Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cat Post

There's not much that will jolt me awake in the morning, but Pete found something. Try, "Hey, guess who just pulled himself out of the pool?"

ohmygoodness!!! Edgar!! Went swimming? At 5am? Good grief!!! Pete said he noticed the water sloshing, but didn't think much of it. Then he saw the trail. It comes from the deep end of the pool, folks.

I immediately insisted, "Bring him in the house!" as I went to grab a towel. "Seriously?" Areyoukiddingme? Of course seriously!! Temperatures dropped dramatically overnight, and the pool was pretty cold to begin with. I don't want him to catch pneumonia!!

Edgar doesn't seem fazed in the least. Just a bit wet. After 20 minutes of clean-up, he was begging to go outside again. sigh. I guess a cat's gotta do what a cat's gotta do.

He doesn't seem any worse for wear. Here he is, with Charlie and Hecate, beginning the daily catnap. It's 7:30am, and 52 degrees out there. The only thing disturbing them is the flash of the camera. Sleep well, my kitties!

My week has been filled with this quilt. Because it's so large/heavy, I can only put 2-3 hours in each day, so I'm still working on the in-the-ditch stitching. I have one more loop to do, and then it will be feathers, feathers, everywhere. I'm looking forward to them!

Quilt by Barbara Brown, 2009

That's all for now folks!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Not Much...

Today has been filled with quilting for hire. I took a break to wash this quilt. Today it's 98, we're told that tomorrow will be 78. yikes! I've run out of quilt-washing days, but I haven't run out of quilts!

You know how we all buy tickets to win opportunity quilts? Some people actually do win them. I did, back in 2002. I love this quilt, but I will no longer put it on the bed. One side of the quilt is becoming discolored, because one of us is a space heater. That would not be me. ;)

Valley Oak Quilt Guild Opportunity Quilt 2009

And that's it for now. No opossums last night, thank goodness!!

oh! And I bought a quilt from the SAQA Auction. If you want one, I believe tomorrow will be the last day for the last group. Check them out here, they'll disappear quickly if the previous two sets were anything to judge by. Good luck!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Quilt Show!

I love it when there's a quilt show nearby, especially when I have the time to get to it!! Today I had the special treat of seeing the Kings River Quilt Festival, in Reedley, CA. In a move of convenience, they now hold the biennial show at my kids' old high school. My car knows how to get there, almost without my direction!! big smile! :)

As I think I've said before, I'm not one to take many pictures at a quilt show. But if there is something that catches my eye or that I think you might like to see, I've got my camera handy.

Hey look! Do you recognize this quilt? It's the one I quilted back in August. Doesn't it look nice, all finished and bound?

Wedding Quilt
Jean Bell & Susie LaLa-Bell
quilted by Suzanne Kistler 2009

I recognize this quilt. I quilted it last year, in time for Christmas.

"Happy Holidays"
Pat Bell
quilted by Suzanne Kistler 2009

And this one, again quilted last year.

"Behold the Lilies of the Field"
Pat Bell
quilted by Suzanne Kistler 2009

I couldn't resist taking a picture of this quilt. It's the one and only quilt that I know of, made from a pattern I wrote. "The Color Runs Through It" quilt pattern was published in a 2005 issue of American Quilter magazine.

"The Color Runs Through It"
quilt by Persis Blaesing
designed by Suzanne Kistler

And then, there are those of you who wonder what kind of quilts catch my attention when I'm at a quilt show. Always, always, the stars of the show are the traditional quilts. This was the first one that stopped me in my tracks.

The Double 9-Patch is gorgeous, and the machine-quilted feathers are pretty spectacular. It is a very dramatic quilt. I have no idea who made it, I was too captivated by the quilt itself to remember what the paperwork said.

This was the other quilt that stopped me in my tracks and drew me in. Again, the machine-quilted feathers are spectacular.

I don't know its name, but it was made entirely by Patricia Robertson.

Finally, you knew I wouldn't be able to resist the vendors, didn't you? I did NOT buy any fabric, thankyouverymuch. But I did succumb to the lure of buttons for 25 and 50 cents a card. Many of them were made in Holland, and some were made in the USA! Imagine that. The spool of thread is Madera rayon, also for 50 cents. I bought them from Second Chance Fabrics.

My favorite book vendor was there, so I picked up some reading to get me through the next couple of months. The cards were from the Mennonite Quilt Center; the little Santa painted starfish ornament was also from Second Chance Fabrics.

And there you go, my day in a nutshell. Hope you enjoyed the show!

Caught Another One!

Now this one is just plain ugly. Is it the first one I saw? Perhaps. I don't think it's the one Daniel saw, because the one he saw was, "big and blind and deaf and slow." This one is a lot bigger than the last one, but there's nothing blind or deaf about it. It's a nasty thing, with a bad temper.

Animal Control has been called, and will be here as soon as possible. The creature will be relocated to the St. Johns River, a much nicer place than my backyard. I think both of us will be much happier.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Cleaning Up

Daniel and I had some running around to do this morning, and by the time we got home, I didn't feel like quilting.

It was still cool, and going into the attic storage/crawl space was still a viable option. We went up, to see what we were storing. I knew there were things that could be tossed, and I wasn't disappointed. Here are some of the things that we're going to get rid of - notice all of the cardboard and styrofoam? We have packing materials for computers bought in 2002 and sewing machines bought before that! I DON'T think we'll be needing the boxes for shipping, do you?

The crewel embroidery in the foreground was started by my mom and finished by me before I was in high school. I'd forgotten about it. The moths found it, but parts are salvageable. I should see if I can think of something to do with it.

Here's a second view. The bed was so brittle, it shattered. Same with the chair in the foreground. The foosball game will go to Rescued Treasures, unless someone wants to rescue it before I take it there.

After lunch, it began heating up. If I'm going to get any quilts washed, now is the time to do it. I washed one.

This quilt was finished in 2003, for Andrew's 2002 high school graduation. My intent was to make a quilt with racing stripes, and I put numerous fabrics under black light to find those that glowed the best. (He liked his black light while in high school.) I was really taken aback when I finished the quilt and was informed that it was a rainbow. It never occurred to me. I thought they were racing stripes. :(

He was a good sport, and designed the quilting pattern for the background. "Mom? Can you do spheres in a grid?" He drew a rough sketch, and I followed through. The grid is quilted in black, the spheres were done in blue and green.

Finally, I asked if he wanted it hand or machine quilted. "Which is more work?" "Hand." "Well then hand, of course!" And there you go. It's holding up very well, and will hopefully dry this afternoon. We'll see.

And now? I should probably think about doing some quilting.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mission Accomplished?

I finally got my act together and finished quilting the second of nine quilts-for-hire. This one is set "row by row."

Quilt made by Beverly Meyer
quilted by Suzanne Kistler 2009

Here's a close-up of some of the feathers. Not too bad... :)

My second project last night was an immediate success. Now what? My research (and friends) tell me that these guys harbor disease and fleas. I do hope that Animal Control will respond to my call by relocating him.

We've been in the same house for 16 years, and this month marks only the second time, EVER, that I've seen an opossum on the property. And apparently he came with his entire family, because this one is smaller and cleaner than the one I saw last week, and my son tells me that the one he saw two days ago was "bigger than Malcolm, Mom." Which means that the one he saw was at least 15 pounds...and this one can't be more than 7 or 8. yikes!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Don't Worry Mom!

I'm fine!

Those words followed a loud crashing sound in the attic storage area. It's always more exciting when one of the kids is home!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Photography Studio

I'm supposed to be working on that quilt for hire, but this is what I'm doing instead. The light is STILL not bright enough to give me a clear photograph. sigh. But it's better than what I had before, that's for sure. I'll take a few more shots, then I MUST get to work!!

Sorry about the angle - it was the only way I could get the lights, quilt, etc in the picture from the wee space in the doorway.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Little Birdie...

In July, I made some bird-day cards for some special people. A picture of Sharon's came through on tonight's email. I thought I'd share it with you.
All of the for-hire quilts are now basted. One of the quilts is quilted, the second is underway. I expect to be working on the third by noon tomorrow.

I promise. I'll try to remember to take and post pictures.

Have a great week!!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Quilt For Hire

I've had a request to show the quilts-for-hire as I finish them. This is the first of the nine. yep. One down, eight to go. I'm about 45 minutes into #2. I may have recovered enough pins to baste #9. ;)

The lighting in the Studio isn't the best in the afternoon, but you can see the quilted table runner as it runs on my sewing table.

Fall Table Runner
Beverly Meyer
quilted by Suzanne Kistler 2009

I particularly like the border quilting, which alternates oak and "birch" leaves. It gives it a bit of pizazz.

That's all for now. I'm going to pop in the next episode of Lois & Clark, Season 1, as I baste quilt #9. And don't worry, Pat, yours is #9 - at least in the basting queue!! :)

More County Fair

For some peculiar reason, last night my husband wanted to go to the Fair. I was exhausted, but knew I should humor him. He hasn't gone to the Fair in YEARS, so if he wants to go, there must be a reason.

We stopped by the Home Arts building again, and I snapped a picture of Carletta's quilt. This is the one quilt that I saw on display that I quilted. It's a monster. ;)

One thing that was new this year was a display of plastic/fake farm animals. In the past, they've always had a petting zoo with REAL animals. I mean, come on! This is Ag Country. What's with the fake animals?!!!

Come milk the plastic cow!

Or saddle the fake horse...

Or listen to the HORRIBLE robo-cow that has apparently represented Tulare County at the State Fair for the past two years. NO WONDER the rest of the State thinks we're idiots!

It was much better when we got to some of the REAL displays. Like the REAL men, REALLY singing, in this Barbershop Chorus.

See the guy in the back row, on the right, with the light hair, glasses and mustache? (If you click on the picture, it gets bigger.) That's Jerry, one of Pete's original partners at Valley Vets.

And then it came out. The real reason we were there. We headed for the Dairy Barn. Nothing says "free evening" like hanging out with the cows, eh?

(That's Pete, in the plaid.) Every corner we turned held another person for him to talk to and another hand to shake. When this kid walked up, shook his hand, and turned to leave, I stopped him. "I HAVE to get a picture of your hat!" He was embarrassed, and refused to show his face. But check out the hat:

Again, you can click to make it bigger. If you don't want to, I'll give you a hint: It says "Valley Vets."

Yes, last night the Dairy Barn was the place to be. It was the night of the Heifer Replacement Sale, and over 150 heifers were going up for auction. Here's a brief glimpse of the auction ring. There were so many people there, it would have been silly to push my way through the crowd to get a picture of the auctioneer and an animal up for bid.

And as we left the barn, I snapped this picture of the heifers, beginning to line up. They are waiting their turns, with their owners hoping for enough of a selling price to at least break even. It's not a good time for dairy, but last night? It was a testament to the support of the local community. No one has money to burn, but at the same time, no one wants to see these kids losing their shirts because of a 4-H or FFA project.

I have no idea how it turned out, but as one friend said, "This is the year that the kids are probably going to get a real life lesson."

And that's it for now. I've got 7.9 of the quilts basted, and I've run out of pins. I hoping to quilt one or two today, and finish up the basting by this evening. Goals are good and all that.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Where is my Studio and who left this mess in its place?!!!

I have 9 quilts-for-hire that have come in during the past 7 days. If you don't hear from me, it's because I've uncovered my quilting table and have gone back to work.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

County Fair Results

This year the County Fair was not on my mind. I didn't receive a premium book, and couldn't think of anything to enter. All I had was a wallhanging; it wasn't worth the effort. But then I had that surge the last week of August, and I had two more quilts to enter. The Fair opened today, and I was there.

First is my "Sentries in the Garden." It is hung back-to-back with a purple quilt.

"Sentries in the Garden"
Suzanne Kistler

I have to tell you that I am entered as a professional. All quilts in the Professional category are judged on their own merit. Because of this, it would be possible for every quilt in the category to receive a first place. It would also be possible for every quilt in this category to go without an award. It's an interesting category, to say the least.

Next is Pete's Fish Story:
"Fish Story"
Suzanne Kistler 2009

And finally, here is the color strip quilt that I whipped up in a color frenzy. It looks pretty good on the wall, but it's still destined for a bed.

-working on a name-
Suzanne Kistler 2009

For me, the ribbon I saw in the Photography building was more exciting. I entered 5 photographs. Four of them went unmentioned, but this photo of mine, taken at the quilt show, won a 4th place. I was thrilled. You didn't know I was a photojournalist, did you? ;) (It's the center photo, with the pink ribbon. click to see it larger.)

"Best of the Valley Quilt Show"
Suzanne Kistler 2009

I walked through the Home Arts building, to see if any of my clients had entered their work. I only saw one. Because there were a number of people standing in front of it, the light was glaring, and there was a sign also blocking a portion, I didn't take a picture. Maybe if I go back, I'll have better luck. Hopefully next year I will have done more work for others that they are able to share. It's a lot of fun to look at a show and know that I had a part behind the scenes.

That is all...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

Lest you think that the only thing going on around here is a lot of creativity - and there is alot, believe you me - I think I should show you what else I've been up to.

On Friday I hung this bulletin board. It's a terrific way to display my growing collection of small cards and quilts, much better than pinning them directly to the wall. I stole the idea from Sharon, and have been complimented multiple times since I put it up. Thank you, Sharon, for showing me your Studio! :)

I also hung this quilt, made by Sharon. That's the extent of the wall decor so far. I'm slowly adding pieces. Once I'm happy with them and have lived with them for a few days/weeks, I'm ready to add more. Putting up everything at once would be overwhelming, doncha know?

I don't need any more overwhelming. I've already got overwhelming. It's going on in the dining room.

This particular room functioned as a bedroom for almost 8 years, and as such, it's been off my scope, so to speak. Last year I cleared it out and set up the table, but we hadn't used it for anything. When one of our boys brought a load of no-longer-needed furniture back from our daughter, I told him to "stash it in the dining room." When I needed to move furniture from the sewing cave for the makeover, I stashed it in the dining room. The boys moved on Sept 1, and more furniture was returned. What did we do with it? We stashed it in the dining room.

Sigh. It's to the point that if I don't make a move soon, I'll never recover. Here's a glance at what I've got to work with.

I see chairs from the dining room table, I see chairs from my grandfather's old dining room set. I see a sewing table and a twin bed frame. There's my favorite double shelf, and look! There's the aquarium that I emptied when we refaced the kitchen. The empty Rubbermaid bins are in here, along with the oak "icebox" that was the first piece of furniture I bought when we got married.

Here's a view from the other direction. I guess the good news is that most of the items in the dining room are large furniture items. Moving just one or two things makes a big difference. Oh look! There's another kitchen table, leaning against the bookshelves.

The last pictures are of the ugly. ugh ugh ughly.

I apologize for the quality of the shot. I was shuddering as I looked through the window and screen last night. I noticed movement near the cats' food, and thought Edgar was looking a bit clumsy or arthritic.

EEK! His coat looks bad!

And when he turned, EEEEEEKKKK!! Those hands are a giveaway. That is NOT my cat!!

I gathered my wits and went around to the sliding door, hoping to take a clear picture. That thing moved faster than a bullet train! I've only seen possums waddle or play dead. I have NEVER seen them skedaddle, but this one sure did! Zoom zoom!! He scared Hecate and knocked over the water dish on his way out.

The disturbing thing is that she hadn't paid attention to the creature at all. Is that because she didn't notice him? Or because he/she's a regular visitor? Or did she also think he was Edgar having a rough night?

ugh. I shudder to consider the options!

Monday, September 14, 2009


I forgot to include a picture of the card I made for Pastor Ron & Peggy!


Last night we had a party at church. Pastor Ron and his wife Peggy have been with Parkside Chapel for 25 years. wow. That's a long time, truly an illustration of commitment and dedication.

Becky, one of the ladies in church, collected ties from the men in the church. She made this beautiful quilt, which I then had the honor of quilting. Another member, Emma, sewed down the binding and added the sleeve.

Here is the overall quilt:

It's nice that the "25" shows up from a distance. I quilted everything with gold metallic, with the exception of the bit of background. That was quilted with a honey-colored neutral.

Here's the center circle. It needed something. Blogger has added its creative twist to the photo.

Finally, here is last night's presentation. I'm sorry it's so dark. If you click on it, it actually is fairly clear. I don't know if I'll ever adjust to trying to use this digital camera. I took clear indoor pictures with a film camera for so many years, I forget that it's different with digital. sigh. oh well.

And there you go. That's the "secret" project I was working on a few weeks ago. And now, it's on to the next thing...