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Monday, October 16, 2017

Weekly update: a flimsy, a center blocks, and totes

This embroidered piece has been on the wall in my studio for years. It's folded in thirds. I thought it was an odd kind of shelf liner. I learned this week (from a FB post by Diane Volk Harris) that it's the cover for a treadle sewing machine.

Here's the I Spy flimsy.  I had to buy fabric for the borders. The striped red and the bright-stars-on-blue are just right, I think. The novelties are cut 4.5 x 6.5 and the light blue strips are 2.5 x 4.5 so each block is 6.5 x 8.5.

I trimmed the cutaway HSTs to 1.5" so they're ready for another project.

I've signed up for a round robin with several  other NLCQG members.  It begins at the November meeting.  Here's my center block, a design by Piece O'Cake.

I've used eight of the twelve guild BOM paper-pieced blocks for tote bags.  Here are four tote outsides and one finished tote. 

Monday linkups:
Main Crush Monday
Oh, Scrap!
Monday Making
Design Wall Monday

Quilt show

The Village Quilters held their biennial show this weekend. Irene and I went on Friday afternoon.I have friends who are in VQ and it was fun to see their quilts. I enjoy local shows because of the range of quilts on display. Most are made for use on beds or as home decor, not just for competition.  (I love the (inter)national prizewinners, too, but they're a different bird.)     Here are some snapshots.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Weekly update: TV, totes, and a new start

 We have one TV. It's in the basement family room that is mostly my studio. There's a comfortable armchair where my husband sits. I sew.

Our new TV was delivered on Wednesday. It hadn't occurred to me that the maple washstand that served as the stand for the 12-year-old 19" TV would not be large enough.  My family's kitchen table from the 1950's was pressed into service. (It ceased being used as the kitchen table when we moved in 1962. It was in my dad's basement workshop until my sister and I cleaned out the house in 2002. It's been in my basement laundry room.)   I now need to find places to put the things that were on top of and under that table.

Here's the table in use.  (My mother in 1955, my sister in 1958.)  It's hard to imagine our family of four sitting around that little dinette table, even when my sister and I were small.

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I've made three tote bags from the purple and green BOM blocks that I showed last week. More precisely, I have made three tote bag outsides and three sets of handles.  I need to quilt the bag outsides, cut and attach linings, and put them all together.  Each of the three uses two blocks, which means I have six blocks to find uses for. I'm kind of stuck on designs at the moment -- and the bright lime/purple combination is losing its appeal because there is so much of it. I'll set all that aside for a few days.

I've begun the next project: a quilt for a colleague whose baby is due in November.  A recent review of quilt magazines led to tearing out patterns (and pitching the remainder).

This is from a back issue of McCall's. The pattern is by Gerri Robinson.

Here's the I Spy version so far. I'm going to make 36 blocks.  [Novelties are cut 4-1/2 x 6-1/2. Sashes are cut 2-1/2 x 6-1/2.  Thus the blocks are 6 x 8.]

Monday linkups:
Main Crush Monday
Monday Making
Oh Scrap!
Design Wall Monday

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Weekly update: acquisitions

I took a box of stuff to Salvation Army this week and found these goodies to take home.

The Marimekko cotton print turned out to be 3-1/8 yards and 54" wide. Just $2!  It's home dec weight -- good for placemats or tote bags.

 I've had the same dogwood print tablecloth in red and in forest green.  I looked for more information and found out that the manufacturer is Weil and Durrse.

The linen tablecloth was never used.

I got the poinsettia tablecloth and these five handkerchiefs at an estate sale. I especially like the floral bouquet.

P.S. I wonder why dogwood was such a popular motif. I have these dogwood hankies in my collection.

How much is that quilt worth?

 Quilt care was the topic at the monthly meeting of the Northern Lake County Quilters' Guild on Wednesday evening.  Appraiser Sandy Schweitzer provided helpful information about keeping quilts in good shape. She showed one of her quilts that had hung in an office with fluorescent light. The fabric in the background and on the back were the same -- but the background was tan and the back was black.  Hanging a quilt, even on a hanging sleeve, can result in distortion after a long time.   She recommends giving quilts a rest from light and gravity.  If you stack unfolded quilts on a guest bed, rotate them so those on the bottom don't become permanently smashed.  It's okay to keep quilts in plastic tubs but each should be in a clean sack (like a cotton pillow case).

On Saturday the guild hosted a day of appraisals-by-appointment with Sandy. I signed up for five half-hour slots and took a box with seven quilts.  I wanted certified appraisals for four of them and took the others for her assessment/opinion.

This four-block Princess Feather is circa 1850. It's a summer spread, which means that it is not quilted. The seams are neatly finished and the stitching on the back hardly shows.

Some of the green fabric has faded to yellow. Some of the appliques need to be stitched down again.

 There are borders on three sides. The curves in the vine are symmetrical. The buds on the inside area all three-petal and the buds on the outside are all four-petal.

The appraised value is $250. (I paid $25 at a thrift shop.)

The unquilted flying geese strippy is in rough shape. The columns taper so one end is narrower than the other. There are some rips.  Most of the geese have nipped noses.  Sandy didn't appraise this but she told me it dates to the last quarter of the 19th century.

I took two HeartStrings quilts-- the "standard" 48 string-pieced blocks -- and asked about a fair value. When I donate a HS quilt to a community fundraiser I'm asked how much it's worth. Sandy said I can count the value of the materials but not my labor.   She pointed out that to achieve the scrappiness in HS quilts I could conceivably purchase 30 or 40 fat quarters.  Then there's the fabric for the foundations and backing, plus batting.  All bought new, about $250.  [Note this is an assessment, not a certified appraisal.]

In this photo Sandy is affixing her seal to the written appraisal for my bookshelf quilt.  In our three-year terms on the ALA Executive Board my colleague Janet and I made them to honor our fellow board members as their terms ended. (I pieced and quilted. Janet embellished.)   I've since made many bookshelf quilts for other library friends, but they don't have the embroidery and beading that Janet added.  The appraisal:  $650!

Sandy will do more research for the appraisals of the other two quilts I brought: 

Railroad Ties is the memory quilt I made in 2010 using my dad's neckties.
Appraised value: $1800.00.

Stars in Her Crown is the quilt I made in honor of Lulu Corkhill Williams and her service to P.E.O.
Appraised value: $2950.00.

Monday, October 2, 2017

OMG: October sampler blocks

Our guild block-of-the-month theme for 2016-17 was paper foundation piecing (pfp)from simple to complex.  Some of the blocks were well-suited for pfp. Others could have been made conventionally, but they'd require tricky cutting because the blocks finish at 7".  I chose purple and lime green because I have a lot of both in my stash and I like the combination.  I made all the blocks.

 At the November guild meeting participants can reveal how they've set their blocks (finished quilts are optional).  Prizes will be awarded. (I'm not sure of all the categories.)

I haven't made many sampler quilts. I like trying different blocks. I certainly enjoy combining different colors and fabric prints.  What bothers me about samplers is that the blocks often have different densities that are visually unbalanced. Some blocks have a few large units and others have many smaller units.

That imbalance is what confronted me with the pfp blocks. I have had them up and down on the design wall for weeks.

I thought about making a table runner. I'd slice the log cabin block to make the top and bottom triangles.  Note that the basket block is up but the pine tree block points off to the side.

I realized that as much as I like purple and green I could not imagine a quilt or a runner made out of these prints and these tones of purple and green.  I don't have to enter the November show-off-your sampler.  The imbalance (that spool block!) would exist even if I remade them all in a different colorway.  I decided to divide the blocks and thus conquer the setting dilemma. 

Finding settings for all of them is my October One Monthly Goal.  I have two solutions (four blocks) in progress.  This tote bag uses the design I created for the batik maple leaf bag shown in the previous post.  It's shown sideways. The wide green strip is the bottom of the bag.

Years ago I made a bunch of 6"(fin.) trip-around-the-world blocks.

I sliced four of them diagonally to make corners for two of the sampler blocks.  I'm fiddling with how to use others of them for tote bag sides.

That takes care of four sampler blocks. Eight to go!

I'm linking up with
Elm Street Quilts OMG
Design Wall Monday
Monday Making
Main Crush Monday

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Weekly update: starts and finishes, September stash report

Rabbit, rabbit!  It's the first of the month.

I can boast of four small projects, started and finished this week.

This mug rug is a birthday gift for a friend who likes dragonflies. 

This mug rug will accompany some books and cookies as a get-well gift for another friend.  The 6" maple leaf block was in the orphan blocks box.

 I used two more orphan maple leaves for this tote bag.  (The other side is similar to this one. The leaf has slightly different colors.)  I fiddled with strips until I got to the size I wanted.

I'll fill the tote with advance reader copies (forthcoming books) and donate it to the silent auction/raffle at the Zion Woman's Club Bunco Night later in October.

I just joined Elm Street Quilts Bag It challenge. This is my first entry! 

Vino Row is a 12x40 runner for a wine-themed gift basket that my sorority alumnae club is donating to a fundraiser.  The pattern is by Carolyn Reardon and was published in McCall's Quilting, May/June 2017.  The gentle curves were easy to sew.

Stash report for September:
January-August fabric in:  250-5/8, $1005.14
September fabric in: 125-7/8, $149  (I went to two estate sales and a garage sale: avg. $1.18/yd)
YTD fabric in: 376-1/2, $1154.14, $3.07/yd

January-August fabric out: 384-3/4
September fabric out: 32-1/4
YTD fabric out: 417

YTD net: 40-1/2 out

I plan to stay away from estate sales in October (at least, those with fabric)!

Weekly linkups:  Oh Scrap!
Bag It
Design Wall Monday
Monday Making
Main Crush Monday