Quilt Gallery

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summer Vacation, Continued

Ah!  Central Florida.  Yes, it's hot and humid.  And no, there isn't much to do where my parents live.  But that is its charm.  It forces you to slow down and relax.  Lots of sleeping, reading, card-playing with my mom and the girls, movie nights with my dad, and swimming.  I also spent a little time each day hand piecing scraps for the vintage quilt top.  Now that I am home and can use my sewing machine, the rest is moving along quickly.  Here is the latest completed section, looking a little drab in this light. One more to go before I can put it all together.

We did make a few excursions while in Florida.  Eva enjoyed a trail ride around the lush grounds of Grand Oaks, home of the Florida Carriage Museum.

Afterwards we toured on foot.  I particularly liked the the black and white Gypsy Vanners and the funny-faced Poitou donkey.

Gypsy Vanner

Poitou Donkey

We also went to Homosassa State Wildlife Park where Eva and I got to practice our wildlife photography.  I found the constantly changing light -- sun, clouds, deep shade -- quite a challenge.  And the main attraction, the manatees, were completely uncooperative.  Nonetheless, it was great to have such an array of critters in one place.

Barred Owl

Roseate Spoonbill

Friday, June 14, 2013

Penguins Revisited

When my penguin postcards were on auction aboard the Akademik Ioffe in January I was asked whether they could really be sent through the mail.  I had never actually sent one, but trusted that the on-line claims to the affirmative were true and promised the winning bidder that I would make another to mail.  Success!  These little guys made it all the way from Texas to Perth, Australia.  The more important news is that the South Georgia Heritage Trust, for which the auction was held, has made enormous progress in removing invasive rats from South Georgia Island having now baited 70% of the rat infested area of the island.

And here are some more penguin photos from the Antarctica trip.  They are such funny creatures that it was hard not to keep taking pictures of them!

Gentoo Penguins, Cuverville Island

King Penguins at Fortuna Bay, South Georgia Island

Skuas hoping for a meal, Cuverville Island

Gentoo feeding time,  Port Charcot

Hiking with Gentoo Penguins, Cuverville Island

King Penguins, South Georgia Island

Chinstrap Penguin, Deception Island

Hope Bay (Yes, that spot on the ice is a penguin!)

Adelie Penguins at Hope Bay

Summer Vacation

We kicked off the summer with a long weekend at Cape Ann, Massachusetts.  Our first full day brought brilliant skies, perfect for an excursion along the Atlantic Path which follows the rocky shore from the hotel we stayed in, the Emerson Inn, to Halibut Point State Park, site of an old granite quarry.  With no time constraints, we could stop at our pleasure to take photos and to examine the geology along the way.

The Emerson Inn

Cairn along the Atlantic Path

Our next stop was Rockport, which was settled in 1695 and supported early fishing and granite industries.  It is still a base for lobstering, but now attracts tourists with its shops, galleries, restaurants and colorful New England scenery, including "Motif #1," claimed to be the most often painted building in America.

Motif #1

After lunch and a stroll around Bearskin Neck in Rockport, we made our way down to the docks and the artists colony at Rocky Neck in Gloucester.  With fewer tourists, more artists, and a large working dockyard, I found Gloucester much more engaging. Or maybe it was just that since it was later in the day the light was better...

We ended the day with a walk along the jetty at the Eastern Point Lighthouse.  For another take on these same scenes, take a look at my daughter's blog here.

Eastern Point Lighthouse

All these great colors and interesting shapes offer lots of inspiration for quilts.  But new projects will have to wait until I complete some other works in progress, notably this vintage top which I have chosen as this summer's project.  It is very portable and doesn't require particularly careful planning or piecing so it is great to carry along on our travels.  I found the original partial blocks at a garage sale while in Jackson Hole several summers ago and later bought a tub full of vintage fabrics so I have plenty of material with which to complete the existing blocks and to make enough new ones for a twin size quilt.