Friday, April 22, 2016

Pond Cleaning







Like many cycles in country life, Spring brings the pond cleaning ritual on our two ponds.  This year included a warm, sunny day.













The "Clearly Acquatics" crew led by co-owner Dave Young has been performing this task for almost 20 years.  Bill has supervised their job from the deck and claims real experience in this important function.




















The cobblestone lining adds real beauty to the pond, but is very hard to clean as the smaller rocks often get sucked up the hose and block progress.  Every task on the farm presents a challenge.













The lily pond on another part of our property is protected by lattice and netting to filter the summer heat.  The gazebo, covered by the wisteria vines, is visible (sort of) in the right background.













The water lily plants are fertilized and placed along the bottom of the rubber lining.  Some of them are also 20 years old and are nearing the end of producing flowers.














In the waterfall pond off the deck, fish and water are returned to the pond.  We lost a few fish this winter and will soon be off in search of some replacements.  Our well water is used to refill both of our cleaned ponds.





Wednesday, April 20, 2016

News from Paducah






I was very pleased to receive notice that my Blueberry Green Teas quilt won an Honorable Mention in the Small Wall Quilts Longarm Machine Quilted category at the AQS Paducah show in Paducah, KY, this week.














Blueberry Green Teas (41h X 56w)

Monday, April 18, 2016

Painting






We are fortunate to have secured the services of Larry Harloff, an area master painter.  He does all the important painting for the Morman historical and modern buildings and is booked up far into the future.


He has worked on our property extensively with many large projects.  This year he is working on our two 40+ year old barns with roofing aluminum sealing and white paint side panels and red trim as needed.


He also matched paint for our deck railing and planters, along with two benches.





Sunday, April 17, 2016

Jet Trails







Some late afternoons with clear skies are highlighted by numerous jet trails that spread out in wispy profusion while still maintaining their trademark shape.











These views are from a step outside the studio looking toward the southwest.  Vistas like this serve as inspiration for my series of jet trail quilts.










I'm very pleased that one of these pieces, Jet Trails #10, was purchased by the National Quilt Museum and is hanging in the Bank of Paducah.




Friday, April 15, 2016

Peeps Meeting







Nancy brought this quilt top for us to see that she found at Crafts Bits & Pieces.  The red squares dominate the pattern of nine patches.



















This is Pat's bowtie quilt that she'll be teaching in some up-coming classes.  She's added the blue border with skinny line piecing since we saw it last month, and we think the border adds movement to the piece. 
















Nancy showed us this 3-yard piece of hand-dyed silk noil that she bought at Craft Bits and Pieces and has plans to use in making a new jacket.

It turns out that the fabric was dyed and foil stamped several years ago by our friend Nancy Bailey from down state.  She was interested to find out that it had made its way up here and will be turned into a beautiful garment.








Nancy showed us her progress on finishing this top made from Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Orchids






We have a long history of growing orchids.  Some were purchased in Florida and made the long trip by auto as we pounded up I-95.  Others were purchased locally from various sources, including this large pink beauty that came from Home Depot.











This specimen reminds one of the great beauty and profusion of this plant group.  It looks like something from the movie, "Little Shop of Horrors." 














The late afternoon sun bathes this display in the southern window of the basement apartment.  We hope to continue this project for many years.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Spring Snow








Snow that covers the ground has been a rarity this year.  The April contribution was more than we had in November and December.

You can see the daffodils peaking up in the foreground, bent over under the weight of the snow.









Our front yard pines always look good with a mantle of white.  This did not last long, and we are already on to a new season.













The wonderful river birch (my favorite tree!) shows off its paper bark under any weather or time of the year.  It sheds its bark and gains replacement coverage in a continuous cycle.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Reflections







This is the second quilt done for the challenge group.  It is also a 12-inch square format, and the theme is reflections.

I had this piece of fabric in my stash that I had made in a class where we folded, clamped, and dyed cotton fabrics.

It reminded me of reflections of trees at water's edge, much like I see on our small lake in the Adirondacks.









I painted  the tree shapes using All-Purpose Tsukineko Inks.  It was the first time I opened the inks since I bought them at the Houston show in 2012 -- high time to try them out!

I added the quilting using my Janome sewing machine.




Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Quilters Plus Retreat









 I spent the day with the gals attending the Quilters Plus Retreat, held at the Letourneau Christian Center on Canandaigua Lake.

It was a beautiful clear day on the lake.




The Center has a large work room with lots of space for everyone to spread out.















I was there to lead an improvisational piecing exercise. 

Everyone worked hard and produced some great pieces.

I had a fun day and thank Quilters Plus for inviting me!



Saturday, March 26, 2016

Class with Lynne







Jeanne and I spent a fun day with Lynne Feldman at her studio, taking her class on Painting with Fabric.

You can see some of her work on the walls.





 







We needed to bring a composition or design idea to work from.  I'm not comfortable sketching, and created these shapes which I cut out of paper.
















I traced my shapes on stretched canvas.  Then we started cutting our fabrics and gluing them to the canvas with acrylic medium.








Joy worked on her composition of two ladies.

















Mattie had her composition almost completed.












Here's the work from our class in various stages of completion.




Friday, March 18, 2016

Peeps Meeting







The Peeps gathered for a regular monthly meeting and got right down to work on projects they had brought with them.













We also settled in for some "show and tell" and critique time.











Pat completed the piece on the left that she started during the filming of her dvd.

Pat's piece on the right is a whole cloth that she dyed, screened, and quilted.













Nancy made this quilt from two pieces of African fabric.  She has always been interested in African motifs and uses this inspiration for many of her compositions.











Pat showed us her new bowtie quilt top that she is working on for a new class that she'll add to her class offerings.  Pat teaches and lectures to guilds and other groups of interested quilters all around the country and Canada.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Kitty Update







We continue to serve as hosts and servants to our feline friends.

Here Suki has joined Marcia, helping with the hand sewing on a new jacket, and making herself comfortable as she watches the passing scene.  Of course, she prefers dark colors for her pillow (the better to leave her buff-colored fur!).












Our feral cat, Millie, is well fed as you can see.  She has her own bench and rug on the deck outside the back door.  She has a good deal of resemblance to Suki's coloring, including blue eyes, but they are not friends. 

She continues to enjoy being held and snuggled with Marcia, but still no progress on feeling comfortable in the house.














 Suki loves bags and boxes of all types and sizes.  Although, she is mature at eleven years old, kitten-like activity still encompasses much of her behavior. 

She has seemingly recovered from her recent undefined illness!



Thursday, March 10, 2016

Sew Day







I stopped in for a little sewing time with Jeanne at her new studio at the Hungerford Building. 

She's mostly settled in and the studio is looking great. 

Her design walls are now completed, and as you can see, she's already putting them to good use.









She got this storage unit from Ikea for her fabric.












Jeanne's been making these stitched coasters that will be available at her studio.  I love the colors!













She also made these small wallets and tissue holders.






Saturday, March 5, 2016

Border Fences





I joined a challenge group and agreed to make a 12" square quilt for the theme, "Crossing Borders."

My piece is named "Border Fences," as I  wanted to portray some of the types of fences used at borders, including rolls of barbed wire.

The background fabric is canvas that I painted and stamped with acrylic paints.

This project gave me the opportunity to try piecing using cotton and the canvas, and I was happy with the way it worked.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Ficus problem







I wanted a new ficus tree for the studio and got this one 2 or 3 months ago.  It was losing leaves, but that's not untypical with moving a ficus.

But then I began to realize that it was not only continuing to drop leaves, but many of them were yellowed.

I also noticed that there were white "spots" on many of the leaves, and as you can see in the bottom picture, some brown "bumps" on the leaves and stems.

Unfortunately, I found out that this is an infestation of scale, which is a bug I've never encountered before.  I'm also finding out that it is hard to treat.

I've been spraying it with a solution of oil soap and alcohol in water, and it looks a bit healthier with some new leaf growth.  But I still find some signs of the scale.

All suggestions for treatment will be appreciated!