of half-square triangles from a couple of brightly colored charm packs a friend gave me a year or so ago.

On the design wall, I initially put them up all going in one direction.  That was okay, but I kept playing.  I liked this better, so I sewed it up like that.

Now it's waiting to be quilted.

* * * * *

My friend Gwen, whom I've known from school days, is an accomplished artist now based in Minnesota.  She mainly does landscapes, but since 2020 has done a series featuring grazing cattle called "Another Point of Moo" with whimsical and often humorous titles.

One day I saw a funny picture online of a cow grazing under a wash line, where the clothes on the line looked like another cow suspended in midair.  I forwarded her the picture and, just for the fun of it, offered a "Point of Moo" type caption.  She got a kick out of it.

Fast forward a few months when she told me she would be sending me something.  This is what came in the mail!

She even put my caption on the back.  How cool is that!  I love it so much!

In return, I made her a piece of quilted art and sent it off.  She has painted crows as well as cows in her work, so I thought she might like this.

If it looks familiar, it's because I made something similar several years ago, which you can see in my blog header.  I recreated one like it for Gwen, which she loved.

* * * * *

More pictures from the summer:  My sister and her granddaughter Cali and I went to see the Rodin exhibit at The Paine in Oshkosh.  

It was amazing to be among some of the famous Rodin sculptures on the grounds of the beautiful Paine mansion and gardens.

And speaking of beautiful gardens, friends and I toured the labyrinth garden in West Bend on an equally gorgeous summer day.  

So many lovely flowers to see as you make your way along the 90-foot wide labyrinth path.  

It was peak season for the many lily varieties when we went.

Thanks for coming along on a short recap of some of the highlights of the past several months while I wasn't "here" on the blog.  It was fun to revisit them with you!


Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Pics or It'll Never Happen

The funny thing about not blogging regularly is that I still take pictures as though I were.  Maybe not as many, but I still do some kind of photo documentation on a regular basis.  

Then every so often (like this evening) I'll be looking through my photo archives and wonder why I couldn't get my act together and just write a blog post.  

(Table runner made for a friend)

When and if I ever figure that out, I'll let you know.  In the meantime, how about I share a few pictures from the past several months.

I love a good thrift shop fabric score, which will come as no surprise to many of you.  

One day, I bought a bag that I thought was fabric scraps and one completed quilt block in it that I could see.  It was sealed with tape so I couldn't inspect the rest of the contents, but I took a chance.  

Turns out it was a whole bag of orphan blocks!

I put them up on the design wall and left them there for a week or two while I mulled over whether (and how) I might put them together into one quilt. 

Ultimately, it just made my brain hurt so I nixed the idea (for the time being), and they all went back in the bag from whence they came and then into my own orphan block box.  But when I opened that box to put them in, some orphan squares of my own caught my eye and I pulled those out to play with.

I ended up making hourglass blocks out of those leftover squares and it turned into this baby quilt.

(Back of hourglass block baby quilt)
 So I guess the bag of orphan blocks was worth it insofar as getting me in the headspace to create something from (my own) orphans.

Here's something I left behind at the thrift store recently, but I had to take a picture.

This sewing machine reminded me of the one I learned to sew on.  My mom bought a second-hand machine for my sister and I to use.  I don't remember the brand, but it looked an awful lot like this one.  I really, really liked that machine.  This one was only marked $15, but goodness knows I don't need another vintage machine.  It sure was pretty, though!

This post is getting a little long (or I'm just getting tired), but I have more pics to share, so look for Part 2 soon.  I'll leave you with a couple non-sewing related photos from the summer. 

My husband I were biking along on a country road, blasting Led Zeppelin from a portable bluetooth speaker, when I noticed cranes in a field out of the corner of my eye.  Not just sandhill cranes but also a pair of whooping cranes!  

I quickly killed the music so as not to scare them away, and we got off our bikes to watch them for awhile.  How exciting!