Thursday, February 26, 2009

Outside the studio window

I promised you a visit this week from Miss Rosie and here she is... Rosie is a Mullican cockatoo and she has got to be the tamest cockatoo I have ever met. A friend brought her by one day for a visit and I tell you I didn't get much done that day. I was too busy playing with Rosie. Most people we know with large birds are always having to say things like "don't stick your finger out" or "don't let her get to close to your face" or other things that definitely make you think twice about even getting near the bird.
Well Miss Rosie LOVES to be held and in fact as you walk past her, she holds up her foot to be picked up. Then she proceeds to sit on your lap like a dog and if you stop petting her she gives your hand a nudge. She is by far the sweetest bird I have had the opportunity to meet. She hung around for the day (her wings are clipped) she sat up in the avocado tree for a while, then she was walking around on the deck some and of course she spent some time on my lap. The squirrels made themselves scarce during her visit, but I'm sure they were watching from the trees.

Speaking of squirrels.... here's the latest snapshot of "baby" the fox squirrel I posted about in early January. You can see he (or she) has grown quite a bit. I tried to get the same pose and placement as the first picture (top) but this is as close as I could get. You can tell he's grown and his coat is getting darker. His mom still comes around once in awhile and on rare occasion his smaller sibling tags along with her when she comes. They are so much fun to watch, Today we spotted a pipevine swallowtail butterfly in the garden, gosh how do I get anything done around here? Okay back to work, hmmmm where was I?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

and the lucky duck is.....

Gosh just as suspenseful as a night at the Oscars...
I truly wished you could have all won my giveaway,
I loved all of your comments,
but the lucky duck that wins my spring basket is ....
Congratulations Nanabarb! I hope you'll enjoy your cheery basket of quilt goodies.
Orange you excited!

Thanks so much to everyone that made this so much fun
and especially to our hostess Pat Sloan who keeps us all smiling.
I hope you'll stop by my blog again soon to say hi and see what I'm up to,
it was so nice to meet you all today.
Knock, knock....
who's there?
Orange, you know the rest LOL

Good luck to all for the OP Giveaway today

So happy to hear everyone is having a good time with Pat's OP challenge and blog hop. It's been wonderful to see all the orangetastic blocks comments and blogs of all the participants - you!
Check back later to see who won today (wish you all could, you are all such fun.) and don't forget to post your comment to the post below (In search of Orange...) to be in the running for the giveaway.
Speaking of giveaways (they're fun aren't they?) I'll be hosting a giveaway here celebrating BFF's the week of March 1st so stop back soon.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

In search of Orange and more Orange...the OP Block Challenge and Blog Hop

When I first heard about Pat Sloan's OP Challenge I had to join in.
Click on her link above to get all the details if you're just joining us. It's lots of fun and part of the fun is the blog hop. You'll hop over to several blogs including this one, and if you leave a comment you're in the running for a prize! So get started and have fun with the sew along and the blog hop and good luck.
Orange is misunderstood and shunned by many but - Oh just think how dull the world would be without a little ORANGE.
Orange is vibrant, hmmm kinda like Pat
. Orange is quirky, hmmm Pat comes to mind once again, Orange is fun, hmmmm Pat again, no wonder she chose orange. With any luck I'll have some blocks made by the time this posts. On Friday the first day of the sew-along I had shipping to get done and an appointment all the way across town and I'm trying to get another pattern design wrapped up before my classes get started, then Saturday morning I'm out for lunch and shopping with my quilting buddies and then we have a guest coming for dinner Saturday night so.... my 2 blocks may be a bit wonky as they were made in the wee hours. What's your secret Pat? You always seem to be doing about a jillion things at once. I can usually manage to juggle about a half a jillion. Maybe if I can get my hubby to cut fabric???? Anyway, I stumbled into Pat on Facebook through as mutual friend, and had some idea of her accomplishments but wow, there's no moss growing on her. I'm looking forward to bumping into Pat at Fall Market if she stands still long enough.
If you've never been a fan of orange I hope you'll decide to add at least a bit of orange into your life. When I went in search of orange I discovered I actually had two orange scissors! (of course, I do have a bunch of scissors)
The two tangerines in the backyard were just as delicious as they look, and orange seems to have found its way into my kitchen cupboards , most likely into yours too.

Then I came across the not so subtle purse I made from my Earthknits pattern "Eco-purse" that is most assuredly orange. There's also my quilt pattern "Fruity Fandango" which was inspired by oranges and their cousins, grapefruit, lime and lemon.

Then, did I mention I was a cheesehead? Yes, I am. I was born and raised in Wisconsin. Home of yummy orange cheese and the infamous Green Bay Packers!
I also had a pretty good stash of orange fabric, as you can see in the pic of my OP (Orange pile)
I posted a couple of days ago. I think I may need several orange florals to round it out. Good excuse to go shopping.

I'm hopeful that today I will get a chance to get caught up in the sew along, but I am enjoying seeing all the OP blocks that everyone is making, the fabulous variety of projects, and how much everyone is getting done.

I hope you enjoyed hopping over to by my blog and good luck to you for the drawing of today's giveaway. Just leave a comment on this post and maybe you'll be the lucky winner. We'll let you know later this evening, around 8:00 pm Eastern time.
I want to send the winner something cheery because I realize that it's still kind of gloomy up North, and out East, and in the Northwest.... well, you get my drift (no-no, not snow drift).
So I filled a little spring basket (see pic below) adorned with an orange carrot and filled with some pretty fabrics and creative bits to play with. There's 1/2 yd. of turquoise fabric, 1/2 yard of bright green, 1/4 yard of pink and a FQ of a pretty print along with some green pearl cotton, some bright felted wool squares, a card case (handmade by me), an egg full of asst. buttons, a packet of silk ribbon, a fun block stamp, a bag of yummy Reese's® pieces (yes they're orange) and one of my patterns of your choice. If you win you can let me know which pattern you chose in an e-mail.
Orange you glad you stopped by? Orange you happy to be a quilter?
If you get a chance hop over to my website too, there are links over to the right.
Pop in later this week to see Miss Rosie and updated pics of baby squirrel.

in stitches, Linda

My OP Blocks - Woot!

Gosh I was up late last night to catch up on the OP block challenge, but I did get 2 blocks made. Can't promise how much farther I'll get as in moments I'm scooting out the door to meet my quilt buddies for some light shopping and lunch. Then we have a guest coming for dinner tonight, might be another late one! Don't you love the orange!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Join the Fun at a Virtual Quilt Retreat

This weekend Feb 20-22 join in the fun at Pat Sloan's Place for a virtual quilt retreat and her OP (orange pile) 2009 Challenge. Join in for the block challenge, share your block pics, go on a blog hop, (wink, wink) and there's a chance you could win a fun prize too. It's easy to sign up, click over on the link here or the OP button on the sidebar and get started.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Naples Quilt Show

Congratulations to EVERYONE that entered a quilt in our Naples Quilt Guild Stitches in Time Quilt Show. It always takes place on or around Valentines Day and so usually our spouses tend to be slightly ignored for a good part of the 3 days of the quilt show and show set-up. My husband, being the sweet hubby that he is, takes it all in stride and is just happy that I am able to immerse myself in all that is quilts during this much anticipated event. Our guild has an amazing pool of highly talented quilters of the traditional and non-traditional sort. It makes for an extremely pleasing mix of quilts on display. This years show we had 190 quilts on display. My favorite was one made by my friend Jessie. We've all seen her working on it throughout the year and at last it was done and hanging in the quilt show and.... sporting a first place blue ribbon besides! it is a string pieced quilt and she used all Kaffe Fasset's fabrics. I think it's absolutely stunning. Jessie made it for her sister, what a lucky sister!

Here is Sandra next to her star quilt that she worked at so dilegently to get done in time and she did it! I wish it were mine. This huge fabulous scrap quilt was made by my friend Aloyse and I can't believe she had that many scraps as this is not her first scrappy quilt, her scrap box obviously was even more of a behemoth than mine.

This next quilt is a small innovative quilt depicting birch trees was made by Veronica the chair of this years quilt show and I just love it, as did the judge. She was also the winner of Best of Show with this spectacular innovative quilt called "High Humidity", appropriate for Florida, sorry it is so out of focus, I think I was jostled in the crowd. I wish I would have gotten a close up picture, the thread painting on this quilt is phenomenal.

I should have taken more pictures but I was too busy really looking at the quilts and chatting with friends and shopping the vendors. My friend Mary had a vendor booth at the show. Her shop is an online store and she carries all sorts of really adorable "gifty" items for quilters and knitters too. That's Mary sitting down, and Lillian ( friend and helper) standing. One of the highlights of our quilt show is the Mini Quilt Auction, guild members make miniature quilts that are then auctioned off and the proceeds are donated to Breast Cancer Research. We are fortunate to have found a hysterically funny, kind, and talented auctioneer that donates his time and energy each year. He not only brings in great proceeds during the auction but keeps us laughing through the entire event.

I could go on and on about the quilt show but yikes - I have to go get caught up on things since I was out goofing off at the quilt show the last few days. Did I mention that dust is also my nemisis? Can't wait until the next quilt show.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Quilt Lover's Hangout

Saturday night was a fun night at one of my favorite local quilt shops. Quilt Lovers Hangout in N. Ft. Myers is one of those shops that makes you feel welcome as soon as you step in the door and about once a month a group of us are lucky enough to spend the entire evening there stitching and chattering away.

Our hostesses, and shop owners, Debbie and Gayle are both full of energy and enthusiasm that is contagious. The shop always has so many inspiring things to see and gorgeous fabrics abound. They also just got in some luscious felted wools (see pic) that are just begging to be made into something.

Last weekend we ordered in pizza as we stitched on various projects. My friend Cathi is finishing up an awesome hand appliqued feedsack basket quilt. (Cathi is hiding behind the quilt)
Jessie was hand piecing an orange peel quilt, Marti was putting binding on some place mats, Karen and Sandra were hand quilting. Barbara was piecing a donation quilt for the Woman's Shelter. The other Barbara was blanket stitching an adorable appliqued cat block, Debbie and Stacie were working on Love Letters from the Civil War blocks (very cool) and I was working on some hand applique. Before we knew it 10:00 rolled around and it was time to call it a night. Thanks for the fun evening Deb and Barbara, sorry you missed it Gayle.
By the way, if you're a local quilter I will be teaching some classes at Quilt Lover's Hangout in March and April. The March 27th class will be on my new quilt pattern BFF-Dresses & do's. I'll be showing how to make the quilt and teaching the Swap-liqué technique. The April 4th class will be from my pattern Travel Lite-ly Tote which is a cute quilted tote to carry your table top Ott-Lite around in style. So if you're not busy sign up for a class or at least make a visit soon to this funtastic quilt shop.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Box full of procrastination

Take a good look....this is where procrastinating will lead. What started out as a small manageable box of scraps.......

........has morphed into this unsightly behemoth you see here.
This is on this weeks must do list.
You see, I have to-do lists, want to-do lists, think about doing lists and MUST DO lists. Oh gosh, now I guess I have a list of lists.
Anyway, I am going to make sense of this box. I haven't figured out exactly how to proceed yet. Do I want to sort by color or size or both? Do I want to save the cut strips separately? How much of the behemoth do I want to save? I guess I'm just going to be brave and just charge in and wrestle it to the ground. To the victor go the spoils!
Okay, after seeing this you are wondering what the rest of my fabric stash looks like. Surprise! It's all quite neat and tidy. Well most of it anyway and it's all thanks to some dear friends a couple of years ago that came over and really helped me organize. The plaids are in a bit of a mess at the moment and so are a bit camera shy.

Here's hoping that you conquer your behemoth whatever it may be.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A peck of pickled peppers?

Well, no not pickled but, Hooray! At long last I have harvested our first bell pepper today. I planted the seeds late September and then the squash kind of took over the peppers. Now that the squash has gone on hiatus the peppers have begun to flourish. There are at least 7 to 10 baby peppers hanging from the 2 plants and tonight I needed a green pepper for a casserole I was making for dinner. How nice to walk outside and pick one off the plant. Granted it wasn't very large but it was more than enough for tonight's recipe and it was such a tasty pepper too. I know, there are avid gardeners out there having a good chuckle over my measly little garden, but for me it's huge. I have a nice crop of basil going and used some in a hearty pot of leek and potato soup on Monday. I have also planted a grape tomato and a regular tomato plant and a jalapeno pepper plant. I also sowed some green onion seeds a few days ago and they are sprouting already. My late mother-in-law would be so proud. She had a green thumb that wouldn't quit. I swear she could have probably grown watermelon in the Sahara. Tomorrow I am going to plant some spinach and cilantro seeds. Gosh, maybe I need to get a pair of overalls.