Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Dyeing with my sister

I just got back from a wonderful visit with my sister, Beth, in Kure Beach, NC.  Beth is a dyer and we spent the day Thursday with one of her friends, Dianne, learning some techniques.

Beth describes the process better than I could on her blog at  http://quilterb-bethsblog.blogspot.com/ The blue in the upper left corner mixed with the first yellow equals the first green in the second row. The middle blue in the first row mixed with the pink in the upper right equals the first purple in the forth row and so on.

These are the gradations I did - the first in blue and the second in yellow.

These trays are full of white ready-to-dye (RTD) cotton with leftover dyes poured over them.

Beth has two cats. Here we put the empty kitty litter buckets to great use!

Dianne and Beth showing off their dyed arms. We all wore rubber gloves but still managed to look black and blue when we were done.

We also managed to get some birding in while I was there. Beth had seen a young Great-Horned Owl a day before I arrived so we went back to where it was spotted.

I know, lousy picture but it was the best I could do. This is a beautiful Prothonotary Warbler.

I've shown lots of pictures of the Fox Squirrels we have here in Florida - but this adorable creature is a North Carolina Fox Squirrel. I love his white face and ears!

Our mission to see the baby Great-horned Owl was successful! He was a huge ball of fuzz.

Beth heard there were Painted Buntings at one of the parks. The Boy Scouts have put up a feeder and, sure enough, on our second trip we found this beautiful bird. He looks like he was designed and painted by kindergarten children with his gorgeous primary colors.

He posed for some time while we took pictures. This was a life bird for Beth as was the owl.

 Back in Ocala, there are signs that it is time for Bill and me to head north - back to Colorado Springs. The Swallow-tailed Kites signal the arrival of warmer weather.

Although not a life bird, this Great-crested Flycatcher is a first for our yard. He's been hanging around with a friend for over a week but this is the first I've been able to get a picture.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Still Sewing and Watching the Birds

My sewing machine has been smoking this season! I've made several quilts, matching pillow cases and pillow shams, aprons, market and mondo bags and lots and lots of small crafty items with our sewing group. The past couple of weeks I have been trying to make purses.

I just finished this one. It has a zipper inside which, for me, was a challenge.

This is the first one I did for Bill's daughter Laura. The blue material is pre-quilted and thick enough that I did not use batting. This one does not have a zipper - I put in a magnetic snap.

My daughter spends her days in the OR and needed some fun scrub hats. I couldn't find a decent pattern so made several prototypes before hitting on the right method. So far Laura has 5 she can wear and there are several more ready to go.

 This has not been the best birding year. Not until the Cedar Waxwings showed up!

I swim every morning from 7 to 8 and the trees outside the pool building were full of berries until hundreds of birds arrived to eat every last one.

Our droves of American Goldfinches are finally getting some color.

For the last 6 weeks they have all looked drab like the 2 birds on the upper left in the picture.

I believe this is a Savannah Sparrow.

Our wonderful Florida Fox Squirrels continue to visit every day. We have had as many as five at a time under the feeders. This is the one that is missing most of his tail.

This is what their tails should look like.

Yesterday, Bill thought he saw a humming bird. Today we bought a hummingbird feeder and tonight we had two amazing little  Ruby-throated Hummingbirds come to visit.