Thursday, December 31, 2009

Not again!

Here we are, it's New Year's Eve and it's that time . . . again! A new year, a new decade. . .  where did the time go?! What's your New Year's resolution?

I don't know about you, but I still have holiday sweets leftover in various hiding places. A few more cookies in the tins on the kitchen counter, that box of yummy chocolates from Esther Price on the coffee table, the package (or three!) of Gertrude Hawk smidgens in the family room, the homemade sugar-coated pecans right here on my desk (mm-m-m, yum!). If I start a diet tomorrow, that means I gotta eat everything in the next few hours ('cause you know I'm not going to throw it away!). That doesn't even sound appealing.

So here's a thought. This whole ScrapTherapy program . . . those leftover scrap quilting fabrics, tossed in a bag, in a bin, or in a corner. This could be interesting! It's time. Organize them. Use them. And have fun with your favorite hobby in the process!

Spending time in the sewing studio, using up perfectly wonderful leftovers (fabric that is), is so much more fun than spending the next week coming down from a last-minute New Year's Eve sugar high!

Speaking of scraps, here's a variation on Fly Away, one of the newest ScrapTherapy patterns. Even this baby size quilt uses up lots of scrap fabrics, plus, I've been dying to use those delicate blue and green prints in something

And, then there's Sue's project. Sue started the Something Fishy quilt during a workshop this past fall. So that she could finish all the piecing in time for holiday gift-giving, she alternated fish blocks and background blocks for a great variation on the pattern, simple as that! These aren't just ordinary fish, however, they are happy fish and they now have a happy home. I'm told, four-year old Sean just loves his new quilt, made with love by cousin Sue! Terrific, Sue!

By the way, I'm already busy working on the next ScrapTherapy projects. Watch for them in a couple short months. So exciting! And so much fun!

Here's my list of resolutions for 2010 - Sew something everyday, use up scraps, and have fun sharing and spreading creative energy!

Have a Wonderful, Safe, and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A True Story

With Christmas only about a week away, I thought you might enjoy this variation on a familiar theme. The "Sgt. Ford" referred to in the poem is, in fact, my husband and this really happened to him last year. Enjoy!


'Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the mess hall,
The soldiers were restless
Planning many a phone call.

The deployment was over,
From Afghanistan, they'd come,
But a holiday with family
Simply could not be done.

To Fort Bragg they'd arrived,
All safe and all sound.
Paperwork, physicals,
And meetings abound.

Before they could fly home,
Via military transport,
They had to check boxes
On forms and reports.

When out from the office,
Did the Commander shout clear,
"My family's in North Carolina,
And we have no reindeer!"

"Sgt Ford, you're selected!
To bring Santa's sleigh
For the party this evening
and the kids who will play."

"Here's a box with a suit,
It has a hat and red trim.
Get dressed for the party,
And be wearing a grin!"

To the barracks Ford went
To don the suit from the box,
Just in time to discover
It was missing the locks.

The suit was all there,
No boots, but who cares.
The red coat and red hat,
But no facial hairs!

With the feast in one hour
There was no time for passes.
It was off to K-Mart
On Christmas Eve with the masses.

To the back of the store,
And the front of the aisle,
No beard or hair-do
Would be found for a while.

A call to the Commander
To deliver bad news,
"Christmas with Santa, it seemed,
Just could not come true."

Commander to children,
Tucked in the back seat:
"You don't mind that St. Nick
Had to shave to be neat?"

"Security is tight,
On military bases, you see,
So to reveal his identity,
Santa, clean shaven, he'll be."

The kids both agreed,
"Santa's Santa, no matter.
The beard is no issue.
Let's get on with the clatter!"

So Santa arrived,
No beard on his face,
And he sat down to visit
With Tommy and Grace.

The humvee was parked
Outside the front door.
The reindeer, he told them,
Waited for the grand tour.

With all satisfied,
Santa went out to his deer
For his trip to deliver
Lots of toys and good cheer.

And as he drove the humvee,
To catch up with the sleigh,
He wished, "The best of the Season,
And a great Christmas day!"

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Festive Finishing!

A few years ago, my sister gave me a bunch of cross-stitch pieces. Beautifully done. Colorful. Several of them with quilt blocks incorporated into the cross stitch patterns, holiday patterns, florals, and hearts. There were probably about a dozen rolled up canvases, all different, ready to become 'something.'

My sister, who doesn't sew, requested: "Make something out of these, no rush." She did the work on them when her daughter, my niece, was taking ballet lessons. You know the drill, mom in the background, waiting during rehearsals, reading, knitting, stitching while they wait to provide the ride home. My niece is thirty-something, now. Got married this summer. Doesn't need a ride home from ballet lessons anymore.

Every once in a while I pull out the cross stitch canvases. Get inspired. . . or not. A few have become pillows. Others wait their turn. Waiting to become something.

Last week, I ran across those canvases again, while moving fabric from one part of the stash to another. Decided to play. Pulled out some scrap fabrics (I have a few of those!), bought some fabric (I love doing that!) and dug in. During a workshop last Friday, Eddie suggested that I make some quarter-square triangles to mimic the X in the stitchery (good idea!).

And then the project had a life of its own. Sew. Test. Cut. Sew some more. Play. Sew. Trim. Turn. Quilt. And voila! Add a few jingle bells and a door. A project started in 1989 (the date on the stitching) is complete a mere 20 years later!

Here's a challenge for you: Do you have something lurking in your stash, waiting to become a gift this holiday season? Skip the mall! Shop in your stash instead.

Now, what do you think I should do with these?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cards Complete!

So, I told you about this idea I had to make Christmas ornaments for my holiday cards. First, as I mentioned in the last post, the book A Christmas Story by Anni Downs of Hatched and Patched provided the patterns for adorable embroidered ornaments.

On Saturday, my sisters were to arrive around noon with their Christmas card supplies ready to create. That morning, I still wasn't quite sure how my cards were going to come together. I had the ornament part under control, but not the cards.

I purchased some foamy double sided tape and figured I could make a frame for the ornament - with the foamy stickies creating just enough space between the frame and the card - so I could slide in the ornament. But I needed a little something to fancy up the frame - just a little, not too fancy.

Off to the internet, where I purchased some wreath clipart from Did a little magic in Photoshop, then printed the illustrations onto heavy paper and started cutting out the circle frame shapes. Found some more clipart for the message inside the card, and downloaded it, quick as a wink!

Photoshop to the rescue one more time - if the card recipient takes the ornament out of the card, the card would look fairly plain, so I scanned the ornament images from the book, printed them, and placed those images under the frame.

Well, all this creating can make you hungry, so my sisters provided some appetizers and some bread and I made one of my favorite recipes, Rachel Ray's Spaghetti and Meatball Stoup! Everything gets thrown into one soup pot, so the clean up is quick. Instead of using spaghetti noodles, I substitute small pasta shells. Yum, yum, yum!!

Now that the cards are done, I have to find some time to mail them! Please pass the postage stamps!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holiday Distraction

Every year, my two sisters and I get together during the long Thanksgiving weekend to make Christmas cards. We have a friendly competition to see who has the most creative card idea.

This year is no exception. We're getting together on Saturday, and I'm getting my creative juices in gear. I've decided to incorporate a handmade ornament in my holiday greeting cards. Wanna see? . . .

I started with A Christmas Story by Anni Downs of Hatched and Patched. The book has several absolutely adorable projects, some of them featuring cute little holiday-themed medallions. I decided to use the medallions for my ornaments, using a construction method not in the book.

First, I traced the medallions onto ivory muslin and then embroidered them by hand. I used one strand of hand-dyed embroidery thread by Valdani. Okay, yes, it's time consuming, but so relaxing. And isn't it a treat when you can escape the holiday insanity with a little handwork?

I cut the embroidered medallions apart, then used Quiltsmart SmartEase Circles to make my embroidered pieces into perfect circles that can now be fused to a backing. For my backing I'm using felted wool - because it's soooo nice and yummy!

Align one QuiltSmart Circle centered over the embroidery, right side of embroidery facing the bumpy or fusible side of the interfacing. Cut the center 'X' of the circle first, so you can turn it later!

As with most QuiltSmart applique products, sew on the solid line, cut on the dotted line. Then turn the ornament right side out.

Fuse the medallion to a piece of wool, then trim the wool even with the medallion. Back to the handwork - with two strands of embroidery thread, blanket stitch around the outside to hold it all together. Add a hanger - I used Aurifil wool thread for the hanger.

And ta-da!!

So you're probably thinking, 'How does this become a Christmas card?' I have no idea! But I'll have to figure that out by Saturday, eh? I'll keep you posted.

Have a great Thanksgiving!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

A New "Chunky"

With so much going on, I haven't been able to finish up any samples lately. Until today. I love making shop samples, they feature fun new fabrics and it's a nice break from the other quilt design work I do.

"What's a 'Chunky,'" you say?

It's a really easy, super-simple lap-sized quilt you can put together in a flash. The quilt blocks are big and bold - and chunky! Just a few stitches and the blocks are assembled. The fabrics are bright and cheery, hand-picked from the "Piccadilly" fabric line by Clothworks.

And the best part is the fabrics are all packed into a kit. All you have to do is get the kit, sew it up, and you're ready for a good book (and a nice nap!). "Chunky Piccadilly" is latest in a series of 'chunky' quilt kits featuring different fabric lines.

In case you're curious, the Chunky Piccadilly kits, including original pattern, and all the fabrics to make the quilt top, are available only from Calico Gals in Syraucse, NY. Give them a call (315-445-0617) or stop in, and have yours ordered up in a jiffy!

Holidays are coming - there's still time to stitch up a gift! Hey, if I can squeeze in enough time to make one, you can too!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Apples and Cider!

With my October full of speaking and teaching engagements around New York state, including New Quilters on the Block Guild in Candor and Lake to Lake Guild in Gorham, it was finally time to take a break for a little fun travel.

Saturday was a picture-perfect day around here, so it was an absolutely terrific day for my sisters and me to head out on an annual journey - to Fly Creek Cider Mill, of course!

Fly Creek is located in Central New York near Cooperstown, well-known as the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Every fall, for the last several years, we start thinking 'Fly Creek' when the leaves start to turn. To make the annual trip even more memorable, we put on our matching pumpkin applique sweatshirts before we jump in the car.

The cider mill houses a 19th century water turbine as well as a gas turbine installed in 1924. Both engines support the production of good old-fashioned apple cider! Yum!!

But, 100,000 visitors to the cider mill per year don't just come for the cider, the mill is a virtual cornucopia of apple treats, delicious fudge, to-die-for cheddar cheese (aged in nearby Howe Caverns), soup and dip mixes, and what seems like about a million other products! On Saturday, I managed to put a good dent in the holiday shopping list!

By the way, there's a great little quilt shop in Fly Creek, too! You simply must go!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Utica Bound!

Last weekend I traveled to the historic brewery district in Utica, New York! Yes, this is indeed the home of Schultz and Dooley - do you remember the beer steins that chatted to each other in the old Utica Club beer commercials?

Not only is Utica the home of the F.X. Matt Brewing Company, known for their seasonal Saranac ales and lagers, and Utica Club beer (the first beer sold after prohibition) but it's also the home of a very fun quilt shop - Tiger Lily Quilt Company.

Located in the historic brewery district in Utica, Tiger Lily kicked off their ScrapTherapy program on Saturday. I was their guest speaker with a full house of anxious quilters ready to get their scrap fabric organized! The weather outside was cloudy and rainy, but inside, it was just perfect to work on preparing fabric scraps to make ScrapTherapy quilts and projects!

After a trunk show with lots of inspirational ideas, we got down to work, pressing and cutting scraps. Everyone had a great time!


Monday, October 19, 2009

Time to Sew!

Seems like I just got back from the trade show in Houston and turned right back around and headed down the road to Dutchess and Ulster County, New York for a trio of ScrapTherapy workshops with the Wiltwyck Quilters Guild.

What a fun group of quilters! We started on Friday at the Esopus Library (pronounced ee-SOAP-us) with a double workshop. Trunk show on Saturday in nearby Red Hook at the guild meeting and then another workshop after the meeting. Made a quick stop at the Village Fabric Shoppe to say 'hi' to Diana Louie who runs "Therapy Thursdays" at her store once a month.

On Sunday, it was back to the library for another working session. The featured pattern on Sunday was 'Something Fishy' - everyone enjoyed making (and showing off) their fish blocks!

Just outside the classroom at the Esopus Library, a small gathering of ducks kept us company and made a lot of noise when anyone went in or out of the classroom. Maybe they were 'cold ducks' . . . yuk-yuk!

My hosts for the weekend were Carol and Tom Natoli whose home overlooks the Mohonk Preserve near New Paltz. What a view, eh?


Thursday, October 15, 2009

A few more Market notes

I've been home from Quilt Market in Houston for a couple of days now and it feels like I'm still catching up on my rest! After an early start on Tuesday, travel was uneventful. That's good.

Before closing the Quilt Market chapter completely, it may be worth noting that I taught a "Take and Teach" class on Sunday morning to help introduce the Skinny Mini Kits (see earlier post). A "Take and Teach" class is a hands-on opportunity for quilt shops to learn a new technique or start making a sample that has potential for a product or class offering in their stores back home.

Brewer Quilting and Sewing Supplies provided the tools, including Skinny Mini kits; Bernina supplied the sewing machines; YLI supplied the Soft Touch thread. And I was the 'instructor!' It was a good time.

These ladies are smiling because they're almost finished with their Skinny Mini samples! And the class was only 90 minutes long! Many quilt shops stopped by the Brewer booth to ask about these fun, easy skinny table runner projects. Watch for them at your local quilt shop!

With all the activity on the market floor, it's sometimes hard to remember there's a big international quilt show going on in the convention center. I managed to see a small part of the quilt show and snapped a picture or two to share. This mariner's compass quilt is amazing with 128 points! What makes it even more amazing is that the entire quilt is only about 12" square! This project was an entry from Kumiko Frydl of Houston, Texas in the "Miniature" category, sponsored by Pellon.

Now, I'm told there's snow coming our way from the south. I'm headed to Kingston, NY tomorrow for a full weekend of ScrapTherapy workshops with the Wiltwyck Quilters Guild. The fall foliage might have hint of white, though! I hear it's snowing in parts of southern New England right now!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Notes from Houston

Janet Wecker-Frisch is a fabric illustrator. She is in attendance here at Fall Quilt Market in Houston to promote her new fabric line, "Animal Alphabet Games" with Quilting Treasures.

When I asked Janet to talk about her craft, she said, "I've tried to describe my art and it's difficult; it's not quite whimsical, although lots of people have described it that way, but I'd rather view it as 'classical' with a sense of humor."

To provide insight into how she works, Janet brought several pieces of original art from the 'Tiny Tailors' fabric line, which is available in quilt shops now. Each new fabric line starts with many individual watercolor illustrations like those pictured here.

One of the things I like best about coming to Quilt Market is connecting with friends and colleagues from the quilting industry.

Even more inspiring is getting to see new patterns and ideas. This quilt display includes a pattern named "Merry Christmas to All" from Daisy & Dell, and is a perfect example.

Take a close look at one of the blocks in this amazing quilt! The detailed embellishments are really something! Designer Pat Bruce is here promoting this project to quilt shops as a 'block of the month' pattern. Look for it at your favorite quilt shop and in a few short months, you can have your very own quilt just like this one!


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What's a Skinny Mini?

A Skinny Mini is a kit that is available at independent quilt shops. It's new (designed by me!) and it will be introduced at Quilt Market (a big trade show for fabric retailers and quilt shops) in Houston over the weekend.

A Skinny Mini is like a quilted table runner, but is a little bit narrower and a little bit shorter, so it's perfect for those places in your home where a table runner is too long or too wide. All finished, it's about 6x40". Window sills, plant shelves, sofa tables. Hang them on the wall to brighten a tight spot. Cheer up even the most plain powder room by placing a Skinny Mini on the toilet tank top! 

The kits are unique in that all the fabric needed to make the Skinny Mini is included in a handy little zipper bag. The patterns are named after friends and customers. Who wouldn't want to be a Skinny Mini?! The first pattern in the series to be released this weekend is named Roberta. And she's a doll! Fast and easy to make in time for the holidays.

If you are a quilter, ask for Skinny Minis at your favorite quilt shop! If you're going to be at Quilt Market in Houston, stop by the Brewer Quilting and Sewing Supplies booth to see me. Brewer is the exclusive distributor for the Skinny Mini kits.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fabulous Feast

Dave and I headed to Minnowbrook Conference Center on Blue Mountain Lake in the center of the Adirondack Mountains in New York. The flaming fall colors, crisp, cool air and morning mist that rises above the mountain lakes and embraces the trees on the hillsides more than hinted at the change of seasons and the coming winter.

The featured event for the weekend was a five-course dinner served exquisitely paired with wine selected specifically for the ultimate dining experience.

Gary Decker, proprietor of Vinomania in downtown Syracuse, NY (315-422-8466) selected five wines from Italy. Each course, prepared under the expert supervision of Minnowbrook's Chef Kevin Callahan, was perfectly matched to enhance the complete dining experience.

Our journey of Italian tastes started with a white bean and sausage soup paired with a crisp white Pinot Bianci, and was followed by wild mushroom ravioli with pecan pesto (pictured), served with a Salice Salintino red. The third course featured broiled salmon with calamata olives, capers and tomato paired with Col de Bacce from Morellino de Scansano. My favorite course was the filet mignon with spicy peppercorn brandy sauce served with Chianti Classico Riserva from Rocca Del Macie. *Yum!* And last, but not least, came dessert: canoli with orange zest and tiramisu served with a 1999 Vin Santo (wine of the saints).

The event truly was an adventure served in the elegant and rustic surroundings of the main lodge at Minnowbrook. Out of reach to most service providers, cell phones were gloriously silent to allow every diner to enjoy the feast uninterrupted! With fall foliage at peak color, every vista was more beautiful than the last, revealing around each bend in the road, another riot of brightly-dressed hardwood trees and mountain lakes, all picture-perfect.

Our journey back home on Sunday morning included a stop at The Donut Shop on Route 28 just south of Inlet, where they serve old fashioned donuts in two flavors - plain and cinnamon. 'Just like grandma used to make!'

Certainly feels like my creative energies got a delicious boost this weekend!


Thursday, October 1, 2009

There & Back Again!

For the last two days, I was off to Connecticut to lead a couple of ScrapTherapy workshops at Bear Hollow Quilt Company in Colchester, Connecticut.

The enthusiastic group was ready to get their scrap fabric organized. Everyone seemed motivated to start putting those scraps into lots and lots of quilted projects! And you can't have a ScrapTherapy workshop without leaving a little time for shopping therapy. Quite a collection of patterns to choose from at Bear Hollow!

Holly Potvin, the proprietor, has a beautiful home in a 100-acre forest preserve in rural Connecticut, southeast of Hartford. Just steps away from the perfectly decorated house is the Bear Hollow Quilting Company where Holly offers long-arm quilting services to her clients on a by-appointment basis. She also holds a variety of quilting classes in the bright, sunny new building.

It's that time of year! The leaves in Connecticut are just starting to turn. As I drove home along route 84, I could just imagine the riot of fall colors that will be at full peak in a week or two. There's nothing like fall in New England!


Friday, September 25, 2009

Cool Cake!

Earlier today, I stopped by Patchwork Plus in Marcellus, NY, where final preparations were underway for a visit from Libby Lehman. It sure looked like a lot of fun!

This cool cake was made by Colleen Head to welcome Libby to the store. Colleen is the niece of one of the associates at Patchwork Plus. I just had to take a picture! Kinda gives new meaning to the question, "Wanna piece?"

Wish I could have stayed for the lecture. The shop was hopping with activity when I left!


Monday, September 21, 2009

To Market, To Market

So, if you are a quilter reading the subject line, maybe you were thinking this post might be about 'Quilt Market,' the big trade show in Houston. . . . no, not quite yet. Although I'm sure I'll have a detail or two about Quilt Market to post here before too long.

With the end of summer in central New York the Farmers' Market is the place to be!

The sights, the colors, the smells, and the gurgling tummy at the thought of all the tasty concoctions that will come from local farmers' fields. Doncha just love it?!

My sister and I grab our quilted Scrap Sack bags and come home with them full, arms weak from carrying all the veggies and goodies they can hold!

A couple of my favorite stops at the regional market in Syracuse, early on a Saturday morning, include the Pappardelle's Pasta stand and the Mu Mu Muesli stand. The flavored pastas make the most interesting taste combinations. And the muesli - it's pure breakfast yum! Note to self: Must try the  'Famous Amy's' muesli cookie recipe soon!

Enjoy the tastes of the changing seasons!


Friday, September 18, 2009

Pizza! Pizza!

Yesterday, I participated in a "Sewing Expo" at the Eden Creative Sewing Center in Eden, NY, just south of Buffalo.

About 50 enthusiastic women were in attendance and learned about Jenny Haskins machine embroidery products during a lecture/trunk show. Afterwards, participants visited several make-and-take and demonstration areas in the large room to sample various quilting and sewing techniques and test-drive new sewing machines. The event was topped off with a delicious dinner!

My part of the event included a demo of the ScrapTherapy pattern, Pick-A-Pair Pot Holders. I love to work on this project in the fall. Like it or not, the holidays are just around the corner, and who doesn't need a 'little extra' stocking stuffer or hostess thank-you gift.

The pot holder set is made with a fat quarter and scrap fabrics. There's some Insul-Brite inside to ensure they're heat-resistant. The pizza fabric I used for this set of pot holders is from the new Timeless Treasures munchies line. So cute! Almost don't want to give them away!

The super-easy pattern includes three scrappy block variations all using half-square triangle units made with Star Singles papers. With the papers, make eight half-square triangle units from two 5" squares, very fun!

Both the pattern and the Star Singles papers are available from participating ScrapTherapy shops. Bon Apetit!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Meet the staff!

Maintaining a small office takes a competent staff with very special talents, educational background, and experience. Thought you might like to meet those behind the scenes at the Hummingbird Highway.

First, let me introduce the receptionist. Peaches, second from the right, the amazon parrot, says 'hello' and 'goodbye' but not much in between, unless she's squawking. Her favorite part of the day is lunch time and break time. The rest of the day is reserved for important business like naps.

Loepsie, the sun conure, is in charge of security. Loeps produces a loud scream when the FedEx dude is making deliveries anywhere in the area. Loepsie alerts me (and everyone nearby) to any imminent danger to the facility. Like spotting cats, people walking by, or hawks. Mostly Loepsie is a good bird, it says so on the magazine cover on the screen.

And the staff wouldn't be complete without making mention of my husband, Dave. He's a part-time consultant to the business and chips in with opinions, pattern-bag stuffing, and picking up Chinese take-out when deadlines near. I'd post a picture but his 'other' job is in the military, and I probably need three levels of security clearance to do so.

And then there's me. Speaking of that, I'd better get back to work!


Friday, September 11, 2009

Good deed

Like so many, eight years ago I was taken in by the events of September 11, 2001 as  each unthinkable detail unraveled everything. Yesterday, I received information about  the National Day of Service from a fellow quilt guild member. The website inspired me to do something. I shared my plan and started thinking. And digging in my fabric stash.

Leftover flannel, soft and cozy. Not enough for a big quilt. Just enough for a quilt block. Perfect for a tiny life, having a rough start.

So this is how I started my day today. I finished up one of the small quilts - just a quilt block. Added a border and some backing. Turned. So simple. Only about 18" square. Little bit of quilting to hold it all together. Just enough. Blue for a baby boy. Didn't take long. Another in pink. Why not? For a tiny girl.
These will go to the Neonatal Intensive Care unit at the local hospital. The small quilts brighten up the nursery and offer some cheer to mom and dad. And something soft for baby. Hope.

This is a favorite project of mine. A lift to wrap up a hectic week. A great way to practice a new stitch or play with color combinations for a bigger quilt project. The babies never complain, nor do the parents, if a stitch is out of place. I save up a stack and every so oftern, I take the whole bunch of small quilts to the hospital. Unfortunately, the need for quilts is on-going.

It's a nice thing to do, especially today.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Headed South

Some very good friends are leaving town. They go south for the winter months. But they'll be back; they return every year in early May, as predictable as the seasons. I look forward to their visits each year. They stay about four or five months, then move on again as the cycle repeats.

I'm talking about the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds that frequent our feeders all summer long. The picture is fuzzy, taken from across the room, while the male hummingbird rested on the hanger.

I just adore these little birds, and my heart sings at the first sighting each spring. The name of my company, Hummingbird Highway, LLC, is inspired by these amazing creatures. The Hummingbird Highway is the name of a road in central Belize.

The activity at the feeders is steady during the summer, but the pace increases during the month of August. In early September, the tiny birds migrate to Central America, traveling alone, rather than in flocks. They fly by day and rest by night. Until they get to the Gulf of Mexico, which they cross in one clip. Can you imagine?

I'm sad to see the hummingbirds leave our yard, but know they'll return in the spring. In their place, the chickadees, juncos, and blue jays compete for food at the feeders. It's their turn. Until May, I keep this link handy so I can get a hummingbird fix through the videos, as the chill of fall and winter settle into upstate New York.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Here we go!

I'm giving this 'blog' thing a try. Hope your Labor Day holiday weekend included some sewing! Mine did!

For a change, central New York has had a stretch of nice weather, so I've spent some time on the front porch with some sewing and cross stitch.

The quilt in the title box above is a close-up of one of several 'Sew Lovely' samples I made. My inspiration for the quilting comes from watching Patsy Thompson DVDs and reading Sue Nichels' books. When you're tired of plain ole meandering, it's fun to expand your quilting repertoire with some playful 'fill' techniques.