Monday, January 30, 2017

Under The Wire

whew!  I am pleased to announce that I finished my last postcards for Postmark'd Art, Round 26, "Barns" theme.  whew!
 They are rustic.  haha.  I believe I made them with raw silk.  Silly, that.
 They're the same, yet different.  I have 3 more cut out, but I'm not sure I'll finish them.  The fiber is very shreddy.
I guess that means it took me the entire month to meet half of my first week of January goals.  hmmm.  Hopefully February will be more productive.

My primary February goal is to get my entries submitted to Best of the Valley Quilt Show.  The deadline is February 14.  If I really got my act together, I could get my entries done tonight.  Or tomorrow.  Please.  Do not hold your breath!

My dad has said that he wants to go home, so I'll be heading south again in the next few days.  My hubby had surgery on his nose today, and I hesitate to leave him home alone.  Then again, he decided to go back to work this afternoon, after the procedure ended.  (It was a skin cancer removal thingie.  Took almost 5 hours with three slice & biopsy evaluations.)  He expects to work tomorrow.  I hope he knows what he's doing, and that he listens to his nose if it tells him to stay home.  His work involves dairy cows and lots of manure.  Not exactly hygienic for open wounds, but hey, what do I know.  He's the doctor.  ;)

But you didn't want to hear all that.  You want to know what's happening in the studio.  The sad sorry state of affairs is that nothing much is happening there.  If anything changes, you'll be the first to know.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

UFO's, etcetera

I've been trying to get back into the studio, literally.  That attempt involves a lot of sorting, tossing, and putting away.  My assistant, when he's in the house, tries to help me.
 Oh, look!  What's that item folded in front of Mr. Watson?  It's another UFO, one that was omitted (unintentionally) from my 2017 UFO list.
 And in another pile?  There's this small ocean scene, complete with paper boat.  It was a reject from the Oasis call for entry back in 2015.  Another UFO that missed the list.  I think I'm up to 42 now.  At least the two mini quilts to the right are finished!
My dad is still here, and with him is his little dog.  Watson, who could not care less about Scruffy, and who plays tag with Pixel, wants absolutely nothing to do with Hotty.  (Don't ask me where she got the name.  My dad gave it to her, though he says, "She came with it.")  Anyway, Watson's eyes get bigger than usual - see first photo - and he disappears for hours at a time.  I finally found him.
 Do you see him?  No?  He's in the upper left quadrant.  Maybe this will help?
 He's in a cradle of limbs, and feels confident enough to sleep there.
 I couldn't get him focused, as the camera insisted on focusing on foliage.  But, wow.  I don't think kitty got the memo:  He's been declawed.  Yet, there he is 20' up in the air. It has not slowed him down one iota.
Quilt show details are coming together.  Entries are open, and remain so until February 14.  To download your entry form and/or enter online, click here.

And on that note, I've got work to do.  Best to get started!

Saturday, January 21, 2017


In early January I mentioned that Round 26 of Postmark'd Art was due by January 31.  I thought that I'd be able to whip out my contributions without delay.  haha, fooled myself!  But today?  I snuck (sneaked?) into the studio and threw together a set of "Autumn Leaves."  woohoo!  Cross that off the list.

 It was a small trade group, and I ended up with a spare.  That's always fun.
There are still 10 days remaining in January.  That's plenty of time to set a few more goals, isn't it? 

Before the end of the month, I'd like to finish the last set of Postmark'd Art postcards, and get them in the mail before the deadline. 

I'd also like to quilt a small art quilt, though I'm not sure which one.  I'm currently drawn to the one from the Jean Wells class, from May 2016.  And, finally, I'd like to quilt the Lifeguard Tower.  I've actually begun, but there's no way I will meet the entry deadline for M-AQF.  Oh well.  The Best of the Valley deadline is February 14.  Maybe I should shoot for that?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

A Brief Pause

I spent a couple of days at Road to CA, helping in the judging room, primarily as a Scribe.  Then it was off to San Diego to pick up my dad.  I pulled off at the View Point between San Clemente and Oceanside.  The vista is worth the break, and I took multiple photos.  Simply lovely!

Made it to San Diego, swung by Escondido, then hit the road through LA and back to the Central Valley, in the rain (yay!). and home by 8pm.  Long day.  I'm glad I took the time to smell the salt air and count the sea rats.  I mean sea gulls.  ;)

Maybe one of these days I'll sew something.
Goals are good!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Surprise Finish

I was looking for a piece of paper yesterday, and instead, once again located the unfinished "Another Sunset" that I'd misplaced/found/misplaced early in January.  Best to finish this one up before I lose it again!
 The top picture gives you an idea of its size, compared to my iPad.  The bottom picture has more accurate color.

I am very pleased with the streaky purple fabric that I found to bind it with.  I wonder if there is enough left to bind the Lifeguard Tower quilt, if I ever get it quilted?

As to quilting goals?  I've had to bow out of, or at least put on hold the Katie Pasquini Masopust class that begins tomorrow.  Too many other things take precedence these days.

We're in between rainstorms right now, but the moisture is resulting in mushrooms.  I found this one to be quite photogenic.
My goal for this week:  Do some handquilting and get my dad safely back to Visalia.  Goals are good.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Lost a Week

Well, so much for plans.  I had four goals for the first week, and met two.  I think I mentioned that my dad has been here with me.  I drove him back to his home on Monday, 1/9.  We hit a beautiful weather window in the middle of the huge storm, and made it to San Diego County in 5.5 hours.  A total record for myself.

I was wifi-free during the three days I was down there.  Since my return, I've been trying desperately to catch up on something, anything.  I guess I'm almost there with the laundry.  But quilting goals?  Haven't hit or set another since early last week.

I head out again in a couple of days, and will likely end up back at my dad's for a few days.  So much for goal setting.  Life happens and I just try to go with the flow.  And on that note, I'll leave you with a few pics taken at my dad's home.  The last time I saw the property, everything looked dry and dead.  The rain has given it a massive makeover.

 These terraces used to hold 125 rose bushes.  All gone.
 This jade plant forest just about blew my mind.  It's about 8' wide and 50' long, running the length of the driveway.  I took some clippings and am hopeful that it will find my climate as invigorating.
 We had a glorious day, in between storms.  I understand why people like to live in SoCal.
And on that, I'm thinking about quilting, but barely. So much to do.  Every day is a gift.

Saturday, January 7, 2017


Each time I log into Blogger, I get a notification that I need to give out a notification that there might be cookies on this website.  So.  Here you go:  There are cookies on this website.

Perhaps they are not referring to these adorable felt cookies, made by my friend Wendy Van Beek?

Doesn't matter.  These are the only cookies I add.  Anything else?  They are here, courtesy of Google.

There.  You've been warned.  Now, may I please stop having the cookie notification each time I log in?  Google?  I know you're reading this.  You read EVERYTHING.

And with that, I think I need to go sew...

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Hide and Seek

On Monday, I had time to work on a quilt. The one I wanted to work on already has a name, "Another Sunset."  But where was it?  I had no idea.  I searched high, I searched low.  Eventually I gave up and switched to cleaning up a bit.  Perhaps it was buried.
 I can't imagine why I couldn't find it. oh wait.  Peek-a-boo!  I see you!!  There it is, hanging on the design wall.  What?  You haven't spotted it yet?  It's right there, hiding in plain sight.
Today, I cut the sails that I'd wanted to applique onto it yesterday.  But guess what?  I've lost it again. 

Believe me, it's a gift.

I still had an hour to play, so I picked up some shavings from "Sail Away."  Maybe I could assemble them in such a way as to come up with a 6" x 8"?  And do you know that I could?  It's not half bad.  But it needs sails.

A glass of water, scissors, pins, needle, thread, and two triangles..
And before you know it, I've got my first finish of 2017:
Suzanne Kistler 2017

As to 2017 goals of Week 1?  So far, so good!
Carry on!

Monday, January 2, 2017


One of the most annoying/disappointing things last year was the realization that my camera was taking poor quality photos.  I use a mid-price Canon, and must have scratched the lens or something.  What used to be sharp and clear was now slightly blurry.  Always.  Especially when I was trying to take call-for-entry photos. 

Enter my decision to replace my camera.  Charlotte found what I could not (specific model, on sale) and within a couple of hours, I was the proud owner of a new Canon.  That was in early December.  Today, I put it to the test.  I needed photos for Sacred Threads, of publishable quality.  And I think I got them!

The day was overcast.  I hauled my "new" design wall out to the backyard and snapped away.  I put the quilts through 3 "sittings," as I checked my results between each.  harumpf.  Shadows!  harumpf.  Crooked!  But in the end?  I have images that make me smile, rather than cringe.  Such a nice way to begin 2017!!
Here is where I found unshadowed light.  I was this close to the edge of the pool.  Steady, now...
I am thrilled to be able to cross one of my Week 1 goals off of my list.  Or maybe I should say two, since I've also blogged a second time this week.  So far, so good.

Carry on!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

And The Goals Are...

Happy New Year! There's always talk of "resolutions" when January 1 rolls around.  I've found that I can resolve to do all kinds of things, but they end up too nebulous to achieve.  This year I'm back to baby steps when it comes to quilting.  My overall dreams of achievement far surpass my capabilities.  Instead, 2017 is a year to be taken one day at a time.  I will confine myself to weekly goals, more or less.

So.  Here we are on Day 1 of Week 1.  I am working on my 2017 UFO List.  Last night, when I thought it was complete, it had 35 entries.  By noon this morning, I remembered 4 more.  I am hopeful that I will begin the year with a mere 39 UFO's.  That would be fantastic!  I don't think I've begun a year with fewer than 40 UFOs since we left the 80's!

I have a few general goals for the year.  The first is "Blog More."  That should be easy.  I fell off track this year when life interrupted.  I'm working on focus.

The second is "Finish A Show Quilt."  I have multiple pieces in process, that could be contenders, should I actually follow through and finish them.  I am hopeful that at least one of them will not only reach the finished stage, but also be finished in time to enter at least one major show in 2017.

The third is to "Have A Portable Handwork Project" ready to go.  I can't tell you how many times I have needed something small to work on, but had nothing at hand.  Instead, I've been reading my kindle.  I'd rather be quilting.

Finally, we reach my quilting goals for January:

1)  Before the end of the month, I'm committed to mail out 3 themes of postcards for Postmark'd Art.  I still need to make all of the postcards.
2) M-AQF entry deadline is January 24.
3) My first assignment for the KatiePM class is due January 16.
4) Sacred Threads entry deadline is January 4.

This week, I plan to take photos of my quilt(s)? and enter Sacred Threads; make a set of PMA postcards; finish a (small) UFO; and make my pattern for the Katie Class quilt.  I expect each project to take approximately 3 hours.  Give or take an hour.

Then again, my dad is here, and will be until at least January 9.  At that time, I will drive him back over the hill, for a week at home.  Whether he stays there or returns?  Remains to be seen.  His presence in my house reminds me:  Every Day Is A Gift.

And with that, I hope you, too, set some goals for 2017.  Big or small, size is not the point.  Goals set us moving on a course, and going forward is good.  Happy New Year!!