Thursday, April 30, 2009

To Quilt (for hire) Or Not To Quilt...

First thing this morning, I read the Yarn Harlot's blog. Talk about a "fav." I love to read her writing. She's in love with yarn, in the same way that I'm captivated by fabric. She gravitates towards knitting needles, I love my Bernina. We're polar opposites, yet we've got much in common. Today's post laments her lack of knitting time, and I could SO relate.

Just yesterday I was at lunch with a friend. She wanted to know if I am really and truly going to stop quilting for hire. She's one of my loyal clients, and is very good at making me feel guilt about even wanting to stop. I would be letting her down. I would be letting more than her down. "You can't quit!"

Can't I?

I look at my disaster of a sewing room, which used to bustle with creativity. At this point it's a dumping ground and stagnant when it comes to actual production. I have the tools, I have the fabric, I have everything I need to create wondrous wonders, but there is one thing missing. I have no time.

My days have been filled with quilt show, interspersed with a bit of quilting for others.

When was the last time I finished a show quilt? It was April, 2008, and that's a LONG time ago.

Sure, I finished my 2008 Hoffman Challenge in July 2008, and when it comes back I'll send it on a bit of a circuit, but really...when is the last time I finished a very GOOD quilt? It's been a year. It's been more than a year.

That year has not been wasted. It's been spent quilting for others and working on the show. Both are good ways to spend my time. Service to the community is important, whether paid or volunteer. But sometimes it's important for me to work on something just for me.

Or maybe it doesn't have to be just for me. Maybe it can be for a family member. I notice that the two steps that I actually completed this year were for Allison & Jeff and Andrew. Neither quilt is finished, but each is one step closer. My March and April steps fell into the category of "filler," and neither was completed. It wasn't like I was doing any other quilting in their place. There was simply no quilting time available.

Obviously this is a problem. The question is, what am I going to do about it?

I've decided to maintain my business license for now, but I'm not going to advertise at all. Maybe, if the right person asks me to quilt the right project, I will accept it, but they can't be in a hurry to have it quilted. I have a few true goals of my own - goals are good! - and I'd really like to see them reached this year.

I want to finish my Flower Fades faith quilt. It's partially hand-quilted. I need to finish the quilting, add the ruching and bind it. It's probably 20-30 hours from completion. If I put my mind to it? I could finish it in a week.

I want to finish my quilt from the Ruth McDowell class I took in 2007. It's a good quilt, all it needs is quilting. And maybe a little bit of beading. Or not. And binding. I couldn't guess the number of hours that will take, but I think I could finish it in two months' time.

And so, I'm going to take the next two months to focus on my own work. If I'm being selfish, I apologize. But it's been too long. There's been too much on my plate and not enough of it has been personal.

I'll continue with my Step Program, (last night I finished the sheepies, wanna see?), and I'm still thinking of attempting a Hoffman Challenge. Yesterday I found two fabrics that work with the Challenge fabric, after wading through 75% of my stash...The fabric continues to be a groaner.

So that's where I stand today. I'll keep my license, but I don't want to quilt for anyone else until I've finished at least one show quilt. Or maybe both. We'll see. In the meantime? I'm on sabbatical. I'll let you know when I'm ready to get back to business.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

So Glad to be Sewing!

Yesterday, (or was it Monday?), I went back to work on this quilt-for-hire. It is the last of the bunch. I accepted it in February, saying, "I hope you're not in a hurry." She said she wasn't, she didn't need it until May. uh oh. May is on Friday.

I've been talking about how much I love this quilt. I think it's the simple geometry and the play of the lights and darks that have me so captivated. All I have left to quilt are the ecru background and the outer border. I'll be done this afternoon, if all goes as planned.

I've also been working on my April Step, although I'm not moving as quickly as I might have hoped. I thought you might like to see my boy's hair. It is done with 2 strands of embroidery floss, mixed and matched with 5 colors of floss.

Yesterday I added a few sheep. They're in progress. The original photograph had 6 or 8, but there's no way I'm adding that many sheep. They're kind of corny, but it's not like this is a super-serious piece. It's just a very good memory, and cute but corny sheep will do just fine, thankyouverymuch.

Here's a close-up of how I'm making the sheep. I've appliqued some novelty-print sheep onto the background, then I've embroidered their legs and faces with black. After that, an hour of French knots was enough to cover the little body. Like I said, not perfect, but it will suffice.

Finally, I thought you might get a kick out of this little guy. I bought him last week, when I went shoe-shopping. No, I didn't find him at the shoe store, but I had to bring him home. Flamingos are so corny - there's that word again! - that they make me laugh. They can crack me up any day, especially when presented as Art. But a blue flamingo? That seems like an oxymoron. Obviously I couldn't leave him on the shelf. He came home with me and has a place of honor among my knick-knacks...right next to the Lalique and the little marble box from the Taj Mahal.

You think I'm joking, don't you? heh heh heh I'm not!

Now I'm going back to finish that quilt-for-hire. If only I knew what I was going to quilt in the border!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Learning to Relax

I'm pretty certain that any of you who read my blog and saw my pictures earlier this week are laughing at the title of this post. "Relax? You've got to be kidding me! Have you seen her sewing room?!!!"

I know, it's a disgrace. But I didn't publish that picture for me, I published it for YOU. Don't you feel MUCH better about your personal sewing area after seeing what chaos prevailed in mine?

I was asked, "What are those boxes for?" Well...when good quilt-shipping boxes come along, you've just got to grab them, even if you're not going to be shipping for a while. One held the BOTV ribbons, another held a friend's car part. They are now stashed in the closet, since I was able to clear a path to get to the closet.

I know. I'm pathetic.

I'm adjusting from quilt show mode, despite numerous tasks that still need to be accomplished. I'm trying to remember how to slow down and relax, rather than be on the alert for any issues that need instant decision-making abilities.

I thought you might enjoy seeing my inspiration...

You knew it was going to be cats, didn't you? Edgar is SO glad that Charlie is back to normal. Charlie is glad too. Have you ever seen more loving brothers? In the cat family? I've never seen two who love and enjoy each other this much. It does my heart good.

Another thing that does me good is picking up a needle and thread. I've appliqued my little boy onto the block, and I've given him hair. I think he looks pretty cute, and I don't think his face needs features. That would just mess him up.

There are supposed to be sheep in the background, and I spent an hour yesterday working on one. But, it didn't look sheepish at all, so I'm going to have to come up with another idea. Today is only the 28th, and there are 30 days in April...

I suspect that I won't finish this Step, since I have so many other things that are clamoring for my attention. But just getting the boy on the background was HUGE. I'd been stressing about the hair from the time I made him, and the hair is just not that bad. He's cute enough that I know this block/mini-quilt will never go back to the abandoned pile. And that's what the 12-Step Program is all about, right? We're pulling out an abandoned project (or an intimidating project, or one that has us stymied) and taking a month to make a bit of progress. Yay for us, for proactively dealing with our UFO's.

I do have to apologize for allowing my brain to take a "blog vacation" as it was actively working on the quilt show. I finally started writing down those of you who have already finished your April Steps, but the list seems short. I've got Brenda and Pat and Kristin. Did anyone else declare an April Step and finish it? You've got two more sure to let me know, so I can put a little reward in the mail for you on Friday...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Around the House

I've been working (a little) on my April Step. Surprise, surprise! You didn't think I'd do it, did you? I may not get the whole thing finished, but I'm making progress. And progress is the point, right? The one thing about quilting is that every few minutes of work put into a project is progress. It doesn't come undone unless you deliberately undo it. Every stitch you put in is there for good. Quilting is not like laundry or dishes, that need to be done on a daily basis. I think that's why I like quilting so much. I can always see progress, even if it's minimal.

We had a surprise visit from #1 son on Thursday. Here he is with Dad, just before leaving on Saturday.

Now you see him, now you don't.

Saturday found Pete hard at work in the yard. I don't know what it is about him and trees. He hates leaves. To his way of thinking, the best way to get rid of leaves is to either take away branches or take away the tree altogether. Saturday was a "War on Branches" day.

He didn't touch the tree on the left; he had his way with the tree on the right. (You can click on the picture to make it bigger.) He's now talking about pulling out the tree on the right completely. sigh. (I like shade and privacy. He likes things "neat and tidy.")

The neighbor's tree had a branch that hung over our yard by at least 15 feet, if not 20. You can see the stub at the top of the photo, where he chopped it. The tree didn't like his efforts, and rewarded him by conking him on the head as it crashed to the ground. Pete declared victory, since he was still standing and the limb wasn't.

You can also see that he chopped back the mandarin orange tree. We won't have mandarin oranges next year - all the blossoms went to the dump.

Here is the ground underneath the orange trees, once he'd finished. This is his favorite look: dry hard dirt. It's nice and clean and makes him smile.

It's best for me to stay indoors while he's busy in the yard. There's less conflict that way. On Sunday I whipped up a feast for our College/Career Fellowship. Since I was at the quilt show last week, I wasn't there to cook for them. When I am here, I make sure that feed them well, so they'll miss me when I'm gone.

Yesterday's menu was: bacon-wrapped steak, new red potatoes with dill, sauteed mushrooms, grilled onions, green salad, fresh Visalia-grown strawberries, angel food cake, lemon tea cakes and home-baked chocolate chip cookies. mmm-mmmm good. Conversation was at a minimum during dinnertime. I think they liked it.

And last but not least, here's Charlie. He's feeling MUCH better, and seems to have recovered from last week's fever. This morning he came in from an outdoor romp. Charlie, Charlie, you look so silly with those spiderwebs on your head. It is not a very attractive fashion statement.

And on that, I'm off and running. There are still wrap-up details to do for the quilt show. One of these days I'll be able to put BOTV 2009 to rest, but it won't be before the end of this week. Then, I might just get back to pictures of quilting.

A girl can dream....

Saturday, April 25, 2009

"We Have Seen His Star..."

Back in 2005, I was contacted by Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, regarding my quilt "We Have Seen His Star: Wise Men Still Seek Him." They had seen it in Jan Krentz's Diamond Quilts book, and were interested in publishing a pattern. I gave them the go-ahead, and it was presented as their 2005 Christmas Memory Pattern. All you needed to do was send them an SASE, and they sent you the pattern.

Every once in a while I get requests for the pattern. I usually tell people to contact QNM, and see if it is still available. They wrote the pattern, I didn't. I constructed the quilt differently than they outline, but the results should be very similar. I used Jan's Lone Star techniques to make the star.

This week I received TWO requests for the pattern. You have my blessing to make this quilt. In fact, I don't think there could be too many of this quilt in existence. If anyone else would like the pattern, either contact Quilter's Newsletter or email me.

Now that you've read this, you'd probably like to know what quilt I'm talking about.

Here is the full-view:

And here is a detail of the quilting:

If you click on the image, it should give you a larger view.

That's all I've got for today. I've worked on my April Step twice, both on Thursday and last night. The boy is appliqued in place, and I'm giving him hair. I might actually get the top together by Thursday, but the quilting is looking iffy. Goals are good. Don't allow the inability to reach every single one keep you from setting them. Every step we take is progress. Let's keep moving forward!

Friday, April 24, 2009

I Found The Yarn!

The end-of-show reality has set in. It's taken root. It's in my house. And in my garage. The last of the load has been removed from the van and here it is - not in the least bit organized compared to two weeks ago.

You can see the seats to the van at the edge of the garage. This morning we put them back in the van. Yay. Small victories.

But then there's the sewing dump. yep. Two weeks of dump 'n' run makes for one big mess.

Since #1 son is home for a couple of days, today he's been on the computer. When he's working, I can't. yay. Instead of another day of staring at the computer screen, I focused on the sewing dump. It's still a dump, but now I could actually sew in it if I needed to. I even vacuumed.

And guess what I found when I moved the quilts off of the chair? I found the yarn! Isn't it gorgeous? I can see a poncho made from this, to wear this winter. It's supposed to be two throws. What do you think? Maybe? Maybe not. Either way, I liked the colors and they're mine, all mine.

Oh! And I started on my April step yesterday, I might just get it done!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I Can't Catch Up!!!

I got home Sunday night after the show closed down and collapsed into a heap. I was so tired I couldn't think. All I knew was that I couldn't let go of my quilt show mindset, I still had several days of follow-up tasks to complete. Today I've got about 75% of those tasks completed, so I'm beginning to relax a bit and do something other than focus intently on show details.

It came, it went, it was EXCELLENT. Sure, there are things we can improve on, but what we accomplished this year was phenomenal. We transitioned from dependence to independence. We moved venues, not across town, but across the county. We changed leadership. For a year of tremendous changes, both behind the scenes and in the public eye, we had an amazingly successful show.

For those of you who were too toasty, I apologize. I had my friends pray for a rain-free week. I think they prayed for LOTS of sunshine. We had a record-breaking heatwave. The past couple of days have been 97 and 98. I am SO glad the show was not on THOSE days, upper 80's was warm enough!

When I got up on Monday morning, I made the rounds, visiting with the kitties. I was stunned to find Charlie lying on his bed, minimally responsive. I didn't know what was wrong with him, and took him to the vet immediately. Quilt show wrap-up? That could wait. I needed to take care of Charlie.

Upon examination, Dr. Lori thought that he'd contracted some sort of infection from a tomcat bite. He doesn't have a palpable abscess, and he has no tenderness. But he had a fever of 105.4, and normal for a cat is 100.2. Poor Charlie!! They gave him fluids, a couple of shots, and a bottle of antibiotics to administer at home.

For the past few days he's been going back and forth between feeling okay and feeling terribly puny. The heat isn't helping, and I think he's been getting dehydrated. Last night Pete gave him more subcutaneous fluids, and Charlie didn't even squirm too much. He was feeling that poorly. This morning he felt well enough to go outside for a while, but he's now back inside. He's been an inside cat since Monday.

Yesterday Pete called from work, to ask about Charlie. Here's a picture I took last night, as he was asking Charlie how he was feeling. Any question as to whose cat this is? ;)

In contrast, Edgar is his usual self. I took this picture this morning, as he was trying to reach a fairly large bird. It was high in the branches, watching Edgar with its head cocked. I couldn't get them both in the picture, but rest assured, the bird was safe. Edgar finally jumped down and came in for a nap.

I did some shopping at the quilt show, and I've wanted to show you my purchases. I can't find one of them. I bought two bags of purple wool. They are throw kits, but I'm hoping to combine them to make a poncho. (Do they still call them ponchos?) I have a Liz Claiborne poncho that I absolutely adore, and I thought it would be fun to have one in a color other than black. Obviously I won't be knitting this summer, but it's ready for me when I'm ready for it, if I can find it. I bought the yarn from Carole Dulitz, she's located in Springville,CA. When I find my bags, I'll snap a picture for you.

The first thing that I "needed" was this little fish pin. I absolutely LOVE it. I like the lines and the inset and the fact that it is sterling. I had them hold it for me until Sunday, when I had time to actually examine their booth. I also needed the little birdie. He cracks me up. He's also sterling. The vendor was Phil and Rosemary Churnside. Unfortunately they don't have a website.

The book vendor, Sew Many Quilt Books, was right by the front entrance. I spent a lot of time cruising the hall, but I always ended up at the front. I really did NOT have any time to shop, but a new book by Earlene Fowler caught my eye. So did a couple of books that were recently reviewed by Quilter's Newsletter. I came home with these. I laughed as I bought them. I don't think the vendor realized I was even looking at her wares, but I shop from her at every show I go to. She's always got a tremendous selection of books that I love. And I do love to read.

Finally, the Valley Oak Quilt Guild had a "Big/Little Quilt Sale." They rented a booth and sold their wares. I came home with this quilt. I think I know who made it, but there is no label on it. Ladies, ladies, I DO want you to claim your work. I'm going to be pestering you for a label, so you may as well just give up and make one for me now. I'm more than happy to sew it on, but I need to know who all worked on MY quilt. :)

And that's about it for now. My garage and my "sewing room" are complete and utter disasters. Once I get the van unloaded (I'm still driving around a couple dozen boxes of drape) I'll take pictures. You think you've got a mess on your hands? Honey, it's nothing compared to what I've done to this place. Pete is happy to have me home - he likes having the laundry fairy in residence and he likes not having to think about feeding himself - but the novelty will soon wear off and the mess is going to get to him. I need to get to work ASAP, because heaven knows this place needs it!!

Oh, and my carpenter called yesterday. "Are you still interested in cabinetry for your sewing room?" Oh, you betcha, by golly, wow! I'm interested! "I'm sorry I haven't called you, you probably thought I forgot." No I didn't. "Don't you remember? I told you I couldn't even THINK about it until after April 20, and at this point, you couldn't get into that room without a bulldozer. Take your time!"

He's putting together the drawing and bid this week. I'm so excited!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Still Playing Catch-Up

This just came into my inbox. Please watch it. You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Still Doing Show Stuff

Have you missed me? I've missed you. Actually that's not quite true. I've been so busy I haven't had time to miss anything, except maybe sleeping. I've decided I've got quilt lag. This morning I couldn't remember my morning routine, and even forgot that coffee was an option. Folks, we're talking tired!!!

Yesterday I wanted to post a picture of Be Still. I entered three quilts in the show, "Psalm 46:10 Be Still," "Cascading Crystal Kaweah," and "Encompassing Tradition." All of the judge's comments were positive, but only Be Still snagged a ribbon. God is good. If I were to pick one of the three for recognition, this is the one I would have chosen. It's quite humbling to realize that my handquilting is decent enough to please more than one judge. wow. What an honor!

"Psalm 46:10 Be Still"
Best Hand Quilting, BOTV 2009
Suzanne Kistler 2008

I've spent the past couple of days shipping back quilts from the show. I have one last package to ship, and it won't go out until Thursday. Today I spent the afternoon writing thank you letters to sponsors. Tomorrow I have more paperwork to do, and one of these days I need to take the remainder of the PVC pipes and sheets out of the van. The garage is already full, but part of it is seats from the van. yep. One of these days I'll get my garage back, and my van back, but not today.

And one of these days I'll give you an interesting post, but not today.

I got a comment from Mason's Puppy Raisers, asking about the pattern for "We Have Seen His Star, Wise Men Still Seek Him." I actually have a copy of the pattern from QNM, but I have no way to contact you. If you could email me (my email is on my profile) and send me contact information, I'd be happy to send the pattern along to you. My feeling of that quilt is that the more of them in existence, the better. It's a reminder that Christmas is about a lot more than just Santa Claus and snowmen.

And on that, I'm going to hit the hay. Perhaps tomorrow I'll have something more to post, but not now. Sleep well!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Miss Me?

I've been here.

I'll catch you up when I'm rested. Oh wait. I should share something. God is good, all the time. I was going to post a picture, but I guess not. For some reason blogger won't load. Oh well. Another time. I'm off to bed...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Simple Minds...

zooooommmm....I was late this morning, running out of the house at a million miles an hour. No time to think, no time to say, "Hello, Goodbye!!" I'm late, I'm late...Hey, I'm almost at 200,000 miles...

Pay no attention to the dust on the dashboard, it's all about the mileage... I promptly forgot all about it when I arrived at the quilt show.

dum de dum dum...oh my!!! I pulled off the road to grab my camera. I was on my way home. I couldn't forget to record this!

Have you ever seen so many nines?

Now you see 'em, now you don't!

We have successfully entered a new era. Built Ford tough.

Simple minds, simple pleasures!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Wrap-Up

Easter has come and gone and with it came and went Daniel. Isn't he a handsome chap? Okay, so maybe I'm a bit biased. How did my little boy get so big?

The one who really wants to know the answer to that question is his dad. Here's the first picture, taken before he (Dad) remembered that he wanted to stand on his tippy-toes.

Here's the second picture, Dad's a bit happier...

Daniel played along and Dad was REALLY happy. "How tall are you Pete?" "Six feet!" "Don't lie..." "Six feet!" um, yeah, right... (Daniel's 6'3")...Then again, now we've got pictures...

Today was delivery day at the quilt show. If you'd like a quick peek behind the scenes, click here.

Congratulations to Brenda and Pat for already completing their April Steps. I'm proud of you!!! But come now, you're making me look bad! ;)

Four days and counting...we're going to have a quilt show!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!!!

Palm Sunday/Easter Sunday Banners
Suzanne Kistler 1994

Saturday, April 11, 2009

April Step

It's about time, right?!! I know, I know. My procrastination gene has been kicking in big-time, at least when it comes to personal fulfillment. ;)

There has been very little time spent quilting or even thinking about quilting this month. Instead, as you know, it's been "all quilt show, all the time."

The past week has brought some lovely creations into my home. I've got a trunk full of Hoffman wall hangings, and a bed full of beautiful quilts. A few wearables are hanging, also waiting to be transferred to McDermont on Monday. I am inspired.

Pictures of the 70+ wallhangings remind me that a quilt doesn't have to be big to be satisfying. Small is good too, and finished is even better. And so, I've decided upon my April step. It's small, and it's do-able, once the show is in the history books.

In 1996, our family took a trip to the UK. Our destination was primarily Scotland. Pete spent a year abroad while doing undergrad, and I'd heard stories of the wonders of Scotland. He spoke of it so frequently, a couple of our kids thought that we were actually Scottish. I don't think we are. I think we're just wannabe Scots.

We took rolls and rolls of pictures, and I long planned a quilt to document the trip. Pete spent much of the time in seminars - we were there for a Bovine Buriatrics Convention. Now don't ask me what buriatrics means, because I can't tell you. I do know that they discussed cattle diseases and we were there at the height of the UK BSE (mad cow) scare. He came home with the most up-to-date information regarding BSE, and was able to alleviate much of my concern. And no, the US does NOT have mad cow disease, no matter what you might hear from the rumor mill.

But I digress.

So we went to the UK, and took pictures, and I wanted to make a quilt. I started, but I only got as far as making 2 partial blocks. They'll never be a quilt, of that much I am certain. And so, I've decided that I can turn at least one into a little wallhanging.

If I could figure out my scanner (I can only make it work 40% of the time), I'd share the photo with you. But I can't. So here's what I've got so far:

This is Adam. He was 6. There should be little sheepies in the background. Hopefully I'll have figured out how to make them by the time the show is over. If I decide not to applique, I can always do French knots.

The other thing I wanted to share was that April showers not only bring May flowers, but they also bring April flowers. The irises are FINALLY beginning their annual flowerfest, and here are the first two installments...

These are right out the front door...

The white ones are between our house and the neighbor's...

And up against the fence I found this calla lily party. I didn't even know it was there! Enjoy!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Not Upside-down, But Sideways

Golly gee, my pictures had been loading so well lately. I'd almost forgotten the aggravation of finding them displayed sideways. Maybe it's an early Easter gift from Blogger. grr.

Last night we had some crazy pouring rain. Edgar loved it. He jumps and tries to catch the raindrops. He can be entertained for hours. I let him in briefly, but he was so wet I rubbed him with a towel then tossed him back outside. Charlie took a nap.

Most of the quilt show tasks are taken care of, and I spent this morning putting some finishing touches on a few cards. The pictures aren't great - it's still overcast - but they give you the general idea...even if some of them are sideways...

The hand gives you the size - these are all approximately 5" x 7."

Don't you love the little orchids? I do....I picked up the little mola at a quilt show years ago...

It's hard to see the beading on this one. Maybe if you click on it, the details will be more visible?

This one is pretty clear. (I was relieved to see orange blossoms still on the trees after last night's storm.)

And finally, this one has the Message of Easter, loud and clear. Too bad the beading didn't catch the light. In reality, it's one of the boldest of the group...

That is all...Back to work!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A New Blog!!

For months now we've been working to put together the 14th Annual Best of the Valley Quilt Show. There are all kinds of details to see to, some are critical, some are simply desirable. One of the things that I REALLY wanted was to have a blog linked to our BOTV website. That wish is now a reality.

My plan has been to make the latest details of the show available to anyone who visits our website. Just think: the show is right around the corner. What kind of details might I post? Maybe pictures from quilt acceptance day? Or behind the scenes of judging? Or? I know we'll be busy as bees, and maybe my plan for updates will not become reality. But goals are good, and the first step of that goal makes its debut with the BOTV blog.

Stop by and say hi, and hopefully I'll be diligent about posting!

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Fragrant Aroma

The quilt show is plugging right along. Other than the inability to reach two key contacts today (both voice mailboxes are full!), I had no snags. I've still got 4 days to tackle the remaining issues.

The weather has been glorious, and I've been making an effort to get outside for a little while each day. It doesn't matter if I'm pulling weeds or sweeping leaves, it's just NICE to get some sunshine.

I noticed a fragrance that seemed remotely familiar, but it wasn't something that I immediately recognized. It took the buzzing of bees to catch my attention and look up. Aha! Orange blossoms! It's time!

I thought a close-up might be in order. One never knows when one might decide one needs to make a quilt depicting orange blossoms... ;)

And speaking of fragrance, I am also surprised by how aromatic irises are. They don't look like they'd smell good, and mine don't attract many pollinators. But smell, they do, oh yes, they do. I picked these beauties this morning, and now their scent fills the house. I find it to be totally tied with springtime, and my nose tells me for sure, "Spring is in the air!"

Artwork by Allison, 2000

And I guess that's it. I'm working on a few Easter cards that I hope to finish in the next day or two, but other than that? It's still the show that is taking my time...See you there, in 11 days...