Author Archives: Anne

I’ve had guests this year in the tree outside my studio window.  A mother humming-bird has built a nest!  She’s been the perfect guest, going to bed at dusk and not starting her day before dawn.  Never complaining when we had torrents of rain and winds strong enough to blow over our fence.  She laid two eggs and sat on them throughout all the storms.  She’s a good mother and an amazing engineer. She built her nest in a “Y” branch of our tallest tree, with an umbrella of leaves over her head.

The storms passed, the eggs hatched and my humming-bird mother continued to sit on her nest, keeping her two tiny babies warm.  The babies weren’t much to look at, so small I could hardly see them, but I could tell mom didn’t care about looks.  She’d fly off for food, snuggle back in the nest, and push her delicate beak down into the nest to feed them.  While all of this was happening, I was reading the book called “The Fastest Things on Wings” by Terry Masear.  Her book is funny, interesting and delightful.  Because of it, I knew what to expect from these amazing little birds.  If you have a backyard feeder I think you’ll enjoy this book.

My challenge was to figure out how I could photograph the babies.  My studio is on the second floor and trying to take a photo through a glass window doesn’t work very well. I decided to brace our tall ladder against the house near the nest, and climb up with my camera.  You can imagine how that went over when I asked my husband to put the ladder against the house. I didn’t get very far.

With me back in my studio, several weeks went by as I watched the babies grow.   I was beginning to think I might not get pictures.   Then I decided to remove the screen from the window furthest from the nest, use my telephoto lens, and lean out the window with my camera.  Success!

Just about the time I had all of this figured out, the mother hummingbird left the nest.  Thanks to Terry’s book I knew this was normal.  The mother returned every 30 minutes to feed her babies.

Then suddenly last week, my humming-bird nest became a hub of activity.  The babies were much more active, changing positions, pecking at the leaves over their heads, and preening.

The first baby tried out its wings, clinging to the side of the nest while flapping at a pretty good speed.

Then the second baby tried its wings, but more cautiously. Flapping away while still in the nest (not easy to do with a sibling right next to you).

Every 30 minutes mom was back to feed her “teens”.

Then a week ago it happened.  The first baby began sitting on a tiny bud of leaves just outside the nest.  Soon it was showing off its flight skills while its sibling looked on. Mom flew back to feed it and then baby was up and away!

Just one baby left, but mom was diligent with her feedings. It poured rain all night, and in the morning a soggy baby was still in the nest. Finally the sun came out, and when I looked baby number two was gone!   Mom came back to check on the nest, and then she was off. I was left feeling like an empty nester.

But, then the next day I saw them!  Both babies were sitting in the tree, flitting from branch to branch.  As I watched, mom returned and fed both babies!  She continued to do this off and on over a period of several days.  I read that the mother humming-bird spends this time teaching her babies where the best food can be found, the tastiest bugs and the sweetest nectar.  She’ll lead them to the humming-bird feeder and show them where to drink.  I see them in the tree less and less, but they still return with mom close by.  What a miracle of life these little birds are!

Hope you’re having a great weekend!  Happy Saturday everyone!


I LOVE to see the new Moda catalogs and I bet you do too. Here’s the latest pre-market catalog from Moda, hot off the press!  They have some of the cutest fabric lines ever in this issue, and they’re introducing a new designer, Annie Brady! Welcome to Moda Annie Brady!

Click link below and enjoy the catalog!

Pre-Market Moda Catalog

I don’t have a fabric line in here, but a lot of my friends do!  You’ll find so many “fun” things throughout the catalog!  Check out the new Bella colors, the new Moda basics, and new Grunge fabrics!   Most of these collections start shipping to shops in August and September and I’m making a wish list of bundles I can’t live without.  What’s on your wish list?  Did you find some things you just “have to have”?

Thank you Moda for once again making our fabric world exciting!



Moda has two fun things happening this year that you might not know about yet.  First is a year of contests called “12 Designers, 12 Months, 12 contests”.  If you put all the prizes you could win from entering these contests together,  you’d need a truck to carry it all!  


Each of the participating designers have a contest for you to enter.  Each contest is different, so you never know what’s coming, but they do have one thing in common, prizes, prizes, prizes!  Here’s the list of participating designers:


If you’d like to participate in these contests, visit the Moda blog on the 5th of each month to read about that month’s designer.   Post your finished project each month to Instagram or Facebook.  You can choose one contest or try them all.  It’s fun to see what everyone creates and you could win some great prizes!   Just look at what Kaari has created with the assorted blocks her winners created!  You can see the January and February creations by searching Instagram or Facebook with the hashtags #12contestsfrenchgeneral or #12contestssweetwater.  The Me & My Sister challenge has just started and they have the cutest table runner for you to make!  You’ll not only end up with a great table runner, you could also win some prizes!


Next is the Blockheads group.  It’s a free block of the week from 6 designers!  Blockheads starts this week, and you’ll get a total of 48 blocks, one each week for the rest of the year!

Here’s block #1 from Lynne Hagmeier of Kansas Troubles.

You can find the blocks and pattern each week on The Moda Blog!

You can see more pictures on Instagram and Facebook by searching for #modablockheads and they have a Facebook group that they just started called Moda Blockheads.

Thank you Moda for inspiring us!  Because of you we devote every minute we can to quilting!

Have a great weekend filled with fun sewing!



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