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Are You Ready for the New Block?

July 11th, 2014 | 23 Comments



Some of you are probably wondering about the long hiatus from the blog? I had to exile myself from the computer so I could get some serious work done. I am happy to say that I accomplished more in the last three months than I have in two years. Yes, the computer (email) eats that much time and I am not even on Facebook or other social media.

It did help that I totally screwed up my database when that Heart Bleed virus was scaring the pants off everyone. I changed some passwords and then everything crashed around me. I just did not have the time for the exhaustive fixes to get the computer stuff up and running and instead, I used the opportunity to just dive into getting the designing and stitching stuff done.

I feel like a new person being able to truly fill up my creative tank.

I am going to continue the long breaks from the computer so I can wrap up this Naturalist’s Notebook and some of my own projects. I have quilts that have been waiting years to be made (dare I even mention Jason’s Pumpkin?) that have been sitting idle growing moss.

I was able to get my Houston entry completed, the remaining Naturalist’s Notebook blocks designed and complete the stitching on the latest block among a lot of other tasks that had been piling up.

Which brings me to…….


Block 6: “Val’s Rhododendron”

Hummingbirds are notoriously rendered rather badly–especially in fabric. When my sweet Lynn asked for a Ruby Throated Hummingbird, I thought to myself, “Oh no, the bird of artistic failure! what to do?!”. Since I wanted to create Val’s Rhododendrons (also difficult, especially head on), I thought, “why not just go for gold in one block?”.

I was either going to fail miserably, or succeed fabulously and break the cycle of ugly applique Hummingbirds (with respect).

I love my Hummingbird–can I say that? I did have to tear it out twice because we do not have them here and after much study, I realized I had some of the coloring wrong. I was determined to succeed.


Ta Da!



What you can’t really see in the picture is the glint in the head area that is so unique to Hummingbirds. I used some specialty threads to try and replicate that detail and I like the way it worked out. I have to be careful that sparkle doesn’t cross over to tacky.

What I am really stoked about is…Yes, the beak is hand appliqued! It is the width of two black gold needles. The picture below has one black gold applique needle laying on top for reference. This is why I believe if you learn how to needle-turn, you can applique almost anything. I am definitely not saying other methods are bad or inferior, they have their positives and good uses too, but with direct needle-turn, there are many more options open to you.




I leave for Australia next week and won’t be back until sometime in August. I have to wait for everything to get back from the printer to package up the Val’s Rhododendron pattern and have it ready for sale.

I will get a fabric list together for those of you who like to find your own fabrics when I list the pattern on my main webpage site.

Floss and fabric kits will take a lot more time after I get home. I will not have a “reserve” list and as always, I will try and have enough for those who want one. They do take time though so patience is a virtue since it is only me.

This particular block has a lot more fussy cutting so if you want more freedom, you may want to purchase your fabrics directly from quilt shops and sites.

I hope you like the new block!





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