Saturday, August 31, 2013


This has been quite the week.  The Thimble Towne Color Challenge was due today, at 2pm.  I screeched into the parking lot and turned it in at 1:57pm.  I literally tied off the last knot, threw it into the car, and drove.  I took a lint roller with me, to clean it up once I got there, to be sure I got it in on time.  I was number 37 of 50.  wow.  What a rush!

I gave you a hint a while back, as to what the quilt would look like. 

Inspired this:

I had actual pictures, that inspired the applique, right down to the colors used in the quilt.  Did you know that when the sun comes up and backlights orange petals, they turn a translucent yellow?  It's true.  I have photos to prove it.  Too bad I can't seem to track down the digital images.

The week was crazy, when it came to finishing the quilt.  Our farmer called, and said we needed to do one last irrigation.  Ordinarily I've got two sons to do the job.  This week?  They were hiking in the Sierras.

 It's beautiful out there, under the trees.

 But it can be a bit stressful, if you NEED to be quilting and you're irrigating 10 miles away from your quilt.
The payoff comes within the next two weeks, when these

Turn into these
And head to the dehydrator, then the buyer, then to you.

So there you go:  my week in a nutshell.  hardy har har!  ;)  

I think I'll take tomorrow off.  Catch you next week!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Goal Update

Last week, before heading to Alaska, I set a few goals.  I hit one of them.  I finished the little green piece for our Sew Eclectic Design Board Challenge.  It's the one inspired by Barbara Daniel's board.
I had planned for it to hang horizontally, but when I turn it 90 degrees, you get the feeling of taller "trees."  Her board was covered with evergreens.  (At least that's how I remember it.)  I bound it with "bark."  If you squint, maybe you can tell that the "stripe" is all vertical.  That was a bit tricky.  I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out.  Such a simple piece.

Goal #2, to work on the quilt-for-hire, went by the wayside.

My sewing table is a mess.  Come Sept 1, I will focus on that quilt.  My intent is to finish it before touching anything else...come Sept. 1.

In the meantime, the Thimble Towne Challenge is due August 31, at 2pm.  I've quilted less than half of it.  I'm quilting it by hand.  I need to step it up desperately, if I'm going to get it in on time.  The winner will receive 20% off all purchases for a year.  Another winner will receive a $200 gift certificate.  Dangle those in front of me, and I'd call it good incentive!

The one thing that I did, that was not on my list of goals for the week, was to prep a few surfboards.  I needed something small to work on, as I sat in the airports.  The trip to Alaska takes a while, and involves layovers that last longer than it takes to run from one terminal to another.  I came home with these, all stitched and ready for the next step.  Six down, 19 to go.  I need to go on another Hawaiian shirt hunt.  I'd like to find some with vivid color.  Like orange.  Or red.  :)

Three of these boards came from shirts that my youngest wore.  The other three were made from shirts from thrift stores.

Stay tuned.  The next goal is to finish the Thimble Towne Challenge, and I've got less than a week to meet it. 

Have a great week!  I'm off and stitching!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

There and Back Again

I spent the past 6 days traveling to see my brother and his family.  Lucy visited me nightly, as I slept in this bed covered in classic Kistler quilts.
 Bumpy, the one-eyed dog, kept watch over the neighborhood.
 This lovely sourdough was too pretty to eat...yet it was quite tasty.
 I taught my nieces to make their own pillowcases.
 I watched my brother and my dad drive around in my grandfather's pride and joy (now my brother's).
I saw all kinds of beautiful flowers,
 in unusual varieties,
 and a moose antler sculpture,
 and my first beaver dam and lodge (back behind the trees).  Those beavers were so busy, they flooded the forest!
I watched my nieces and their team demo their First Robot
 (its name is Peaches),
 went for a scenic walk with my dad,
 saw sled dogs hanging upside down from the ceiling,
 and played lots of games...for chocolate.
All too soon, my time was up.  Goodbye, Alaska and Alaskans!  Hope to see you again soon!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Plugging Along

When last I left you, I stated that I would be setting some goals.  hmmm.  Which ones to set?  I've been trying to get reorganized after so much time away.  And wouldn't you know?  I've still got places to go and people to see.  It's a good thing, but traveling does eat up quilting time.

I finished another UFO. 
This baby quilt is very similar to the last one, with the exception of the back and the binding.  It is set aside for the next vet baby to pop its head out.  To my knowledge, none are in the oven, but that doesn't mean much.  I believe I've found out about the last half-dozen, a week after their appearance.  (Had they been cows, not babies, it might have pinged harder on husband's radar.) ;)

I finished another quilt-for-hire.  I've told you deadlines are my best friend, haven't I?  The maker of this particular quilt is Pat Bell.  She's to the be Featured Artist at the Kings River Quilt Festival in Reedley, September 21-22, 2013.  I needed to finish the quilting in time for her to bind, sleeve, and label it.  My part is DONE.  whew!

This is the back of the quilt (it's actually blacker than it is charcoal):
 And this was on the front.  It's a teaser - you have to go to the show to see the whole quilt.  :)
Now that those are off my plate, it's time to set some goals for this week.

This is an abbreviated week.  Travel will take a good chunk, leaving me with very little time for quilting.  For that reason, my goals will also be abbreviated.

1) Finish the "Inspired by Barbara D" piece for Sew Eclectic.  This was the small green strip-pieced quilt that I put together in La Jolla.  I'm about halfway through with the quilting of it.  It would be nice to have it completely finished by next Tuesday.  Goals are good.

2) Get back to work on a quilt-for-hire that I've had in my possession for much too long.  I don't know what my stumbling block is, it's a beautiful quilt.  I suspect it is the open-ended, "I'm not in a hurry" encouragement from the maker, that has inspired my procrastinative tendencies to reach for new levels of excellence.  (I once got an "A" on an essay, extolling my excellence as a procrastinator.  I wrote it in the bus, on the way to school, and turned it in first period.  yikes.)

3) Continue to make progress on my Thimble Towne Color Challenge.  This one has a deadline, I believe it's  August 31.  I'm hand quilting, so it's not something I can put off for any length of time.  I've been quilting 2-3 hours/day on it.  When I return, that's going to have to ramp up a lot more, to meet the deadline.

And there you go:  my goals for week 32 of 2013.  Finish, make progress, make progress.

Being able to check off any one of the three will be a good thing.  Goals are good!

Friday, August 9, 2013

A Bit of a Diversion

Lauren Hahn, Cantor Arts Center, as Madeline
photo by Orange Photography

Back in late June, I was contacted by my daughter, who works at the Cantor Arts Center on the Stanford Campus.  One of her co-workers, Lauren, was looking for someone to make a "Madeline" costume for their upcoming Member Appreciation Day on July 14.  It was also Bastille Day, so Madeline, and the art work of Ludwig Bemelmans (some of which they have in their collection) became a focal point of the celebration.

Long story short, I made the costume (minus the hat), and shipped it in time for the event.  An article mentioning it (and me) can be read here:   (Bastille Day at Cantor Art Center)

Back to the present...I have almost finished another UFO baby quilt, and I've been working on a quilt-for-hire.  Perhaps before the end of the weekend, I will have something to show you.

And my next goal?  To have a stated goal by next Tuesday!  hahaha!  Goals are good!!  :)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Best of the Valley 2014

Yes, folks, it's time to start thinking about the Best of the Valley quilt show.  Are you working on your entry?  Do you have a UFO that might be just the thing?  The entry deadline is not until February 14, 2014, but the website has been updated, and all new 2014 information is now online.  You can find it here.  Start thinking now about how you can be part of it.
This year we have something new.  It's the Best of the Valley Challenge.  We're asking Valley quilters to consider entering the Best of the Valley Challenge.  Rules and Guidelines can be found here.  The winners will be chosen by Viewer's Choice, with ribbons and monetary prizes for the winners.

As always, if you have any questions about the show, do not hesitate to contact me.  Happy Quilting!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Dog Days

Did someone say "Bacon"?
 "We're sitting!"  Please...
 "See how good we are?  Bacon, please..."
Yes, they got the bacon.  ;)

Today we took Happy to the groomer.  Before:
No one recognized her when she returned.  Sniff?
 Bark! Bark!!
 Sniff?  Sniff sniff?
 Homeless seems to be making the adjustment.  Pixel?  Not so much.
 And there they are:  Homeless and Happy.
We really don't know what to do with them.  He couldn't handle her absence, yet she obviously wants to have a person of her own.  We've been feeding them for a week now...he'll run up, tail wagging, and lick your hand, but touch him?  He screams and runs off like he's been brutalized.  I spent a couple of hours trying to catch him, but just can't seem to do it.  He's pretty fast.
Last thought for the day:  Although it may seem desirable to chew up the bill for the property taxes, it's really not a good idea to act out on that inclination.
Who's the naughty dog?

You didn't even have to see the picture, you already knew, didn't you?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Check One Off

UFO - done.

Last week husband says that one of the vets has a new grandchild.  hmmm.  Good thing there was a baby quilt in the closet, just waiting to be quilted.  Quilt on Thursday, bind on Saturday.  Call it done.

Congratulations to the new grandparents!

Saturday, August 3, 2013


What had been planned as a 3-day trip - drive down Thursday, take classes Fri/Sat, drive back Saturday night - turned into a 17 hour Friday whirlwind.  Up and out of the house by 5:30am, 30 minutes late to the 9am class, shop and visit from 12-2, class ends at 5, clean-up and leave by 5:45.  Home again, just after 10pm.  zoom zoom

It was worth it.  It was either that, or miss the whole thing.  The class was Landscape/Seascape, with Judith Baker Montano.  There were 27 in the class.  We all seemed pretty happy.  :)

 This is my piece, in progress.  Who knows if I'll ever get back to it.  Actually, it photographs pretty well, doesn't it?
 Back on the homefront, Pixel is taking a break.  She's been checking out the new fence, looking for an escape.  Nuthin!  She does seem to be quite thrilled to now be allowed access to the front.
 On the other hand, the strays are now denied access.  So sad.  Poor puppies.  Little Scruffy there, had been small enough to pop through the bars and make the front yard his play pen.  Not any more!
 When I found this on my camera, I was puzzled.  A meadow?  When was I in a meadow?  Then I realized I was trying to snap a photo of a hummingbird that was faster than I am.  This is the front yard...with its yellowing grass.
And that's a wrap!