Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Q & A

Q.  What's wrong with this picture?
A.  The quilt is not quilting itself.

Monday, January 27, 2014

He Did It Again!

Last night's sunset:

I've started quilting a quilt with hopes of finishing before the Best of the Valley entry deadline.  Goals are good, and my goal is to share it with you by the end of this week.  I do hope that your goal is to enter at least one of your quilts as well.  Without quilters willing to share their work, we wouldn't be able to have a show.  Thank you in advance, for showering me with entries in the weeks to come.  Deadline:  February 14, 2014. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Welcome Home!

My garden put forth its first blooming iris.
And this morning?  The sun showed that it can rise spectacularly in the valley, as well as by the ocean.

Welcome home, indeed!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Bags of Happiness

As you've probably figured out by now, I spent the week in Laguna Beach and Ontario.  Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth...5 days in Laguna Beach, 3 days in Ontario for Road to CA. 

I love the beach.  How can one look out on the magnificent ocean, see the painting in the sky, poke through tide pools for treasures and not believe in God?  His creation screams of His glory.

I was there because of a friend, and the timing of Road to CA.  I helped behind the scenes on Mon/Tues, and attended the show on Friday.  Fun, fun, fun.  It truly was.  :)

There was lots of shopping to be done, and I did it.  It was shocking that everything I purchased fit into a wee little bag.  But it was a wee little bag of treasures, doncha know?  ;)

Fiber treasures
 glass bead treasures
 stamping treasures
 and fabric treasures.
The last truly is a treasure, as I have been trying desperately to match the two top fabrics.  I checked every booth, and I've looked at local quilt stores.  This color red is not "in."  It hit me that perhaps I needed to look at hand-dyes...I looked at Cherrywood, I looked at Starr Designs...and I found exactly what I was looking for from Quilt Tapestry Studio.  woohoo!  I think it will work, and I think there is enough of it to anchor some of the other fabrics that slightly match these reds.  Now that I have this in hand, I have a wedding quilt to think about.  Goals are good!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Little of This, A Little of That...

A little shopping (for a BIG fish),
 A little inspirational/idea-generating photography,
 A little beach walk, at low tide,
 A BIG rock, exposed by low tide,
A little sea-life (notice the size, compared to the grains of sand),
 A bit of debris,
 A hint of fog,
And a camera loaded with 208 new images.  I'm ready to think about stitching...

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

This n That

I'm still checking out the daily sunrise,
 I'm doing some birdwatching,
 The birds are doing some people watching,
 And I'm counting the days until Friday, when I'm planning to do something a bit more expensive.  ;)
See you there!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sunrise, Sunset

May I never cease to appreciate the beauty of the sun over the ocean.  Breathtaking.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Lovely, Simply Lovely

For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

Folliot Pierpoint 1864

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Cat Person

I am a cat person, because cats don't do this:
Yesterday I met my sister's new dog.  Apparently the dog doesn't like me.  When it was time to leave, she let me know without any hesitation.  No flesh damage, but I definitely need a new pair of pants!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Pet Pics

So I've been doing computer work for the past couple of days, and the sewing machine sits idle.  The computer work is quilt stuff, there's a quilt show currently in the making, doncha know?  ;)  Check out our Best of the Valley website for 2014 show and entry information.  Yes, we want you to enter your quilt.  You don't have to live in the valley, you just have to have finished your quilt.  It's a great show, believe you, me.  I may be biased, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.  :)
I also received a "congratulations" letter from AQS Lancaster.  Looks like "Strelitzia" is going to do some traveling this year.  (It's currently in Ontario, entered in Road to CA.)

The other day someone asked why I say I'm a cat person, when all I talk about are the dogs.  That's easy.  I love my cats, but they're mad at me.  They don't love dogs, and allowing Scruffy to permanently take up residence in their territory is so far the unforgivable sin.   However they are not so angry as to refuse to come into the house.
In contrast, the dogs are happy, happy, happy.  Especially Pixel, who's currently visiting.

 And true to form, there's always, always the unexpected photobomb.  Scruffy!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Our Sixth

According to my calendar, yesterday was our sixth anniversary.  yes, that's right.  This blog began on January 12, 2008.  Now, some 1220+ posts later, I have to say that I like you.  I really like you.  :)

You're kind of like my quilt accountability group.  When days go by and I haven't checked in, I know I've gone too many days without quilting.  Or if not quilting, too many days of doing nothing of interest.  If I'm doing something interesting, you're sure to hear about it.  Even if I'm doing something boring, well, you know that you often hear about that too.

Over the weekend, instead of blogging and celebrating with you, I was working to finish UFO's # 1 and 2 for 2014.  (They're actually numbers 7 & 8 on my "official" list, posted here.)

Quilt #1
 Quilt #2
(Don't tell anyone, but the bottom quilt still needs one length of binding tacked down.)

Speaking of binding, did you notice the binding?  Not only were the quilts made from extra 4.5" blocks, leftover from all of those Double 4-patch baby quilts that I make, but the bindings were pieced from leftover chunks of binding as well.  Some of those scraps date back a decade or more! 

So.  Cross two off, leaving a mere 39 UFO's to go.  We're off to a great start.  Happy Blogiversary to you all!!

Friday, January 10, 2014

First 2014 Finish

In my last post, I showed you the beginnings of the piece I was making for the SAQA 25th anniversary trunk show.  The receive by deadline is January 31.  Since I've got the rest of January planned out, I thought it would behoove me to finish it ASAP.  And so I did.
"Undersea Impressions"
7" x 10"
Suzanne Kistler 2014

All submissions are to be 7" x 10" and mine came out amazingly close.  I did the beading in the sand this afternoon, I just finished stitching out the label.  As soon as the label is on, I will fill out the paperwork and prepare for shipping.  yay!!  It feels good to put a line through the first thing on my "wanna do" list.  :)

Hope you're making progress on any lists you may have as well.  Next up?  ummm.  hmmm.  I'd better go check that list!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Catching Up

Do you ever feel like you're so behind it's going to take you a week or more to catch up before you can even begin?  yup.  That's how I seem to have begun my 2014 year of sewing.  Starting something new or finishing something old has taken a back seat to basic repairs.  crazy.

"Mom!  Your door hanger lost a jingle bell!"
 Better stitch it back on so it's in one piece when I pull it out again next year.  The screen-printed "JOY" was made by my friend Kata decades ago.  It makes me smile every time I see it.  :)
Next on the list was to pull out some quilts for an Art Quilt Show in Porterville.  oh dear.  Their labels are way behind.  Apparently I haven't made show labels in 9 months.  If I'm going to offer some of these for sale, I'd better make some labels.
I made (and attached) five labels yesterday.  It felt like more.  I still have almost a dozen to do, but the quilts for Porterville were finished.  Or were they?

I took one off the wall, remembering that when it came home from the county fair in September, it had lost some beads.
 Two lines of fringe had been lost.  The hardest part of the repair was not actually doing it, the hardest part was remembering what my beading recipe had been, and where I'd stashed the beads!
 Once I'd finished, I realized that I'd forgotten some of the key bead ingredients, but because it was only two lines of fringe, it seems to have blended in okay.
Another of the quilts was missing a sleeve.  Now it's not.
 I have an old Christmas quilt, that I've been using under my tree for the past several years.  I'd given it to my mom back in the 90's, and when she passed, it came back to me.  I'd washed it, and the red bled like the dickens.  Most of the creamy background turned a shade of pink, from light to almost fuchsia.  Vicki Welsh posted an extremely informative post on dealing with bleeding on her blog, and I tried her suggestion.  ohmygoodness!!  That dingy pinky quilt suddenly sparkles!!  I'd used Biz, Oxyclean, Synthrapol and Retayne.  What was the magic ingredient that brought it back to life?  Kirkland Free & Clear, the product that I use on all my clothes!  Read all about her experimentation here.  And here.

I think I may have actually used All Free & Clear, rather than Kirkland brand, but look how the trees sparkle!  They haven't looked like this for more than a decade!  Those pieced backgrounds used to be as dark as the setting blocks!
Finally, finally I've gotten around to something new.  SAQA is seeking pieces for a 3 year traveling exhibit, and they only need to be 7" x 10".  Surely I can put together something before the end of the month?

Here's what I've put together so far:

It's a bit bigger than the finished 7 x 10, but boy it's a lot of fun!!  My car has been in the shop since early Monday, so I feel trapped at home.  (My son's car has not been washed since the walnut harvest, and I think the window may have been open a crack when they were shaking the trees.  It is beyond filthy, but it runs.  I'd rather stay home than clean it or drive it, so I'm only venturing out when absolutely necessary.)

So there you go.  I'm trying to catch up on the little things, so that I can concentrate on the big things.  Hope you all have time to quilt.  It's a good way to put a smile on one's face, don't you think?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Too Relaxing

I admit it.  I set goals, and then I let them lie there.  They're useless, if you don't act upon them. 

They whispered at me, so I did something.  It wasn't want I intended, but it was forward progress.  The last thing I did in the Studio was finish this Christmas card/quiltlet.  All it needed was the backing and the signature.  It took longer to change the thread than it did to finish the card.
What distracted me?  Well, it was that box of Christmas scraps, that's what!  There were all those 2.5" squares that keep coming out of the box then going back in.  And then they get all messed up, and I discover them anew each December.  Let's do something about them!
Once a few had been sewn together, well of course I had to put them on the wall with the other leftover Christmas blocks.  They might work well together.
Wait!  What happened to the block with the yellow squares in the corners?  Pixel!
On another note, I put an hour or so into handquilting an ENDLESS project from decades ago.  It's not all that big, it's just BORING, and it's 80% finished.  I might set a goal to finish it in the next two weeks, but I don't want my goals to have me feeling oppressed.  A better goal is to put in an hour of hand quilting each day.  Or maybe an hour of handwork.  Or maybe?

Today's goal is to finish all the tedious chores on my to do list, so that I get to squeeze in some sort of quilting activity.  Any is better than none.  Goals are good!