Friday, September 27, 2013


When you clean house, do you ever get distracted?  And maybe say, "Instead of moving this yet again, I'll just sew it up.  Then it will be all nice and neat and tidy."?
One less pile to relocate.  woohoo!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Art on the Wall

A while back I started hanging art quilts around the top of my studio wall.  I didn't hang them all, just some.  I still had a stack left, and was unsure whether or not to add them to the wall.  It might get cluttered.  Then again, what good is art, if it's just stacked on a chair?  Better to clutter the wall with beauty, than to risk sitting on it.  ;)

Up the ladder I went, and this is what I did:

 On the left:  "Foggy Memories" by Anya Tyson
on the right:  "Broken Dreams" by Renate Wrafter (2010)
 From left to right:  "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow"
by Sharon L. Schlotzhauer (2007)
"(gi)rafi and the Hummer" by Kathy Kennedy Dennis (2011)
"Martha's Bright Spot" by Judy LaMay (2010)

The four small quilts were purchased in Houston in 2011, part of the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative, organized by Ami Simms.  The triptych was purchased from a gallery show at Ricky Timms' place some time before that.

"Token (Art) Quilt" by Deborah J. Bein;
"Croc" by Paula Benjaminson (2011)

 "Red Coleus" by Susan Brubaker-Knapp (2010);
"Spring Gingkoes" by Franki Kohler (2009)

Those next four were purchased from previous SAQA Art Quilt Online Auctions.  Which reminds me, the Auction is in its third week.  There are still some beautiful quilts available.  Maybe one of them is calling your name.  You can find them here.

Here is the full view of that wall.  I know.  I told you it was cluttered/busy!  But now I have art all around.  Or almost all around.  It doesn't matter if others like it.  I like it.  It makes me smile.
Thank you to all of you who serve as inspiration!  You're on my walls!!  :)

P.S.  To see the other wall of quilts in my studio, click here.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Few Small Things

I've finally gotten back to work on the quilt-for-hire.  I spent a few hours on it today, and made some visible progress.  That's a good thing!  There are still hours (and hours) to go, but perhaps I will finish this week.  Goals are good, even if it's the same goal week after week after week.  One of these weeks I'll meet it!

I cut 6 more surfboards and got them appliqued.  I think I need to take one off and relocate it.  It's a bit high.
Or maybe it's just closer to the surf.

I made a few cards that went out in today's mail.  The first two were made from scraps, leftover from the Color Challenge.

These next two were made from scraps, leftover from one or another of my ocean-themed quilt endeavors.

I swung by the walnuts today, to see if there are many nuts left in the trees:
 I spy!
Wow.  That first orchard picture really gives you a sense of scale, doesn't it?  A 60' tree next to a 6'2" man.  yowza!

This week's goal is again to work on that quilt-for-hire.  I also have to cut out two costumes:  one for an adult Belle, the second for a granddaughter-sized princess.  This week is going to be fun, fun, fun!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Delightful Weekend

This past weekend was filled with quilts.  Can it get any better?  Well, maybe, if you throw in family too.  I have to make mention that my husband did accompany me to the Kings River Quilt Guild's show.  He chose to come - I didn't make him - because as he says, "Where else can you see that many smiling women in one place?"  His favorite is Paducah.  He's also been to Pacific International, and Best of the Valley.

But I digress.

My friend Pat was one of the Featured Artists.  Her display was as exuberant as she is.  Wanna see?

Pat's husband, Mel, was also there, selling some of his quilt-related wood creations.
I came home all jazzed about quilting, but didn't do any.

On Friday, I'd pulled out the RetroClean and set some things to soak.  What is RetroClean?  It's a miracle worker, nothing less.  Pictures are better than words...

I'm not sure if you can tell the difference, but the yellow lace is now so white, you can't even see it in the next-to-last picture.  The rose-embroidered pillowcases are first seen in the bin, looking quite yellow.  The yellow came out, and the linens now sparkle.  The stuff in incredible!

oh!  And I forgot, one more thing from the quilt show, speaking of lace...
Kristin is now selling hand-dyed lace.  I took one look, and chose 5 yards of 5 colors.  Don't they just make you salivate?  ;)

And I'll leave you with that.  I have more for you tomorrow.  woohoo!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Progress Report

Scott Adams has it nailed.  :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Catching Up

No pictures today, I have nothing to show.  It's been a week of catch-up and sit down.

I am happy to report that I made 4 cards, and delivered 2 of them.  The other 2 are set aside, to put into shipping boxes, once the rest of the contents have been assembled.

I made no progress on the quilt-for-hire.  In fact, I basically made no quilting progress at all, unless you count washing a few yards of fabric, buying 16 yards of fabric (40% off sale - who could resist?), and cutting out 6 surfboards for applique.

Last week was devoted primarily to nuts.  We got the first numbers, and the crop is down more than 25% from last year.  We're told that everyone's numbers are down.  Perhaps next year there will be more?  The good news for us is that the price is up.  Good for us, not so good for you, eh?

On Saturday, Wanda Dunavan, one of the key members of our Best of the Valley Steering Committee passed away unexpectedly.  Her funeral is today.  I'm still in shock, as I saw her on Monday, and on Thursday, first at Sew Eclectic, then at Valley Oak Quilt Guild.  She was an active quilter, in both CA and CO.  Her absence will be deeply felt.

Finally, on the dog front, I had Homeless neutered yesterday.  Both dogs (Happy and Homeless) have been at our house since Monday.  So far, so good.  Monday night I locked them in the dog run, on the side of the house.  There was very little barking.  Last night, Happy was loose in the backyard, Homeless was locked in the bathroom.  There was no barking at all.

I let Homeless out into the backyard about an hour ago.  bounce!  bounce!  bounce!  Those two dogs could not stop bouncing.  Perhaps I should call them Happy and Hoppy?

There's a lead on a home for Homeless.  If that doesn't pan out, it looks like they're here to stay. 

But you all knew that long before I did, didn't you?

Goal for the week:  applique the surfboards in the evenings, quilt on that quilt-for-hire during the day.

And that's a wrap.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

I'd Like To Thank...

20th Anniversary
Thimble Towne
Best Traditional Piece

My friends at Thimble Towne for the inspiration and opportunity this challenge presented.  :)

Back at the ranch, we're looking at this:
And doing this:
And still see this:
Stay tuned.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Nuts to You!

It's that time again, time to start shaking the walnuts.  Our first shake took place yesterday.  I haven't heard the numbers yet, but it looks like there were more than a few nuts hiding in the tree tops.

Once the trees have been shaken, the rows look like this:
And the cars look like this:
I missed most of the action yesterday, as I was at guild.  Once the trees are shaken, the sweeper moves down one side of the row (see him in the distance? - you can click on the photos to make them bigger)
and up the other, leaving a nice tidy pile in the middle of the lane.
These are then picked up and taken to the dehydrator, where they are dried to - if my memory serves - around 8% moisture content.  For a detailed behind-the-scenes look at the dehydration process, check my 2011 harvest post here.

Once dehydrated, they travel to the buyer.  There, the nuts are graded (grade affects the price - the more beautiful the nut, the better the price), processed, and shipped.  Ours are usually shipped overseas, still in the shell.  For a behind-the-scenes look at the Poindexter Nut Company, check my 2011 post here

And there you go - this week we've been a bit nutty, all the way around.  And tonight, I get to start irrigating again.  Happy, happy, joy, joy.  :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Check One Off

I believe I set a goal to "make a card."  It has been made, and delivered.
A second one is also finished.  It will be delivered today.
A third is waiting for the gift to attach to, to send to Seattle, when said gift is finished.
Those of you who toss scraps might make a note that keeping some can be useful.  :)

I went to the Tulare County Fair, to help quilt on our opportunity quilt.  The number of hand quilters in our guild is dwindling.
Those of us who are left, are still quilting strong.  This is our 2013 quilt, that we worked on, in this same corner of the Home Arts building, in 2012.
I made this block:
I entered three of my own quilts.  The two little ones received blue ribbons in the "Professional" class (where each quilt is judged on its own merit, rather than judged against other quilts by professionals).  The larger quilt did even better.  (This is the only point where the blue ribbon quilts by professionals are judged against each other, and one emerges as "best.")
Among the "amateurs," Best of Show, Overall, also won the Best of Show, Hand Quilting.  This lovely gem was made by my friend Judie Fleming.
Congratulations, Judie!

Congratulations to all who entered your work.  It's good to see that quilting is alive and well in Tulare County!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

This n That

First off, I'd like to mention/remind you that the SAQA online quilt auction is underway.  I lost track of time, and did not submit a 12" art quilt this year, but 400+ other art quilters did.  The auction began yesterday, and continues throughout much of September.  Click here, to see the current offering of quilts.  The price changes every day at 1:59pm Eastern.  At this moment, the quilts are $750, but in a few hours, they will be $550.  Then $350, then $250, then $150, and finally $75.  I've purchased a number of these quilts over the past few years, and have never been disappointed. 

Today is Tuesday, and thus begins week 37 of 2013.  Have I set 37 goals?  No, I have not.  At least I haven't set them all down on paper.  I'm pretty goal-oriented, so I'd have to say that I've set more than one or two. I've even met a couple of them.

This week, I've got a few things on my list.  The top of the list continues to be to finish a particular quilt-for-hire.  This is a busy week, what with the County Fair and all, but I should find time to do a task or two at home.

A second goal is to make at least one card this week.  My list of "behind/belated" cards-to-make grew exponentially last month, as it was a HUGE birthday month, and I did not make a single card.  So much to do, so little time spent doing it.

And I think I'm going to stick with those two goals.  I know I will likely do other things instead or in addition to them, but those are the things that are at the top of my list.

Stay tuned.  I hope to post some quilt-related photos before too long. 

Until then, tally ho!  I'm off to tackle my to do list.

Monday, September 9, 2013


My brother had a birthday, so I made him some special pillowcases.  :)

*click on the photo to enlarge

Friday, September 6, 2013

Can You See?

I'm not sure if this will work - you might have to be on Facebook to see it.  But the link seemed to work when I tried it...

It's pictures of all of the quilts entered into the Thimble Towne Color Challenge.  To see them, click here.

Since my post, I've been told it's supposed to be a blind challenge.  hmmm.  I'd specifically asked more than once if it was blind (I was told no), and if I could post on my blog (I was told yes).  I told them I'd posted on my blog, they said it was fine.  But the display will remain blind through 9/14.  At that time, the "winners" will be revealed.

If you look at the quilts, you know that we're all winners.  Those are some AMAZING quilts!  All were made in less than two months.  Isn't it a wonderful collection?  So much talent in the valley!  Congratulations to all who were/are part of it.  I love it!

This week has been spent quilting-for-hire, and dog-watching.  Watching dogs is exhausting.  The pair of strays have been hanging out at my house every day this week.  We're trying to socialize them, and teach them manners.  I'm taking the day off.  I can't deal with them yet again.  I need to get something done, other than watch dogs.
They're still looking for homes.  I don't think I'm enough of a dog person to keep them.  Barking makes me crazy.

On the quilt front, I shipped a couple of quilts to the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza.  That show opens Sept 19-22.  Look for my wall quilts and say, "Hi!" to them for me, will you?

The Tulare County Fair is open 9/11-15.  I've entered 3 quilts there.  I've submitted a quilt to PIQF, and I've received my regrets letter from Houston.  whew!  I think that covers everything to date.

I'm not sure I mentioned a goal this week.  If not, it's to finish that quilt-for-hire.  I've made a lot of progress, but I'm not quite to the half-finished mark.  Perhaps by Monday?  Goals are good!

And then, next week, we'll be doing this:
Looks like fairy dust, but it's really raining walnuts.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Back to Work

Finally.  A plan that works.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Still Homeless

 Now that my TT Challenge quilt is done, I have time to concentrate on placing these dogs.  Happy is a good dog.  She's calm enough to not freak at the cats every single time she sees them.  She LOVES people and LOVES attention, and will hold still long enough for me to hose her down when she comes to visit.  (It's dirty at the walnuts.)

But I have an unfenced pool, and she squeezed through the fence that we just put across the old dog run.  I was going to try her out here overnight, but the pool is just too dangerous for a dog unfamiliar with pools.

 Happy wasn't the only one visiting.  Homeless was here too.  He's a barker.  He's an excellent watch dog.  Unfortunately, he comes unglued when he sees cats, and I have 4 outside cats.  Not a good combo.  bark!  bark bark!  bark bark bark bark!  I sent him back to the walnuts.
 Pixel thinks they're fun enough to play with.  She's convinced that Happy's ear is one of her chew toys.  She spent the afternoon chasing Happy, so that she could chew on Happy's ear.  yum, yum!
Ahh, look at that fine figure of a...whatever she is.  All personality, and charming at that.

Maybe we'll end up dog-sharing Happy, the way we kind of dog-share Pixel.  Stranger things have happened.

But Homeless?  He's had 3 chances in Visalia.  He was much calmer on Day 3, than he was on Day 1, but I can't deal with the barking.  Occasional barking?  When people drive up?  That's fine.  But barking every time he sees a cat?  Give me a break!  ;)

Anyone know anyone who wants a nice little dog?  Happy is 15 lbs and spayed, Homeless is 12 lbs and looking for love.

Call me.  Email me.  Find me.  They are desperate for people of their own.