As you may know, my favourite fabric source is Mr. Kotkarankki. I usually just gently guide his shirt choices to suit my purposes, and then wait patiently until the collars and cuffs start to fray. It takes a few years to get a shirt to my stash this way, but if I'm lucky and he likes the shirt, he wears it often and I get it sooner. Another way is to make him understand that he doesn't really like a shirt because it is a) too tight or too big, b) too stiff or too coarse, or c) the wrong colour for him after all (but not for me!). This way I can lay my hands on barely used shirts. This lot has been worn and loved, and now it is mine:
And this is what I have been doing with them this week:
The first nine-patch blocks for Anne Marie's Nine Patch Challenge 2011.
The blocks will be 9" finished size, because so many of the shirts have such big patterns. I must dig deeper to find more material for the light squares.
It has been snowing almost every day. My path to the composter is more than knee deep. There is more snow already than there was last year during the whole winter, and we still have about two snowy months left. It often snows in April too, but by then most of the snow has thawed away.
When there is no wind, the snow gathers on the oak branches.
We keep a record of different birds we recognize in our yard, and mark on a list the first date we spotted them each year. The long-tailed titmouse flock comes a couple of times a week to eat the fat and seeds. I think they look cute, such soft, round creatures.
By this date we have seen 15 species, most of them daily visitors at the bird feeder. They eat sunflower seeds with a small addition of peanuts, and the tits and woodpeckers like the fat-and-seeds sausage or balls. They need lots of energy just to keep warm in this climate. We take care there is always food for them once we have started the winter feeding. When the weather has warmed and there are insects available, we take the feeder away so the birds will take care of themselves during the warmer season. After the migrating birds have left in late October, or when the first frosts come, we start feeding birds again. This way we don't tempt the migrating birds to stay as they are not going to survive our winter, no matter how much we feed them. This place is for the tough guys only!