Tuesday, September 18, 2018

September is Flying

I guess as we get busier and older, we say that about every month.
I'm trying to get in lots of time outdoors because I am always enchanted by the change of seasons.
This has been happening all along the southern shoreline of Lake Erie -- Monarch butterflies migrating!  Those delicate little things fly across the lake which is 57 miles across at the widest point.  We had a spell of very rainy weather and they do the sensible thing and just shut down the trip and wait out the weather -- the picture below was taken on a drizzly afternoon so the quality of the picture is not great, but look at all those butterflies!! 
Those aren't dead leaves!
A couple days later when the sun reappeared, things thinned out a bit, but they still mob up to rest in the sunshine after the lake crossing.  One fellow watching at the Ohio/Pennsylvania state line counted over 1000 of them coming off the lake in an hour this past Saturday morning.   
I found this large patch of flowers in the middle of an industrial park and it was literally covered with nectaring monarchs -- to stand in the middle of that patch and have two dozen butterflies fluttering around me was too wonderful!!
I've been sewing, too -- everyday!
Half of my daughter's Mississippi Mud is quilted and the remaining two quarter sections are layered and ready to go!  You can't even tell where I joined the two sections, can you?
It's there on the right side where the batting has a slash.
I am meander quilting it and since I hate to bury threads, I've figured out how to traverse each star when I get to it.  Would you like to see how?
This series of pictures follows the path I take -- I meander to a point. . . .
. . . . then grab my ruler and trace the edge this far . . .  
. . . . down to the opposite point where I meander off the star, do a loop or two . . . 
  . . . . and back into the same point.
I travel across to the right and up to the point where I started -- half finished and no threads to bury!! 
Once I've meandered around the outside of the star, I arrive at the third point . . . .  
. . . . crossing to the fourth point . . .  
. . . . before returning to the third point. 
I literally have only had to bury a few threads when the bobbin runs out and that's a good thing!!
This quilt has been in the works for a long time.  My daughter started it around 2003 and lost interest several times in the piecing, so I have been doing a block here and there.  Now she will be moving into her own place this winter and it will be nice to have a brand new quilt!

Mississippi Mud is a pattern I wrote 25 years ago now and was tremendously popular with my customers and students.  It's still available as a PDF in my Etsy shop HERE.

I'll leave you with one last butterfly picture -- isn't this one a beauty??
It's the fall form of the Question Mark (I didn't know there was a fall form until I read my field guide to confirm the ID).
The silvery outline of the wings looked lavender in the sunlight.  These hibernate through the winter and emerge again in the spring to breed -- amazed again!
Enjoy the changing seasons!!


Linking up with Let's Be Social over at Sew Fresh Quilts this week?


  1. Out chasing butterflies-I wondered where you've been! Very nice for your daughter to be moving to her own home with that pretty quilt, the colors are so nice.

  2. Interesting facts about the butterflies. Thank you for the process photos on that quilting motif - a keeper.

  3. Ooh, I remember the monarch butterflies migrating from when I was a little girl in Minnesota. I don't see monarchs often anymore now that we live in North Carolina. Instead, my garden is graced by yellow and blue swallowtails. Those monarch photos brought back a flood of memories! Lovely quilt that you've finished for your daughter, and your quilting strategy is ingenious!