Slow Stitching Sunday Mid-November

Here and there I am working on an applique project. I have not done extensive applique before and this is a learning project for me. I am trying different methods out and not expecting everything to be perfect ( it surely won’t ) but I do expect it to be enjoyable :) So far I’ve just been basting with glue or needle turning …I think my middle stem is pretty thick, but the next round of shapes will be done with freezer paper and starch or sizing, and I know that I’ll get better as I go along. I wanted to grow a garden in the winter because I love growing flowers in the summer so much. I think the freezer paper / sizing method should assist me in getting smoother shapes and better points on the next round…we’ll see :)

beginners applique garden

Any applique that I have done prior to this has had large pieces such as the block on this sampler that is  on the rocking chair in the background of the photo below , or the Dresden plate quilt, so the smaller pieces are something new for me.

autumn colors in the house

Another project that will be very sporadic is hand-piecing. When my grandson  is over here for the day he moves from one thing to another…we read, he plays in the toy room, we  cook or bake, we will still go outside for awhile weather permitting,  and then for quiet times such as coloring or putting a puzzle together I wanted something that I could pick up and do as we sit at the table.

Brent and Good Night Moon Puzzle

In the summer, his older sister wanted to learn embroidery and while she worked on her piece I’d work on a tea towel ( haven’t picked that up since she completed her piece and is back in school :)   For the winter, I thought to cut out a block at a time for a sampler and just work on that in times like this.  My grandson understands that I am doing a puzzle, too. It is just that I am sewing mine together :)

Puzzle and Piecing

Finishing up the last two hand-quilted blocks on the couch quilt for my son and family. Almost done! It is a plain nine patch pattern but there is a lot of hand quilting in it. About 10% machine / the rest hand. When it is time to do the binding I’ll just be bringing the backing to the front and hand-sewing that down and soon it will be complete.

couch quilt the last two blocks collage

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If you give a mouse a cookie / If I give a bluejay a peanut…

One morning I’d thrown a handful of peanuts out for the squirrels. I usually just feed a squirrel individually on my porch but on that morning I had also spread some cracked corn around the front yard, and seeing one or two other squirrels, I threw the nuts out onto the lawn . ( It was cold and dreary and I did not feel like sitting around on the porch feeding squirrels that morning :)  Well,  not too long after that, I heard the blue jay call. He discovered the peanuts and was alerting all of his friends.

It’s been awhile since I did anything with the jays so I grabbed my jacket and camera and more peanuts and went outside, cold or not.

Talk about a support group system! Are you familiar with the book “If you give a mouse a cookie” ?  Well…here is my story. If I give a BlueJay a Peanut

When a blue jay realizes that a human has thrown some peanuts out, he immediately calls to all the other jays in the surrounding area.  Soon they are swooping in and down to the lawn, grabbing their nuts, as fast as the blink of an eye, and I am on the porch snapping away because I know that to get one clear photo I’ll have to take 20.

blue jay flying and on ground collage

Then I thought….” This is so hard…I wonder if I put a few on the porch railing, if they’d come closer and I could get better pictures? ”

HA! They are fearless and do come closer…and closer and closer.  I had no one here to take a picture of me and the jays but basically at the end of this session I had a chair pulled up next to the railing and my hand out with a peanut, with a peanut or two next to my hand, and they’d come right there.  One or two of them appeared to be smaller and younger than the others and those were the ones that stayed a wee bit longer.

blue jay collage 2

This planter still had some dirt in it ( from summer flowers ) and if I put a peanut or two in there, a jay would land, hop around, and fluff his feathers a bit before taking off.

Blue Jay Collage

At that point I thought that I’d do a little research about jays and yes the info that I found said that they can be tamed a bit. Coincidentally a fellow blogger friend had just posted a story about a tame jay HERE. ( a sweet story about a baby jay named “Fluffy” when she was growing up )

The next day I discovered that these jays are very smart.  I looked out the window and one was perched on my front porch chair looking in.  Clearly he had a good memory and remembered what had gone on the day before. I repeated the scenario of placing some peanuts on the railing while also having my hand there holding a nut. Soon I had quite a few jays around again. While they did not take the nut from my hand they would land right next to it.

Blue Jays Coming to Visit Collage

I decided to see how observant  they were so a bit later  I threw a few peanuts into the back yard now,  and I also placed some right on the window sill of the  dining room window. Not long after that, there they were, swooping and diving into the backyard lawn as well as retrieving their peanuts from the window sill.  I wanted to try that because while I won’t repeat this peanut-feeding every day, I knew that I would try it again when my grandson was over here. Sure enough, a few days later when he was here, there were the jays in the bush right outside the window, getting ready to grab the peanuts that I’d had him place there.  And the “BIG BLUE BIRDS, OMA!!!”  were exciting to him.

Here is one perched outside ready to grab his peanut on the window sill.

 

Blue Jay Ready to get a peanut from the window sill

They provide a lot of entertainment for very little cost.

You might also enjoy :  The Hawk Visitor    or  Goldfinches

 

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