Thursday, January 19, 2017

A Brief Pause

I spent a couple of days at Road to CA, helping in the judging room, primarily as a Scribe.  Then it was off to San Diego to pick up my dad.  I pulled off at the View Point between San Clemente and Oceanside.  The vista is worth the break, and I took multiple photos.  Simply lovely!

Made it to San Diego, swung by Escondido, then hit the road through LA and back to the Central Valley, in the rain (yay!). and home by 8pm.  Long day.  I'm glad I took the time to smell the salt air and count the sea rats.  I mean sea gulls.  ;)

Maybe one of these days I'll sew something.
Goals are good!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Surprise Finish

I was looking for a piece of paper yesterday, and instead, once again located the unfinished "Another Sunset" that I'd misplaced/found/misplaced early in January.  Best to finish this one up before I lose it again!
 The top picture gives you an idea of its size, compared to my iPad.  The bottom picture has more accurate color.

I am very pleased with the streaky purple fabric that I found to bind it with.  I wonder if there is enough left to bind the Lifeguard Tower quilt, if I ever get it quilted?

As to quilting goals?  I've had to bow out of, or at least put on hold the Katie Pasquini Masopust class that begins tomorrow.  Too many other things take precedence these days.

We're in between rainstorms right now, but the moisture is resulting in mushrooms.  I found this one to be quite photogenic.
My goal for this week:  Do some handquilting and get my dad safely back to Visalia.  Goals are good.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Lost a Week

Well, so much for plans.  I had four goals for the first week, and met two.  I think I mentioned that my dad has been here with me.  I drove him back to his home on Monday, 1/9.  We hit a beautiful weather window in the middle of the huge storm, and made it to San Diego County in 5.5 hours.  A total record for myself.

I was wifi-free during the three days I was down there.  Since my return, I've been trying desperately to catch up on something, anything.  I guess I'm almost there with the laundry.  But quilting goals?  Haven't hit or set another since early last week.

I head out again in a couple of days, and will likely end up back at my dad's for a few days.  So much for goal setting.  Life happens and I just try to go with the flow.  And on that note, I'll leave you with a few pics taken at my dad's home.  The last time I saw the property, everything looked dry and dead.  The rain has given it a massive makeover.

 These terraces used to hold 125 rose bushes.  All gone.
 This jade plant forest just about blew my mind.  It's about 8' wide and 50' long, running the length of the driveway.  I took some clippings and am hopeful that it will find my climate as invigorating.
 We had a glorious day, in between storms.  I understand why people like to live in SoCal.
And on that, I'm thinking about quilting, but barely. So much to do.  Every day is a gift.

Saturday, January 7, 2017


Each time I log into Blogger, I get a notification that I need to give out a notification that there might be cookies on this website.  So.  Here you go:  There are cookies on this website.

Perhaps they are not referring to these adorable felt cookies, made by my friend Wendy Van Beek?

Doesn't matter.  These are the only cookies I add.  Anything else?  They are here, courtesy of Google.

There.  You've been warned.  Now, may I please stop having the cookie notification each time I log in?  Google?  I know you're reading this.  You read EVERYTHING.

And with that, I think I need to go sew...

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Hide and Seek

On Monday, I had time to work on a quilt. The one I wanted to work on already has a name, "Another Sunset."  But where was it?  I had no idea.  I searched high, I searched low.  Eventually I gave up and switched to cleaning up a bit.  Perhaps it was buried.
 I can't imagine why I couldn't find it. oh wait.  Peek-a-boo!  I see you!!  There it is, hanging on the design wall.  What?  You haven't spotted it yet?  It's right there, hiding in plain sight.
Today, I cut the sails that I'd wanted to applique onto it yesterday.  But guess what?  I've lost it again. 

Believe me, it's a gift.

I still had an hour to play, so I picked up some shavings from "Sail Away."  Maybe I could assemble them in such a way as to come up with a 6" x 8"?  And do you know that I could?  It's not half bad.  But it needs sails.

A glass of water, scissors, pins, needle, thread, and two triangles..
And before you know it, I've got my first finish of 2017:
Suzanne Kistler 2017

As to 2017 goals of Week 1?  So far, so good!
Carry on!

Monday, January 2, 2017


One of the most annoying/disappointing things last year was the realization that my camera was taking poor quality photos.  I use a mid-price Canon, and must have scratched the lens or something.  What used to be sharp and clear was now slightly blurry.  Always.  Especially when I was trying to take call-for-entry photos. 

Enter my decision to replace my camera.  Charlotte found what I could not (specific model, on sale) and within a couple of hours, I was the proud owner of a new Canon.  That was in early December.  Today, I put it to the test.  I needed photos for Sacred Threads, of publishable quality.  And I think I got them!

The day was overcast.  I hauled my "new" design wall out to the backyard and snapped away.  I put the quilts through 3 "sittings," as I checked my results between each.  harumpf.  Shadows!  harumpf.  Crooked!  But in the end?  I have images that make me smile, rather than cringe.  Such a nice way to begin 2017!!
Here is where I found unshadowed light.  I was this close to the edge of the pool.  Steady, now...
I am thrilled to be able to cross one of my Week 1 goals off of my list.  Or maybe I should say two, since I've also blogged a second time this week.  So far, so good.

Carry on!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

And The Goals Are...

Happy New Year! There's always talk of "resolutions" when January 1 rolls around.  I've found that I can resolve to do all kinds of things, but they end up too nebulous to achieve.  This year I'm back to baby steps when it comes to quilting.  My overall dreams of achievement far surpass my capabilities.  Instead, 2017 is a year to be taken one day at a time.  I will confine myself to weekly goals, more or less.

So.  Here we are on Day 1 of Week 1.  I am working on my 2017 UFO List.  Last night, when I thought it was complete, it had 35 entries.  By noon this morning, I remembered 4 more.  I am hopeful that I will begin the year with a mere 39 UFO's.  That would be fantastic!  I don't think I've begun a year with fewer than 40 UFOs since we left the 80's!

I have a few general goals for the year.  The first is "Blog More."  That should be easy.  I fell off track this year when life interrupted.  I'm working on focus.

The second is "Finish A Show Quilt."  I have multiple pieces in process, that could be contenders, should I actually follow through and finish them.  I am hopeful that at least one of them will not only reach the finished stage, but also be finished in time to enter at least one major show in 2017.

The third is to "Have A Portable Handwork Project" ready to go.  I can't tell you how many times I have needed something small to work on, but had nothing at hand.  Instead, I've been reading my kindle.  I'd rather be quilting.

Finally, we reach my quilting goals for January:

1)  Before the end of the month, I'm committed to mail out 3 themes of postcards for Postmark'd Art.  I still need to make all of the postcards.
2) M-AQF entry deadline is January 24.
3) My first assignment for the KatiePM class is due January 16.
4) Sacred Threads entry deadline is January 4.

This week, I plan to take photos of my quilt(s)? and enter Sacred Threads; make a set of PMA postcards; finish a (small) UFO; and make my pattern for the Katie Class quilt.  I expect each project to take approximately 3 hours.  Give or take an hour.

Then again, my dad is here, and will be until at least January 9.  At that time, I will drive him back over the hill, for a week at home.  Whether he stays there or returns?  Remains to be seen.  His presence in my house reminds me:  Every Day Is A Gift.

And with that, I hope you, too, set some goals for 2017.  Big or small, size is not the point.  Goals set us moving on a course, and going forward is good.  Happy New Year!!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

It's A Wrap

Three hours from now, 2016 will be over and 2017 will begin.  No time like the end of the year to finish up one last UFO, right?  This is String Quilt #6, and should be delivered tomorrow.  wow.  What a year!  I thought it was a doozy, but when I think back to specifics?  It was more than I imagined a year could contain.  As in the past, I clung to my quilting as an outlet for stress, creativity and motivation.  When I totaled up this year's finishes?  I have to say that I am stunned.  Simply stunned.

I made two costumes (Captain America & Jasmine) and a flower girl dress.

I finished and sent out 18 quilted cards, and 26 postcards.  That is, assuming my numbers are correct.  I checked what I had posted in this blog, compared it to handwritten notes, and double checked it against a daily diary of sorts.  That's a lot of fabric in the mail, isn't it?

It was a good year for finishing UFO's.  Of the 43 listed on my official 2016 UFO List, I crossed off 10!

Not only that, but I began - and finished! - 14 new quilts!! I think 2016 was a personal best, when it comes to finishes.  Twenty four quilts finished!  Of that 24, 14 were baby quilts/lap quilts.  All were given away shortly after completion.  Six more quilts were made in response to calls for entry.  Granted, some were quite small, but they were finished, so I count them.  I finished my daughter's wedding quilt just before she celebrated her 8th anniversary.  And the remaining three quilts?  I made those in the online class with Katie Pasquini Masopust.

Twenty four quilts, and seventeen were disbursed as gifts.  In all, it's been a very good year.  If I can be half as productive in 2017, I will be pleased as punch.  Goals are good, and I'm hopeful that I will have mine set and ready to share by tomorrow.

Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Things Change

We had a lovely Christmas this year.  Hard to believe it's been over for 3 days!  Merry Christmas from us to you!  I set the 10 second delay, and almost made it to my spot.  ;)

Over my shoulder, you can see my dad.  He's been having a bit of a rough patch, and will be staying with us for at least the next 10 days.  Then we're back to SoCal for further testing.  Memories...they're precious when you have them, and precious when you make them and when they begin to fade?  It's a hard thing to watch, and even more difficult to experience.  He said, "It's a difficult thing to realize you're less than you used to be."  indeed.

And so, my days have been filled with things other than quilting.  It's still on my list, but actually getting anything done?  Well, goals are good!  I have finished quilting the last basted string quilt, it is just waiting for binding.  If I can get it attached today, I can probably have it tacked down and finished by tomorrow.  One last UFO to check off of my 2016 list.  That's my goal.

And speaking of goals, have you set any for 2017?  It's still a bit early for me, but I'm beginning to put on my thinking cap.  Time to set goals, because, as you know, Goals Are Good!!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Saturday, December 17, 2016


I was kind of proud of myself, knocking out more than one call for entry at a time.  Unfortunately, I neglected to click to find the fine print.  This is what I finished yesterday, for the upcoming SAQA Spotlight Auction, at their 2017 Conference.
 I call it "Sail Away."  Here it is, using those handy clippy things to make sure the facing doesn't peek out around the front.
 Here's the back.  Measuring a mere 6"x8", I wanted to be sure that the facing didn't overpower.
Silly me.  I'm always one to read the fine print.  But everything I saw said "little quilts, 6x8"."  Nothing in the request for quilts said anything about not finishing the edges.  They don't want binding, they don't want facing.  They want the quilts nice and flat, so that they can be mounted behind matboard.  Which is fine and dandy, but I didn't see that part until I called up the submission form, to submit my quilt.

huh.  oh well.  Looks like I'm up a gift for Christmas, eh?
Ho, ho, ho.  I wonder if this is how Santa's bag gets stuffed?  With oopsies? 

And on that note, I have a triple of things that do need to be made for specific people and finished quickly.  Goals are good.  Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas is Coming

It's less than 2 weeks away, and I've yet to send out Christmas cards.  I've yet to make Christmas cards (I usually give out a dozen made from fabric.)  I've yet to make ornaments.  I am behind.  And yet, I am ahead.  My tree is decorated.  My house is more than 50% decorated.  At this time last year, I suspect I didn't yet have a tree!  And last year?  My house never did get more than 50% decorated.

Our Itty Bitties had our Christmas breakfast on December 1.  Nothing like an early beginning to get a jump on the holiday season!  Unfortunately, one of our small group was at Dizzyland on the first, so our Itty Bitties were itty bittier.
 I loved this sign at Valhalla restaurant, and would have snapped it right up, had I a place to hang it.
 Last night, our art group, Sew Eclectic, met for our annual Christmas party.  The original plans went awry, and we ended up at my house.  It was a delightful surprise to find that I can host a successful Christmas party.  My mom's Spode helped set the mood.  :)
 Two of our group were unable to attend, but the rest of us had a delightful time.  oh, ouch.  I really need to replace that springtime tulip quilt with something red and green!
I've been making lists, and checking them thrice, and finding myself ahead of my usual schedule.  It's all good!

Well, no, actually, I'm still behind on the quilting front, but goals are good, and I have some.  I even made the first Christmas card, and delivered it in person yesterday.
I hope that you are finding this Christmas season to be as blessing-filled as I am.  The Lord is good, and it seems to be especially obvious during this particular month of the year.  May He go before you and bless your days!  Merry Christmas!