Wednesday, April 1, 2020

A new month! Stash report and OMG


Rabbit, rabbit!  I remembered to say the magic words this morning.

(The photo shows my sister (right) and me in 1956.)

Stash report for March:
Fabric in:  NONE
Fabric out: 138-3/4 yards
YTD fabric in:  210-1/2 yards, $455
YTD fabric out: 307-5/8 yards
Net:  97-1/8 OUT  (hooray!)

That 138-3/4 includes *102* yards given
away to online friends.  I made a tote bag.  I also got a head start on my RSC rail fence units (in addition to teal I made red, yellow, and dark blue).  I finished the two ALA Biblioquilters quilts and made a scrappy rail fence quilt.  AND I made a garment -- actually two garments, pajama top and bottoms for me. (That entailed 5/8" seams, seam finishes, and buttonholes.)

I decided it's time to organize all the patterns I've torn from quilt magazines.  The categories are not all-encompassing -- there will still be a stack of "because I like them."  But the "This Old Quilts" series by Gerald Roy will go ino a notebook and the Popser tales by A. B. Silver will go into another. There's a stack of tote bag patterns, a stack for Christmas, and a stack for floral applique (centers for medallions, or for wallhangings).

It's time to declare my One Monthly Goal for April:   get started on house-theme mug rugs.  These will be sent to the P.E.O. chapters who sponsored candidates for grants from the P.E.O. Home Fund for 2019-2020.   (The grants go to women over age 65 who need financial assistance to stay in their homes. The money goes to repair projects like a replacement furnace or a new roof.)   Ordinarily we'd have them at the state convention, but that's been cancelled so we'll mail them.   I have to select a pattern and make a prototype, then send the pattern to the two people on the committee.  We have 20 grants for this year.

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts OMG




Sunday, March 29, 2020

Weekly update: not much to report, but there is a finish

Two weeks in:  Stevens and I are healthy. We've checked in with family and friends and they are fine.  Nearly every activity has come to a screeching halt.  The big cancellation in my world was the ALA Annual Conference at the end of June.  Both the Zion Woman's Club luncheon (May) and the AAUW luncheon (June) have been cancelled. The Rotary Golf Outing is rescheduled for September 25.  I've been to three meetings using Zoom with more to come. 

I've kept my outings to two supermarkets (Aldi and Jewel) and the post office.  I've taken long walks every day encountering other people doing the same (sometimes with their dogs). We keep our distance as we say hello.

Though the state park is closed to all traffic, pedestrian included, the forest preserves are still open. I took one path at Spring Bluff (about a mile east of home) that has recently been improved with interpretive signage and an outlook. As I was walking back a family -- parents, a kid in a stroller, and a kid on a scooter -- were entering. The scooter-rider assured his parents, "I'm staying on my side!" and I stayed on mine.

(Upper left in the collage: muskrat dens in the pond, as seen from the overlook. Upper right:
the marina is on the horizon with Lake Michigan beyond it.  Lower right: our lakefront is a Ramsar site which is a prestigious distinction.)



On the way back:  a friendly smile from the proprietor of a local shop -- from behind the window.

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Leftover blocks on the back
In the studio:   I coordinated this project with blocks contributed by the ALA Biblioquilters. The batik shadowboxes are 8" finished and the quilt is 56" x 64".  I quilted it with rectangles and squares.  It was going to be in the scholarship auction at the annual conference this year -- now there's a head start for 2021!  (I didn't have to push to finish it, obviously, but if I put it away it would be a UFO and didn't want that to nag at me for an entire year.)



There's so much contradictory information about masks that I have only made three. These are just plain fabric with elastic. I think I'll make enough to use up the 1/4" elastic I have on hand (that's about 22).

I only had blah-blah fabric for one mask for a very talkative friend who is tickled to have it.

It's time to post One Monthly Goal accomplishments.  I finished mine in early March -- setting Frolic, the Quiltville mystery, and getting it to the long-arm quilter.  (It's the raffle quilt for AAUW but that convention has been cancelled. Another head start! (The raffle is "in the family." I do not get a raffle permit. I do not want to go to all the work of an online raffle. Ticket sales are limited to my branch, our April luncheon, and the state convention.)

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This week's reading:  a novel (published March 3) and a memoir (coming in July). Both central characters were profoundly affected by the deaths of their mothers.

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Linking up with
  One Monthly Goal
Oh Scrap!
 Monday Making
Design Wall Monday

P.S.
Bryan M. Likins (@BMLESQ) | Twitter




Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Adoption winner and some humor




I thank everyone who commented on my Orphan Adoption post and shared what they are currently reading.  There were nine eligible entries.


The Random Number Generator chose #4 -- that's Cathy in Iowa.  Her blog is Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting .  She is the best scrap quilt designer!  I know she'll make the petal blocks in something terrific.








This meme was on FB yesterday.  I hope you, too, are enjoying being an artist-in-residence! 

On the bright side, I am no longer calling this shelter-in-place. I am now an artist-in-residence.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Weekly update: still sewing

Have you entered the Orphan Adoption yet? See this post -- drawing will be tomorrow, 3/24.

(c) WiseHearts
It's been surreal, hasn't it?  The first pandemic in the age of social media*  means that the true, useful news and advice are overwhelmed by rumor, federal ineptitude (though Dr. Anthony Fauci is a national treasure), and attempts at humor (sometimes funny, sometimes stupid).  I am grateful to Dr. Fauci and the unnamed doctors, scientists, and lab technicians who are working on test kits and a vaccine.  I am grateful for all the "essential" personnel who are running cash registers and keeping shelves stocked; working drive up windows at banks and restaurants, responding to public safety calls (911, police, fire), and keeping hospitals open.   Oh, yes -- and the people who are keeping the Internet going!

This info-graph says that media mentions (per Google hits) are 2.1 billion for Covid-19 compared to 69.5m for HIV, 66.3m for SARS, 33.1m for MERS, and 16.2m for Ebola.

My calendar, like yours, is suddenly, strangely swept clean both in the short term (church and clubs until early April, some to mid-April) and the longer term. The biggest cancellation (so far) is the P.E.O. state convention, scheduled for early June.  Each state chapter has a convention and the cycle begins in April so the International officers cancelled ALL of them.  The AAUW-IL convention in mid-June and the ALA Annual Conference at the end of June are still on.  (The Rotary International Convention -- est. attendance 25,000 -- in Honolulu in June has been cancelled, too, but I wasn't going to go to that anyway.)


I polished most of the silver.

I made soda bread on St. Patrick's Day. (We had corned beef and cabbage, too.)



.

The state park is closed.
(Why? This park is trails and beach, no gathering places.)


But the skunk cabbage is blooming in the ravine at the end of our block.






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Of course I spent time in the studio this week.  I used up many, many 1.5" strips to make these rail fence blocks. (5.5" unfinished. Quilt is 60 x 70.)

A spur-of-the-moment start and finish feels good!

Linking up with
 Monday Making
Design Wall Monday
Oh Scrap!













P.S. This is my favorite book of 2020 (so far).
I gave it ten stars our of five!  While you're waiting for its
April 14 publication date (or for your library to reopen) you can re-read or discover News of the World. (Simon makes an appearance in NOTW and Capt. Jefferson Kyle Kidd of NOTW makes an appearance in this one.)

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Spring cleaning -- it's adoption time!

For several years Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework  has sponsored an orphan block adoption.  I'm delighted that she's doing it again this month.


 In preparation for the event I surveyed the contents of the Parts Department.  (Boy, do I have a LOT of half-square triangles.)  As usual when I look at these units and blocks I think, "But I could do something with this . . . and this . . . and, oh, these will be great for thus-and-such . . ." and back into the box they go.




But these blocks I happily offer to you.  The design is from  Playful Petals by Corey Yoder I made five blocks and prepared five additional pairs of petals before I went on to other things.

These blocks can be yours!

Between today and Monday, March 23, leave a comment.  I will choose the winner on Tuesday, March 24.

Anyone is welcome to comment but in order to qualify for the drawing you MUST meet these criteria:
(a)  Your comment must include the title and author of the book that you're reading or listening to now. (Fiction, nonfiction, adult, YA, juvenile. Surely you are reading something!)  If you only give the title it doesn't count. If you only give the author it doesn't count.
(b)  You must have an e-mail address so I can notify you if you are the winner.  If you don't provide an e-mail address it doesn't count.
(c)   You must have a U.S. mailing address.

Thanks for your interest -- and thanks again to Cynthia for hosting the link up.
See what other cool stuff is on offer HERE !


Monday, March 16, 2020

Weekly update: Covid-19 upsets nearly everything -- but we quilt on!

The Corona Virus, or Covid-19, is officially a global pandemic.  Universities are closed (many for the remainder of the term), schools are closed (two or three weeks as of now), libraries and museums are closed.

I had five events to juggle on Saturday (two with my husband).  Kiwanis pancake breakfast was postponed, AAUW was cancelled, LCCCA concert was cancelled. The Zion Woman's Club / Zion Conservatory of Music fundraising luncheon was cancelled. The caterer had already bought the food and she was able to package all the meals "to go." They tried to notify everyone who'd bought a ticket to pick up their meals at the caterer's storefront.  (I did, and the reuben sandwiches were very good.)

The one Saturday event that was still on was a celebration of life for a friend's husband. I did go, and I'm glad that I did. Since I only knew my friend and her stepson I didn't stay very long.

Our church held service Sunday morning (about 60 people who sat with spouse/partner/family but apart from everyone else; no coffee hour) and Lenten Bible study Sunday evening (about 10 people).

The week ahead, and into the week after that, have been pretty much swept clean of activities.  We have lots of food, lots of toilet paper and paper towels.  (If we get really, really desperate I have a drawer full of fancy paper napkins that I have refrained from using out of a conviction that the right occasion has not yet occurred.)  We have stacks of books.  And, of course, I have a studio full of fabric and a long list of quilting projects that I need to make and even more that I want to make.

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And with that:  here's the finish for this week!

It's 72 x 80. I managed to quilt it on my domestic sewing machine (Janome 8200) by doing one quarter at a time.  I used free-motion swoops and swirls in the blocks and free-motion parallel lines in the setting triangles.

The Little Windows blocks were made by members of the ALA Biblioquilters. The quilt will be in the silent auction at the ALA Annual conference in June.



 The left over blocks were pieced into the back. I had almost, but not quite, enough of one fabric for the backing.

Linking up with other confined-to-(fat)quarters quilters:
Oh Scrap!
Monday Making
Design Wall Monday

And wash your hands!




Sunday, March 8, 2020

Weekly update: Luncheon winnings and a concert, RSC teal, Frolic dispatched, and the next project


The Lake County Women's Coalition Women's History Month Celebration was Saturday. The theme was "Valiant Women of the Vote in Lake County."  The Zion Woman's Club honoree was my friend and former coworker Rosemary who spearheaded the voter registration program at the library. The AAUW honoree was Sally who has coordinated AAUW's voter registration program and moderated many candidate forums.

There is a silent auction and raffle to raise funds for LCWC scholarships for women over 30 studying at the College of Lake County. They awarded three this year.

I contributed Crystal Chain (which I made a couple of years ago) and a tote bag of advance reader copies (books from ALA) to the auction which brought in a respectable $250.00. I bought $30 in raffle tickets and won $100 in the split-the-pot drawing and a $50 Visa gift card!










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Saturday evening DH and I enjoyed Ladysmith Black Mambazo in concert. We'd seen them once before -- at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, back in 1996.  Wonderful a cappella singing and such energy!





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I made teal/aqua HSTs and rail fence units for the March Rainbow Scrap Challenge.





I made a quick tote bag for an upcoming event.
(I have got to remember to make the panels wide rather than tall!)



Here is Frolic as a flimsy. I added a 2-1/2" outer border to stabilize the edges.  I pieced the back (no photo) and took top/back/batting to Barb-the-quilter.   My March OMG is accomplished!
I sorted out and filed all the leftover units (there were a lot) and reshelved the yardage.

Now I am auditioning the Little Windows blocks contributed by the Biblioquilters. This is one of the 2020 auction quilts.

I came up with three settings and asked for opinions.  Can you guess which one the FB groups preferred? Can you guess which one I'll use?


Linking up with
RSC Scrap Happy Saturday
Oh Scrap!
 Monday Making
 Design Wall Monday

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Weekly update: February stash report, March plans, and something new

Rabbit, rabbit! Here's the March Hare to bring in the new month.

(The February 28 Google doodle commemorated Sir John Tenniel's 200th birthday)

The GFWC-IL Tenth District art show/luncheon was Wednesday.   I entered Crown of Thorns in
Category 5 (Embroidery, Quilting, Tatting) (a strange combination, considering that "wall hangings" is a separate category) and won second place.  P.E.O. friends Jeannine and Nancy, both members of the Antioch Woman's Club, won ribbons, as did Regina and Judy who are fellow members of the Zion Woman's Club (the one I belong to).

Stash report for February:
Fabric OUT: 73-1/8 yards
Fabric IN: 83-3/4 yards, $350, avg. $4.19/yd

YTD fabric OUT: 169 yards
YTD fabric IN: 201-1/2 yards, $405, average $1.92/yd


Frolic in the homestretch, March 1
More fabric came in than went out in February. I took advantage of the final days of a local Joann's store closing (they gave up their lease) -- 20% off 70% reductions was a good deal!  And, as I showed in the previous post, I couldn't resist the vendor mall at QuiltCon.   But I sent two boxes of random scraps to quilting friends that accounted for 40 yards out!

My OMG for February was to assemble the blocks for Frolic.  I managed to do that and also to set them.  My OMG for March is to add the borders, prepare the backing, and deliver it to Barb J., the long-armer. Frolic will be the 2020 AAUW spring raffle quilt and ticket sales will begin with the AAUW Fellows Luncheon on April 13.  HERE is the OMG March link up. 

Here is this week's spontaneous creation (confession: I was postponing Frolic).  I discovered that piecing slab blocks is an easy and somewhat addictive way to deal with scraps.   I've set them several ways:  here and here and here and here.  I opened a box with 6-1/2" x 9-1/2" batik slabs and put them on the design wall.  I tried this arrangement -- sort of a descending rail fence -- but it didn't appeal to me.  I tried another arrangement -- four slabs around a square -- and that worked!  (62 x 72; 3-3/4 yards, by weight.)

Linking up with other quilters:
Oh, Scrap!
 Design Wall Monday
 Monday Making 

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

TexFestDos and QuiltCon

The Magpies flocked together in Texas last week for our biennial in-person meet up (called TexFestDos because we had TexFest in 2016).  QuiltCon was in Austin. Our hostesses live in San Marcos and New Braunfels. They provided both quilty inspiration and hospitality.

Most of us arrived on Wednesday, either to San Antonio or Austin (that was Anna and me).

Carla and Gary's ca. 1900 farmhouse southeast of San Marcos was our central meeting place.

There were 16 of us from Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Illinois (two), Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, California, British Columbia, and Texas (five). Two friends from Colorado and Texas came and one husband (plus the hostesses' husbands).

Most of us stayed at a hotel just a mile away. (Several had rental cars (including me) so transportation was easy.)

On Thursday we all went to the Austin Convention Center for QuiltCon.  There was inspiration and artistry in abundance!




I met two friends:  Karen (KaHolly) recognized me at the ticket booth.  Dale is a librarian and quilter who lives north of Austin.



















Modern quilts have evolved from the large block / minimalist / mostly solids of just a few years ago.

 [Upper left is by Victoria Findlay Wolfe, part of an entire retrospective exhibit of her work.]

I have the details for each of these if you want to know more about them.
























To qualify for the charity quilts exhibit the quilts had to be made by a group, feature words, and use only black, white, and gray.










The antique/vintage Amish quilts are from the Esprit Collection.







We indulged in retail therapy at the many vendors and had time for a group photo.











Friday was a free day.  I drove back to Austin not to revisit the show but to have lunch with long-time friends, both librarians, who live in Austin. (Pat has retired and Laurie is almost-retired.)  It was lovely to catch up. 

Saturday was busy!  We began with a FaceTime call.  Australian Magpies Terri and Gilly were in London and British Magpie Caroline came down from Sheffield to meet them.   We also called Canadians Lynne in Toronto and Diane in Victoria, BC.













We got into various cars and headed for San Antonio.  First stop:  Las Colchas, a charming quilt shop just north of downtown.  How do they pack so much fabric into that little yellow house?










A "suspicious package" at the Alamo meant it was closed to tourists until the police declared it cleared.  Instead we went down to the Riverwalk and took a boat/barge ride.  Well, eleven of us did. We spotted three other Magpies on one of the bridges. They had the R.C.T.Q. banner (that's the newsgroup where we met online lo those many years ago) and unfurled it as our boat went past.  (The boat pilot temporarily stopped his schtick as we hollered, "RCTQ! Go Magpies!")




That evening it was dinner and a show at Marie and Ronnie's in New Braunfels.  We enjoyed barbecue (beef, sausage, pork) and all the fixings (slaw, potato salad, beans) in the bunkhouse dining room.











After that Ronnie, Gary, Ronnie's sons (and friends) gave a calf roping demonstration.  [They compete on the national circuit.]






Sunday was another free day.  I drove 80 miles east to Brenham, the town where I had my first professional library job (1975-79).  I arrived in time for the worship service at the church where I was an active member. The welcome was very cordial. I recognized one couple (she knew me right away). Two other women introduced themselves to me after they were reminded who I was. (I've reconnected on FB with a church member who's a quilter but she wasn't there. I only decided to make the drive late Saturday.)   After church I drove around the city seeing the library (the new building opened a couple of years ago), a glimpse of the garage apartment where I lived, and other neighborhoods.  Yes, it's grown, but the backbone network of streets from the oldest parts of town (it was settled in the 1840's) hasn't changed.

My apartment was the upper floor of the white building at that you can barely see behind the house.   I was not bold enough to go farther than the curb. 

Back in San Marcos Sunday evening:  we wound down from the emotional high of our busy, memorable weekend.   Everyone was tired and we turned in early.  






My roommate had an early flight out of San Antonio and was up at 4 a.m. Monday.   Anna and I left for the Austin airport at 8:30 -- her flight was before noon, mine after noon, but it was just as easy for us to ride together.  

I was HOME at 6 p.m.  My husband was happy to see me and I was happy to see him!  

2022 will be the Magpies' 25th anniversary.  We're already talking about where we will gather to celebrate.



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The tote bags that I made as favors were well-received. They are light weight but sturdy and we discovered that they hold a lot of fabric. 

(My tote is the rolled-up green in the center.) 



Here's my stash enhancement -- fabric from the show, from Las Colchas, and some giveaways.  37 yards in all.  I was able to fit it into my suitcase without having to unzip the expansion panel.  I guess I could have bought more!