Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Finish List

As I typed my final list, I was disappointed.  8?  Just 8?  And then I remembered the Sew Eclectic Design Challenge, and the Thimble Towne Color Challenge.  whew!  Thirteen in 2013 sounds SO much better!

The first two were the surfboard memory quilts for Tiffany.  I'd spent much of 2012 working on these quilts, but it was not until the week of Road to CA in January, that they were finished and delivered.  I'm currently working on a third quilt, to pattern it, but the appliqued surfboards sit abandoned in a basket, waiting patiently for my return.
The surfboard quilts were followed by a blue and gold Log Cabin bed quilt.  No picture needed - it looks exactly as described.  Fourth to finish was my first Sew Eclectic Design Board-inspired quilt.  I had Sara Kelly's board.
Once I'd finished that quilt, I went into quilt-show mode, and quilting went by the wayside.  The only exception was an iris quilt, which I was determined to finish for the Calico Mermaid Iris Challenge in mid-April.  I finished it on time, and tied for first.  I love this quilt, as does my daughter, who received it as her Christmas gift.
In May, I finished my 2012 Valley Oak Quilt Guild challenge.  Seven months too late to compete, but it was done.  whew!
In May, I also finished my Sew Eclectic Design Board quilt, inspired by Cindy.
July saw the finish of my Sew Eclectic Design Board quilt, inspired by Barbara Daniel.
Two baby quilts were finished and delivered, and then it was time to throw together the Thimble Towne Color Challenge.  In August, I finished "Strelitzia."
In November, I finished the Sew Eclectic Design Challenge quilt inspired by Jeremy.
And last, but not least, was Penny's Big Girl Quilt, for Christmas.
Which brought my total to thirteen finished quilts.  An incomplete count of quiltlets (5x7") came to 26; an incomplete count of postcards (4x6") came to 58.

I am planning to be more productive in 2014, but as I contemplate my UFO list, along with other projects that have been suggested, I may be hard-pressed to meet my goals.

But January 1, being the popular time for goal setting, will see me finalize my potential list for 2014.  So far I have 41 quilts on the list.  That may sound like a lot to some of you, but in comparison, I began 2013 with...41!  Looks like it's a draw, even with the completion of thirteen.  Maybe I'll shoot for fourteen in 2014.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Odds and Ends

Did you receive fabric for Christmas?  I did.  My sister gave me an odd look, and said, "Your gift might be redundant."  snort!  She'd never seen my stash.  I can't wait to do something with this.
I think the biggest surprise was that I didn't have any fabrics like these in my collection.  :)

It was fun to have my sister here.  It was her first visit since Easter, 2001.  She's not much for the drive up from San Diego.
 We hammed it up a bit, as my son played paparazzi.
Penny's package from one uncle was particularly beautiful.  And clever.
She was more interested in the pennies, than the contents of the box.
I particularly love this photo.  The robe was made for me by my Nana, when I was about 6 or 8.  By the time it came back into my possession, my daughter was in college.
I've begun some gifts for the coming year, gifts that will hopefully hold memories of this year.  Today I have been piecing this quilt, which I put on the wall the week before family began arriving.
It's made from leftovers of several Christmas quilts, made over the years.  I hear that Penny has insisted that her mother's Christmas quilt belongs to Penny.  Hopefully by next Christmas, there will be two Christmas quilts in their household.

The New Year is coming, and I'm trying to collect my thoughts on the matter.  It's always a good time to take stock of where I am in my UFO pile, and where I want to be by the end of the year.  I've certainly added quite the number of unfinished projects, and haven't crossed off many at all.  My record keeping has been particularly atrocious, when it comes to postcards and quilted cards.  Tomorrow I'll do my official counting.  Let's hope I did better than I think I did!

Until then, happy stitching!  I have a top to finish piecing before going to bed tonight.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

RIP, Malcolm

Arrived in a slipper, as a gift certificate on Christmas Day 2000, d. Dec 27, 2013.

Thanks for the memories! 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

No Longer AWOL

wow.  It's been awhile!  My days have been so full, I've neglected you mightily.  Christmas has come and gone, and with it, our faraway kids and extended family.  But oh, what a Christmas it was!  Truly it was lovely to have everyone here.  Who is everyone?  This is everyone:
Back row:  Son # 3, Sister #1, Son #1, Fiancee&Son #2, Daughter&Husband
Front row: Husband, Self, PennyPie, LadyFriend&my Dad

I don't give you names, because some of them don't like to leave a trail on the internet.  But if you know us, you probably know them.  And if you don't, well, at least you know how the faces are related to me.  :)

I loved my tree.  I still love my tree.  It's still up, and I'm hoping it will last through the New Year.  So far, so good.  It's not overly dry or drooping yet.  I know the day is coming, but so far, so good.
I don't know where to begin, and a blog just doesn't have space for it all.  Let's just say that it was the best Christmas in years.  We were truly blessed.

And quilts were a part of it.  Some were gifted:

And some were slept under:
The last quilt-for-hire was delivered yesterday, and the quiltmaker was so pleased that she's going to be sending along another one.  whew!  I hope I never take so long again, to finish a quilt-for-hire! 

My piece "Ice," which traveled with SAQA's "This is a Quilt" exhibit for 2 years, sold on Christmas Eve.
And I remembered to ship my "Strelitzia" quilt to Road to CA.  whew!!

Today I will head into my Studio, where I can almost push open the door without interference.  I've toyed with the idea of taking before/after pictures, but really?  Who wants to see this type of clutter?  I've never seen Hoarders, but I suspect this particular room would be in the running for some serious air time.

And on that, I hope your Christmas was filled with blessings, and I wish you joy and peace in the coming year.

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Little Tree Trimming

I've been asking people to share some of their favorite Christmas memories, and "people" includes some of my kids.  I'm surprised by how few of their peers have anything to say.  "Oh, it's family" seems to sum it up. 

I was asked for a "favorite Christmas morning memory."  Now that's tough.  I have a lot more memories of the days leading up to Christmas, particularly Christmas Eve, rather than the actual morning itself.  That day was always centered around my mom cooking huge meals in the kitchen and us girls setting the table, clearing it, ironing linens, polishing silver, and setting it again.  My grandparents (mom's side) and good friends Nana & Mayme would be there.  I know it was good, because we'd do it again the next year.  :)

My mom was always particular about the tree.  The lights had to be just so, so she put them up.  Ornaments were to be hung with greater care than stockings by the chimney.  :)  We always had tinsel, until tinsel was made from plastic.  I think the lack of tinsel really changes the feel of the tree.  It always feels like it's missing something, even when fully loaded.

And believe me.  My tree is fully loaded.

I finished at about 11:30 last night.  I still have decorations to take care of - there are boxes all over the floor - but now that the tree is decorated?  I can move on to other things.

Like company. 

The kids begin arriving this afternoon, and I have much to do before I head to the airport.  I'm sorry the blog has been spotty.  My lists don't seem to be shrinking at all.  Penny's quilt is just about finished, my car broke down and was in the shop for 3 days, I've done half my shopping and wrapped none of it...Christmas is coming so quickly!  Who moved it to the 25th?!  ;)

But busy, busy, busy does not mean that we don't take time to spend with friends.  The Itty Bitties gathered for our itty bitty Christmas breakfast yesterday.  I'm getting quite the collection of these yearly photos.
Merry Christmas, Everyone!!

 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.  Luke 2:7

That's what Christmas is all about...

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Where does the time go?  You think you've got plenty, and then *poof* it's gone.  The kids begin arriving in less than a week.  So much to do, and so poorly organizing my time! 

Whatever gets done, gets done.  Hopefully it will be all kinds of wonderful.  I made a batch of Toffee Squares today.  We've decided that they're better with semi-sweet chocolate, rather than milk chocolate, but now I'm out of almonds and pecans.  nuts.  I'll have to substitute walnuts, if I really want nuts.  Good thing I have a source for them, eh?

The tree is in the house.  Here it is, with my elf helper.
He's a bit burly, but I still had to help bring in the tree. My shoulders ache, and we brought it in two days ago.  I guess I'll add the lights tomorrow.  I just can't seem to get inspired.

I finished a quilt for hire that I've had for a long, long time.  I've had it for so long, its owner forgot about its existence!!  I will be shipping it shortly, and thought you might like to get a peek at it.  It really is lovely, and in my colors.  :)

If you click on the photo, you might be able to see the metallic gingko detail.

Sew Eclectic had our annual Christmas party and took our annual group photo.  I liked some of the lead-up photos best.  :)  Don't you love how each one beckons another to take her place in the group?

Merry Christmas to all!  Time to get back to preparations.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Swept Away

Busy, busy, busy!  Tis the season!  I've taken pictures, but gotten myself caught up in the riptide of December.  So much to do!  No time to post!  Gotta walk the dog!  Need to find some sewing time!  Mail that package!  Shop for that special thing!  Do! Do! Do!

And amazingly enough, the most important things get done.

Let's see what I've downloaded from my camera during the past week.  I put Debbie VanFossen's beautiful Autumn Roads quilt on my bed.  Isn't it beautiful?

 This next image is particularly un-beautiful.  These eucalyptus trees are at least 50' tall.  If you click on the pic, can you see the black "lacework" along their tippy-tops?  Need a close-up?
 How's this?  These frightening creatures roost from dusk to dawn on our block (within the city limits!) and then spend the day circling and circling.  They unnerve cats, dogs, people, everything.
 We walk much faster, when we're in their vicinity.
The weather has changed from lovely crisp fall days to a Freeze Zone.

 We don't do snow, but we've had plenty of frost, and the roads have been slick with black ice.  Scary!
I've done some quilting, but it's not finished yet.  One more day.  Or two.  And then I'll have pictures.  In the meantime, Penny is coming!  Penny is coming!  Her mother requested one thing before their arrival:  Fence the pool first.

Yesterday we made her wish our command.
 They did a beautiful job.
While the fencing guys were outside freezing, the Best of the Valley elves were inside, stuffing entry forms into envelopes.  Look for yours in the mail, if you are on our mailing list.  If you're not on the list, you can get your form here.  I've seen a few people panic already, because the show is early this year.  The entry deadline is Valentine's Day, February 14, 2014.

One of the next items on my to do list is to do the seemingly impossible.  We bought the last tree on the lot, and I have no idea how we're going to get it into the house.
It takes up the entire patio.  If you squint, can you see how far it extends past the rain gutter?  oh my.  And only one of my sons is here to help me wrangle it into the house.  This is going to be a challenge.  But first, I must finish my last of the month basting on my tables, so I can take them down, put them away, and bring in the tree.

Last but not least, SAQA is having a sale of 8" "This is a quilt!" quilts from a 2 year traveling exhibit.  They will only be available through the end of the month.  They are available here.  The last time I checked, my little quilt "Ice" was still available.

Hopefully I'll get back to you soon, but if not, know that I am preparing for a houseful of family, and there are just not enough hours in the day!

Have a Blessed Christmas, one and all!