Monday, September 2, 2019

Butterflies, Art Exhibit, and Some Quilting

It's the first of September and I got to see my last two butterflies hatch. I hope they recognize my yard for egg laying, since all these caterpillars were brought over from Ellen Hall's yard, about five miles from mine. I felt like a third-grader getting excited about these beautiful creatures. Elizabeth, my constant companion, was fascinated at the butterfly emerging from the chrysalis. She wanted to touch but was calm as I kept her paw back. I think this one is female--with smaller yellow spots and larger blue area on back of wings (fourth picture). The fifth picture shows a male for comparison.
Elizabeth watches butterfly emerge from chrysalis

Butterfly on coleus flowers drying her wings
 
Butterfly on portulaca
Female Butterfly with wings open 
Male (larger yellow spots on open wings, smaller blue area)
I entered three fiber art pieces in the South Mississippi Art Association's exhibit at the Lucile Parker Gallery on the William Carey University campus. One was pictured on the invitation (far left), and another won an honorable mention.
Invitation to  the Exhibit

My pieces hanging with those of Jeanette Graham and Mary Judice

Improv Music, 25" x 28"
Pine Belt Quilters had a workshop for Leanne Green to teach us how to use a Bosal product to make this little bowl which can be molded into a curved shape. It's a clever project but took longer to make than it looks like it would. It's about 10" from top to bottom and 8" side to side.
Molded bowl, taught by Leanne Green
The Interleave Symphony is finished except for black binding (so named because one of the fabrics contains composers' names), and I decided it needs to hang vertical instead of horizontal.
Interleave Symphony in progress

Interleave Symphony, 31" x 34" ready for black binding

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Caterpillars into Black Swallowtail Butterflies

My caterpillars emerged from their chrysalises after nine days. The first one was out one morning when I awoke. I had taken a little sewing trip to my friend Jackie Watkins' home on Lake Caroline north of Jackson, and the jar of parsley and two chrysalises went with me. Thinking the second one was about ready, I positioned the jar on my dash so I would not miss anything on the two-hour drive back to Hattiesburg. (My kids will probably freak out when they read this, but I swear I was careful and safe!) I took the first hatchling out of the jar and put him on the dash, where he stayed for the ride. When I got back to Hattiesburg I put him on some parsley in my flowerbed so he would know where his home was.
Hatched in the jar
 
My view of the dashboard
    The second one began to emerge about Collins (30 miles from home) and it was such a fun scene that I found a place to pull over and watch and take a few good pictures. He was also placed in my flowerbed. Both butterflies stayed a couple of hours before flying, and it was quite a happy sight when I saw one of them the following day on my Lantana flowers.
He rode on the dash for two hours

Placed in flowerbed on parsley

Crawling all over the parsley

Checking out the portulaca

Resting before taking flight
      I put the binding on this Leftover Triangles piece, did a ghost quilting project, and planned another Interleave design using black, red, black print, and green/red/gold print with composers' names on it. I think this will be called Interleave Symphony. It is wider and taller than any previous pieces I have made and I thought I would have to give up when the first few rows were so difficult to handle under the machine head. After several rows it became more manageable. I think I am going to like it. Elizabeth approves after close inspection.
Leftover Triangles
Wild Rose Ghost Quilting
Layout for new Interleave

Elizabeth giving her approval
      The dog puzzle is still under construction, and I often find Elizabeth sitting or sleeping on it, waiting for me to come and work. Three friends came one afternoon to help, and she enjoyed the added attention so much that she finally just insisted on laying down on it to be admired. I would try to pick her up, but her swishing tail could fling pieces everywhere. We gave up and left her, so she quickly became tired of this game. Rahrah sometimes comes to check it out. She can fit into the box quite easily.
Elizabeth breaking up the puzzle party

Rahrah fits easily into the puzzle box

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Summer Veggies and Caterpillars

The Farmers' Curb Market had these beautiful long eggplants that I love. I also bought pink-eye purple hull peas and okra and some little miniature eggplants. Buying the peas caused me to make a recipe of my family's beloved Hot Tomato Relish before I could cook the peas.
Pink-eye purple hull peas, okra, eggplant, miniature eggplant 
   I made a little progress on this black and white wall quilt, but it will take one more day (with Elizabeth asleep in another room!) to finish it.
In progress
   After my disappointment over having no black swallowtail butterflies lay eggs on my HUGE parsley plant this spring/summer, I kidnapped (rescued) four fat caterpillars from Ellen Hall's parsley when she said she had two plants being devoured by a bunch of them. I put them in a large jar with some parsley bought from Winn-Dixie, and after four days I had two chrysalises. The other two did not live. Felder Rushing, our state gardening expert, mentioned that the Eastern Black Swallowtail is Mississippi's state butterfly. This made me even happier to think I saved a couple from the birds. The butterflies should wake and shed their chrysalises in 10-20 days; then live another 6-14 days, hopefully laying eggs on MY parsley! This article and pictures confirmed my identification. I got another caterpillar from Ellen, with less yellow-green and more black, so it might not be a swallowtail. She's munching away on her very own parsley plant, so I'm eager to see what she turns out to be. (Be sure to enlarge pictures to see these better.)
Four hungry caterpillars

See the chrysalis on the right, hanging by silk thread

A different caterpillar?
    Progress is very slow on the dog puzzle. Elizabeth says this box is too small but will do for now.


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

New Lights and Cats

The light went out on my sewing machine and a trip to the service guy would be necessary to replace it.  After seeing a little light strip on Stewie's Nana's machine, I ordered one. (Stewie Fulkerson is a beautiful cat with his own Facebook page.) It was tricky to stick under my Pfaff's machine head, but Elizabeth was there to investigate and help out.



Here is what the strip looks like as I am sticking it to the side and underneath of the machine head.  I ordered mine here: https://serenshop.com/product/sewing-machine-light, cost about $20 including shipping and it took a couple of weeks, was shipped from China. 

   Stewie's Nana says hers came from this site: 
Meanwhile, Tarbaby is perched on the back of my computer chair (with pillowcase to protect from sharp claws).


 Rahrah always has a guilty look on her face. I think it is those big eyes.



Sunday, August 4, 2019

August--Hot Outside, Cool Inside

After bragging about my "clean" garage, I feel a little guilty that I did not show the rest of the garage. But not guilty enough to do that. You have to have shelves to store gardening tools and such. An extra old refrigerator is also handy.
I finally got Elizabeth off this Fractured Roses quilt long enough to get the binding and sleeve on it. Then this Improv Music piece is also finished.
Fractured Roses
Improv Music
I took them to an SFA (Southern Fiber Artists) meeting yesterday. It is always refreshing to spend the day with other fiber artists and see what they have been doing. We presented little 8"x10" quilts to thank Sue Rountree for her two years as our leader. Here is mine--a ghost-quilting piece.

Jackie Watkins and I taught a Moon Over the Mountain Interleave design to the group.

I participated in a quilt exhibit called Sacred Threads last month that is held biennially in the Washington DC/Virginia area. This is a unique exhibit of quilts exploring themes of joy, inspiration, spirituality, healing, grief and peace/brotherhood. There was a section called Eye Contact: Creating a Connection, of small quilts (5" x 23") featuring human eyes, with the purpose of encouraging us to notice each other, to look at each other, to interact with each other, "to bridge the distance that seems to separate us." http://sacredthreadsquilts.com/html/iseeyou.html



Libby Williamson with her quilt
The current puzzle on my table is a picture of those old dogs playing poker. It's 1000 pieces with lots of black or blue-black that will be the last to put in. My favorite is the guy on the far right.


Sunday, July 28, 2019

July and an Empty Garage

After having 40 boxes of donated Pine Belt Quilters quilt supplies in my garage for six weeks, I am happy to say the garage is empty. The remainder was donated to the Hattiesburg Arts Council for Abigail Lenz to use in her activities with children's camps and art groups.



     I have been working on a Quilt of Valor as well as another guild project (table decorations for our hosting of the MQA Fall Gathering in Hattiesburg Oct. 25-26. The QOV is made of squares surrounded by strips--dark squares with light strips and vice-versa, in patriotic colors. Many of the pieces came from the 40 boxes of donated fabric.

     Then there were some postcards for special friends, and some improvisational piecing.


     I finished the chameleon puzzle and thought I'd give puzzling a rest, but this clown fish one looked so easy with its sharp, clean lines. It did prove fun and not a challenging as the chameleons. Tarbaby is an equal opportunity puzzler. When he wants my undivided attention, he just parks himself where I can't ignore him--on the puzzle, on the fabric, on the computer keyboard. He loves to hang his head off the edge of a table.


     But this is his favorite position of all. 
   
     It has taken almost daily watering to keep my flowerbed alive this month. I'm concentrating on hardy plants. The first New Yard Guy mowed down my mint plants. I bought four Mexican Heather plants and put two in an open area against the fence, only to have the Second New Yard Guy attack them with the weed-eater. He's no longer the Yard Guy. But this fuzzy purple plant has been here since last summer. It is up in the flowerbed, protected by the cement pavers.
   



     I participated in an exhibit this month called Sacred Threads in Virginia, in a section called Eye Contact. The pieces were 5" x 23" and featuring human eyes. It must have been a fascinating exhibit to see in person!