Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Checking In

So.  zoom, zoom, 2013 seems to be running by as quickly as 2012.  Can you believe we are on week 5?  Good gravy, how did that happen?!!

I'm still digging out from my week at Road.  So much fun.  I think I accomplished my week 4 goal, to have fun and be inspired.  It was good to meet up with old friends, and make some new ones.

Remember Sherry and Sharon?  Our paths seem to cross quite regularly, even though I am in CA, Sharon is from CO, and Sherry is from WY.  :)

I also met Anita, a friend of Jan.  We met at dinner Thursday, then bump!  Again at lunch on Friday.  I suspect our paths will cross yet again, some other time, some other place.  :)

While I was gone, some work was done at the walnuts.  We had a door replaced, to make it more user-friendly for the dogs.  They'd made a mess of the original door.

Old door:
 New door:
The dogs still prefer the people door.  They can open it with the handle.  Smart dogs.

So.  I think I was quite successful achieving my week 4 goal.  Road to CA was great fun.

Goal for week 5?  I still have two quilts-for-hire and a Log Cabin of my own that need to be finished.  My goal is to finish one of the qfh and my Log Cabin, and to get back to work on the last qfh.  Goals are good!

And now, I'm off, to steam clean the carpet at the walnuts.  The dogs have been naughty, and it's time to get rid of the evidence.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Road Warrior

Home again, home again, jiggety jog.  wow.  zoom, zoom.  What a week!

I started on the road at 5am Monday morning.  First stop:  Ontario, where I helped behind the scenes in the judging room.  I was there all day Monday & Tuesday.  Don't ask me anything, other than logistics.  What happens in the judging room stays in the judging room.  :)

Tuesday night, I moved on to Escondido, to visit my dad.  We had dinner, I spent the night, had breakfast.  It's sad to see what has become of my mom's garden.  Her absence is visibly present.  The jacaranda tree is dead.  The green whatever-it-is that used to be a small background bush has taken over.  A few narcissus are still valiantly blooming.  I was tempted to find a machete to hack through the underbrush and look for some of the orchids that used to be behind the jacaranda.  I doubt they have survived.

 After breakfast, I was on the road again, up to the San Fernando Valley, to visit my sister.  I wish I had taken pictures.  Her home is a showplace.  She's been there for about a year.  Some of her friends have encouraged her to have a magazine spread done, it's that beautiful.  If she were to have exposure, I think she could become one of the most sought after decorators in Beverly Hills.  I'm not the only one to think so.

On Thursday morning, I was back on the road to Ontario, this time to see the Road to CA quilt show.  oops.  My bad.  I kinda forgot to look at the quilts.  ;)  I'd seen them once in the judging arena, so I thought, "I'll hit the vendors first."  I have no idea who made what quilt.  I shopped until the show shut down.  :)

I brought home sewing threads, fancy threads, needles, printing blocks, trim, a novel, 2.5 yards of fabric, a wool batt (it was on sale!), some beads, and various other treasures.  Wanna see?

On Thursday evening, I dined with the Visalia Dames.  Thank you so much, ladies, for inviting me!  I had a lovely time.  Anyone in Ontario for dinner is encouraged to try Rosa's.  I had one of the best meals I've ever had.  It was incredible. 

On Friday, I took a long-awaited class with Allison Aller, the crazy quilter.  For clarification purposes, she's not crazy, she makes crazy quilts.  She guided us through appliqueing a base heart for embellishment, using monofilament thread to machine applique.  Here is the result:

Class ended at 4:30.  I packed up my things, took them back to my car, then did one last pass through the vendors to track down a few items at the Artistic Artifacts booth.  whew!  Found them!  Then it was on the road at 5pm, and home again by 9:15pm.  zoom zoom.  What a great week!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

How Long Does It Take

to make a quilt?
People ask that all the time.  My answer?  "It depends upon the quilt."

I can tell you how long it took to make a surfboard quilt.  It took:

2 hours to cut apart 13 shirts.
25 hours to hand applique 50 surfboards.
46.5 hours to piece the tops.
14.5 hours to quilt them.
2.5 hours to make and attach the binding.
~10 hours to hand-tack the binding.

For a grand total of 100.5 hours divided by 2 = about 50 hours/quilt. 

whew!  No wonder I was tired!  I delivered the quilts yesterday.  Doesn't Tiffany look happy?  :)

For relaxation and unwinding, I am at Road to CA.  This morning's drive was a bit harrowing, with the pouring rain.  I'll admit that I was less than thrilled to pay $9 to park in 3" of mud.  :(

 But the rain stopped and the sun came out, and SoCal once again worked its magic.
I looked at quilts and shopped.

Tomorrow I have a class with Allison Aller...I am definitely looking forward to it.  By Saturday, I should have plenty to post about.  See you then!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Zoom, Zoom...Again

Where were you when the sun came up yesterday?
I was approaching the Grapevine, on my way to Ontario.
There was snow on the Grapevine, but it's leftovers from last week, not new-fallen.  It looks cold, but it's actually warmer here (on the mountains) than it was on the valley floor.  I went from 34 to 59, in a mile or two.  In Ontario, it was downright hot.  My car said 80 when I got in it at 5pm.  SUCH a change from the valley.  toasty SoCal.  I'm just glad it's not Santa Anas!

I finished Surfboards #1, and am stitching binding on #2.  I'm halfway around.  I hope to deliver both quilts to Tiffany some time tomorrow.  woohoo!  I think I actually met my goal for the week!

I'm not sure you can see the quilting, but I put ripples in the sand, water, and sky.  They turned out really, really cute.  Now I want one.

But not today.

Can you believe it's already the 4th week of 2013?  It is.  wow.  This is a scary way to mark time.  It goes so fast!! 

Anyway, my goal for week 4 is to enjoy Road to CA.  I'm helping behind the scenes in the judging room yesterday and today.  On Thursday, I'll view the show, and on Friday I have a class with Allison Aller.

So much to do, so little time!

And yes, I am missing Pixel. 

On Saturday, I was watching her, and she ran into the Studio, carrying her leash.  Can you believe she thought I needed to get up and go for a walk?  It's impossible to resist that 5 little pounds of cute.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Where's My Hat?

You know that saying, "Hold onto your hat!  It's going to be a wild ride!"?  2013 is like that so far.  craziness.  go, go, go!  So much to do, so little time!

During the first week of the year, I went up to San Carlos, to visit my little girl, her little girl, and her husband.

During the second week of the year, my son came to visit from Arkansas, and brought his new girlfriend.  They didn't stay long, but they stayed long enough for me to immediately like her.  They came on Sunday and left on Monday.  Remind you of anyone?

Once they'd left, we hauled out tables and I began basting.  baste, baste, baste.  I basted four large quilts.  Need proof?  Here you go.

Obviously I missed my week 2 goal, which had been to quilt both surfboard quilts.  Instead, I slapped borders on my Log Cabin, brought in another quilt-for-hire, and basted a total of four quilts.  I am pleased that I made enough forward progress that I'm not unhappy with my failure to achieve my stated goal.

My Week 3 Goal is to "finish both surfboard quilts."  And I really must do this, as I plan to head south next week for Road. 

So far this weekly goal-setting is working for me, in that I see visible progress. 

I wrote out my UFO list for 2013, and found that I have 41 entries.  My UFO list for 2012 had 38 entries.  In 2012, I moved in the wrong direction.  So now, my ultimate goal for 2013 is to MOVE FORWARD.  One path to progress is to FINISH AT LEAST 10 QUILTS ON MY UFO LIST.  hmmm.  It's a stretch, and it won't be easy.  But I'm going to give it my best shot.

And now, I'm off to the Studio.  Those quilts won't quilt themselves!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Still Surfin'

I'm 3/5 of the way through the piecing of Surfboards #2.  sew, sew, sew!  Yesterday was quite productive.  I took this picture early in the evening.  By 10pm, the remaining sashing was on the wall, ready to be sewn.
 While I was in my Studio piecing, my embroidery machine was in the hallway, stitching out labels.
 I found the shirt labels, that I'd removed from the collection of shirts.  Look at this one, from "Hilo Hattie's."  I know Hilo Hattie's!  We were there in November!  :)
 I'm not sure you can see this one.  It has a nice palm tree in the logo.
Guild meets today.  When I get home, I will sew, sew, sew.  I'd LOVE to get that second top pieced before I go to bed tonight.  Goals are good!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pixel Addendum

Pixel wasn't whining because she needed to go out.  She was whining because she wanted to go out.  I took her out countless times to do her business.  She'll get right to it, then want to chase the cats, and the butterflies, and bark at the neighbors' dogs.  groan.

I would leave her outside, but I'm afraid she'll fall in the pool, so I bring her in for her own good.  She whimpers and cries about that, then stands at the front door, crying for her man. 

Today I am Pixel-free.  I hope I am also productive!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Grasping at Goals

So today is January 8, the beginning of the second week of 2013.  Am I where I'd hoped to be, quilting-wise?  No, not really, but I helped my daughter organize her house, and that trumps beating this week's quilting goal.

I met my goal halfway, in that one of the surfboards is pieced completely.  I have proof - the proof is in the pictures.
 Above is the finished top, below is the empty design wall.
 Wait, what?  You wanted to see the quilt?  Here it is on the wall:
 Here it is in my hot little hands.
It is supposed to measure 68" x 86".  I've been afraid to take out my tape measure.  Surely it is the proper size.  oh dear.  I just did the math, again.  (Like for the gazillionth time.)  It's only 84" long.  No wonder I made those 1" strips that I was trying to insert.  They were supposed to travel the entire width of the quilt, not just the width of the border.  arg!  oh well.  There's nothing I can (am willing to) do about it now.  :(

I've started the second, matching quilt.
I've actually already sewn together the first row of blocks, plus sashing.  yay! Unfortunately the bulk of my day was spent watching Pixel.  *sigh*  The dog is NOT cute, when all I need to do is sew and all she wants to do is play outside.  Not a good combo for a pleasant day in the Studio.  I got stubborn and sewed.  She got me back by leaving a "present" on my new carpet.  Can I scream now?  Or do I take yet another deep breath and try to let it out slowly, minus the sound?


Goals for week 2:  Perhaps I'll find the time to update my blog's sidebar.  And I really should do a 2012 recap, although it was not a very productive year.  But the main goal?  To have both surfboard quilts quilted by January 15.  I know.  Crazy, right?  This week it is my intention to be an overachiever.  :)  Goals are good!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Ya Think?

I think she has Gramma's eyes.  ;)
I've spent the day working on surfboards.  *sigh*  I hate it when I add wrong.  I've spent the past 3 hours cutting out more border pieces.  Can't believe I messed up the math.  groan.  Tomorrow.  I WILL finish piecing quilt #1!

P.S.  Thank you so much to all of the recent comments. 
I try to respond personally, but sometimes you don't leave an email link.  Know that I appreciate each and every word!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Still Distracted

It's cold, and I'm not sewing.

I'm looking out the window, at the sunrise.
 I'm taking pictures of flower arrangements that remind me of garlic.
 I'm talking to Penny, via banana phone.  "Damma?  Nobody's home."
 I'm watching the sweet girl dance with Raggedy Ann.  (I made Raggedy for her Mama, 25+ years ago.)
 I'm helping with construction.
And am amazed by the results.
 It's been a Very Penny New Year.
Before long, I will be back to business.  Until then...enjoy!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

It's a New Year!

Christmas is over, and Pixel misses her tree.
I took a break from sewing surfboards yesterday to take the tree down.  The surfboards now look like this:
 As you can see, I still have to put sashing between the bottom two rows of blocks.  I smile every time I look at them.
Another thing that makes me smile is green...
That view means that I'm within a few hours of this view:
No offense to Pixel, but Penny trumps her.
 By a lot!
The diversion is brief, as always, then it's back to the surfboards.

2013 Week 1 goal  (ending Tuesday 1/8):  To have both surfboard quilts pieced completely.  Basted and some quilting would be icing on the cake.  If I don't post between now and then, I should be working on my goal.  Goals are good!