Show and tell…

Gail Hansen, from Hervey Bay, Queensland, made this lovely quilt:

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She wrote:

I am a big fan of your designs – my favourite book being ‘The New Applique Sampler’ which I bought a few years ago and refer to constantly.  When earlier this year I saw your pattern for ‘Backyard Birds’ in my quilt group library I had to check it out.  In the process of planning this quilt I decided I should do Australian birds rather than American birds.  As I live in Queensland the birds I chose are all native to eastern Australia tho many are seen throughout the country. It is needleturn my favourite form of applique, hand and machine quilted.  I am extremely pleased with end result and thus prompted to send you a photo.

I love Gail’s quilt and I love the fact that she made it her own by drawing and appliqueing Australian birds. Congratulations, Gail!

Maui, last day(s)…

On our last full day on Maui, we went birding. The guys are enthusiastic birders as is to be expected because they are biologists after all.

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Even though I am not even close to being a birder, I did take a very few nice bird pictures.

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Personally, I enjoyed the shape of this tree as much as I enjoyed the birds.

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We went to Makena Beach Park after birding where there were dangerous shore breaks. Enough so that we did not stay in the water long. Amanda is saying hello there, not asking for rescue :-).

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I was happy to catch some wave action in focus—manually!

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I took a few more “story” pictures. Please do tell me what you think. I have to turn in my homework tomorrow.

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PS—While walking down an alley to our hotel one night we saw this mailbox…

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I stopped, and stood in front, and contemplated the message and button…

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The ‘Oh try it, it won’t shock you’ pulled me in. Seriously, I’ll fall for just about anything, just ask my sons.

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I got a little wet. Luckily the camera was spared a drenching. Next time I see something like this, I’ll stand to the side when I press the button :-).

Chirping pillows…

Susan (a blog reader) sent me this photo and I thought you all would enjoy seeing her first applique project!

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Susan wrote: “I took parts of your blocks (from Applique With Attitude) and arranged them to suit the shapes of my pillows. I began quilting about a year and a half ago and came across your website quite by accident…..a lucky accident for me! I like applique better than any handwork I have ever done. Thank you for inspiring me…..wish I had your eye for color.

Your work is amazingly bright and beautiful and cheerful, and your website is so easy to navigate and packed with helpful information.  Your tutorials got me off to a good start for the basics of needle turn applique (I “cheat” and use a toothpick.) [FYI—as I wrote to Susan, toothpicks are a great tool and it’s not cheating to use them. It’s just smart :-).]

The buttons on my pillows came from my grandmother’s button boxes,which were an old snuff can and an old baking powder can.  She’s been gone for many years, but she is still with me.  🙂

Thank you for your long-distance help, Susan”

I have to say that I do enjoy getting emails like this. Seriously, who wouldn’t? I’m not saying that to get you all to write to me. No, it’s more of a reminder that we should all, me included, send notes of gratitude. That said, here’s one from me, to you:

Thank you all for taking the time to read what I post. Honestly, it makes my day to know that you all actually do that. I work from home most of the time and our online community is a very nice part of my life. I’ll do my best to not get boring :-).

Have a lovely day…

Hummingbird mom-to-be…

While walking through the Ruth Bancroft Garden, we passed this eucalyptus:

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It’s a nice plant but I didn’t stop. Amy did. She spotted a hummingbird, sitting on a nest! It took me a very long time to see the bird/nest and by the time I saw her, we had irritated the poor bird so much that she flew away. When we walked back by later, she was sitting on her nest.

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We very carefully took pictures and it wasn’t easy. She was so well hidden that it was hard to figure out where to point the camera. It made me wish for my big camera, the one with viewfinder that you look through rather than a digital screen.

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I realized as I was admiring this bird and her nest, that I had not ever thought about where the hummingbirds that frequent my yard build their nests. I’m going to have to be a little more observant and maybe I’ll spot one!

If you want to read more about hummingbird nests, click here, and here, and/or google it.