Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Take in a Show...

For your viewing pleasure:

Join us at the reception this Friday from 6-8pm, or come by the gallery, W- Sat, noon-5:30, December 1-24.

**quilts on the card are by L to R: Charlotte Rogers, Suzanne Kistler, Sara Kelly, Pat Bell, and Deolinda Rhoades. Other members of Sew Eclectic exhibiting in the show include Barbara Daniel, Wanda Dunavan, Kristin Eilers, DeAnn Farris, Barbara Sawyer, Sharon Scholta, Beth Shaffer, and Debbie Van Fossen. I hope I didn't overlook anyone!!

A Bit of Ice...

I've shown you a few shots of this banner in progress. If you click on it, you should see a much larger image. It is supposed to be two-sided. I love the fringe around the edge.

hmm. Apparently I downloaded two pictures of the front, and I need to leave. I'll post the back another time. Do you like the prairie points?

This is a somewhat blurry close-up of the quilting and beading. All beads were attached by hand.

That's it for now, I've got to zoom. Hopefully I'll check back later this afternoon with more pictures.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Tale of Two Dysons

A few months back, I purchased a new animal Dyson vacuum. I blogged about it here. Never had I met a more marvelous carpet-cleaning machine. Until now.

I don't know if they've added a higher-powered animal Dyson, or if I was just shopping at the wrong store the first time. On Black Friday, since we were out and about anyway (we needed to buy a car battery, of all things!), we stopped at Bed Bath & Beyond. I knew that Dysons were on sale. Since we are in the process of buying property with a second house, I have a need for a second vacuum.

I reached for what was familiar, then saw another Dyson that was unfamiliar. hmmm. I'll bring it home and do a side by side comparison.

I'd had a few complaints about the roller ball version of the machine, and I was interested to see if they'd rectified any of them. First off, I have to say that I prefer back and forth to roller ball. Perhaps it's because the motion is more familiar? The larger vacuum is heavier than the roller ball (and the roller ball is heavy), however it has a self-propel feature that makes pushing it forward almost effortless.

They still don't have a light out front, to see what you're vacuuming. I tend to run over things. Maybe I should vacuum with a flashlight?

The bigger vacuum heard my complaint about the short cord. While the roller ball cannot reach the length of my living room, the super-duper vacuum can almost reach the entire house! Lengthening the cord was a tremendous improvement.

I also like the forward/back movement, because I damaged a wall with the roller ball model. When I rolled around a corner, the hard hose on the right side took out the sheet rock. oops. The upside was that the machine vacuumed up the mess almost effortlessly...

The bigger model also seems to have more suction than the roller ball. While the roller ball completely grossed me out with the dirt and cat hair that it picks up every time I use it, the bigger model picks up even more fine dirt than its smaller brother.

I think the bigger one will stay here, and the smaller one will go to the new property. If I didn't have a Dyson yet, but thought about getting one? Bigger is better, and on Black Friday, it actually cost me less than the smaller. go figure.

On a quilting note, this fishie postcard arrived in my mailbox over the weekend. It's from the current postcard exchange of Postmarkd Art.

Postmark'dArt #11 - FISH
Janice Simpson 2010

I love the fuzzy sea-weedy embellishment, and if you look closely, you might see the beads and sequined eyes on the fish.

That's all I've got for now, but I should have more as we approach December!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks For

First Fog

First Frost

Friendly Footprints

Fading Flowers

Festive Fir

Furry Felines

Finished Frostiness

Fuzzy Family

and Faraway Friends...

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

More Rain

The latest Arctic blast has arrived, and it's shivering me timbers. brrr!!! The high according to my car has been 51 today. For the most part it's been 47 and raining. I see blue skies clearing right now. If the clouds blow away will it warm up enough to keep away the freeze that is threatening the citrus growers? I hope so. I know there are some who are praying for a miracle.

Our ginkoes are noticeably more yellow than they were a few days ago. Some of the trees around town have already begun dropping their leaves. Ours must be more sheltered than those.

Indoors, this is my first noticeable hint that we're rapidly approaching the holiday season. It will be here before I know it. Is it sneaking up on you too?

Yesterday I stopped at Thimble Towne and this luscious batik screamed at me from the shelf. Seriously. I looked at it and started salivating. Is it really blue? I mean, is it THE blue? Is it the right one to use as borders on a quilt that has been tossed aside because I could not find matching border fabric?

By golly, I do believe it is!! (It is actually darker than the upper pic and lighter than the lower pic. It is just right.)

And finally, I'm sitting inside, doing some beading. bead faster, bead faster!

The deadline (I almost wrote deathline) is approaching faster than I can sew them on. Bead faster! Bead faster!

At least the quilt-for-hire pile is growing smaller...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Rain, Rain

This weekend we're enjoying a blast of cold and wet stuff from Alaska. Does this mean that fall is finally arriving? Some of the local trees seem to have embraced it, but our yard? Not so much.

Our gingkoes are trying to turn..

Individual leaves are doing their best.

The coxcomb are past their prime,

And I'm replacing them with primroses.

Some of the plants are REALLY confused...

In the meantime, I'm holed up inside, working on quilts for hire. I'd rather be working on my own project,

but I soaked it in hot water on Friday, looking to give it some texture. The only texture it got was wet, and it refuses to dry.

The upside is that the quilts for hire are practically quilting themselves and running out the door. yay!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

No, No, and.....No

Well, the emails hit my box today, and not one of my three submissions to Road to CA passed the jury. sheesh!!

For the past 5 years, I've been struggling to be accepted in what was once for me a "sure thing" show. I thought that perhaps my attempts to break into the art categories was the problem, so this year I submitted three very traditional quilts. Didn't matter. Didn't make it.

One less thing to worry about. Life goes on...

Quilts For Sale

Over the past several months, I've been sharing quilts that I've purchased online. Many friends have asked after the fact, where or how I found them. Today I followed an eBay ad, which reminded me that the Alliance for American Quilts is holding an auction. You've got four days to check this link and bid on a quilt. The prices start at $50, and you might find that your very own piece of quilt art is headed your way.

I won't tell you which one I'm bidding on, because I don't want the competition. ;)


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Miracle

I quilted all weekend at retreat, and ran out of thread. This is a sneak peek at my project.

I searched my box for more matching quilting thread. aaaarg!!! No 30 weight Sulky in color 1001 to be found!! I'm so close to finished - at least 75% quilted - and I ran out of thread. Look at that poor naked spool. It's so...empty.

I had another spool of white Sulky 30 wt, but it's the wrong color of white.

When I got back from retreat, I stopped at both Thimble Towne and JoAnn's, looking for white 1001 30 wt Sulky. All I could find was 40 wt.

Do I finish the quilting with the right color in 40 wt? Or the right weight and a slightly different color of white?

Neither choice was good, so I focused on quilting-for-hire instead of finishing my piece.

This afternoon I had 10 minutes of down time. I decided to organize my Sulky thread, making more space for more thread storage. oh. my. goodness. HOW did I overlook this? Was it here all the time?

Here's the story, in one picture. Empty spool of 30 wt 1001, full spool of 30 wt 1071, full spool of 40 wt 1001, and finally a full spool of 30 wt 1001. Now I can finish my project. yay!!

Not only that, but 20 hours and 32 minutes later, the brown and white quilt-for-hire has been completed and delivered. hip, hip, hooray!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fun Mail!!

Back in July, I joined a group called Postmark'd Art. A couple of times a year, they have a sign-up for a postcard exchange. I sent my cards back in July, and today I received my first one in return. The theme I participated in is "fish." Isn't it great?

"Fish" by Karin McElvein

Other than tripping to the mailbox, I'm home, still quilting this quilt. arg!! I think it's growing!!!

Now, back to the grindstone...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Another Retreat

I spent the past four days at another retreat. This was our guild retreat, held at Wonder Valley. The guild has been going for who-knows-how-many years, this was my third time. It was my most restful and productive attendance so far.

This retreat is different from the Hartland retreat. For one, these ladies know each other VERY well. Some of us have been quilting together for decades. Here's a view of the room; SO much industry is apparent.

The food trough was at the opposite end of the room. You can see us lined up behind Deborah, who is still at work, making the most of her time.

This is my work station. We each had 4' of an 8' table. My tablemate and I shared the space with the iron and laundry basket and bag underneath. (Yes, my basket is full of thread. What you can't see are my two additional boxes of thread under the table.)

This is the one project I completed during the four days. (Key word here is "completed.")

As I left Wonder Valley, I saw this sign.

I immediately saw these guys.

On the other side of the road were these guys.

Around the next bend were these guys. They didn't have a sign, but they should have. There were more than two of them.

One of the highlights took place just before I left. We were invited to make Komforters for Kids (our service project) over the weekend. For each top completed, we were given a chance to win a purse/bag. There were three bags to choose from.

Once I'd seen the prizes, I spent an hour making two tops. My name wasn't drawn first, it was drawn second. This was my choice, a beautiful tote made by Ann Hinman. (Blogger is jealous and tipped my picture.)

Here is the reverse side. She made it from leftovers of a table top project.

That's all I've got for you at this time. I'm back home and back at work on the quilts for hire. The brown quilt is coming right along, and I'm hoping to finish it by Wednesday. Goals are good!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Scene From Houston

One quilt show I have yet to attend is Houston. One of these days...if I ever get into the competition. I said the same about Paducah. It took me 10 years to get in, but I've been 3 times since 2001.

I've thoroughly enjoyed browsing others' blogs and seeing what caught their eye. Different viewers are drawn to different quilts. For a taste, check Allie's blog or Susan's blog...

I bring up Houston because a local quiltie friend just got back from the show. "Did you go? Did you see your quilt?" No, no I did not. My little "Be Still" quilt has been hanging out with its Celebrate Spring buddies since March. I think it will be coming home this week. Sallie sent me a photo, "See! It was there!!"

And now it's back to sew, sew, sew, quilt, sew...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Scenes From November

Little bit of a road trip...

Sewing, sewing, sewing, quilting, sewing....Gotta remember to take time to stop and look around!