Monday, October 29, 2012

Weekend Retreat

I know it's truly fall, when it's time for a quilt retreat.  There is nothing better than mountain air, fabric and a sewing machine...unless it's not having to cook or clean as well! This bridge links the coffee house and my sleeping quarters.  I went the long way around, but I spent some quality time in the coffee house this weekend.
 This is a view of my room.  I had more space here to lay out one of the baby quilts I put together.
 This was #2 of 4.  I love the little panda in the corner.  I used up several fat quarters for this one.
 Several of the quilters didn't show up, so there was a lot of extra space available, which is highly unusual.  I tried to stay in my allotted four feet, as I knew I wouldn't want to arrive late, only to find no table space.
I was at Hartland for less than 48 hours, but it was pretty productive.  As I said, I pieced four baby quilt tops.   No way can I make quilts as fast as friends make babies!  I'm trying to get ahead of the game.  I love the mountain blue of the sky,

 Green of the sun-drenched trees,
 And gold of the advent of winter,
 At this particular retreat, they offer a class for those who don't want to free-sew.  This year Janet taught a paper-pieced spiderweb.  I love the quilt, but hate to paper piece.  That's why I did my own thing.
The last thing I have for you is this tree that I passed every time I went to my room.  Is this a blue spruce?
 My camera doesn't catch the color properly, but it truly was a blue tree.  I've never seen anything like it, unless we're talking about plastic.
 It was stunning.
And now that I'm back, I've still got places to go and people to see.  Today's destination is Strawberry Patches, in Bakersfield.  My primary machine was repaired last week, and I need to pick it up. 

Happy Quilting!  Happy Quilter!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

It's Fall-ing

And that, apparently, makes Blogger tipsy. 


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dogs and Duty

Things have been crazy busy, with little opportunity for quilting. 

Our guild challenge came and went.  I missed the deadline, but have this to show for my efforts.
I haven't been happy with it, as I'd like it to be bigger.  bingo!  I missed the deadline.  I can make it as big as I like.  I think 6" of borders all the way around will be perfect.  Who knows how long it will take?  I certainly don't.

Animals seem to arrive in waves.  A cat appeared on Thursday at the walnuts.  It has a purple collar with sparkles.  I'm not sure how to go about finding the owner.  The pound has no inquiries for it.  We took it to the vet, it has no chip.  It's a 7 year (vet's best guess) tabby.  He says if it's still around in 3 weeks, we should bring it back for shots.

A friend emailed on Friday, asking if we would like a found puppy.  I said it would depend upon how big it would grow to be.  A home was found, then unfound, and it arrived on our doorstep on Saturday.

I think she's found a new owner, provided she eventually grows big enough to hold her own with the cats.  At this point, the cats want to eat her.  The vet guesses that she's 8 weeks, is some sort of terrier mix, and will grow to 20 lbs.  We'll see how good his powers of prediction are.

On Monday, Roscoe brought home a girl friend.  oh dear.  No collar, and in heat.
Again there is no inquiry for her at the pound.  She has a long nose, a long narrow body, and she slinks like a coyote.  She has a spay appointment in a couple of weeks. 

Do you think we'll get through Wednesday, without another animal magically appearing?  They've come on Thursday, Saturday, and Monday.  Obviously we're not going to toss them out on the road, but we do have limits, and we're currently maxed out for the week.

On top of it all, I had jury duty today, from 9-4:45.  I'm to report back tomorrow at 10am.  I am not currently seated on a jury, but I suspect I will be by the end of the day.  So far it's been quite the experience, as usual.

And on that, I'll sign off.  If you don't hear from me, I'm busy, doing my civic duty...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Drive, Drive, And Drive Some More

So.  What a week.

On Friday, I drove from Visalia to Santa Clara to PIQF.

On Saturday, I drove from San Carlos (where I spent Friday night) back to Visalia.

On Sunday, our College/Career group met here for dinner and Bible study.

On Monday...I took a day off and cleaned and sewed a bit.

On Tuesday, I from Visalia to Bakersfield and back again, to have my Bernina serviced.  The tech now only comes every other week, and I got there on an off week.  I left the machine and will retrieve it next week.  maybe.

On Wednesday, I drove from Visalia to Fairfield and back again.  That's 221 miles one way, according to Google.  To Bakersfield it's only 82 miles (in one direction).

Can you say "I like gas" as much as I do?  I filled my tank 3 times in 2 days.  (Once was a top-off.)

I took very few pictures.  Here are some of yesterday's scenes:
 I got stopped on the wrong side of a drawbridge, for 15 minutes.
 I was on my way to an NCQC (Northern California Quilt Council) meeting on quilt shows.
 It took me almost 5 hours to get there, with all of the construction, but the meeting was worth every minute of the drive.
There were another 5 hours to drive home.
Do you think this farm family knew they would be surrounded by windmills when they built this homestead?
 The blur of this picture is about how my brain felt by the time I fell into bed last night.
 I always wondered where Rio Vista was.  A fellow in my freshman dorm was from Rio Vista.  Another was from Isleton.  Yesterday, I drove through there too.
And that's all of the travelogue I've got for you.

And I think I'm just getting started.

Stay tuned...

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Pretty Penny

PIQF takes me to the Bay Area, and gives me a great excuse to stay a day and visit my daughter and her family.  And so I did.

Saturday morning was spent getting reacquainted with Penelope.  I can't believe it had been 3 months since I'd last seen her face to face.  What a time to have such a gap!  She's so grown up now, walking, talking, and generally running the show (or at least trying to.)

I brought my camera, but didn't take many pictures.  It's hard to catch her when she's go, go, go!  A good number of my photos were blurred.  zoom zoom!  zoom zoom!

Before taking a seat in the high chair, she always does a safety check on the buckle.  Okay.  Good to go.

 "Penny?  Isn't that spoon rather big for you?"  She delightedly waves it around, showing that she can wield it as well as anyone.
 The horse needed a workout, and so she gave him one.
 Daddy pulled out his camera.  I hope I get a few copies, because he got some great pictures!
Gramma's camera is always an item of fascination.
 "Penny, let me take your picture.  Please?"
 It was too much for her.  She wanted to do it herself!
We read a few books.  Penny made sure to show me the picture of Mamma, in one of her art books.  Apparently this has been Mamma, since the first time she saw it.  :)
 And eventually, it was nap time.  Sleep well, Penny!  See you later, Mamma!
And it was time to hit the road, and return to the valley.  zoom zoom!  I'm glad we'll be seeing them again in a few weeks.  It's so nice to spend time with my girls!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pacific International

I took off this morning for a visit to my favorite northern CA quilt show:  Pacific International Quilt Show, by the Mancuso brothers.  It's always a place to see friends and be inspired.  Today was no different.

I had a quilt hanging in the show...I was "this close" to the BOS triad.
If you look past my quilt "Through the Waters," you can see one of the top quilts with the blue ribbon hanging next to it.  So near, and yet so far.  :)

My eye was drawn to texture today.  I didn't take a single picture of a full quilt.  My favorite picture is this close-up:
I was so enthralled by the buttons & beads that I completely lost the name of the artist.  Bad Blogger!

I took other close-ups, of a 19th century quilt:

I took the pictures as I was leaving the show.

I sat down and thought about them, and went back in and bought some books.  I'd already purchased the perle cotton.

oh,yeah.  I hadn't planned to spend much, but I blew my cash and dipped into the debit card.  Sometimes it feels good to be bad.  I can't wait to start stitching!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Another One Done

This quilt will be auctioned off on Saturday October 13 at the Marriott Hotel in Visalia.  Proceeds go to benefit Hands in the Community.  Cross one thing off the list.  whew!

Making Fairy Dust

Okay, so maybe it's not really fairy dust.  Maybe it's just ordinary dust.  We made a lot of it over the past two days.  You can't see the trailer behind this blue machine, but the blue machine travels down the rows, picking up nuts and tossing them into the trailer.  Dirt and non-nut debris fly out the side vent.
 The result is streaking sunlight and "magic" in the orchard.  Unfortunately it's really just hanging dirt.
 We had our second shake on Monday, and they picked up the nuts yesterday.  It's been a big week at the nut house.
 We'd done some gleaning on the weekend, not knowing that we'd be shaking on Monday.  We were concerned that all of those nuts on the ground would end up in someone else's pocketbook.
For more details, you can check these posts from last year: here (shaking), here (dehydrating), and here (to market) .  I find it fascinating.  Then again, this is only my second year as a walnut farmer, so it's still novel to me.  :)

Sew Eclectic (our Art Group) met on Monday.  We had a bit of a painting party, inspired by another blogger in Oregon.  You can read about hers here.  Ours was like this:
My mind was elsewhere, thinking about nuts.

And Best of the Valley.  The website is in the process of being updated.  As soon as my pages are submitted, they are up and running.  Perhaps we'll be completely refreshed with new content by the end of the week.  Goals are good!  It all depends upon my getting the pages to our new webmistress.

My excuse (and I have many!) is that perhaps I took on too much this summer, what with the carpet project and everything else.  Maybe I'll take more pictures of the results, once I've finished with the website.  Goals are good.

But first, to finish the donation quilt that will be auctioned on Saturday.  I basted it on Sunday, and am stitching down the binding today.
If this post seems disjointed, I apologize.  My mind is a crowded place today, and trying to make sense of it is a job for only the most determined.

Perhaps a bit of quilting will straighten it all out.  I promise more pictures soon.  Until then...

Friday, October 5, 2012

Green Thumb?

My avocado trees are growing.  One has almost outgrown the window sill!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

This 'n That

So I'm trying to get the house together, still, which not only means thinning furniture, clearing floors, and finding storage places, but also means putting things on the walls.  So much to choose from, so little wall space.  Today I am ready to share the dining room.  Are you ready?

As a refresher, here is the before:
Well, that's a bummer.  Apparently I don't have a before.  Now you won't be impressed.  Here is the after:
 This is the first time I've hung "The Flower Fades" in my house.  I like it!  "The Hills Are Alive" has been hanging here for several years, on the opposite wall.  That's Pearl, in the foreground.
 Notice that the surfaces are for the most part clutter free.  I declare that to be victory!
 But when I show you the entire room, not the snapshot, you see that a computer has migrated to the table, where it does NOT belong, as have cases of Coke Zero, Gatorade, and Lays products.  (We entertain a lot of 20-30 year olds.)
I think I've finished this little quilt.  Does it need anything more?  Or is it done?
 Blogger!  You make me so mad!  Rotate 90 degrees to the left, thank you, putting the blue on the bottom.

And while I've been working, I've bumped into more cats sleeping.  Malcolm, there is no accounting for taste.
 What?  It's my trash lid!  I found it fair and square!
 Edgar has much better taste.  Then again, he does have the run of the house, unlike the ragamuffin who has been banned to the out-of-doors.
Of course this is the quilt that I spent yesterday washing and drying.  It was nice and clean...for about 10 hours.

And that's a wrap.