Thursday, June 1, 2017

Butterflies and Break

Butterflies, Bees
and Blogging Break

I have several photos today. It's time again for the Kaleidoscope of Butterflies link up, in support of awareness of butterfly and bee habitats. Earlier this month we made a visit to Hy-Hope Farm north of Pickering to stock up on butter tarts and take some photos. It is always photogenic there! Later in the summer they will have more local produce, but this time they had a great display of flower baskets.

They also have a working apple orchard:

So, that is plenty of work for the bees. The trees were just coming into bloom. Look at this one:

Isn't that cool? I've never really noticed that growth pattern before.

It is several years now since the City of Toronto, and a year later the rest of Ontario, banned chemical herbicides and pesticides. Now every spring the city is a sea of dandelions! But apparently, dandelions are good for bees:

So, in a few more years it may well be uncool to mow the lawn!

In quilting news, I managed to sew up another six Moth in the Window blocks, from the pattern in Addicted to Scraps by Bonnie Hunter:

That one on the top right there is very disappointing, given that both fabrics are very nice. But, I'm not going to redo it! This past week I think I have finally learned my lesson about contrast, as you will see in a bit.

The first time I shared this project in April, there was some discussion about whether my lucky white butterfly was a butterfly or a moth. I looked it up, and the answer is butterfly! But, it can still be a pest. :D  And the difference between butterflies and moths is interesting too.

For the past two years I've taken a 2+ month blogging break over the summer. This year I want to try some new things before it gets too hot, so I think I'll break earlier. I find it is easier to experiment with new techniques when I'm not worried about analyzing everything for my blog.

Yesterday I got this new book by Katie Pasquini Masopust, Artful Log Cabin Quilts, and this is going to be my first big distraction. The combination of improv-pieced log cabins and abstract art quilts is very appealing. I started a new project right away!

As you see, I did not make a strong start. There is not nearly enough contrast in here to make it worthwhile. I am amazed at how many fabrics I have in the exact same value of olive green!

But, the one smart thing I did was start with the corners of my project. So, I will keep them and improve the middle.

The book has a lot of information about what makes a good photo, particularly regarding the range of contrast. Sadly, I did not pay close attention. This was my starting photo:

These are the waterlilies that grow along the Spruce Bog Boardwalk in Algonquin Park. It seemed like a good plan, but now I realize there are too many flat areas of colour for this technique. Anyway, I think I can save it. And, I have quite a few more ideas after that...

So, I'm not going to post regularly this summer, but I may pop in once or twice. I have at least three projects that are very nearly done, including Picnic...

...which is quilted and just needs binding now. I'm sure I'll post them right away if they get finished!

In the meantime, check out all the other butterfly and bee photos, fabrics, projects and info at the Kaleidoscope of Butterflies link up, right here. Happy stitching!


  1. YES, no lawn mowing anymore!

  2. You've got some wonderful new ideas to play with this summer. I hope you pop in once in awhile to share your fun.

  3. I chuckled about the possibility of not mowing the lawn to save the dandelions! When I was a kid, we use to spend hours carefully making dandelion necklaces! Enjoy your summer break. I hear you about the contrast. . .that is an area I struggle with as well!

    1. My early quilts were all very high contrast, and then I thought maybe less contrast was just as good. But, now I think it's time to look at the whole range of values, and be more aware of that. Anyway, thanks, Terry! We'll see how it works out. :D

  4. I agree that it is refreshing to take a break and simply create without worrying about photos and text. Enjoy your blog break and have fun this summer!

  5. I've never seen an apple blossom make a double pentagon like that. Good eye.
    Do you remember O. Henry's tale of the betrothed couple who got separated. He found her over an order of stewed dandelions.ive seen some leaves at the store but haven't tried them yet myself.
    Enjoy your summer. I hope to see some finishes along the way.

  6. I think your no-contrast block won't be noticeable in a whole quilt of butterflies -contrast can be such a tricky and unpredictable thing, can't it? Enjoy your break; you will be missed but I'll look forward to seeing what you've been up to once you're back.

  7. I am loving your Moths in the Windows no matter the contrast.

    When we were younger my Dad used to send us up to the park to collect Dandelion flowers in big trash bags so he could make Dandelion wine. Then they started spraying them and he quit making the wine. We used to have the young Dandelion greens mixed in with our salad sometimes too just in the early Spring.

    Have a refreshing break! You will be missed.

  8. It's sometimes good to take a short break - very refreshing and a time to gather your thoughts! Enjoy.

  9. I seem to remember roasting dandelion roots to make coffee at some point in the 70s. The result couldn't have been great as I didn't repeat it. Or perhaps I got on top of the dandelions. I take the point about contrast. Your Picnic is very picnicky -hope you get to picnic duringing the summer. Enjoy your break.

    1. Thanks, Jillian! We are taking things day by day right now. And honestly, it is nice to have some unscheduled time! Stay warm. :D

  10. enjoy your blog break but please remember to cone back, interesting re butterflies we see very few here unfortunately and though I must have caterpillars judging by all the holes in leaves have never seen any.Enjoy your new book that is full of inspiration

  11. I took a class from Katie PM last fall at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah. I do think your green photo with the flower in the middle is too much of one color. You are going to be doing a lot of piecing and won't get much bang for your buck when it's all done. Your photo of the apple blossoms would be a better choice, for example. But do as Katie suggests in the book and crop it so that the flower is not dead center.

    I am also interested in the Bonnie Hunter moth in the window block. But I haven't tackled it yet. Right now I'm working on a paper pieced pattern by Carolyn Friedlander. Don't be gone too long!

  12. I struggle with value and contrast, too. I keep thinking, "Oh, I love all these fabrics! They will be so perfect together!" and then get a mushy quilt. Great up close because the fabrics are still pretty, but mushy from afar because you can't see the actual quilt pattern! The struggle is real. :)

  13. We have not been having enough heat to really enjoy much bloom just yet. The dandelions did grow and flourish and hopefully helped the bees. I am in love with that moth in a window design. I think all your fabric choices are inspired...that is such a hard job for me. Happy Stitching and I will look forward to seeing your posts.

    1. We've had a ton of rain, and the flowers really seem to like it. Everything is blooming! Thanks, Jocelyn! I'm definitely pushing the envelope on those Moth blocks, but it's a lot of fun too. :D


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