Saturday, January 30, 2010

100 and counting!

Wow, I just realized that this is my 100th blog post!
I can't believe I had that much stuff to share with you, but it has been a lot of fun and I will keep trying to share things to bring a smile to your face or to inspire you to create.

I missed my blogiversary, but I was able to take note of this "milestone" thanks to blogger's data.
This calls for a celebration of some sort doesn't it.
I know!
How about a guest blogger?

If you have a blog and want to blog on one of my next posts leave me a comment and I will link up the guest blog.

(If you are looking for the post to comment on for the giveaway it's the Jan 27th post, you have until Feb 3rd to comment.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Giveaway - Hello Valentine

Hello Valentines,

This giveaway is a sampler of sweetness.....
for all of my sweet visitor friends that stop by to say hi and browse a bit even on busy days.
Sweet words, sweet fabrics, sweet tooth, sweet stripes ....

There are eight 8-1/2" pink dot fabric charm squares, a cute pink bookmark that reads "stay calm and have a cupcake", a cute striped zippered (pencil) case, Valentine cupcake papers, pink kitty marshmallow candies and a bag of sweetheart candy.

This time around to enter in the giveaway you need to pop over to my site and find the little pink thistle flower (not the large one on the home page) and tell me where you found it. Post your comments to this posting ( Jan 27th) only.

You have until Feb 3rd to post your comment to this entry.

BTW...Don't count on reading the first few entries to find out where the thistle is because I'm going to move it around. It won't always be in the same place. .....and sweetly diabolical?

The winner will be chosen at random and I'll post the winner on Feb 4th. and then pop your Hello Valentine giveaway in the mail to you.

Good luck xoxo

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Veggie town

Yep, I still have my earthbox gardens going and so far so good once I got rid of some critters (caterpillars) on my tomato plant. I am now having a bumper crop of Roma tomatoes and one of my broccoli has finally sprouted a head. I can't wait. See it in the center? It's small but it's there.
I hope the weather stays cool. (it doesn't care for the heat) My friend Karen has already harvested some broccoli from her earthbox garden. I am so jealous.

Last night Jeff & I had a nice fresh, tasty salad with Romaine and spinach from the garden....ohhhh it was yumlicious. I had to plant some more pole bean seeds as we have gobbled up all of the beans, but my bell peppers are still growing like crazy.
We put the caging around the lettuce and spinach to keep the bunnies out. Not that I have anything against bunnies but I think they would make short work of my garden given the chance.

All too soon the hot weather will be here so I need to think ahead to hot weather crops. hmmmm......

my word, my year ~ your word, your year

Well, here goes, I am going to try to define my year, or at least give it a kick in the pants, by owning the word I chose to define it.

My friends and family say that I am not a procrastinator (aren't they sweet).
Maybe it's just that I have so many things that I want to accomplish that I feel as though I am one. So perhaps I just need focus!
There are so many things that can claim our time. I am pulled in so many directions all week.

I have designing in the studio and writing instructions and class outlines to get done, then there's shipping orders and running errands (you can all relate) Then add into the mix updating my website, my blog, facebook, emails, newsletters, and then all the new techniques and ideas I want to try. Like adding video demos to my site.
Then of course there is socializing with friends and family which is essential and fun along with gardening and walking. Don't forget to add other fun stuff like cleaning, cooking, paying bills, blah, blah, blah..........
I just have so many things that I want to do.
I love learning and I have a lot to learn.
So this year I will try to continue to learn and explore but also to stay more focused and centered. I am going to create a printed schedule for whatever can be blocked in to a time slot and then I will follow it and I'll see what happens. Sounds good on paper right LOL.
I am open to suggestions from you - I need all the help I can get, and I know I'm not the only one with this dilemma.
Maybe as a collective brain we can all make some headway.

Let's see what was I going to do now? LOL

What's in store for you in the year ahead? Have you already defined 2010?

Washable markers or sharpies?

Hmmmm, we started out with 8 of us. Who's missing? Someone must be taking a break and it's not Barbara.
OMG, my sides were aching from laughing so hard all weekend.
I don't know, but there's just something about getting a group of friends together and the smallest silly thing will result in peals of laughter. Naturally, posing our feet for this pic became fodder for even more giggles.
We quilted our hearts out, shared great insights, and tried to find our guiding muse for the year ahead. Cathi was our inspiration and leader for our muse hunt - ( I said muse not mouse) for lack of a better phrase.
She saw an article or blog somewhere about choosing a word to define your year ahead and so we all pondered on that until we each had our defining word.
She had also came across a blog about a group of art friends, where at their retreat they wrote inspiring affirmations on each other.
So add 2 +2 and you guessed it.... we were writing our words on each other, each day.
Yes, we used washable markers, but using sharpies could have been pretty funny - not!
We wrote on arms, hands, and legs with abandon. Surprisingly, no one else on the grounds asked us about it. Maybe they were afraid to. I'm glad though because it's hard to explain a collective moment in just a passing phrase. I think I would have just said that I ran out of note paper :-)
Hopefully, our words will empower us through the year or at least until the next retreat.
Thanks Cathi for inspiring us.

Have you defined your year?
Do you want to?

Yes, I did find a word to define mine.
Is un-procrastination a word? LOL Just kidding, that's too long anyway.
I'll share my word in my next posting and you can share yours if you have one.
I think, I hope, we all came away from this retreat refreshed, and with a new found sense of purpose or awareness, and more fond memories of lasting friendships and shared dreams.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I got home Monday night from retreat but have just now had a chance to download my camera because I had to hit the ground running to catch up when I got back.
As always, we were certainly a productive group. I think "quilt-a-thon" is what we need to re-name our quilt retreat!

Check out my "souped up" machine! Just for fun I had added some removable decorative stickers to my machine before I left for retreat. My DH loaded my car for me in the morning. When I got to camp and opened my machine I discovered a few extra touches that he added. Now I have a "Holley Equipped" Viking. LOL He is too funny.

Here are just some of the fantastic quilts that were stitched together. Now mind you, some of these were UFO's when they arrived but now they are even closer to being FO's.

This lone star is an ambitious hand piecing project of Cathi's, she never chooses simple quilts as you'll see in the next pic......

This is a really pretty quilt made with feedsack prints. She still has a couple of borders to add. This one she is making for her daughter Morgan. Lucky Morgan!

Karen got her Chippewa 9-patch( Minick & Simpson) top all pieced and assembled. This one is for her DH. I love the fabrics in this. All this piecing was a change for Karen as she normally does hand appliqué.

Fran kept working steadily and pieced this stunning courthouse steps quilt and she added beautiful mitered borders.

Fran also pieced this lap quilt using some very nice Oriental fabrics. I think this picture was taken about 1:00 A.M. -Yikes time flies when you're having fun.

Here's another quilt of Cathi's, it's a lovely Dresden plates in her signature Southwest colors
She added the borders to it and now it will be ready for quilting.

I designed and made this netbook bag for Cathi's netbook.

These colorful paper pieced blocks are Jessie's ,
She also has a love for ambitious projects and does them beautifully.

Barbara made this striking quilt top with some "Jelly Rolls" she couldn't wait to use.
This is a gift for some fortunate person.

Karen made this baby quilt as a gift for someone, she's been making a lot of baby quilts lately.

I worked on a class sample of an apron with fabric rick rack trim
and did a bunch of hand appliqué on a quilt in progress.
I also played around with fabric coiled coasters and bowls. That was lots of fun.
Well, this is running long so I will post more about our Quilt-a-thon in a day or two and I am also in the process of putting together my next giveaway. It'll be fun :-)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Quilt show pictures

This past weekend my BFF's and I went to the quilt show in Ft. Myers. It's put on by the Southwest Florida Quilters Guild. It was a lovely show with lots of quilts to admire and plenty of vendors to shop. The only thing to dampen our day was the rain and frigid temps, which of course they have no control over.
I snapped some pics to share but sorry to say some are pretty bad because I was having a hard time pushing to shutter button with gloves on. Floridians are not used to functioning with gloves or mittens. But I will share the pics that are not too bad.
First and foremost is the very cool red, white and blue crustacean quilt that my BFF Karen made and entered. She does incredible hand appliqué and beautiful hand quilting. It's going to look fabulous in her entryway. This next quit is stunning. It's called "Jewels in the jungle" and was made by Judy O'Connell. She did a beautiful job and added some spectacular bead work which, sorry to say, is out of focus. It is sporting a blue ribbon. Congrats to Judy!

I thought this was a cool idea.... This group has chosen to make quilts based on a poem of their choice. Here are a few....

Ft Myers also has an active group of art quilters and here are a few favs that didn't come out too blurry. This first quilt is called"Eyes" and it's made by Carol Marshall. This fun bright one is "Palm Tree Splendor" by Jean Smith.

This is a very elegant looking quilt called "My Ladies" by Lisa Gorski and then for something more traditional I love this bright orange peel quilt and the very cool corded trim. It's called Rainbow Pumpkin Seed" by Linda Englebrecht.

Sorry that the pics were not better but I wanted to share what I had. I hope there's a quilt show in your near future.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Lollipop quilt pattern release

I just released my latest new quilt pattern and I hope you'll like it.
It's called Lollipop Garden and it was a fun quilt to design and make.
I enjoy working with stripes and plaids and had fun going through my stash picking them out.
The scrappy pieced border is super easy and if you don't have enough stripes and plaids in your stash, then it's a great reason to go shopping!
The quilt measures 40" square and can be made with fusible or hand-worked appliqué.
As always I include helpful hints and tips and the instructions are clearly illustrated.
Naturally, if you want a bigger quilt just make more blocks. The finished block size is 10".
I will be releasing another new pattern in about 2 weeks...busy, busy, busy.
Oops, gotta run, I have chocolate chip cookies in the oven and the timer is going off..
til next time,

Sunday, January 10, 2010

happy feet

One good thing about the unusually cold weather here in South Florida is I get to wear all my fun socks to keep my tootsies warm. My friend Cathi gifted me these fabulously fun tie-dye socks from Artfabrik. I don't get the chance to wear them often enough but these past few weeks has had me scrambling for socks.
We had ice on the birdbath once again and the squirrels stayed tucked away in their beds until midday.
Sorry, gotta run and watch the rest of the Packer/Cardinals playoff game......come on Packers!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Iron butterfly

No - not the group that did "In- A Gadda- Da-Vida" , although that is a rock classic.
I received a very special hand wrought iron butterfly garden sculpture from my DH for Christmas!
He is oh so handy and he made me this delightful sculpture out of one continuous piece of iron rebar. No an easy feat if you've ever worked with rebar. I love the little brass antennas and the fact that he went into one of the butterfly books and picked out the one he wanted to make. it's a Citrus swallowtail. The citrus swallowtail is a tailless swallowtail (go figure)
and it is black with yellow markings - just like mine!
I am playing with where to put it in the yard, there are so many possibilities. It will probably be moved more than once and flit about as any butterfly would.
We also are finally getting around to de-Christmas-ing the house. We've been so busy lately which is why you haven't heard much from me lately. January is going to go zipping by at a record pace the way things are going.

I just finished up a new pattern (more on that soon) and getting class samples ready for Shibori classes I'll be teaching this month. (more on that soon). Then I have a quilt show to go to tomorrow in Ft Myers and retreat coming up next week -hooray.