Thursday, October 29, 2009

Quilt 'til You Wilt, Coming Right Up

I've been on a mad dash to finish all the for-hire quilting before spending the weekend on my own work. That's right, I'm going retreating. I can hardly wait. Fun, fun, fun, there'd better not be snow!!!

I finished the last quilt, well, it was the last quilt, until I picked up another one, but this was the last one on my list on Monday. Now that I'm done, I'm going to pack.

The quilt is a bit larger than a twin-size. I don't have a bed available to display it on.

Here's a bit of a close-up of the quilting...

It really shows up best on the back.

I'm not sure I can deliver this before I leave, but hey, it won't be waiting for attention when I return. And that, my friends, is a very good thing.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Not Much New

Sorry I haven't posted much lately, I feel like it's a lot of "same old, same old." I continue to have quilts-for-hire in the pile, although I must say the pile is greatly reduced. For the next 3 hours, it will only have one waiting for my attention. At 2pm, I deliver the latest and pick up another one. I guess I must be filling a need, because I have not been lacking for business since I re-hung my shingle on August 1.

This is the quilt I deliver today. It's smaller than a twin, but larger than a baby quilt. I guess that makes it a throw. I've had it for almost a month. The owner bought the "5 hours of custom machine quilting" certificate that I donated to our church's silent auction. It took 4.16 hours to quilt. (The certificate was one time use only. :)

Here's a close-up, so you can get a better idea of what I did. I put leaves in the green, flowers in the floral, feathers in the solid brown, checks in the check and meandering in the brown/turquoise swirly print. The quilting looks much better in person than it does in the photograph.

Other than that, I've been sitting behind the computer. There is always plenty to do, that's for sure!

I am hoping to quilt the "last" quilt-for-hire before heading off on a weekend quilting retreat. The one I pick up today can wait until next week for basting. Goals are good and all that.

My primary goal this week is to have emptied my plate of responsibilities by Friday so that I can truly relax and enjoy the retreat. And who knows? If we get lucky, we might get snowed in and have to stay there longer. I'll have my hand-quilting with me, and if they have hot chocolate? What else does a gal need? ummm....maybe cookies. :) I know, I my dreams. :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009


For the past 10 days I have been captivated by an iris in my backyard. It's one that I bought two years ago, at the iris garden, and this is the first time it's bloomed. And bloomed, and bloomed, and bloomed. It's got more energy than the Energizer Bunny! I've never seen so many blooms on one stalk. It's got to be on #11 or 12 or even #15 by this point. It is truly amazing.

Yesterday I had lunch with my good friend Carletta to celebrate her birthday. I try to make a quilted card for her every year, this year was no exception. But I tricked her. I wrapped it in a box. :) The box sat on the table during breakfast, I didn't say a word.

At one point our conversation turned to decorating, and she mentioned that she was going to try to figure out a way to display all the quilted cards she'd received. hmmm.

Later, when she opened the box, she was really surprised. tee hee. She thought she wasn't getting a card. I think she was happy, don't you?

Happy Birthday, Carletta!

It's good to know when people like the cards. Often I have no idea whether they do or not. I think Carletta likes hers. :)

And now, it's weekend. It holds so much promise. But first, I've got a window of opportunity to baste those last quilts-for-hire, and I'm going to have to buckle down and do it. sigh. After that? My time is all mine!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pins & Needles

This morning our itty bitty sewing group met in Charlotte's Studio. It is the Studio of Charlotte, in her home, not a place of business. ohmygoodness, most of us would be green with envy. We each do what we can with our allotted space, but just think what we could do with the space she has!!!

I forgot to take the picture when we were all inside, with the lights on, at work, but here it is, a quick peek at her work space. It's so spacious!!!

This picture really doesn't do it justice. I'm going to have to take another picture next week. The room is very deep, with at least 3 sewing machines set up and ready to go. There is a bank of cabinets to hold her stash, and a large design wall. Everywhere you turn, there is something to inspire or something to turn that inspiration into reality.

In case you think this studio is just for show, it is not.

Four of us went out to lunch, then headed over to the Hanford Art Center. They are holding an Art Quilt Show, called "Pins & Needles." Charlotte has multiple pieces in the show, as do many of my friends. In fact, there are not many quilts currently hanging in the gallery whose creators I do not know.

This was the first of Charlotte's quilts that we came across:

Charlotte Rogers and her quilt

We turned another corner and found this one, which she started in a Melinda Bula class.

Charlotte and another quilt

There was a third, and a fourth. Unfortunately I was swept away by the quilts and did not take a good enough photo to be able to read the signage. Sorry about that!

Charlotte and her third quilt

As I said, I know most of the artists whose work was on display. If I were to take pictures of my favorites, this post would take three days to read. Instead, I took pictures of Charlotte's quilts and I took pictures of Anna's.

Anna is going to be the Featured Artist at our 2010 Best of the Valley Quilt Show. She has taken to art quilting like a duck to water, and each of her pieces demands some exploration.

I believe this particular piece was begun in a Rose Hughes class.

"Dreams of Yosemite"
Anna Koelewyn

Finally, this piece was one of my favorites. I am tempted to buy it. If it's still there in a couple of weeks, and if I'm still thinking about it, I might have to give in to that temptation.

"Earthquake: It's Not My Fault"
Anna Koelewyn

And that's it for today's post. Hope you enjoyed the show! :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

More Finished Quilts & a Goodie

Believe it or not, I quilted three quilts today. Yes, I did. Okay, so they were pretty small. But they are done, and my pile of basted quilts-for-hire is GONE. I still have two quilts-for-hire to baste and quilt. :)

The first one was this redwork. We kept it very simple, to keep the embroidery the focus.

Redwork by Beverly Meyer
quilted by Suzanne Kistler

You can see how simple the quilting was from the back:

The next was this basket quilt:

Baskets by Beverly Meyer
quilted by Suzanne Kistler

The back looks REALLY good.

Finally, I wasn't sure how to quilt this handpieced quilt by machine. I decided to just DO it.

Grandmother's Flower Garden by Beverly Meyer
quilted by Suzanne Kistler

The back is pretty simple...

And then here's the surprise. Isn't this a cute pincushion? It arrived in the mail yesterday. I love the little dancing cat. Kay, how did you know I like cats? ;)

And that's it for today. I also washed my car and parked it in the garage. It's been a LONG time since I've done that, and no, the ceiling hasn't been repaired yet. But it's been foggy in the morning, and I like to be able to see out the windshield when I start my car.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Another One Done

whew! I've made another wee dent in my for-hire pile. All dents are good. :)

Actually, I worked on the largest basted quilt, and was able to finish it today. It's a fun little quilt, with lots of raw edges. Since I've never quilted anything like this, it was a bit of a challenge.

Heart Quilt by Beverly Meyer
Quilted by Suzanne Kistler

Here's a close-up of the border...

And here is the back.

Five more to go...stay tuned!

He's Back!

Those of you who know me personally know that this month has been a bit rough. My oldest boy has been unemployed for months, and the CA job market is basically nonexistent. He finally hit his limit, moved the bulk of his possessions here for storage and headed east, destination unknown.

He called on Saturday, asking if he could come back to stay temporarily. He's filled out lots of jobs applications (there are jobs in New Mexico) and is waiting to hear from them. On Saturday afternoon I told him, "Absolutely, come home!" and he was here Sunday morning. He was a mere 17 hour drive away. :)

Knowing he was coming was suddenly a challenge. I needed a place to put him. I took the last remnants from the Sewing Annex (other than the permanent storage under the bed) and threw them into the Studio. Yesterday morning I was greeted by this:

Holy cow! I'd promised myself never to allow this to happen to the Studio. I was only going to invite things in that had a place, no more of the dump and run. Goals are good and all that.

It took me hours to recover, but this is what it looks like now:

The design wall has no room for design, and the floor needs some work, but everything is accessible and I can move around. It will do.

I may have cheated, closing the closet door, but for the most part, everything is fairly orderly and easily accessible. It's not going to come crashing down on me any time soon. :)

Here's the reason I had to clear out the Annex. Number One Son is an electrical engineer and computer programmer. With a call to do some computer work today, he had to find some of his tools and computer parts:

Once they are found, they need to be tested:

And there's not enough room in the house to do all that needs to be done.

It's a beautiful thing! See me smile!

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Little Bit of Shopping

Did I promise to show you my PIQF purchases? I was very restrained compared to my last few quilt show forays. Funny that, since I've finished some quilts-for-hire and actually had depth to my checkbook! :) I was just much more interested in the quilts than I was in the vendors.

I bumped into another quilter yesterday at Costco, and asked if she'd been to the show. She agreed that this was the best edition of PIQF in years. I don't know what made it so outstanding. The quilts are always stunning, but 2009 seemed to bring out the very best. Either that, or I was TOTALLY in the mood for a quilt show. :)

But I digress. Here are the few things that I brought home:

I've got a bit of sea-colored roving, some wool that looks like it's still got lanolin in it, a few cones of King Tut, a couple of gewgaws, and a book. I had been looking for the mola lady, and I bought these two pieces. The fish was actually attached to a little burlap bag, but I removed it because I didn't care for the bag. The funny thing is, when I got home, I realized that these "molas" are actually just appliqued pieces. They don't have any of the layers of reverse applique that you find in traditional molas. :) Does this make them "cheater molas"? :)

On Saturday I was sitting on the couch and saw the backsides of Edgar and Malcolm. They were within a few feet of each other, and in identical positions. Their coloring is very similar, so I had to grab my camera and take a picture of these bookends. Malcolm shifted a bit, but they still crack me up.

That's all I've got for you today. My Studio is suddenly upside down, I don't even want to take a picture. The first order of business will be to organize, and then I've got that stack of quilts-for-hire. The sooner they are quilted, the sooner I can play with the ideas I came up with this weekend. I need more hours in the day. Either that, or more energy!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pacific International Quilt Festival

Oh my! Talk about an amazingly inspirational day!!! Sometimes I go to quilt shows and feel overwhelmed in the sense that I am a mere speck in the quilt world and my work is less than dust. That doesn't happen often, but it's happened enough that it bothers me. I am happy to report that yesterday was NOT one of those days. My preferred response to a wonderful show is to examine and appreciate the skill and vision of other quilters and the encouragement their work provides. They are an inspiration! Yesterday was a day filled with amazing quilts, each more spectacular than the last. Every technique known to quilters was there on display, and I was captivated.

I've never been much for taking pictures at quilt shows. I'm always afraid I'll end up trying to copy someone's work. But since I began the blog, I've been asked which quilts attract my attention. It's easiest to show you, rather than to try to describe them.

But first, I have to share a little story.

Leslie and I walked into the show and looked at the wall quilts to the left of the entrance. When we moved to the right of the entrance, I saw two women who looked familiar. I touched them each on the arm and announced, "I know you!" They were Aileen and Jean, two women I met earlier this year in Cynthia Corbin's class at Asilomar. They both had quilts in the show, but they had just arrived, so they did not know where they were hanging. We parted ways, and went on to enjoy the show.

It wasn't 5 minutes later that we found Jean's quilt. oh my!! It was hanging in the Best of Show display! I was so pleased for her, I didn't think to ask her what she'd won! I'd seen this quilt in March, and it is fantastic!

Jean Jurgenson and "Hong Kong Taxi"

One of my show assignments was to find two quilts and photograph them for Sharon. I found her quilt first. I had a terrible time trying to get a picture, there were so many people crowded around it I snapped it in a hurry during a lull.

"Beautiful Beulah" - Judge's Choice
Sharon Schlotzhauer

She'd asked me to find Sherry's quilt, which was easier said than done. Finally we turned a corner and there it was. I'd seen this quilt earlier, at the Rocky Mtn Quilt Festival, where it won Viewer's Choice. When we turned around, there was Sherry, glowing with excitement, basking in the glory of being awarded a juicy red rosette. :)

"Reynolds Crossing"
Sherry Reynolds

As usually happens at a show, whoever I am with will spot a quilt and announce, "There's Pete's quilt!" I'll look, and there will be a cow. :) Of course I took a picture, to share with him when I got home. This quilt is completely hand appliqued and hand quilted. It is AMAZING.

Nancy S. Brown

I found quilts made by two of the SAQA artists whose work I purchased last year and this. For excellent pictures and descriptions, I refer you to Del Thomas's blog. She is more familiar with their work than I am, and her photos and descriptions are terrific! Be sure to check all of her PIQF posts. Phyllis Cullen and Franki Kohler are the artists whose work I own. (Franki is the Gingko queen! :)

I am smitten with quilting, and loved the feathering on this machine-quilted beauty. :)

This one was also exquisite. What is it about 2-color quilts that make me covet them?

Finally, I bumped into a friend as I was shopping the vendors. She asked, "What have you seen that inspires you today?" What an excellent question! I hadn't thought to ask myself that. I pulled out my camera and flipped through until I found these two pictures.

The first is a very simple quilt. The detail is in the beading. I have no idea what it is called, but I know the artist. The beads truly look like it is raining.

The work of Thom Adkins

And finally, this was the show-stopper for me. I LOVED this quilt!!! The attention to detail was incredible. I felt like I was at the tidepools. I could have stood there for an hour examining each and every lovely thing. Be sure to click on the picture so that you can see the detail as well!

"Tide Pool Souvenirs - Littoral Memories"
Isabel Downs

wow. The only things I bought from the vendors, other than a book and some cones of thread were a few pieces of flotsam and jetsam to make my own ocean wonderland. Perhaps I'll post the picture tomorrow, this post is much too long.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to recall yesterday's trip to paradise! The show was fantabulous, and if you weren't there, I'm sorry you missed it!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

eBay addendum

I've had a number of people ask me about the Kathy Sandbach quilt. There are a few more for sale here, for the next couple of days. Just search for "Kathy Sandbach quilt," and they should pop right up. Good luck!!

October Step - Finished!

Yay! Mission Accomplished! Was it cheating to pick something that could be finished so quickly? I don't know. It did throw my Bernina into an "I won't sew" mode, and put it into the shop waiting for a replacement part. In the end I accomplished two tasks, not one. yay!

Here is the overall quilt. It hangs nice and flat. The blocking worked wonders. :)

Sue Rasmussen Class Project
finished October 2009 by Suzanne Kistler

It was nice to get a chance to quilt a few more feathers after finishing the large feathered quilt-for-hire.

Here is an angle guaranteed to show the dimension the quilting adds. I am quite pleased with the result, which is actually a surprise. I was not all that excited about the quilt when I first started...

On another note, I need to congratulate some friends of mine. They are in the winner's circle at Houston. (I don't know that there is actually a winner's circle, I've never been there. But if there is a circle, they're in it.)

Congratulations to Sharon Schlotzhauer who won First Place in Art Quilts, Miniature AND Second Place in Art Quilts, Whimsical. Congratulations to Lynn Drennen & Friends, who won First Place in Group Quilts. Congratulations to Cindy Seitz-Krug & Molly Hamilton-McNally who won Second Place in Innovative Applique. (I've given you two links, to see 2 of the 4 quilts. The others are on the website.)

If any of my other friends are on the list and I missed you, I apologize. I am so THRILLED for you all!!! Wow. Can we spend more time together? I need to rub shoulders with you and absorb some of your quilting magic...just a little quilt dust, you won't feel a thing. ;)


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Another One Done

I spent yesterday and today working on this quilt-for-hire. yay! My "permanent" stack of 8 quilts waiting for attention has dwindled to 7. I never thought I'd make progress! :) Here's the latest from the finished pile.

Pat made the top in a Don Linn class a few months ago. Pretty spiffy, eh?

Quilt by Pat Bell
Quilted by Suzanne Kistler October 2009

And that's all. I'm taking a break and putting a binding on the tree we looked at earlier this week. It looks pretty flat. yay!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I Win! (on eBay)

On Saturday, I was surfing the web. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I was on eBay, bidding on a quilt. This is not just any quilt, it is one made by Kathy Sandbach. It was published on page 41 of her book "Show Me How to Plan My Quilting."

At least that's what the description said, and since it was written by her daughter, I have no reason to disbelieve her.

The quilt arrived today, and this is what it looks like:

Here is a close-up of the interior feather quilting. I like the leaves that knock down the background, giving the feathers a bit more loft.

The sad thing about this quilt is that, although it was accompanied by a letter from Kathy's daughter, the quilt itself has no label. Where were the quilt police when she finished her quilt?!! I know she was a voluminous quilter, but that's no excuse. It's been pounded into my head that when you finish a quilt, you HAVE to label it. How will future generations be able to identify your work? Aren't you proud of it? Don't you want people to know you made it?

And here I've got a quilt, made by a nationally (if not world) known teacher/author. There is nothing on the quilt itself to identify the maker. I've got a letter, and I could buy the book, but do those prove provenance or whatever it's called? I don't think so.

Moral of the story? Label your quilts, quilters! Or sign them! Or something! When they pass from the hands of your family (and there's no insuring that won't happen), the recipient might really truly care who made them.

Okay. I'm sure you've got the message. Now I'm going back to work. :)

October Step

I spent Saturday quilting my October Step. By the end of the day, all I had left was the outer border. Since I've been in a feathery mood, it seemed right to add more. I did so on Monday. I proclaimed the Step "finished!" and then actually looked at it. oh my. It waves like a flag in the wind.

Just in case you can't see the ripples full on, how about an edge shot?

See them now?

I have some dense quilting in the foreground of the interior picture, which "sucks up" the fabric. It needs equally dense quilting around the border, to "suck up" the excess in a similar manner. sigh. I didn't want to quilt any more. But I did.

I've gone back and added itty bitty teensy weensy microscopic stippling on both sides of the feather. It helped a lot, although I'm not sure this photo shows how much difference it made. (Maybe you can click on it then zoom in?)

The (hopefully) finally step to making this quilt lie flat was to cut off the excess and then block the border. Since the interior is fine the way it is, I didn't mess with it at all. The last thing I want is for it to shrink. But the border is another matter. Because I have 100% cotton batting, I EXPECT it to shrink, at least enough to make the quilt look flat.

Here it is, pinned and drying.

And here it is once again from the edge. It looks promising, does it not?

I'm hoping to get the binding attached so that I will have handwork on Thursday, when my Itty Bitty friends congregate. It's been weeks (months?) since I've met with them, so I really do need to make an effort.

But for now? I have another quilt-for-hire in my future on this rainy day...