Saturday, June 24, 2017

New Art Quilt - Horses?

I like making quilts with patterns and I recently purchased a paper piecing pattern called Paradise in Bloom by Judy Niemeyer. I haven't even selected fabric for that one yet but I will. It's early stages for this quilt but I'm hoping to start it soon.

Lately, I've been feeling the need to start another art quilt. I like the freedom of no pattern. It's mine and I can do what I want with it using whatever technique I want to try out.

I've been thinking that I'd make something to do with horses. I originally thought I'd make a quilt featuring carousel horses using the four seasons as a theme. Then I got to thinking that maybe I'll just use real horses instead but I haven't really decided. A picture in my brain is starting to form and it's looking more and more like real horses that are running. And big. Did I mention that? Like 45x120" big. Like scary big. Then the artist part of my brain scoffs and says, "Go big or go home." Stupid art brain...

Not sure how I would handle such a big project but I'd have to be able to hang it up on the wall and draw and/or paint it. I could probably paint it on my dinning room table like I did when I painted the black rhino (see previous posts from my animal quilt in 2015) but I'd rather not because I have to paint each section half at a time, move the fabric then paint the other half and it's a pain. But I'm still seeing four large horses with a seasonal theme but I obviously have a lot of details to work out. It's not out of the question though.

I also want to try some coloring fabric techniques using crayons. Either using them directly on fabric or melting them first then coloring fabric. I've never used them before so maybe my next post will be all about fabric and crayons.

If I do try painting, I'm not going to use the ink I used for my endangered animal quilt since this will be much larger. I'll need a lot more paint and a much bigger brush. So this is my designing, brain storming, figuring out I'm insane stage regarding this art quilt. It's fun and terrifying all at the same time.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Bluebirds and New Visitors

Unfortunately, I haven't seen any bluebirds lately. I'm still putting out live mealworms but I only see house wrens and the occasional chickadee on the feeder.

I have seen two new visitors to my backyard in the last few days. House wrens are small brown birds with a loud singing voice and the other day I saw a larger brown bird chasing what I believed was a house wren. I didn't think much of it until the larger brown bird landed on the mealworm feeder.

So I got my binoculars and watched the feeder and got a good look at the larger brown bird. It looked very similar to the house wren just bigger and with a lighter stripe of cream/yellow through it's eye. My mom mentioned she saw a Carolina wren on her feeder and this little guy matched her description.

If they've been around my yard, I didn't notice them before but it clearly has a cream strip over it's eye, which the house wren lacks and it's belly was a nice buttery yellow color.

I've lived at his house for 18 years and I've never seen bluebirds until this year and there was one other visitor I've seen once in 18 years, which was just a few years ago in my yard. Until this year.

I have a serviceberry bush in my back yard and this year, it seems like there's a lot of berries on it, which are now turning red. I was sitting on my back porch and saw several robins (adults) and a few juvenile robins playing in the tree no doubt stuffing themselves on berries. Robins are also distinctive with gray tops and orangey chests but I noticed two other birds that didn't have those colors and were actually a lot harder to see. So when I looked with binoculars, I saw a brown gray/yellowish colored bird with a black strip in the eye area and I knew what kind of bird it was. A pair of cedar waxwings.

The pair of waxwings kept landing in one of the pines next to my house and I got some really good photos of them. The sun was out the sky was blue. Perfect. Hopefully these guys will make a nest in the pine tree and stick around for the summer.

I've also taken down my regular bird feeder. The house sparrows are a noisy, messy menace and it's been a lot nicer to just have the finch, hummingbird and the mealworm feeders up. The finch feeder has goldfinches and house finches and the mealworm feeders has wrens and bluebirds. Guess I'll have to put out some fruit and see if the waxwings will stick around for oranges.