Friday, April 30, 2010

Congratulations... Kay and Sharon, who won HM and Best Colorado Wall Quilt at Denver National Quilt Festival!

If the quilts look familiar, it's because you just saw both of them at Best of the Valley! :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I know. All caps means shouting. But shout it from the roof-tops, I actually QUILTED something! It's been MUCH too long, believe you me. It's bound and everything. I've even got digital photographic evidence!

But first, I've also got another mug shot for you.

This chocolate-point tabby is not my cat. I surprised it on my porch, and it high-tailed it over the fence. I've never seen this one before, but he/she looks very well loved. That's good. As long as it remembers that it does NOT live here, and as long as it does NOT tell its friends that we've got a Science Diet buffet open to all browsers.

Now back to the quilt.

Two weeks ago I was informed that FOUR of the vet wives are expecting. I knew there was one due March/April...she's actually due two days ago. Hurry, hurry, sew, quilt. I worked on this baby quilt over the weekend, and finished binding it this morning. I can't believe how good it feels to have a finish. It's been MONTHS!!

I'd also like to thank my quilt holder. It's not that long ago that he would have had his arms extended far above his head and the quilt would have been dragging on the ground. My how things change.

And that's all. I just wanted to tell the world. I quilted! I'm still a quilter! hip, hip, hooray!!!!

Not only that, but I've got another Double 4-patch baby quilt to the quilting stage. I might just post it within the next week. Goals are good!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Not All Cats Welcome Here

This is my cat


and this is my cat,Edgar
and this is my cat

and this is my cat

and this is NotMyCat.

This is NOT my Siamese cat,

This is NOT my black cat

and this is NOT my nasty neutered cat...

The last time I saw nasty neutered cat was more than a year ago when he looked like this...

I did not expect him to come calling again, but I guess he hasn't got anything else to lose... ;)

What do they think this is? A Cat Spa?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Big Quilt, Little Quilt

A long time ago, in a galaxy far away... oh wait, that's a different story. This one takes place in Tulare County, beginning in 1991. I won the blocks of the month. The blocks were teacups, and I won a stack of dozens. I don't know how many there were, but there were at least two dozen, probably closer to three.

The 5" blocks seemed pretty small. I'd recently taken a class with Marsha McCloskey, and I thought Ocean Waves would be the perfect way to set them. Since they were so "small," I thought four would translate into a miniature quilt. haha! Boy was I wrong. My four block quilt measured 39" square!

"Tempest in a Teacup"
Suzanne Kistler 1993
39" x 39"

I began working on a bed quilt, using the rest of the 5" teacups, but it took forever. I eventually finished it some time after 2000, and gave it to a friend to quilt and give to a charity she supported. I could no longer abide dusty rose and country blue. ugh

But back to the "miniature" idea. I tried again, this time downsizing the teacups to 2.5". The scale was small enough to result in a miniature. The quilt was given to my friend who collected miniatures. I never saw it again...

"Tempest in a Demitasse"
Suzanne Kistler 1996
19.5" x 19.5"

until the quilt show. It made an appearance in the guild booth. I snatched it up quicker than you could say, "Jack Robinson!" At my house, we've had a reunion of sorts...

Don't they look like they belong together? I'm actually quite fond of them, despite their country blue and dusty rose surroundings...

My assistant thought I should take his picture, since he disrupted his nap especially to come critique my photos...

Back to Ocean Waves, which was the setting of the teacup quilts. I've made quite a number of them over the years, and I'm starting to think this photo might begin to explain my love of all things ocean...

July 1959, on the beach at Malibu.

I know. I've always been photogenic... ;)

'til next time...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

We Could Have Been Oranges!

Last week, the yard was filled with the scent of orange blossoms...

They gradually opened,

and the scent was joined by the buzzing industry of bees...

And then the rains came.

boo hoo hoo. I thought we were going to have a bumper crop this year...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gasping for Air

I can't believe how much time has passed since I last posted. It seems like forever and a day! Last week I was still working on quilt show wrap-up, this week I'm supposed to be doing the same...but I've been hijacked.

My husband and a good friend have decided that what I REALLY should be doing with my mornings is working out at the gym. I am NOT a fan of gyms, never have been, probably never will be. But both of them think this place is better than the cat's pajamas, so who am I do deny them the pleasure of working me over on a daily basis?

My son tells me that at the end of two weeks I'll feel "better." I was actually feeling pretty good before we started this nonsense. :)

Going to the gym keeps me from the computer in the mornings, and my work has not been getting done. Afternoons were once used for sewing. Instead, I've been using them to try to clear out my garage and find my desk.

Today I couldn't take it any more. I HAVE to get back to my sewing machine. I started with making labels, like this...

I didn't make many, but I'm up to date on the few shows I've entered this year. Like this...

I want to sew, but my table is filled to overflowing with mess. I've loaded the bobbin and threaded the needle. Call me crazy, but I think I'm going to sew a few strips without clearing off any more of this mess. (And if you think this is bad, just be glad that I didn't take the picture yesterday or the day before!!!)

On a more encouraging note, in the evenings I've been working on my Hoffman Challenge. I am VERY happy with my entry so far this year, and I'm truly enjoying the handwork. Hurrah for simple pleasures!

If only I could finish clearing off my desk and get to some serious quilting. Unfortunately it's going to be a while!!

P.S. I've posted the last of the "big" winners on the Best of the Valley blog. Click here to see them all...Enjoy!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Yes, Of Course I Shopped!

Did I leave you hanging? Did you think I worked all hours at the quilt show and came away empty handed? Of course I didn't! As Chairman, it's my duty to be sure that people are happy. Vendors are people too, doncha know?!! I did my best to lighten their loads. :)

Oh my. It wasn't until I started pulling out bags that I realized how much shopping I actually did. It was all for a good cause, believe you me!

First stop: Sew Many Quilt Books:

Next, dupioni silk from Shobha Imports:

A few yards of fabric from Quilter's Quarters:

How about some yarn, from Dulitz Tree Farms. Am I thinking of knitting? No. I'm just a collector...

Giant rick-rack from Maricopa Quilt Co is pretty cool...

May I introduce my assistant? He is NotMyCat!

Step out of the way, Vanna, the people want to see the cool beads and jewelry from Janet Farris!

I know it looks good from all angles. You're still in the way!

I give up. Here is a lovely embroidered blue work, as seen on bark, instead of a protective photography drape. I purchased this from the Valley Oak Quilt Guild's big/little quilt sale.

I guess Blogger doesn't approve of NotMyCat's assistance, ergo it's tipped the picture...

He may not be my cat, but he's definitely ALL cat!!!

And that's all I've got for you today. Hopefully tomorrow Blogger will keep my pictures straight.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Little Quilt With a Story

Every year the Valley Oak Quilt Guild buys a vendor space at Best of the Valley. There, they sell quilts that have been donated by their members. They also sell the chances on "baskets," and the pansy pot that I won and showed you in an earlier post.

One of our members has been a long-time collector of miniature quilts. She has gradually been thinning her collection, and every year she donates a portion of it. I've made a couple of miniature quilts for her, and try to keep a look out for them.

The day before the show opened, I spotted this quilt:

I know that quilt!! It's "Hearts and Chains for Mary!" It was on the counter and I snatched it up. "This is for sale?!! It's mine! I'm buying it!" No, I was not. Someone else already bought it. Can you believe it? A vintage Suzanne Kistler quilt for $15?!! It was made in 1989, measures 10.25" x 12.25" and is one of only two miniature quilts that I have ever made.

There is a long story behind the quilt. The woman who was lucky enough to spot it before I did was forced to listen to it. Every quilt tells a story. It's true. Even if the maker doesn't tell you about it, every quilt DOES have a story to tell.

But, as I think about this quilt's story, it's not one I want to post online. If you ask me, I will tell you, but I don't want it broadcast to the world.

Finally, if you thought you were done with Best of the Valley, you're not. I've posted more pictures here, and there's a fantastic article here.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

No Time, but...

Just a quick note to tell you I found a small gallery of photos from the quilt show at the Porterville Recorder, here.

I'm also slowly but surely attempting to post our major winners here.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I'm a Winner!

At the quilt show, our local guild sold chances to win "baskets." When the pot full of pansies, decorated with an old sewing machine and ceramic quilt square and thread arrived, I was smitten. "You HAVE to draw my name!!"

yeah, yeah. They laughed at me. "Only if you buy chances!"

Well, there were close to a dozen baskets to choose from, but all I wanted was the pot of pansies. I bought $20 worth of tickets, and put them all on "Pansies, to win!"

I was walking the Show aisles on Sunday and heard squeals as the winners of various baskets were drawn. I even poked my head around the corner, to see what was up. There were many others to be drawn, the pansy basket was the last. I left. I knew I wouldn't win.

The next thing I knew, there was laughing and whooping and "She was just here!" Then I heard someone call out my name. I walked around the corner, and was blown away. "YOU WON!!"

This is the new planter welcoming you to my front door. Can you tell a quilter lives here? Thank you, thank you, for drawing my name!!!

I always say, if you don't try, for sure you won't win. I'm so glad I tried!!! :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

We Have Some Winners....

I'm not going to show you here, I'm going to tease you.

You're going to have to click this link. It takes you to this morning's post on our Best of the Valley quilt show blog. I've posted pictures of our Best of Show winners in each category (large quilts, small quilts, wall quilts, & wearables).

Check it out. Next year, if you enter, this could be you!!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Come to the Show!

The show opened yesterday with a lot of hustle and bustle. Smiles were seen everywhere. Watch out! They may be contagious! Quilters were spotted, along with their husbands. Vendors were busy; cars and buses were loaded with wonderful treasures.

To see the show through the eyes of a reporter, check either of these mentions:

Porterville Recorder Article
Visalia Times Delta photos

And if that doesn't get your juices flowing, how about this?

See you today, April 10, 9-5; or tomorrow, April 11, 9-4.

Friday, April 9, 2010

We Open Our Doors in 3 Hours

Come and see!!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A. Short. Note.

Quilt Show Week. stop. judging yesterday. stop. hanging today. stop. vendors tomorrow. stop. Doors open 9am Friday. Don't stop. Come to Lindsay!

show blog

Hanford Sentinel article

Monday, April 5, 2010

Off to McDermont

This week I'll be in Lindsday, beginning today and ending on Sunday. It's quilt show time. If you're in the valley, come and see. It's going to be good!!

And to continue with your floral interlude. Please enjoy my orchid. :)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Floral Interlude

As I run around like the proverbial chicken,

The garden does its thing without distraction.

It's beautiful. Happy Easter!

Friday, April 2, 2010

An Embroidered Oasis

Well, so much for my thoughts of "oasis." Blogger flipped the pictures on their ear. arg!

Let's see if I can return to the serene state in which I started. (And if you believe that, with Show Week beginning in 3 days, there's this bridge I have for sale...) :)

Anyway, a friend of my sister's is moving away. Not just away away, she's moving to Scotland. Aye, Lassie, the one in the UK. It's quite a move, and she can't take everything with her. One of the "can't takes" is a quilt that her mother purchased 15 years ago.

If you've been quilting for very long, you've probably seen one like this. It's a 48 states quilt, featuring the states and their flowers. K remembered that I had some sort of interest in quilts. One thing led to another, and this beauty arrived on my doorstep yesterday.

The embroidery is beautifully done. The quilting? Not the best, but not bad either. And the quilt is in perfect condition. Some of the flowers appear to be faded, but I'm wondering if the maker just used very pale threads. There doesn't seem to be any sun damage to speak of, and many of the other colors are still quite vibrant. I like Kansas. :)

The final detail that I'm captivated by is the fine blue scalloped binding. Personally? I wouldn't put such contrast in my binding - it would be too noticeable if I made any mistakes. But this quilter had no qualms about that. She chose vivid blue, scalloped the border, and put on a binding that I would be satisfied with.

When all is said and done, I'm glad no one answered K's Craig's List ad. I had no intentions of buying a quilt this week, but I'm more than happy to give this one a home...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Silence Means It's Quilt Show Time!

Yes folks, it's April. And no foolin', we're going to have a quilt show. Tick Tick Tick... The quilts will be received on Monday. For an update on what I've been doing, you can check the show blog here. There are pictures, along with an introduction to 2010 show parking.

Around the house, the yard is adjusting to its transformation. My secret garden is enjoying the warmer (70's) weather, and the Japanese Maple has leafed out. The lilies didn't mind the transplant, and the azaleas are blooming. On the right are the coral bells (a type of geranium), as well as the orchid that began blooming in January. It still looks acceptable, although no longer its best.

The gingkos have also pushed out leaves. They are the most curious trees I've ever seen. I've never examined them closely. No wonder people are captivated by them! The irises in front are getting a bit over-watered. I'm trying to take care of that, but so far, no buds or blooms. Notice the gerberas that we planted over the weekend. I thought warm weather was here, then it dropped to 41 overnight. oops.

Look what I found along the fence. I love these things. They are gorgeous in their milky whiteness.

In the back, the bird of paradise has popped. It seems to be appropriately named. It does look like some sort of crazy bird to me.

And finally, I can't resist another picture of this iris. They are so few and far between this year, I need to document every minute. ;)

That's all for now folks. I'll likely be hard to find next week, unless you're looking for me in Lindsay. We've got a quilt show coming up, on your mark, get set, GO!!