Friday, April 23, 2010

Wildlife in my back yard

My youngest daughter was working in the flower bed last week and found this little fellow, a garden snail. In all my years here in Colorado, I've never seen one of these before, and assumed it was much too dry for them here. I've seen slugs this big inside the pit where the sprinkler valves are, but this guy is so cute with his curly little shell and his 4 "horns". He is currently living in a jar in my kitchen, being kept warm (it dipped down to 39 degrees this morning) and eating his chosen food; day lily leaves.

Then she found a yellow garden spider on a yellow tulip. These I have seen before, on yellow daffodils. They seem to know they're well hidden on a flower that shares their color. If you look closely you'll see she's caught a small fly.

Tulips and a donated quilt

Tulips have been really pretty this year. These are in the back yard...

...and these are in the front. Check out the red streak in the yellow tulip.

And here is this year's quilt designed by my 3rd grade religious education class. I try to tie in the quilt with the lesson on works of mercy. Donating a quilt is both a corporal work of mercy (clothe the naked) and a spiritual work of mercy (comfort the afflicted). Most of the drawings have something to do with faith. From top row, left to right, we have: wonders of God's creation, Saint Francis of Assisi, more of God's creation. Row 2: the burning bush, a cross, and a scene from Star Wars (the artist argued that it might comfort a child, and I had to agree). Row 3: Jesus on the cross, star of Bethlehem, and Noah's ark. We don't know who will get our quilt, but we hope God sees that it goes to someone who needs it, will like it, and appreciate it.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Silk ribbon embroidered vest... for a bear

I'm planning to teach a silk ribbon embroidery class in May, and this little aqua colored bear seemed like a great display item. He was originally a zodiac bear, with the pisces symbol on one foot and the word on the other, so the first thing I did was cover his feet with patches of ivory moire taffeta. I'd already decided to use that fabric for the vest, so his feet now match his vest. I used a pattern that I drew up awhile back, and drew around the pattern pieces directly onto the moire. Then I stitched the flowers. Here's how it looks at that point (the two fronts are on the left, the back on the right):

I cut them out, leaving a scant 1/4" seam allowance.

Using the pieces themselves as templates, I cut the lining pieces out of a cotton print.

Stitched fronts to backs at shoulders, then sewed the lining and fronts together, leaving open a bit of the back on the bottom for turning. After it's turned right side out, I blind stitched the opening and pressed it gently on a thick towel. That's probably the trickiest part of this process, as I managed to flatten my SRE more than I would have liked. I probably should have just pressed the edges and not the embroidered parts, but silk ribbon is very forgiving. I spritzed it with water and lifted each bit up a little, and it looks fine.

After it was all together, I realized I'd forgotten to give the bee on the front his wings....