Monday, April 22, 2019

Weekly update: Easter greetings, OMG, and something new

Easter in black and white:  the four Hilyard children in 1955 (Betsy, Steve, Barbara, Dave) and the Blaine girls in 1956.  (Mangel's Florist in Skokie had photos with Santa and the Easter Bunny.)

60 + years later, 2019:  it was sunny and warm today (in contrast to the record-setting snow on Palm Sunday).    I got the peonies staked.
There are two patches of bloodroot (a wildflower) in the garden. The daffodils are in full bloom.

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In the studio:   I finished the fourth tote bag.
That means I've completed all five parts of my stated One Monthly Goal for April.

I was thinking about what to sew after the tote bags.   I was also mindful of the tragic fire at Notre Dame Cathedral.  One of the relics rescued was the crown of thorns. (Yes, I know it is probably not THE crown of thorns but it's been regarded as such for centuries.)  Then I flipped to the April 17 page of Nancy Martin's perpetual calendar.

The block is also known as Single Wedding Ring (with a varation called  Handy Andy) but Crown of Thorns was appropriate this week.  I dipped into the box of 3.5" batik HSTs and started sewing.

The blocks are 15.5" unfinished. I figured out a pieced sashing.  You'll need to tune in later this week to see how that turns out.

Monday link ups:
Monday Making
Oh, Scrap!
Moving It Forward
Design Wall Monday

Friday, April 19, 2019

While I'm here: tote bag #3

Since I'm logged on:  here is tote bag #3 out of the four I've pledged to make for the April OMG.

I made the Seminole bands a long time ago.  I bought Simply Seminole by Dorothy Hanisko when it came out (1997!).  I went through a brief spell of practical patchwork during which trimmed a couple of sets of bath towels and a couple of sets of bed sheets.  These particular bands were part of 10+ feet, most of which I gave away in last month's Orphan Adoption   I saved enough to use on the front and back of this tote bag.

I've gotten more confident about fabric choices and thus my style is scrappier.  It may be time to revisit Simply Seminole and use some of the patterns in a full-sized quilt. 

Linking up with other quilt makers this Friday at Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? 

Remembering Gwen Marston

 A light in the quilting world went out this week when Gwen Marston passed away at her home on Beaver Island, Michigan.

Though I never got to take a workshop with Gwen -- let alone attend one of the legendary retreats at her home and studio on Beaver Island -- I did see her in person when she gave the program  for the Village Quilters in 2014

Her liberated quilt designs are rooted in tradition, not always abstract, not yet modern -- and always an inspiration.

Gwen will be missed but not forgotten as hundreds of quilt makers incorporate her ideas into their work for years to come. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Midweek: tote bag #2

Here's the second of four tote bags I need to make.   (Two for the AAUW-IL convention, two for the Rotary golf outing.)

I made a similar bag in 2013 . Both use a pattern by  Heather Willm in her book Hopscotch Quilts. (That's the only pattern in the book that interests me.  I ought to copy it and then pass the book along.)  [Funny that I cannot think of tearing out pages from this or any book though I don't mind tearing out pages from a magazine.]

On to tote bag #3!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Weekly update: lighting the way, onion snow, and catching up in the studio

Travelers in unfamiliar territory need a good lantern to dispel shadows and illuminate the path.
At Tuesday's AAUW meeting  Helena Abushamaa told us about her temporal and spiritual journeys. She grew up in Sweden in a non-religious, culturally Protestant family, and came to the U.S. for graduate school. After intense self-reflection she made the ultimate decision to become a Muslim.  She and her husband moved to the Chicago area and have raised their family here. She is now a religious educator at a local mosque. She shared the tenets of the faith with us and answered our many questions.  [Since the sun set during her program she incorporated her evening prayer into the presentation. She explained what she said (it was Arablic, of course).]

           The 13th annual AAUW Fellows Luncheon was Saturday.  Dr. Jelena Radovic-Fanta told us about her journey and extended stay in Chile.  Jelena is a cultural anthropologist on the faculty at Governors State University. She received an AAUW American Fellowship to support her research on the temporeras, women seasonal workers in Chilean vineyards.  They harvest grapes for export to the U.S. and Canada.  (“Economic growth is one thing,” Jelena said. “Economic development is another.”)  Though health and safety regulations are on the books they are largely unenforced.  There are few other jobs available in the small agricultural towns in central Chile.  An influx of Haitian immigrants brings workers to fill vacancies that the temporeras’  high school- (and often college-) educated children leave in the workforce.

              The names Helena and Jelena have their root in the Greek “ele,” meaning light, bright, torch.  Their lanterns shed light on cultures and economies unfamiliar to us.   Our journeys are all the more satisfying because we are better-informed.

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It started snowing during church service on Palm Sunday!    Stevens was the reader. He and the pastor were at the pulpit for an unplanned duet. :)
The children's play was great fun.

Monday morning 
"Onion snow" is a Pennsylvania Dutch term meaning a snowfall after the onions have sprouted.   Instead of onions here are iris. (The snow covered up the crocuses.)    The temperatures will be above freezing today so we'll back to spring green soon.

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It was so good to get the Churn Dash quilt completed! (See the previous post.) I mailed it and the other two group quilts (Ripples  and  Jeweled Windows) to ALA.  I also sent On Ringo Lake as my own contribution.

Other accomplishments this week:

(a)  Round #4 of the guild round robin.  I added the umbrellas and HSTs.   (I received The Cat in the Hat for my fifth birthday. It was probably a first edition, but I wasn't into the finer points of bibliophily back then.  The story always bothered me. Decades later I realized why:  the Cat and Things One and Two violated Sally and Me's personal space without so much as a by-your-leave. I sided with the apoplectic goldfish.)

(b)  RSC April -- 30 turquoise pinwheels (though I miscounted and made 32 :))  I put all the blocks for January-April up on the design wall just to see the array.

(c)  Twin Sisters blocks (6-1/2" unfin) for the April Block Lotto. I promptly sewed the cutaway triangles into HSTs.

(d)  The April wonky house for the guild BOM.

This is the rough layout (per the project designer). Four months to go.

(e)  One of four tote bags that are part of my April OMG.

I used leftovers for the inner pocket.

I'm auditioning fabric for the next tote bag.

Monday link ups:
Rainbow Scrap Challenge
Design Wall Monday
Monday Making
Oh Scrap!
Moving It Forward

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Let's call it a design element

I finished the churn dash quilt yesterday.  The blocks were made by fellow members of the ALA Biblioquilters.   I posted the photos to the ALABQ section of the ALA Connect website and looked again..

OMG.  There is a block turned around.  Mind you, this quilt is FINISHED -- quilted, bound, labeled.

You can call it an error or go along with me and call it a design element.  :)

The backing is a thrift-shop sheet. The quilt is 72 x 72. The churn dashes are 9", 6", and 3". The design is by Amy Ellis and is the cover quilt on  this book .

Monday, April 8, 2019

Weekly update: a nice gift

 On Monday I gave "Every Quilt Tells a Story" for the Waukegan Woman's Club. I knew a couple of the members from AAUW and P.E.O. and had met others on other occasions.  My presentation includes vintage/antique quilts from my collection and a selection of my own work. I ask club members to bring quilts of their own (received as gifts, inherited, or those they've made) and talk about them.  I charge $50 (clubs don't have big program budgets -- I know!) and mileage (if it's more than 10 miles from home). WWC had a plated lunch which was very good.
       Several people have expressed interest in the quilts that I show.  There are some photos in this post

At quilt guild on Wednesday we learned tips for sewing machine maintenance.  Sharon, the speaker, reminded us to clip thread from the spool and draw the tail out through the needle, rather than pulling the thread up (backwards) through the tension discs.

Benartex had a blog hop in February. Each participating blogger offered a giveaway. I won this 10-piece FQ bundle from my entry at  Carol's  Just Let Me Quilt .

I've begun turquoise/teal pinwheels for this month's RSC .  My plan in 2019 is to make a pinwheel for each day of the month in that month's color plus gray/white/taupe.

Under the needle now:  the churn dash quilt. I hope to finish it tomorrow because I need to send it to the ALA conference office.  I'll post a full-on photo when it's all done.  (The backing is a thrift-shop sheet.)

Today's link ups:
So Scrappy
Design Wall Monday
Monday Making
Moving It Forward
Oh, Scrap!

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Weekly update: vintage treasures, a finish, the stash report, and plans for April

Because I spent Friday at the quilt show I couldn't go to the first day of a Waukegan estate sale.  A Featherweight was advertised and I'd have been tempted.    When I got there on Saturday morning the FW was long gone ($200, he said).   It was 50% off day. This flimsy was $2.50 and the 1932 booklet was .50. I also got 6 yards of fabric for $3.00.

There is a hole in the center of the center block.

I may re-set the blocks, but they are pretty worn and it may not be worth the time. I'm content to own it!

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I finished quilting the scrappy strip quilt.  I didn't like the proportions with sashing on the top and bottom so I removed those rows.    It's 54 x 69.

The pieced back has a "zipper" insert that I learned from Mary Ellen Hopkins.

Left photo: with top/bottom sashing.

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Stash report, March:
Fabric in:  60-1/4, $339, average $5.60/yard
Fabric out: 62-5/8
Year to date:
Fabric in: 95-1/4, $374, average $3.92/yard
Fabric out: 139-3/4 
 Net:  44-1/2 out.

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My April goals:
*  ALA Biblioquilters churn dash quilt
*  2 tote bags for AAUW Gender Equity Fund
*  2 tote bags for Rotary Golf Outing

Linking up with
 Oh Scrap!
 Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal
 Design Wall Monday
 Moving It Forward

P.S.  I took advantage of warehouse clearance sales from Martingale and AQS.  The list price of these 43 books is $971. I paid $226 (and free shipping).

Quilt Show Report

Nann and Cathy
Irene and I went to the Quilt Festival at Rosemont on Friday.  We always start with the quilt exhibits and then go shopping. 

We'd just begun the first aisle when someone said, "You're Nann!"  I said I was and she introduced herself.  It was Cathy, whose blog is Sane Crazy Crumby Quilting .  She and her friend left Iowa at 6 a.m. to get to the show.

  The quilts on display were lovely as always, though there weren't any that knocked my socks off. There was only one exhibit that prohibited photography. (There have been more no-photo exhibits at previous shows and I have complained.) 

This was an interesting group exhibit.  There were fifteen? eighteen? quilts made from a pattern of this sampler quilt.

The original is on the right.  (The date is in the center, second row from the bottom.)

The new versions had a variety of colorways. One woman made four!

The vendor mall was about half the size of previous years.  The closeout companies were absent.   A couple of bargains lowered the average price for my total 22 yards to about $10/yd.   I stuck to my shopping list -- white-with black, more DaGama indigos -- and indulged a wee bit with some Australian prints.

 This is the last year that Quilts Inc. will have a Chicago show. They haven't announced a location for spring, 2020.   Indianapolis? St. Louis? Kansas City?  I'd go to any of those!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

OMG -- Good Fortune at last

The reworked corner + a peek at the backing

My One Monthly Goal for March was to rework the outer border on Good Fortune, the Quiltville 2018 mystery quilt.   The first three borders fit fine but each outer border was 3" short.  My first attempt to fix them -- inserting a chunk of blue on each end of each border -- was clunky.  I took the borders off, pressed them well and measured them carefully.  I still needed inserts and chose orange.  All went together.

I took the quilt to Barb, the LAQ (long-arm quilter).  When I picked it up yesterday she showed me where I'd gone wrong.  "But I measured!" I said.  She said I should have measured the assembled blocks first, then measured after attaching each border.  The error began between borders #1 and #2.  All the seams made them grow.  Nonetheless, Barb was miraculously able to tame the wavy outer border and it looks just fine.

I attached the binding last evening and will affix the label today.  This is the 2019 AAUW spring raffle quilt. I hope the proceeds will bring Good Fortune for AAUW's efforts for equity for women and girls.

See what other quiltmakers have accomplished this month at the OMG linkup at Elm Street Quilts.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Weekly update: orchids, two finishes, and more scrappy blocks

The week began with a visit to the orchid show at Chicago Botanic Garden .  It's become so popular that it now opens in mid-February and ends at the end of March. We know better than to try to visit on weekends -- far too crowded!  The library offers half-price admission passes and I made sure to get one. 

It is impossible to take a bad photo of an orchid.

We checked out a wheelchair at the guest services desk. It made navigation much easier. The exhibit hall and greenhouse are a considerable distance from the visitor center.

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In the studio:  I finished quilting Red Rails 5.  I did straight lines through the centers of the units.  The backing is a floral sheet from Salvation Army.

I made this table runner as the Zion Woman's Club's door prize contribution for the 2019 GFWC-IL convention.  The design, by Jodie Davis, was published in a Fons & Porter leaflet circa 2013.  It's all batik, 14 x 34.

Once I get batiks out it's hard to put them away.  These scrappy blocks are 9.5".   After I took the photo I made four more.

But this week I need to get to work on the third of the ALA Biblioquilters quilts.  All the contributed blocks have arrived. I have a few more to make before I can assemble them.

Linking up with
 Oh, Scrap!
Monday Making (Table Mats)
 Design Wall Monday
 Moving It Forward

P.S. The equinoctal moon on Thursday morning.