Thursday, March 31, 2011

I Spy

a thing of beauty.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Almost Show Time

I got a phone call last night, checking up on me. "Are you okay? You haven't been blogging." No, I haven't. I didn't think you'd be too interested in a photo of my hands on the keyboard or my seat welded to the chair. I've been here for hours on end, typing, always typing.

My tasks are winding down. The narratives are being proofed, the badges are ready, my to do list is shrinking daily. The question that dangles is, "What, if anything, have you forgotten?"

We'll find out soon enough. Quilts will be delivered on Monday, some have already arrived. Hopefully your calendar is marked, and I'll see you next week!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

SAQA Benefit Auction

Well, it looks like "Passion" arrived at its destination, as it is now able to be viewed on the SAQA website. Oh! They took a GOOD picture of it!! Click here to see more of this year's donations. Sara Kelly's is right next to mine! No time like the present to start a wish list, eh?

I'm puttering along, and thought I'd take a break from my show tasks. Two weeks from today we will be in the Judging Arena. Can you believe it?

Mark your calendars, you don't want to miss this year's Best of the Valley!

Monday, March 21, 2011

I'm Back,

Sort of.

I thought I'd take a second and check in and let you know that I'm still breathing. Apparently the pneumonia was not pneumonia, but a symptom of something else that ails me. What that is, we're not so sure. Sometimes I breathe very clearly, and sometimes I gasp for breath. When the quilt show is over, I'll concentrate on discovering the root cause. For now, I will behave myself and slow down when breathing gets tight.

You know how I've whined about no daffodils in my garden? I must have whined a lot. Pat brought me some from her garden, while I was in the hospital. (Yeah, I know. The lengths I stoop to, to get attention!)

Aren't they gorgeous?!! I've had them since Thursday, and they're still as fresh today as they were then. I've never known daffodils to last so long!

While I was sitting in the ER, waiting for a room, I got mail. The nurses were flabbergasted. "No one gets mail in the ER!! How did anyone know you were here?!!" Well, I had to tell my Committee where I was, didn't I? I couldn't just disappear on them...

This happy Black-eyed Susan was made by Linda.

I wasn't there long, and when I got home, this was waiting for me.

It's a trunk of Navy Challenge Quilts, which will be on exhibit at the show.

And finally, this beauty from Sara swam into my mailbox on Saturday.

I am SO spoiled!!!

I thank you all for your prayers and well-wishes. God is listening, because I am still here. I'm not sure what He has in mind for me to accomplish, but I'm still here, so there must be something left for me to do.

And on that, I'll carry on.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, my friends!!! You're the best!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

All a-kilter

I'm sure I've heard that phrase before, my mother used to say it. But I can't find it online, or in a dictionary. Maybe I made it up. It describes how I feel and how things are today. Even Blogger's with me on this one, as it tips my photo.

I have pneumonia. And asthma. And a quilt show set to launch in 2.5 weeks.

I tried to relax last night, and put together this block, but the drugs affect my hands, and the resulting block is pretty indicative of how I feel this morning. Everything is slightly off.

I don't know when I'll blog again. It's last on my list of things to do, even though it's tops when it comes to things I love to do. Stay safe, and don't worry. When there's something to share, I'll be back.

Til then, you can look at Sweet Pea...

Isn't she lovely?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Spy

The first iris bud of Spring. (It kind of looks like the snails found it first.)

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Belated Birthday Card

This month (this year?) I'm stuck on "better late than never." I'll deliver this tomorrow, the birthday was three days ago.

It has a tiny bit of embroidery, and some assorted flower bead accents for interest. Oh, and the darkest red strip? It's velvet. mmm. I'm loving the look. Not enjoying working with it - applique is definitely easier than piecing with it - but loving the look. You may be seeing more velvet in my "art" quilts in the future. Anyone disposing of any velvet scraps out there? :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

Feeling Flowery...

Almost two years ago, I was talking of my Mother's love of orchids and my inability to keep them alive. My friend Pat insisted I leave with one of her orchid plants, with the instruction to "put it outside, on a drip system, and leave it." I did. I accidentally killed a portion of it, but 6 months later it bloomed.

This past December, it sent out not one but TWO stalks, even though at this point I've killed off half the plant! What doesn't kill you makes you stronger? Or twice as beautiful? I'm not sure about that, but it seems to be the message of this particular orchid.

On Wednesday these arrived at my front door. I may have mentioned my feeling of loss regarding my spring bulb collection one too many times...or just enough. Thank you, Pat!!

The flowers were accompanied by this verse. "And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly." Romans 5:3-6

I can't help but hope that the people of Japan have something to cling to today, as the ground beneath them shakes and quakes and all that seemed sturdy suddenly is not. Our God is a big God, and the hope that He offers does not disappoint...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

One Thing Leads to Another...

It began a year ago, when I was invited to participate in the California Ice Storm exhibit at the 2011 Road to CA. I thought about my submission for months, then finally sat down and put it together during the month of November. This was my icicle:

I absolutely loved working with the shimmering almost imperceptible color changes, and discovered the importance of adding texture. I was hooked. I spent January making "Ice" for the SAQA traveling exhibit "This is a Quilt." I have yet to hear of its travel schedule, I assume it was accepted.

January was followed by February, and I had diamonds on the brain. Remember these?

They were destined for this:

but along the way, the scraps turned into this:

I don't think I'll ever know why Blogger tips some pictures and not others. It seems to prefer tipping my littlest quiltlets.

Our Art Group, Sew Eclectic, has issued a sort of a challenge this year. The official challenge is to make a quilt (or quilts) illustrating a fun phrase, but I don't have the time to spend on something like that. Time is precious. Instead, my last month's unstated personal challenge was to make the 12" ice quilt that I submitted to "This is a quilt." I have a second little Glacier Ice quilt pieced and hanging on my design wall, because I really want one for myself. I will quilt and embellish it later, when I have time to play.

In the meantime, here came February, and I'd been thinking a lot about passion. And red. And the SAQA online reverse auction coming up later this year. Early submissions, received by March 15, will be considered for their Auction advertising. If you don't submit, you for sure won't be chosen, right?

Bronchitis was the perfect excuse to take a "sick day" and finish my submission. I will take it to guild today, to show it off, but by tomorrow, it will be headed to New Mexico.

For a brief moment I thought it would not qualify. They're supposed to be 12" square, which it was until I faced it. But upon re-reading the rules, it may be as small as 10" in any direction. whew! I will be making a second version for myself, because I absolutely LOVE this one.

10.75" x 11.25"
Suzanne Kistler, 2011

The quilt is pieced cotton diamonds, embellished with a variety of ribbons and yarns. It has a hand-appliqued velvet heart, and some scattered beading. My detail pictures didn't come out clearly, but the quilting consists of straight lines on two corners and meandering hearts in the center. Two of the hearts have been filled with red seed beads, to add interest. Perhaps when the sun comes up I will be able to get better pictures.

Now that I've had a serious chunk of time to focus on my personal project/goal/sanity, I feel MUCH better and I will go back to what I should be doing: Best of the Valley, first and foremost. I do hope you've marked your calendar!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fantabulous Color

My camera fails to capture it. It's a luscious, mouth-watering cranberry/raspberry tang of a fabric. As I was delivering quilt show posters and flyers last week, this flew off the shelf and into my hot little hands. I found it at Quilters Quarters.

I'm taking this afternoon off from my overloaded list of duties. Doctor says I've got bronchitis and asthma. joy, joy. What better excuse for quilting could I possibly have found? I'm working on a little red beauty, that I'll share with you when it's finished. As for the Marcus Brothers "watercolor" seen above? I think I need to just sit here, look at it, and pet it for a while, don't you? :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

If it Really Was a Bird,

what sound would it make? I think it would trill....

Sunday, March 6, 2011

It Wasn't Raining... was just rainbowing...

Friday, March 4, 2011

This Reminds Me of...

the growth surrounding Sleeping Beauty's castle or the woods in the Wizard of Oz...

I know it's the eagle that "clasps the crag with crooked hands," but the trees sure seem like the descriptor applies to them, as they reach for the sky...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Another Mystery Plant Sighting

I worked for the bulk of yesterday on the show, but needed to get out of the house for a break. I promised my son I would check on his dog.

Remember that quivering bag of bones? The toothless one in heat, full of infection and suffering from kidney disease? Looks like some TLC agrees with her.

I actually took this picture over the weekend. When I'm there alone, she still slinks along the fence line, trying to stay outside my field of vision.

I pulled some weeds out of a newly discovered iris bed and found these plants. Are they weeds? Or? The plant structure reminds me of Easter lilies. Do you suppose they are intentionally planted among the irises? Or are they weeds?

Here's another view. oh wait! That oak tree has got to go! As does the red bucket. I wonder what it held? There's a lot of clean-up that needs to be done out back, but I didn't have time for more than a 5 minute "Howdy, dog" and weed-pulling session.

What do you think? Is this plant a friend or foe?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Name That Bloom...


This is another mystery tree, buzzing with bees. No signs of old fruit on the ground...

(The pink blossomed tree has what look like peach pits with fuzzy shells on the ground from last year...but the tree that we KNOW is a peach is far away from it and not yet blooming...)

P.S. Acceptance letters were delivered to the post office today at your mailbox!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

So Near...

and yet, so far...

The Sierras, as seen from Lover's Lane between Tulare and Visalia, CA - February 28, 2011