Monday, November 11, 2019

Weekly update: the kitchen, BOM reveal, and a new flimsy

 Our house was built in 1972. When the original owners remodeled the kitchen in 1985 they moved the old cabinets  and sink to the basement.  The past couple of weeks that double-basin sink has come in very handy.  I can do meal prep in the bathrooms (his or mine) but those basins are not convenient for washing dishes.

Below, right, shows the Instant Pot and crockpot  on my 44-year-old card table. The microwave is set up in the garage.

The kitchen and dining room walls had been covered in acres and acres and acres of floral wallpaper since 1985. When it was stripped it revealed burnt orange.   That color certainly goes with those dark 70's cabinets!

The contractor says that the new cabinets will be installed this week.

I was lead hostess for the Zion Woman's Club meeting on Tuesday.  I mixed the cake in the bathroom and my next door neighbor let me use her oven to bake it. 

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The 14th Corporate Community Spelling Bee was Thursday.  I was on the library team. We came in 2nd (I misspelled "eremetic," a word I had never heard before).  I donated  Scrappy Cedar Trees to the raffle.  [It is gray and brown, not purple.] My friend and colleague Deb was the delighted winner.
In turn, I won a basket with Christmas decor (which I will donate to the AAUW holiday auction) and a basket with beauty supplies AND a gift certificate for a pedicure at my salon.

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On to quilting!

"Honey, Let's Go to Home Depot!" was Joan Cain's humorous presentation about hardware store items for the quilter -- from clips and clamps to magnetic parts bowls (great for pins).  She encourages us to save money on the tools and spend money on good fabric at the local quilt shop. 

The wonky house BOM was revealed.  It was fun to see everyone's fabric choices and colorways. (There was a cat in every window in one quilt; another was embellished with embroidery.)

Each of us who had a BOM quilt or a flimsy was eligible to win prizes.  My number was drawn second -- a $50 Home Depot gift certificate, a pattern, a book, and a fabric panel.

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In the studio:   after I played around with arrangements of half-square triangles(see last week's update) I went back to my original idea.  Here's the flimsy, 66 x 75.  Doesn't it sparkle?

The Monday link ups:
Monday Making
Oh Scrap!
Design Wall Monday

P.S.  We woke up to this this morning.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Weekly update: auditioning HST settings and aimless piecing

I made 550 black-and-something HSTs (3-1/2" unfinished). The plan was to set them in 25 rows of 22.

The design wall wasn't large enough to hold all of them.

The row-by-row setting is sparkly but I wondered what alternate designs might be.

Spectacular Scraps by Judy Hooworth and Margaret Rolfe is one of my favorite quilt design books. They use the triangle permutations described by French mathematician Dominique Douat -- 256 ways to arrange 8 triangles (or, for quilters:  4 half-square triangles).
I've come up with these so far.  Right now I'm leaning toward the pinwheel (#3, top row) and the big round-upon-round (top right). Or the streak of lightning (bottom #3).  Because the not-black triangles vary from very light to quite dark I think I need a design that emphasizes where the blacks come together.

I will probably consider the options until I am tired of my indecision or I have to put something else on the design wall.

I pulled out the box of black/white/gray scraps. So far I've made some slab blocks, some Ohio Stars, and some 16-patches. It's nice to have some aimless piecing for a change.

Monday linkups:
Oh Scrap!
Design Wall Monday
Monday Making

Friday, November 1, 2019

The stash report and November goals

Roses on Sunday. 

Roses on Thursday, the snowiest Halloween in Chicagoland history.

(We did not have trick or treaters.)

Surely the rabbit, rabbits are hunkered down today. The temperature will go above 40 so all the snow will become a sloppy mess.

(Here is the explanation of the "rabbit, rabbit" good luck legend.)

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On the first day of  our October vacation we stopped in a small town in northwest Indiana.  There was a quilt shop so naturally I went in. They had a clearance section ($3/yd) so I indulged a little -- but just a little, since it was the first day.  It turned out that those bargains were the major souvenir purchase.   With that, here's the October stash report:

Fabric IN, October:  11-5/8 yards, $28.00 ($2.39/yard)
Fabric OUT, October:  47-1/4 yards

Fabric IN, January-October: 500-5/8 yards, $1413, average $2.82/yard
Fabric OUT, January-October: 451-5/8 yards
Net increase:  49 yards

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I thought that the final ten tote bags for the Nepal school project would be my November OMG, but I made them all this week.  (The photo shows the ten for October and the final ten.)

So my OMG is more modest:  a small bookshelf quilt for a former library coworker who is retiring this month.

I'm linking up to OMG at Elm Street Quilts where you can see what other quiltmakers are planning.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Weekly update: OMG and work in progress

Monarchs were fluttering around weigela bushes at the marina in Crisfield (see the previous posts for the account of our trip).

There is work in progress in the studio, which you'll see later in this post -- but here's the work in progress upstairs.   I spent two days this week packing up the contents of the kitchen cabinets.  Our housecleaner's regular day was Wednesday. I told her it was useless to clean the kitchen so she helped pack.  I was grateful that she was there.

The cabinets were removed Thursday. The electricians capped and drilled on Friday.

The refrigerator is in the dining room.  The coffee maker is in my bathroom. We're using paper plates but washing cutlery in the bathroom. (The original kitchen sink was moved to the basement in the 1985 remodeling but it's a bit of a hassle to go downstairs to rinse out coffee cups.)

I unearthed the crockpot.  I bought an Instant Pot, which I've considered doing for a long time. So far so good.  The hassle is not having water right at hand.

I compare the project to banging your head against the wall -- it  will feel so good to quit.


It's time for the One Monthly Goal link up hosted by Patty at Elm Street Quilts.  [I keep typing Elm Creek Quilts, thinking of Jennifer Chiaverini's long-running series. (Did you know there's a new ECQ book out this fall? I have the advance copy but haven't read it yet.)]

My OMG was once again two parts.  I accomplished both.

#1   Ten more tote bags for the Nepal school project.  (I promised to make forty -- twenty in September, these ten, and ten to go.)

#2  Set the wonky house blocks that were the guild BOM for 2019-20.

All the houses are made from polka-dot fabric. The setting was inspired by Freddy Moran who uses black/white/bright in all her designs.

All participants in the BOM who bring quilt tops (or finished quilts) to the November meeting will qualify to win prizes.

As for quilting WIPS:  I have made six more Nepal tote bags and have the fabric for the last four cut.  I plan to finish them this week and send them off.

And here's something new!  The HSTs are 3.5" unfinished.  Right now I'm considering making 25 rows of 22 (66" x 75"). That's 550 HSTs. That could be a nice leisurely project -- make a few, put them away, make a few more -- but I predict I'll charge ahead. 

P.S. I contributed Purple Mountain Peaks to raffle at the Zion Woman's Club annual bunco party on Friday.  The winner was delighted.

Linking up with
One Monthly Goal
Oh, Scrap!
Design Wall Monday
Monday Making
....with thanks to Em for hosting Moving It Forward at Em's Scrap Bag . I'm going to check out her new scrap quilt group on Facebook.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Quilts on the trip

 Of course I spot textiles wherever I go!

At the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio:  campaign quilts and bandannas.

 A dress made from fabric printed with James Garfield's portrait.   And the wearer couldn't cast a vote in that 1880 election.

 Autographed blocks from Garfield's era.

 Early sewing machines and a haberdashery at Harpers Ferry.
A contemporary quilt at the Applachian Trail Conservancy, Bolivar, WV, with ATC patches.

A quilt and a pillow at the museum on Smith Island.
Closeup of the pillow label.

This elegant quilt was on the bed at the Teackle Mansion in Princess Anne, MD.  There was no identification.

The quilting and trapunto are beautiful.

Vacation, 2019, part 3: on the way home

I wrote that I wanted to avoid the Baltimore/DC rush hour traffic.  Even at 11 a.m. the highways around the city were crowded!   In western Maryland I made the mistake of staying on I-70 rather than taking I-68 to I-79.  Both routes end in Washington, PA, but  I-70 goes north into Pennsylvania -- twisting mountainous roads mostly under construction.  My arms ached from gripping the steering wheel.

I turned at the first sign of a motel in Washington, PA -- a vintage 1970's Ramada Inn at the top of a hill.  This was the sunset view.

Saturday morning we headed west on I-70.  At the first rest stop in Ohio we saw this camper at the end of the parking lot.  The man on duty explained that their church men's group parks the camper one Saturday a month. They give out free coffee, soda, and snacks.

We pulled off the highway at Norwich, a few miles east of Zanesville.  This pottery outlet was next door to the gas station.  I checked it out.  A sign for Ransbottom pottery seemed familiar. I asked the man at the counter how long the outlet had been in business. "Since 1978," he said. That confirmed it:  when we moved from Kansas to Maine in 1982 I stopped here.  I still use the Ransbottom utensil crock I bought that day.  (I didn't buy anything this time.)

Conestoga freight wagon: construction truck of the day

The National Road / Zane Grey Museum is just a mile from the pottery outlet. We stopped in and are so glad we did. 

The museum has three features.  First, the National Road: authorized by Congress in 1806, construction left up to the states. An exquisitely-detailed diorama shows the building of the road from Cumberland, MD, to Vandalia, IL.

Parts of the National Road are still visible (if you know where to look).  US-40 and I-70 cover the route today.

The second part of the museum is about Zanesville, Ohio's famous son, Zane Grey.  His great-great-grandfather Ebenezer Zane founded the town.  He got a baseball scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating with a degree in dentistry he opened a practice in New York, where he met and married his wife.  Dentistry was his profession but the outdoors and writing were his passions.  His first best-selling novel, Riders of the Purple Sage, was published in 1912.  He realized the potential of movies and his books were made into silent and then talking pictures.  He was the first millionaire American author. The Greys eventually settled in California.  He was an avid hunter and fisherman. He and Hemingway went on a hunting trip together. They did not get along.
Grey's California study 

Art pottery 
The third part of the museum was dedicated to Ohio's art pottery industry.  I learned about Roseville, Weller, Hull, McCoy, etc., in the 1970's from one of my library patrons who had an extensive collection.   I wasn't bitten by that particular bug but I do appreciate the art form.

Utilitarian pottery
The men made the clay slurry and molded the pieces. The women applied the glaze and decoration.

And with that our touring was over.   We got to Indianapolis on Saturday night (more road construction!).   We left early Sunday morning and were HOME at noon.

Ten days, nine nights, 2,284 miles -- a thoroughly good trip!