Monday, May 28, 2018

Where's Mary???

Yes, I'm still here!  Several of you have e-mailed me to be sure of it and I appreciate that -- nice to be missed!!  But it was May and as a lifelong birder, May is about birds.  Birds returning for the summer or passing through on their way north -- they must all be seen!!

I'm not a good bird photographer but this hooded warbler was doing his best "bird-of'-paradise" imitation back and forth across this fallen tree, running to one end and singing his heart out, then running back to the other end and singing again.  It was hard to get a bad photo!!
And I was amused to stumble across this pileated woodpecker (size of a chicken if you aren't familiar with this one) taking a "dust" bath at the base of a fallen tree.
This green heron is a summer resident in our area, stands about 14" tall and is an expert frog hunter.  Several days before, my daughter and I watched this bird eat a good size frog, swallowed it whole!!
I had a half vacation, half teaching trip to western Virginia in late April where it was already spring!
Insects and flowers were abundant which was a welcome sight as spring was cold, wet, and slow here in Northeast Ohio.  This is wild blue phlox.
And wild columbine. 
How about this beetle?
And if the creeping charlie that surges through my lawn and gardens attracted zebra swallowtails (I'm too far north), I'd tolerate it happily! 
I've been sewing everyday just not writing about it.  As I get older (and wiser?), I realized that my time is finite so some thing has to give when some thing else soars. 

I've been machine quilting some ancient UFO's as part of my drive to find them better forever homes than a shelf in my studio!  This one is a "garden I Spy" quilt for a friend's retirement from teaching!!
I stayed caught up with my temperature quilt to celebrate the beginning of the next decade of my life!
I've cranked out my #fussycuttingsewalong hexie flowers every week and come up with a plan for a quilt that will use all of them plus most of the blocks from last year's Morris Hexathon stitch along -- love it when I can pull off a consolidation like that!! 
I'm getting my Bernina ZenChic blocks set together -- it's subtle color palette makes it a challenge to stay engaged but I'm very close -- 3 more rows to stitch and then set the top half together!! 
I even made time to be totally distracted by this cute cat face block that Elizabeth Hartman did for Janome -- the quilt will be donated to a project and it will be hard to let it go!  Guess I'll just have to make another one?!?

I had a few days away at Chautauqua, New York for a stitching retreat -- just me and my needle and a thousand hexagons!  I'll share more of my progress and strategy later this week!
Now I'm focused . . . sort of . . . . on getting the gardens and outdoor living spaces organized for the summer.  Lots of plants to manage!
But I'm taking the time to enjoy the results of past years efforts -- my special vintage rose as a backdrop for that iris -- have you ever seen such a deep rich purple?
Just stumbled across this new book -- think it was an Instagram ad? 
A quick flip through when it arrived -- promises to be a good read this summer!
I invested in some new quilting inspiration this month!!  Not sure I'll make any of the specific projects but sure the inspiration from reading these three books will be stimulating.
So thanks for coming back to read about my May inspiration break -- lots of new memories and images in my head to fill my summer with happy stitching possibilities.
Could there be another lichen quilt in my future?
I hope the month of May has been a good one for you and you are eager to stitch your way through this summer (or if you are a Southern hemisphere reader, winter)!!

NOTE:  Blogger isn't currently forwarding comments to me (their glitch) so please excuse me if I don't respond with a personal e-mail.  I'll post replies on this post but that means you'll need to come back for another visit to read it.  Sorry if that is an inconvenience and thanks for reading today's post!