Sunday Chat

We were housebound for four days this past week, which meant a lot of projects were either finished or new ones begun. A few Zoom calls took up a bit of time, and I got a bit more progress on the epic historical novel I’m currently reading. Just before the snow started, I got this photo of Oliver on the retaining wall, and noticed my daffodils are coming up way too early! It was so warm before the snow, they are confused. I think they’ll be OK, daffodils can take the cold.

On the feeder, a huge pileated woodpecker has figured out how to hold onto the suet feeder and peck out the food. He ate a lot! So I chased him away a few times so the little birds could eat. My Sweet Babboo waited a day to put out another one, hoping he would move on.

I finished the binding on the Safelight quilt, doing it all by machine. The guild label is sewn on the back in the corner.

This turned out so pretty, I think someone will be happy to have it. I’ll pick up two more quilts currently at longarmer friends in early February made from reader blocks. I’ll be binding them, and will have some pics for you then.

Friday, it rained, and the cardinal pair showed up for some food.

I had prepped some rocks earlier in the week by spray painting them with a white base coat. I really like using the stamps, and wanted to do some quickly. I did these with some Impression Obsession stamps and ink. I plan to add some details with paint soon, then I’ll decoupage the labels on the back, seal them with a spray varnish, and hide them around town.

Oliver came by after the rain, and he looks so cute when he is hoping for a treat.

This time he went to a completely new place to eat, the trunk of the redbud tree. He’s never done this before, so is it a new spot or a new squirrel? I don’t know.

Last week I mentioned I was making my Ham and White Bean Soup, a rib sticker for a cold day. Reader Joan mentioned not having any ham but she did have chicken. So, this might be a good time to mention my Chicken Chili. Another yummy and filling, gluten free meal.

Yesterday I was working on the guild challenge. I showed you this lovely fabric before, but here it is again so I can talk about my inspiration. First, I chose this colorway as it is out of my usual palette. I love this, and it is fun to work with a new fresh color. The challenge is to make a quilt that celebrates our guild’s 40th anniversary year using this fabric. The quilt has to have a perimeter of not less than 40 inches and not more than 140.

With the pinwheel pattern in the fabric as my inspiration, I worked up this design, which would come out 20 x 20. Each square is 2-inches, so the pinwheels will be 4-inches finished. The turquoise fabric will be paired with a tone on tone white, and the butterfly will go on one of the white areas between the pinwheels. I wanted the design to suggest sparklers or fireworks spinning away from the center.

I began with loading up the Brother embroidery machine with the turquoise rayon Sulky thread, and a font card to embroider the word “Celebrate”, and the number “40” for the center square.

Then I started cutting fabric to make the pinwheels. And that is where it all started to go wrong. This ‘challenge’ was a challenge in more ways than one!! I’ll tell you all about that next time.

What are your plans for this week?

19 thoughts on “Sunday Chat

  1. karenfae

    your soup and bread look good. I have had very few birds this year coming to the feeders – it is very odd as I am usually filling the feeders up every 4 or 5 days in the winter and this year I have filled them 2 times – I get a few woodpeckers at the suet feeder and a few other birds swooping in to feed but not many – I wonder where they have all gone. I haven’t checked yet to see if the daffodils are popping up – I know I have a few here and there but I haven’t checked the area that is normally the earliest and occasionally even opening the first week of February

  2. Julie

    Uh oh, sounds like best laid plans take an unanticipated turn. I’ll wait to hear more. Those cardinals look like they were posing for their close up! My sister has a pileated pair hanging around her house. I’ve never seen any here in winter but looked it up & apparently they don’t mind the cold as long as they have food. My soup this week was split pea & ham, but I’m interested in trying your chicken chili. I finished my instant gratification small pet quilt for my friend’s poodle. Goody, I’ll have a second project out for January stash busting. With the guild not meeting Jan/Feb I don’t move as many comfort quilts out the door.

  3. Uh oh! I’m sure you’ve figured things out by now! I spent some time this am making lists for the upcoming week. I doubt I will finish everything on the list, but it will ensure that I get something done instead of going down a rabbit hole somewhere!

  4. Rita C.

    Love catching up with you on Sundays (and more!). We still have snow on the ground and in the streets in spots. It’s been a stay-in kind of week, doing a bit of pricing for the antique booth and starting on taxes for family. Those daffs are a welcome sign, and I’m sure they’ll be just fine. I’m forcing tulips right now, just to shake the winter doldrums. Your safelight quilt looks fantastic! I hope you have a good start to the new week.

  5. Connie S Wolfe

    You are so right! The quilt is bright and cheerful. I can see the recipient wrapping up in it and being comforted.

  6. So look forward to your Sunday posts. The Safelight quilt turned out beautifully. It will be most appreciated for sure. Love your bird and Oliver photos. Have always loved squirrels. Sorry that your Challenge became more of a challenge. I know your talents overcame them beautifully. Look forward to hear how you did it.

  7. Phyllis Smith

    Good morning Carole, Gracious sakes alive, I knew right off the bat what kind of woodpecker he was, they are very rare to see. On one of the YouTube recordings they have a winter bird instrumental of religious songs with birds in the wild and it is so beautiful to watch. One of the birds I’ve never seen before it has a black head with white feathers on its cheeks and a few black spots going down the breast area and some orange or golden color over the rest of its body, beautiful bird, it must be a northern one that doesn’t migrate south. T e material you have chosen is beautiful, I like working with the turquoise colors and mixing them with shades of purple as well. Being a color of pastels and winter colors I find I enjoy working with those the most. Have trouble working with greens and yellows as I never wear those as they wash me out. Have fun with your project. Stayed at home myself during the icy conditions here and the bitter cold. Phyllis

  8. That pileated woodpecker is a gorgeous guy! (But they do tend to scare away the smaller birds at the suet.) And love your photo of the cardinal pair, too. We love chicken and white bean chili at our house – I make it often. Your design for the guild challenge looks great, and perfect for the inspiration fabric. I’m planning to finish the borders on my crumb hearts quilt this week, and then come up with a plan for some applique in those borders, too.

  9. Jean McKinstry

    Turquoise, perfect centre design, even if it did go awry. The cardinals, beautiful colours, and as for the bushy tails, I would find it very hard to know who was who!!!

  10. Joan

    Thanks for the recipes! I am actually making white chicken chili today – a Pioneer Woman recipe. I will try yours next time! Did you know that yesterday was National Squirrel Appreciation Day? 🙂

  11. Your Safelight Quilt is beautiful. I’m sure that the recipient will treasure it. I know that I would.

    Ironically, I made a ham and butterbean soup tonight for dinner. Maybe your earlier post was in my mind when I pulled out ham and the butter beans today. We still have a lot of leftover ham in the freezer. We’re still pretty cold here in New Mexico and my husband went hiking today. He went back for thirds of the soup so either it was good (I thought it was), or, he was very hungry!

    Another irony is that I’m also working on a pinwheel quilt: a disappearing pinwheel friendship quilt using Celestial Magic and white fabric. It’s for my 16 year old artist/musician granddaughter who loves the Cosmos, and who painted star maps on the upper part of her bedroom walls last year. The first step is to sew 42 giant pinwheels, squared to 12.75 inches, then cut the pinwheel into 9 pieces that are turned in different directions and then sewed back together. I’ve sewn the first 4 pinwheels so I have quite a ways to go. Fun to watch it come together though. Next up will be my 14 year old grandson’s quilt in Time and Tide fabric. He loves blue and the beach. They don’t know that I’m making these. It will be a surprise and I’ll send them at the same time.

    We’ve had a warm winter too but so far all the tulips that I planted in pots, are staying underground. Our nights are very cold and that helps.

    I look forward to hearing about your pinwheel adventure!

  12. I love seeing Oliver! He’s really so handsome, and that pileated is gorgeous but he does look a bit of a pig! Soup sounds fabulous and I can’t wait to see the pinwheel fabric when integrated into your quilt, but how you “went wrong” is curious and I’ll be eager to hear more. You’re so fast! That rainbow is a stunner.

    And finally — daffodils? It’ll be awhile for us. I’m glad to see your green!

  13. Sue H

    I noticed my daffodils coming up too but not with buds. Hope yours fare well. Cute little squirrel, whoever he is, and I love that pileated woodpecker picture. He’s gorgeous! Uh oh with your guild challenge. Hope whatever went wrong is easily remedied.

  14. Patti Zeggert

    I really enjoy the photos of your local birds. I’m curious about the pole setup you have for feeding them – I haven’t figured out how you reach to refill the feeders. Would you share what your setup is and how it works, please? Thanks. ~ The turquoise fabric is lovely and It will look great in the pinwheel pattern you created.

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