Sunday, November 1, 2009

November 1st already?

How did it get to be November already?  Where did August, September and October go?

Guess I'd better put away my summer clothes and bring out long sleeves and fleece vests.   But there are projects to be finished, and my time would be better spent on those!

Status of my Penguin quilt:  I'm almost finished quilting all the bellies/torso areas of the penguins.  I work in blocks of time determined by my sewing machine's filled bobbins . . . FMQ'ing until I've used up two bobbins of thread.  Then I rewind two more and take a break.  I'm being pretty brave, using the same white cotton in the bobbin as in the top thread, which means my quilting really shows up on the royal blue backing of this quilt.

Also, while warming up for free-motion quilting and checking my tension,  I found a new FM (free-motion) design developing, and I really like it.  I'm not saying that I developed it; just that it came to me naturally and I'd never seen it before:

Doesn't it make nice texture?  As my friend Dean noted, "it looks like feathers."  He's not a quilter, so he was not referring to the traditional feather quilting design.  Instead, it put him in mind of a feathery, downy surface.

So now I'm wondering -- are penguins birds or mammals?  If the former, do they have feathers?  Or if the latter, do they have hair or fur?  Time to google this!

. . . and from Wikipedia    ( :
Penguins (order Sphenisciformes, family Spheniscidae) are a group of aquatic, flightless birds living almost exclusively in the southern hemisphere, especially in Antarctica. Highly adapted for life in the water, penguins have countershaded dark and white plumage, and their wings have become flippers. Most penguins feed on krill, fish, squid, and other forms of sealife caught while swimming underwater. They spend about half of their life on land and half in the oceans.

The key word from that Wikipedia entry is plumage.

Here's what the online Free Dictionary says about plumage  (  :
plum·age  (plmj)
1. The covering of feathers on a bird.
2. Feathers used ornamentally.
3. Elaborate dress; finery.

CONCLUSION:  Unless my penguins are dressing in Vera Wang gowns for the next Hollywood awards show, I'd say they're sporting FEATHERS  and are large, handsome birds that can't fly.  Never mind that the feathers of real penguins lie flat and mine are curly, at last this quilt is getting finished!

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