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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Worldwide Parts Swap

the box
The Liberated Quilters  had a Worldwide Parts Swap this spring.  Participants sent boxes with no-longer-loved quilty stuff -- fabric, notions, books, patterns, whatever. I sent a box to Lorri in Iowa.

Here's what I got today from Sue in Indiana.  What a treat!
Thank you, Sue -- and thank you Clare of LibQ for coordinating the swap.

I'm not sure what this means!
notions, magazines, patterns -- and a totebag and paper plates and napkins!

Fabric! What a wonderful assortment!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

DWM: Easter, with some finishes

What a lovely Easter weekend we had!  The Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services were solemn and meaningful.  The Saturday in between always seems awkward -- everyday life continues as though we hadn't just commemorated one of the saddest days in history. And then glorious Easter -- the sun shone, the temperatures were warm.  The men of the church served eggs, pancakes, and sausage at 7:30.  We live just a block from the church so it was no problem for us to go home, read the newspaper, then change and return for the 10:30 service. 

Our Easter dinner was traditional.   My husband cooked the lamb, asparagus, and new potatoes.  I tried a new recipe for dessert: Rhubarb Frangipane PieI looked up frangipane, which is one of those words I've read but would have been hard pressed to define precisely.  "Late 17th century: from French, named after the Marquis Muzio Frangipani (see frangipani). The term originally denoted the frangipani shrub or tree, the perfume of which is said to have been used to flavor the almond cream." 

On to quilting!

I finished Lakeside Sunset -- quilted and bound.  (Thank you, Lori in South Dakota, for providing the name.)   It used about 8-1/2 yards in all.

Straight-line quilting

I also started and finished the favors I will take to Australia next month for the Magpies' biennial in-person meetup. It is a smaller group than in previous years (here and here .... I never did post the group picture from 2012 in California).  These are 6 x 9 mug rugs (or wallhangings).  The quilt block is Birds in the Air.

In progress: dots-and-dashes Churndash blocks.  This is the second batch that the Blockswappers will exchange.

See what's going on in other sewing rooms at Judy's Patchwork Times .

Sunday, April 6, 2014

DWM: quilt in progress

As I wrote last Sunday, this week was very busy indeed.  I had a Woman's Club committee dinner Monday, P.E.O. birthday potluck Tuesday, quilt guild Wednesday evening, our Rotary Club's 15th anniversary breakfast Thursday (at the library, which meant I needed to be there at 6:15 a.m. to let the caterer in), and a book talk Thursday (see previous post). The library's annual in-service day was Friday. The Zion-Benton Leadership Summit breakfast was Saturday morning, followed by the library's first BAM! celebration (that's Books, Authors, and More).

The quilt guild program on Wednesday was given by Patricia Simmons and her father from Quilter's Rule in Watertown  Waterford, Wisconsin.  They make molded rulers, acrylic templates, and silk-screened cutting mats. They also silk-screen acrylic rulers for other designers.  Patricia showed photos from the factory: the molds, the styrene pellets, the screens, and the finishing.  It was very interesting!  She also showed how to use the templates to create quilting designs.

In and around all of these activities I made time to sew. (I am listening to Americanah, a novel by Chiminanda Ngozi Adichie, to review for Library Journal. It is long but very interesting.)

When I posted the initial photo of my version of Summers at the Lake I wrote that I was combing my batik stash for medium-to-dark blues for the 5" squares that separate the 9-patch blocks.  I didn't have much.  My self-imposed limit is that I am not going to buy any fabric during Lent. Well, I got all the 9-patch blocks made.  I tried a few 5" blue squares. They were awfully dark.  Then I tried another color entirely.  I didn't have quite enough of the twisty flying geese batik print, but I thad another in very similar colors.  The setting triangles are another fabric.  (I think I'll have to give it a different name, though....Summers  at the Volcano?

dark blue pulls it down
as pictured in the book

I am grateful to Wanda Hansen for the inspiration.  You can see her beautiful quilts, many made from batiks, at her blog, Exuberant Color .

I'm linking up with other quiltmakers at Judy's Patchwork Times.

Book talk: spring, 2014

For the past five years or so I have given a book talk for the Women's Club of Our Lady of Humility , the Roman Catholic church in our community.  At first I look forward to it, then I groan as I read-with-a-purpose (that purpose being reading books that will be suitable for booktalking), then I'm frantic ("what am I going to say?").   Then it's the first Thursday of April and time for my presentation.  Invariably all goes well!  In fact, I'm very flattered when club members say how much they look forward to the program.  One woman commented, "You know, we own a tax service so this is our busy season.  I left a dozen returns on my desk and told my husband I'm taking the night off to hear your book talk."

Here are the books on my spring list.  I hope some of them appeal to you, too!
A Wilder Rose, by Susan Witting Albert. (Reviewed in this post)  The story of Rose Wilder Lane and her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Parlor Games, by Maryka Biaggio.  The Pinkerton Agency considered May Dugas "the most dangerous woman in the world." As she tells her story she tries to gain your sympathy, too. 

On the Rocks, by Sue Hallgarth. (Reviewed in this post)  Willa Cather and Edith Lewis solve a murder on Grand Manan Island.

Under the Wide and Starry Sky, by Nancy Horan.  The story of Fanny Osbourne and Robert Louis Stevenson, by the author of Loving Frank.

The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd.  Abolitionist Sarah Grimke and her servant (slave) Hetty.

A Circle of Wives, by Alice LaPlante.   When a prominent surgeon dies in mysterious circumstances, his three wives find out about the existence of one another.

The Impersonator, by Mary Miley.  (Reviewed in this post )  Jessie Carr takes on the role of a lifetime to keep family fortune from being distributed.

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin.  "Books can change your life" is true indeed for a bookseller in a small island town.

and nonfiction

The Girls of Atomic City, by Denise Kiernan. The women who worked on the Manhattan project at the top-secret plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, by Ann Patchett.  Essays by the acclaimed novelist (and bookstore owner).

Fifty Children, by Stephen Pressman.  In 1939 Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus went to Vienna and rescued 50 Jewish children from the Nazis.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

DWM: Safari Stars, first quarter report, and something new

It's a flimsy! And it has a name -- Safari Stars. The border fabric is an example of shopping the stash. Specifically, it's an example of "try looking in this obscure part of the stash to see if there is something suitable." Not only was it suitable, there was enough of it!

March stash report:
Fabric used: 23-1/4 update 3/31 -- at 9:45 p.m. I finished quilting Prairie Queen Stamps, so that adds 3.5 yards to the tally:  26-3/4 used in March
Fabric acquired: 0. (Zero!)

YTD used: 69-1/8 + 3-1/2 = 72-5/8
YTD acquired: 59-1/4.


Here's my current leaders-and-enders project.  I credit Lori in South Dakota for the inspiration. You can see her version of Sundays at the Lake in this post .  I didn't have as many tone-on-tone blue batiks on hand as I thought. Since I'm going to try to stick to no-buy for Lent this project will stay at this stage for a couple more weeks. [The small squares are 2" so the nine-patches finish at 4.5"]

I have other projects to keep me busy in the spare moments I have to sew.  This coming week I have meetings MTWTh evenings, plus our Rotary 15th anniversary breakfast on Th, and the library's annual staff day on Friday, and the community Leadership Summit Saturday (8:30-noon) and the library's Books! Authors! and More! festival Saturday afternoon.

 The Block Swappers quarterly "units" swap -- 4-patches and HSTs -- and mini-9-patches came this week. Something interesting will come of them!

I'm linking up with other quiltmakers at Judy's Patchwork Times.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Contest winner and a walk in the ravine

This morning (Saturday) our Rotary Club cooked and delivered more than 100 spaghetti dinners to elderly people in Beach Park, Winthrop Harbor, and Zion. I don't have any pictures because Stevens and I went to the church (in whose kitchen the food was cooked), got our assigned recipients, picked up the food, and went forth!  All was done in 45 minutes and everyone was most appreciative.
Me, Mrs. Morales, and Sandy
After lunch I went to the library.  Sandy and I drew the winner from among the 32 quilt contest entries (see yesterday's post).  Coincidentally Mrs. Morales, the winner, was on her way to the library when Sandy called her.  She said her granddaughter's birthday is soon and this will be an ideal gift.
 I went for a walk in the ravine at the end of the block.  It's March 29 and there's still snow on the (north-facing) slope.

But here is a sign of spring: skunk cabbage. These little blossoms are high in sulfur, hence the name. 

Lichen on a log....looks like a ruffle!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Resource display: quilts!

One of ZBPL's staff development requirements this year is "to promote library resources."  The staff have paired off (mixing departments and positions). Each pair is to choose an aspect of the library -- collections, services, or both -- and create a display.  In addition to highlighting what the library offers, the project provides an opportunity for interdepartmental cooperation. 

Displays have included resources for small business; homeschooling; auto repair; crafts in general, among others.

Sandy is my partner.  She's worked at ZBPL nearly as long as I have.  We discovered early on that we're both quiltmakers.  (She helped with the Readers banner in the Youth Services department.)  She comes in about the time I leave for the day and our conversation nearly always includes quiltmaking.  We realized that since March 15 is National Quilting Day this would be a good time to feature quilt books.  Here's what we came up with. 

Our display is in the library lobby.  Sandy created the Quilt Block Scramble contest.  There is a bibliography listing a few of our quilt books, both how-to and fiction.  I made the string quilt that's the prize.   (Sandy made the flimsy that is the table cover. It's Barbara Brackman's "Drinking Gourd" from her book Facts and Fabrications.) The contest ends tomorrow and we'll draw the winner from among the all-correct entries.