Sunday, June 30, 2013

Baby Steps

It's been two weeks since the carpet was installed.  I should be moved back into my house by now, shouldn't I?  Little by little, bit by bit, I'm working on it.  Big hurdles were cleared when I committed to hanging things on the wall.  The dozens of pieces of framed art that have been stacked in the laundry room are now mostly hanging on walls.  Six more pieces to hang...or store.  Decisions, decisions.

The pool bathroom has been sinkless for 7 days.  *sigh*  I'd prepared everything, or so I thought, but, long story short, the yard sale sink didn't fit, so I had to buy a new one, and now that it's set, the flexible hose is too short to reach the new faucet's always something.  Hopefully I'll have running water in there before the sun goes down.  I'm especially hopeful that it will be running before our dinner guests arrive at 5:30!

But I'm rambling.

Back to cleaning up and putting away.

I started washing my way through the new fabric that has been piling up since April.  ooh  aah.  It dries quickly when it's 106 outside.  Now I just need to start pressing, and keep washing.  go, baby, go!
 uh oh.  The sewing table is beginning to look cluttered again.  I'm trying, desperately, to sort and store things, but every time I take two steps forward, I take another one back.  But look!  You can still see a lot of carpet!
 And finally, the grand finale.  A while back I referred to a Big Gift for our anniversary.  I tried this out at the quilt show, and wasn't convinced I wanted it.  I tried it again, with an actual project of mine, and can see how it could be very useful for large quilts.  It arrived yesterday.  And here it sits.
We're having a bit of a stand-off.  I look at it, it looks at me.  Should I start playing with it?  Or should I get back to work clearing and putting away?  I didn't even have a place to put's just kind of HERE, until I'm able to find something better.

My husband says I need a bigger studio.

hmmm.  I wonder what that means?

Banish the thought, I am NOT moving any time soon.

I do have a few odds and ends that I should be able to show you in the next day or two.  Goals are good!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

June 27, 1981

For those of you who missed it on Facebook...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

This n That

For our anniversary (in 2 days), my husband bought me a Big Gift.  It hasn't arrived yet, but in preparation, I continue to try to clean up and clear out.  I've been to Rescued Treasures twice in two days.  If I donate a box full of things immediately, I won't be tempted to dig through it and rescue anything myself.  I know.  It's all mind games.  But I'm making progress.

I wanted to clear up and put away another mess, so I put together my Round 17 "Collage" cards for Postmark'd Art.  They went in the mail this morning.  Wanna see?

I raw-edge strip-covered the postcard base, then stippled on scraps of trims and fabric.  Add a lady bug bead and a pot of herbs, zig zag some gimp around the edges, and call it "done."  whew!

It's not much like the collage I made in high school, that had chunks of carpet samples and half a tennis ball, but maybe it will pass.  I don't know what I was thinking, signing up for this particular exchange.  Live and learn!  :)

I spent the bulk of the afternoon hanging art quilts.  I suppose there are too many, and they're a bit crowded, but I really like suddenly having them on the wall and visible.  They make me smile.
 I've purchased them over the past couple of years.  Three of them came from the online SAQA Auction, which will be held again in September.

Left:  "Mittens" by Nancy Brown
Right:  art quilt by Phyllis Cullen

Left:  "Joy Cometh in the Morning" by Margaret Blank
Right:  art quilt by Kristin Eilers
Left:  "Sequoia Mini" by Teri McHale
Right:  "After the Storm" by Sara Kelly

The line of quilts might be a bit busy, but I like it.  The only thing I'm concerned about is that they might distract me from my own work, when I put it up on the design wall.  oh well.  I cross that bridge if I ever get there.  :)

Goal for this week?  Keep clearing out and cleaning up, and get the Studio in ship shape sewing condition.  Goals are good!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Home Improvement

I get distracted from quilting, as I try to pull this house together.  I want to be happy in it, no matter which room I'm in.  That's not just a goal, that's a Grand Goal.  Gotta have 'em, right?  Like "earn a ribbon in Houston."  :)  Shoot for the stars and maybe you'll land on the moon during your descent.  ;)

So anyhoo, I ordered some new lace curtains two weeks ago.  They arrived yesterday. ooh aah.  I like them, very much.

The first went up in the pool bathroom.  I took down a lace valance with a green satin ribbon running through it.  This is the new improved valance.  Beachy, right?  :)

Since I was ordering, I thought it was high-time I updated the dining room.  This was the old look:
This picture was taken back in August.  See the vinyl in the window?  To prevent peeping Toms?  And the draped lace sides?  There were some loopy lace valances across the top as well.  Can you say, "So 80's"? 

Welcome to the 21st Century, Kistler House:

oh!  Look at that!  I hung one of them upside down!  I didn't notice it until I downloaded the image.  haha!  It is now right side up.

My thanks to Country Curtains, for their nice selection of window coverings.  I'd definitely call this an improvement.  yay!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Playing Catch Up

It still feels amazing, to have the Great Carpet Re-Do become a thing of the past.  whew!  The carpet part is the thing of the past.  The moving back into usefulness is an ongoing project.  Will it ever end?  I certainly hope so!  More things have found their way into the Rescued Treasures box for donation.  If only I were willing to fill more boxes.  Unfortunately I tend to like the things I have.  That's why I have them.  :)

I made the time yesterday, to finish up my part in the Postmark'd Art Round 17 "Texture" exchange.  It took longer than I expected, and the thing that caused the most delay was the malfunction of my camera.  I think I need to replace it, as the timing of the flash has gone all cattywampus.  I eventually scraped up another camera, and waited the requisite 5 hours for the battery to charge.  Actually, the photos aren't bad.  Maybe I'll use this one for a while, and see if I can adjust to it this time around.

Oh?  You wanted to see the postcards?  Here you go:

I'm not sure if you can see the beads on each card.  I wove fabric strips, stitch/quilted them, added beads and vintage buttons, and then the flashy fringe around the edge.  I had a terrible time with the first card, so I switched to a basic satin rattail for the second.  It was then that I realized it wasn't the yarn, it was the beads that were interfering with the walking foot.  I switched to a regular presser foot, and the problem disappeared.  I went back to the flashy edge for the remainder of the cards.

With all of my home improvement projects, I haven't made time for much blog reading.  I'm SO behind!  I ran across a link to a fascinating essay on the declining quality of quiltmaking, and thought I might share it with you.  This is not a rant - well, maybe it is - but really, it's a well-written piece by someone who takes pride in her skill level and encourages others to do the same. 

It could be a lightning-rod for a discussion, which isn't my intent, but I've heard her sentiments expressed by several other high-profile quilters.  Some have not been so measured in their words.  She writes with frustration, not the highly critical anger I've heard from others.

Anyway, it's food for thought.  As to my position?  Yes, I do agree that quality matters, and that one should put forth the effort to produce quality work.  Does that mean everything comes out perfect?  Not by a long shot.  But obvious flaws should be dealt with, shouldn't they?  I don't leave them in, not if I can help it.

And there you go.  I'm headed back to the Studio, to see if I can find more places to put things away.  Goals are good!  Happy Quilting!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Moving Forward

Oh, how happy I am!  The carpet has been replaced, and I can happy dance day and night with that monkey off my back.  Best part?  I have yet to see/find a snag.  On the old carpet, I found dozens on the first day.  I do believe this carpet will hold up to the promised minimum of 20 years of wear and tear.  A girl can dream. 

The good news is that the Studio is back in business.  The bad news is that half of its contents are not in it.  They are in the spare bedroom.  As the carpet fellows moved the things, I realized that the reason moving everything was relatively easy was because so much remained boxed from the first go-around.  The room that was difficult was the Studio, because it was the one room I had unpacked and proceeded to live in.

Hopefully this time I will find a place for everything, and take the time to put everything in its place.  :)

In between moving things back into the Studio, I've been doing some quilting.  High time I got back into gear!  I finished 4 Komforters for Kids (guild project) that had been begun by another guild member.  They're in the bag, and ready to be given to kids in distress.  Check that off the list.  yay!
Doesn't that bare table look wonderful?  I've moved on to working on a quilt-for-hire.  I hope to finish it this week, before moving anything back onto the table.  I also have a Log Cabin of my own, that could quilt up quickly on such a nice work space.

The design wall also came down, so it was blank.  No time like the present to take those glam shots of my latest quilts as promised.

 "Inspired by Sara"
Suzanne Kistler 2013

"Iris Garden" 

 Suzanne Kistler April 2013


This week's goal is to finish the current quilt-for-hire.  Once it is complete, I will focus on returning the Studio to a state of...usefulness.  Sure, it's useful right now, as I'm getting a lot done, but it would be ideal to have everything at my fingertips, instead of in bins and totebags and boxes, stashed on the bed and floor of the room next door.  Goals are good!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Are You Sure?

Yes, we really are in the middle of getting new carpet.  Charlie is examining it, but he can't tell the difference.  "Charlie, the difference is that this particular run is not defective!"  It better not be!

Tomorrow we take a break, they come back on Friday.  Between now and then?  I need to box my Studio for moving.   ACK!!!  (Remember how Cathy in the comic strip used to panic?  That might be me, at 7:30am, come Friday morning...)

Monday, June 10, 2013


The carpet layers are here.  They are laying carpet.  It is AMAZING how quickly they are moving through the house.  The living room is about done, and they've moved on to the first bedroom, part of the hall, and the hall closet.  Amazing.

I may have let on how stressed I was about preparing for this.  Apparently I was even more stressed than I knew, as by Wednesday evening, I was flat on my back.  I stayed that way through most of the weekend.  We're talking almost 5 days of...nothing but moaning and groaning.  ;)  The doctor prescribed some antibiotics, and threw out a few theories.  My choice of the lot is diverticulitis.  All said, I did very little to prepare, and the carpet guys got to move EVERYTHING.

Right now I'm at the back of the house, seriously considering a nap.  I'm exhausted.  Five days of doing nothing can wear a person out!  Don't believe me?  You could try it, but I don't advise it.

While I sit here, I'll dream of being back at the coast, with the wonderful horizons.  Want to see some Ocean Waves quilts?  Some oldies but goodies?  I've posted some before, but others haven't visited the blog.
 "Joshua's Ocean"
Suzanne Kistler 1990
 "Memories of Malibu"
Suzanne Kistler 1992
 "Tempest in a Teacup"
Suzanne Kistler 1993
 "Tempest in a Demitasse"
Suzanne Kistler 1996
(Size comparison of 'Teacup' and 'Demitasse')
" The Wowie Gazowie Quilt"
Suzanne Kistler 1998
 Wowie Gazowie - close-up
"Ocean Waves for Sally"
Suzanne Kistler 2001
"Ocean Waves Revisited"
Suzanne Kistler 2002
"Waving At Tradition"
Suzanne Kistler 2006 (Hoffman Challenge)

Well that's been a trip down Memory Lane!  I don't know if I even remembered them all.  What I do know is...if I had to chose a favorite pattern, it might just be this one!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

No Weekly Quilt Goals

Well, with carpet looming tomorrow, there's just no way I can think about quilting.  Instead, I'm imagining dismantling my Studio again, and getting stomach cramps.  Quilting?  Not gonna happen.  I have a couple of pieced quiltlets (5 x 7" cards) that I can embroider in the evenings, but that's about it.  No goals this week, other than carpet.  Anything else is unrealistic.  (Even carpet in a week is unrealistic. ;)

However, I did finish painting the bathroom.  I have a few odds and ends remaining to go on the wall, but other that, it's done, for now. 

I still have to strip the cabinet, stain and seal it; we still want to replace the sink and faucet.  Goals are good.  We'll see when those get done.  Here's where we are to date:

So far the reception of the stripes has been good.  As my oldest boy says, "It totally changes the mood.  I like it!"  yay!  I like it too!

The quilt is currently off the wall and outside blocking.  I made it in 1992 (does that make it vintage?) long before I'd heard of blocking quilts.  Unfortunately the color in the backing fabric migrated to the front while it was drying.  grrr.    Some of the pink has come out, but there's still some remaining in the sky and a bit of the water.  oh well.

Okay.  No more stalling.  Time to prepare for emptying the rooms for carpet.  aaaaaaaaa!!!!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Still Lacking Self Control

On my drive home on Friday, I had the chance to stop at Piecemakers in Costa Mesa.  I'd checked their website, and saw that they had Threadgatherer silk ribbon, a brand that I've really enjoyed using.  They are only a few minutes off the 405, so it was really, right on my way.  I'd only been there once before, probably in the last century.

oh. my. goodness.

They have more than silk ribbon.  They have perle cotton, in every color and in weights I've been looking for.  I was a very bad girl, but I'm still happy about it.  Now I can embroider to my heart's content, in any color I may wish.
I had a wonderful, wonderful week in Oceanside.  I think I know why I don't take weeks at the beach.  It is so very hard to return.  Visalia is the best the valley has to offer, but it's 100+ degrees and roasty toasty.  I look around me and ask, "Why do people live here?"  :)  No offense, but really.  Why do we live here? 

I guess someone has to do it.  :)

I got back Friday night, and by Saturday morning I was back to work.  My weekend goal was to finally paint my pool bathroom.  So far, so good.  I've put on two coats of white, and today I will add a couple of blue streaks.  Hopefully it will look artistic, not stupid.
Remember all the drama from last September?  When I got new carpet after 20 years?  Well, the carpet was deemed defective by the factory, and needs to be replaced, at their expense.  It is in town, and we are scheduled to begin replacement on Thursday.  I looked at all of the samples over and over and over again, and could not find anything that I liked as much as what I originally chose.  They promise me that this is a new batch, made with enough glue, and that it has been tested twice for glue strength.  I hope I am not a fool to believe them, as I love the way the carpet looks.  If it's as durable as it is supposed to be, it should last 20 years.  I am not holding my breath.  The last one started pulling the week it was installed...

So anyway, last week's blogging was a desperate attempt to play catch-up.  Hopefully things will calm down and I will blog at a more moderate pace.  I've blocked a couple of quilts, and once I've taken their glam shots, I'll post them on the side wall.  Goals are good.  :)

And on that, I have a bathroom to finish painting.  Tomorrow is Tuesday, so I'll try to come up with this week's goals in the next 24 hours.  In general, I hope and pray that the carpet will be replaced during the week, but it's the quilting goals I'm more concerned about.  How will I get anything done, if I'm ripping apart the house?  ;) 

Hopefully I hatch a plan.  Catch you again tomorrow!