Sunday, July 11, 2010

Flying Colors - Coming Soon!

It's almost here, my third book, Flying Colors, published b y C&T Publications. The first copy has arrived on my doorstep and I am so impressed with the graphics and design. Working with C&T has been an inspiration. In fact, the experience has been so rewarding that thoughts of the next books are already swirling in my mind. Flying Colors takes the traditional goose beyond tradition into a heady world of free-form design. No longer just for geese, the curvy filler strips can hold many different designs and 14 different fillers are included among the pages. Thank you to all of my students who generously allowed the use of their quilts in the book too.

Monday, July 5, 2010

After VQF: Burlington Composting Center

Personal tour leader, Pat, suggested that my final stop in Vermont before boarding the plane should be to the Intervale Composting Center in Burlington. There were, indeed, a hundred or more gulls and some crows, but most interesting were the large group of students and teachers picnicking on the lawn. Apparently, the center is popular not just for birders. Across the street are expansive community gardens where many people were busy cultivating the gardens.
Yup, compost! In various stages of decomposition, being moved around.
When a potential predator was sighted, all the gulls took flight. We observed three different species, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, and Great Black-backed Gull. Way cool!!
The gull's most favored spot, though, was the smelly area where freshly dumped vegetation was first turned.
Burlington has a history of being one of the greenest communities in the U.S. All the large hospitals and other industries deliver their vegetable waste to the center. What a concept and what a great last stop in Vermont!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

After VQF: Quest for a Life Bird

Once the festivities wrapped up at the Vermont Quilt Festival, it was time to explore. My friend Pat, herself a crazy birder type like yours truly, suggested we drive up Mt. Washington, in New Hampshire, as soon as they opened the road in the morning. The sign threatened a very scary drive. But . . .
It was stunning. Living all of my life in the West, I had not considered the size of the mountains in New England, which are just as high above ground level as most of our western peaks. We were on a quest for a particular bird, Bicknell's Thrush, that is found in a narrow range between 3,000-5,000 feet above sea level. We opted to climb Mt. Washington as it was the most accessible site to search for the elusive bird, listening to bird song tapes so as to ensure that we would know its song.
Friend, Pat, is a dedicated birder, even promoting birds on her license plate. We did indeed find the little fellow, singing his heart out at the exact location he was supposed to be. How often does that happen? We also got to see and hear a Swainson's Thrush, another lifer! What a day! But, there was more! Pat is an outstanding birding guide!
Back at Pat's place, we checked out her neighbor's property, heavily forested. It yielded, not only ancient equipment, but also a Black-throated Blue Warbler - yet another lifer. We were on a roll.
The view from Pat's front yard was spectacular and the birds in a back yard numerous, attracted by an over-sized pond filled with koi. Our evening entertainment was to sit on the porch and watch the kingfisher snagging baby goldfish over and over.
We even got close-up views of a few cooperative birds, like this Eastern Kingbird. I think Vermont is about as close to heaven as possible -- at least during the summer.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

VQF - Sensational Stars

This star in progress, was designed by Donna Hastings. Donna had taken this class from me before, and brought this beautiful creation with her to class.
Donna Hastings
Sensational Stars is a one-day class where students design and make their own stars. Here are a couple in progress. This one is the design of Barbara Roberts.
Barbara Roberts
Here's a nifty design in progress, belonging to Nicole Laurencelle.
Nicole Laurencelle