Sunday, April 23, 2017

Viruses! Yuck!

Several nasty viruses were going around my area this winter.  I thought I had managed to escape them all, but one of the nastier ones got me near the end of March.  People who had suffered through it before me said that it lasted three weeks and had a horrible way of rebounding if you tried to do too much too soon.  They were right.

I'm over the worst of it now, but the rebounding effect seems to be quite strong so I'm taking my time getting back to work, doing just a little each day.  I have most of April's blocks done, it's just a matter of finishing up the details and doing all the computer work that comes after.  So don't give up on me!  They are coming, with May's blocks hot on their trail!


Saturday, March 18, 2017

New Sundrop Critter: Umbrellabird

I'm a few days late getting the new Sundrop critter up on my website.  Besides the usual internet issues, my mom has been in the hospital for a week so I'm a tad behind on things.  Anyways, Ula and Ulysses, the Sundrop Umbrellabirds, are now ready to greet you.

There are three species of umbrellabirds and they all live in the rain forests of Central and South America.  They have a crest on top of their heads that resembles an umbrella.  If I lived in a rain forest, I'd want a handy umbrella atop my head, too!  Two of the three species are totally black, so I chose the third species, the Bare-Necked Umbrellabird, as my model because this species has a bright red wattle.  The Long-Wattled and Amazonian species have black wattles.  Like the name implies, the Long-Wattled Umbrellabird has a very long wattle, almost as long as its body.

One interesting fact about the bare-necked umbrellabird is that it migrates vertically.  During the warmer months, it lives in high, mountainous elevations.  During the colder months, it moves down to lower elevations.

I may be guilty of exaggerating the crest just a tiny bit to make it look more umbrella-like.
The pattern is free on my web site until April 15.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

3-Dimensional Flying Geese

There's one more method of making flying geese that's fast, fun and super easy, but it does create more bulk and could therefore be a royal pain to hand-quilt.  This method is often referred to as the one-seam method because it only requires one sewn seam to make.  It's fun because the "goose" makes little pockets if not stitched down by quilting.  I think children especially would have fun with a quilt made from these flying geese.

The Missouri Star Quilt Co. has a video showing how to make these units using a fabric layer cake (10-inch squares) collection:
Jenny Doan's One-Seam Flying Geese

In this video by The Quilt Show, Ricky Tims gives more detailed instructions for making smaller flying geese units:
Ricky Tims' One-Seam Flying Geese

If videos are difficult to access, here's a web site that gives step-by-step photos and the basic math formula for making these in any size:
Dimensional Flying Geese
This site also provides a handy pdf version:
pdf for Dimensional Flying Geese

I tried this method using 5" charms and found that two charms make two flying geese with an unfinished size of 2.5" x 4.5".  As noted in the videos, one edge tends to come out a little wonky but it's easily trimmed.  I usually press my seams to one side, but for this method pressing the seam open (for the two "sky" squares) seemed to make more sense.

my test results for one-seam flying geese
I'm excited to play with this method some more as soon as I get the instructions finished for the first block of the For the Birds BOM.  It's taking longer than expected because I've forgotten my way around the software program I use.  Use it or lose it, as the saying goes.