Saturday, March 31, 2012

I Couldn't Keep Typing

I had to sew!!

Now I can go back to typing...

Friday, March 30, 2012

It's Springing!

Look what I found last night, as the sun went down...

See me smile!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Big Olive

So the quilt show has been in Lindsay for three years. This is our fourth year at McDermont Field House. I've gone back and forth a dozen times a year at least. Probably closer to two dozen. Never have I seen The Olive.

Last year my husband brought our College/Career Ministry group to the show. Actually, he's done that every year. But this time, Naomi said, "We saw the olive!"

The olive? What olive?

She tried to explain it to me, but I couldn't find it. We googled for it, and nothing. Last month, when I was at the venue, I asked the locals. "It might be near the Super 8 Motel. Are you sure there's an olive?"

Naomi seemed pretty convinced she saw one.

And then I did. I saw it. It is real. I pulled over.

From the front, and from the back, either way, it's definitely an olive!

I'm not sure if The Olive in and of itself is worth the trip to Lindsay, but the Best of the Valley quilt show is!

Come and see! It's going to be great!

P.S. And why an olive? Have you heard of Lindsay Olives? This is where they come from...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Thank You!

Thank you for all of your kind words regarding the Hawaiian shirt quilt. :) That was only the second time I've made an entire original quilt-for-hire, the first time being at least 10 years ago. For the most part I quilt for hire, not make quilts, for hire. :) But I thoroughly enjoyed the project, from beginning to end. Good thing, because I have another bag of shirts waiting for me to transform into a second quilt, once we make it to May. I've got too much on my plate right now to even think about anything other than quilt show.

I typed up the program today. Tonight I will proofread it, and tomorrow it goes to the printer. Goals are good.

We saw Hunger Games last night. Good movie, and I'm not much for going to the movies. I thought the initial cinematography was so choppy as to detract from the movie, but once they made it to the Capitol, it was better. The movie was good, the book was better. If you have to choose, read the book. :)

And on Saturday...or was it Friday evening? I made a little quiltlet. I am completely behind on March birthdays. One down, four to play catch-up. Goals are good, even if the target send date will be May.

yep. All quilt show, all the time. I hope you're planning to come, and bring your friends!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

How Long Does It Take...

to make a quilt?

I'm sure that every quilter out there has been asked that at least once, if not a dozen times. How long? I don't know. It depends upon the quilt.

Well, I can tell you EXACTLY how long it took to make this quilt...sort of.

It was/is a quilt-for-hire, that I delivered this morning. It started with this collection of shirts. My customer wanted me to make a memory quilt from her dad's Hawaiian shirts. It needed to be something special.

I went shopping in both my stash and quilt stores to find some coordinating background possibilities.

It took 5 hours to dismantle the shirts. Twenty minutes a shirt - I timed myself three times - to cut off collars and buttons and labels and buttonholes and get the idea.

Once dismantled, they needed to be cut into useful pieces. At the front of the photo are pieces of an inner border. At the back of the cutting mat are outer borders.

Making the top took the most time. This includes cutting

and sewing

and designing. It took 14.5 hours to make the top.

Basting usually takes a couple of hours, but I don't baste on the clock. When I work on a quilt-for-hire, basting is a freebie.

Quilting was the easy part, coming in at 5 hours and 22 minutes.

Binding is time consuming. It took 1 hour and 39 minutes to make the binding and attach it by machine. To time the handstitching on the back, I stitched for 10 minutes and measured the distance covered. I can stitch down 16" in 10 minutes, if I'm completely focused. We'll calculate 3 hours to bind 300", even though it really took about 5 hours when all was said and done.

And there you go. Thirty hours, give or take, and you have a quilted memory.

We delivered it today. I think they like it!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hello, World!

While I've been indoors finishing a quilt, my garden has been quietly popping out flowers. Aren't you a beauty, you little Space-Ager, you!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

We had a wet and woolly weekend, hooooo-whee! In two days we had 1/3 our year-to-date rainfall total. It's been a DRY year.

While rain was pouring outside, I bent over a few projects inside.

I belong to an exchange group called Postmark'd Art. I signed up for the Picasso theme this round, and had until April to get my cards done. yikes. Can you say, "Down to the wire?" These are my "Cubist Fish." You can see the Picasso portrait that I knocked off when I cut apart some fish and pieced them back together.

It felt very good to cross that off of my to-do list. whew!

I didn't feel like working on anything that took focus, so I quilted yet another baby quilt, and even bound it. That was an unplanned and nice surprise. For a brief while I am prepared, should any baby be born without warning. I don't expect my stack of baby quilts to stay around for long, but it feels good to know they are there right now. yay.

And now the storm is passing. Last night's sky was spectacular. I wish my camera could have captured all of the clouds, because they filled the heavens. It took my breath away.

I should have more to show you by the end of the week, as I'm almost done with a big for-hire project, and need to get it delivered soon. Goals are good!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

All Better

My webmistress fixed the website last night. whew! That was 4 hours of unexpected quilt show stress that I really did not need. Now you can go to the site and get show details in English. all better. yay!

I thought I'd show you a few more details of the remodel.

In the garage, there is space to park cars. yay! In the original structure, you had to turn 90 degrees to get into the carport. None of our cars could do it, except maybe the Metro.

We put a utility sink in the garage. It's deep and heavy duty cast iron, set in a handcrafted beech frame made by one of the boys' high school classmates.

On Thursday, they put up the gate between the houses. Actually, it's at the breezeway, to keep the dog in and people out.

It was so quiet, I heard knocking. tap tap tap. The contractors were gone. Who was working?

If you click on the picture, you might see Mr. Red-headed Woodpecker on the right side of the upper Y limb.

There he is again, I can see him...can you?

These birds are easier to spot. I saw them in Lindsay, after our quilt show meeting. There are several murals around town, really giving it some life. This particular mural is by artist Stephen Ball. It caught my eye especially, since I bought one of his paintings back in 1995, the first time I saw his work. That one is a trout, not a bird or quail, but it's one of my favorites.

And that's all I've got for you today. I quilted another baby quilt, but I still need to bind it. Stay tuned...

Friday, March 16, 2012


Just when I think everything is under control, someone hacks my quiltshow website.

Thank you, Barbara, for letting me know.

Should I just pull my hair out now? Or wait until it's closer to show time?

mutter, mutter, hackers!!

Best of the Valley
April 13-15

10am-5pm on Fri/Sat, 10am - 4pm Sunday

$10/day or $15/ 3-day pass.

I'd give you a link, but what's the point?


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Enjoying the Finish

Last night we were treated to a fish dinner out at the ranch. Ahh, don't you love that pretty yellow building in the background?

The master, surveying his property.

The dog, sniffing the wafting aromas from the barbeque.

And the cat, loving his life with people.

It's all good.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Finished? Finished!

Today some of the last things went in at the remodel. The finishing details, if you will.

One of the biggest hang-ups was a water source to fill a fire truck, should it be required. We're out in the country, and one of the contingencies of approval was a 5,000 gallon water tank. cha ching. We had hoped that we could be grandfathered in without the tank, but we weren't. Instead, we were allowed to attach this valve to our grove irrigation system.

This is Grant, our contractor, and the wrench required to install the fire plug thingy.

Another detail was the installation of a second propane tank behind the garage. I'd wondered how they were going to get it in there. Cranes are a lot more prevalent than I'd previously realized.

By 3pm, we had a "ta da!" The contractor was gone, and he took his trailer with him. See Chupa coming out on patrol? She's loving this new building. We still have 3 more things on the list (gate, alarm, make sure the dual pack works) but that list is small, and I'm loving it.

The workout room is complete. yay! How nice to be able to workout without exposure to the elements...if I were so inclined. I am not.

The bathroom is also complete. It doesn't matter if anyone else likes it. I like it, the boys like it, and that's what matters, right?

As to the main workroom, there's nothing to show. The boys come from a long line of Engineers: My grandfather was a Mechanical Engineer, as is my brother, as is my middle son. The older and youngest sons are Electrical Engineers. I am very familiar with the tendency/need/compulsion to tinker. As a quilter, I understand the need for a dedicated workspace. And so, that is what this will be. Their dedicated workspace. They are currently planning and organizing and deciding how best to work their space. Maybe, in the next few weeks, I'll be invited in, with my camera. For now, I'll respect their privacy.

On another note, I always drive past a rock quarry on my way to the walnuts. A few weeks ago, I noticed a line of egrets along the roof edge. It was hilarious, but I was going too quickly to pull over and stop. I've seen them about once a week, and I haven't had my camera or I've been in a hurry, or something. But yesterday, I was going slowly enough to pull over and snap their pic. (The first time I saw them, there were twice as many, and they were all standing on one foot.)

I took a couple of pictures, and then they spooked.

And that's all I've got for you...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Flowers And Finishes

I wish I could say that the walnut remodel was on my list of "finishes," but it's not. When they finish the front door, maybe we'll be able to make use of it. Until then? I don't think so. But the toilet flushes, so that's good! :)

The weather has been curious, hot one day, cold the next. Now they're saying "rain tomorrow," but I don't know who "they" are, and they haven't been very accurate this year. In the meantime, some of my irises are blooming. This was the first one to get started. ooh! aah!

This is a close-up. Aren't the fall petals interesting with their zebra-like rusty stripes?

I've been watching this "little" iris bud for the past three weeks. Finally, finally the bloom exploded. Why it is growing in such a precarious place, I'm not quite sure. The plant has been there for 2 years, this is the first time it's bloomed. Now that I know it's so tall, I may have to relocate it.

Mr. DeMille? My closeup?

Can you see the two buds in this frame? Perhaps they will bloom in the next few weeks. I love my irises!

I love my orchids too. Each year they send out one more spike. This year I have three. How do I care for this orchid? I ignore it. Completely.

As to the finishes, I finished this quilt over the weekend. I'd forgotten it, pushed it aside in another room, then ran across the email telling me "Samantha Joy, born Super Bowl Sunday." oops. I got the email from my husband, letting me know that another vet baby had been born. Finally she'll be getting her quilt. Better late than never. (Then again, I didn't know until after the fact, so there's no way it would have been on time!)

And while I was whipping up that one, I finished this one too, to put in the "be prepared" pile. Who knows when another baby boy will pop into the world and need a quilt? A baby girl? Well, that's another story.

And there you go. Some flowers and some finishes. yay!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

We Can Flush

We're close. We're very close. We're closer than close, but it's not final. The bathroom is about done, we still need something to hold toilet paper and something to hold towels. Details. The devil is in the details.

The vanity is in. It's hard to see the light fixture (I didn't realize that until I put it on the computer), but the globes are amber, similar to the woodwork. The mirror has been in the back of my closet for at least a dozen years. "You need an 18" x 24" mirror." ummm...I might just have one. I did.

Here's a close-up of the newly placed accent tile. It's "tumbled glass," and once the excess grout was cleaned off, it looked even better. It's very manly, for our manly workshop.

And with everything else on my plate, I'm finding time to work on a quilt-for-hire that must be finished in the next couple of weeks. Goals are good!