Friday, July 3, 2015

Keeping busy

Might as well start with a fitting craft for this post, the Busy Block. This is my practice block for the July queen bee. Hers will be made in Cotton + Steel fabric, with the focal print black with a bit of white.

Since I've been getting lots of practice paper piecing recently, I thought I'd jump into the deep end with this maple leaf. And oh boy was it a challenge! Thankfully the woman who created the pattern gave me step-by-step photo guidance through the tricky part. She kindly designed it when I put a post on Instagram asking if anyone could turn the official logo for Canada's 150th birthday into a quilt. In no time she had a pattern and made it too - and she's not even Canadian! I decided to add stripes using the colours in the logo to make it like a flag. The piecing isn't perfect, but I sure am happy with it considering how new I am to paper piecing.

I also hosted an Instagram giveaway for this rainbow mini I made. I called it #fullofwondersgiveway and asked people to share the people or crafts on Instagram that inspire them. I got more than 60 entries, so I'd say it was a success and the winner sure seemed excited! It should be arriving at her home any day now.

Once again I tackled a zipper to make this pouch for a swap partner. My original partner in the Anna Maria Horner mini quilt swap dropped out at the last minute and long after the mini was made specifically to suite her tastes, so I wanted to make something nice specially for my new partner. She really loves kitties, so I think she'll be happy with this.

But what's really kept my attention over the last two weeks is the robin family in my backyard! I loved watching the babies hatch and then grow. I had no idea they grew so quickly! I shared nearly daily pictures on Instagram of the three babies, risking the wrath of the very protective parents. I joked that after I took the photo, I acted like I was leaving a helicopter - I moved out of the way very quickly and kept my head down. All the excitement culminated in this yesterday:

Yup. That's me holding a baby bird in my hand. When I went to take the day's photo, one jumped out of the nest! I found and carefully picked it up, but when I got back to the nest another was out! I put it back in too, but I guess it was the day for them to leave the nest because they started venturing out on the tree branches. I went for a bike ride and when I came back the nest was empty. One baby was still hopping around in the backyard by nightfall, but the other two had ventured further into neighbouring yards. I was not prepared for how worried I would be for their safety! This morning the nest was empty and the last baby gone from the backyard. Mom and Dad still scolded me when I looked out the back door. I sure hope they're not planning to have any more babies because I don't think I can take going through that again!

I put together this mosaic of the babies as they grew. It was truly remarkable to watch.

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