Sunday, December 25, 2011

DWM: Orca Bay 6 and Tomatoes

Has it really been six weeks since we began our journey to Orca Bay?  These Ohio Star blocks are pretty snappy as they are -- but I know that Bonnie will combine these with the red string triangles, the blue string squares, and the black/white 'orcas' in another memorable design.    Here are other Orca Bay  and  Design Wall  updates.  
DH's Christmas Eve dining:  the last two tomatoes from our vegetable garden.   The vines were pulled out in October. These have been ever-so-slowly ripening in the refrigerator.

I made this bookshelf quilt for a coworker who is leaving the library at the end of this month.  I've lost track of how many bookshelf quilts I've made. Thirty, perhaps? 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
This bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad,
The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.
Hamlet: Act I, scene i

Sunday, December 18, 2011

DWM: Orca Bay 5 and Postage Stamps

 Here's step 5....little orcas swimming in a circle.

A couple of months ago I bought a box of old quilt magazines at a thrift shop.  This photo -- in the Spring, 1987, issue of Quilt caught my eye. Their pattern called for 2.5" squares resulting in an 18" block.  I thought it would be great with 1.5" postage stamps and thus a 9" block.   
I had enough of the pink fabric (a Jinny Beyer 'blender' from years ago) to make 26 blocks, of which 25 are shown. The 26th will most likely be pieced into the back.

Here is the block deconstructed preconstructed.  I cut a template for the trapezoid.  The triangles are cut from 2" squares.  The postage stamps are 1.5" squares. 

Take a look at other Orca Bay blocks and see what's on other design walls on Monday.

Taking notes

"Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night."

Thanks to Nancy for finding this image and for reminiscing about  Gregg shorthand on her blog this weekend.
My mother learned Gregg at Grace Martin's School in Pittsburgh. She used it professionally and personally, whether taking dictation or taking notes for a club or committee -- or whenever she wanted to make a list that we wouldn't be able to read! 

When I was a senior in high school I took a one-semester version called "notehand."   The one phrase I remember is "ch com," for "chamber of commerce." (And now, in 2011, I am on the Chamber of Commerce board.)   I used notehand the first semester of college, but because I wasn't proficient it was easier for me to take 'regular' notes. I soon figured out that the professors used an outline, whether explicit or not, and it wasn't hard to follow along.

I had not read Nancy's posts until today. It's purely coincidental that among the things I bought at an estate sale in Zion yesterday were four steno notebooks.  (Wide-lined Pitman rather than narrow-ruled Gregg.)  They were just .25 each. Three are completely unused. The fourth has four pages filled with Gregg -- many repeated word-forms, so I assume the writer was just practicing.

I've found that estate sales and garage sales are great sources for home office supplies. In addition to the steno books I've acquired a stack of legal pads (it doesn't matter to me if five or ten sheets have been used; the remainder of the pad is still good), felt tip markers (out of a box of ten, three may be dried up but that leaves seven), Avery adhesive labels, and more.  And I use them!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

UFO no longer....but another flimsy has been created

Do you remember this quilt?  Probably not.  I started to quilt it about the middle of 2008.  I was not pleased with the way the quilting was going, so I put it aside.  For two winters the semi-quilted, still-pin-basted UFO was rolled up to serve as a draft stopper for the fireplace (which we do not use).  My DH asked me to bring out the draft stopper this year. I unrolled the poor UFO and realized I had quilted more of it than I thought (=too much to rip out).  I filled some bobbins, put navy blue thread on the top, and got to work.  As of last evening, ta da!  A finished object, all quilted and bound.  And, yes, sure, it will still work as a draft stopper. But nicer than it was before.

Another ta da!  Here is The Geese Flew Around  the Prairie Queen.  I made the geese with the cut- away corners method (rather than the fast flying geese method) because I wanted a lot of variety in the geese. (The fast method results in four identical geese.)  The green inner and outer borders stabilize the edges of the geese.   The flimsy is 90 x 90 so I will have it professionally quilted. 

As of 5:30 this evening I am on vacation for two weeks -- well, I have a meeting tomorrow and one on Monday -- and a report to write, an article to edit, two audiobooks to listen to and review.   I've got an equal list of quilty things I want and need to get done.  And DH and I plan a couple of days in the city, too.

Blog Hop Winners!

Here are the names of everyone who left a comment as of last evening.  (Three more people commented today, which is lovely but still past the specified time for the drawing.)
I chose the winners at random. They are GrannyAnne  and Mrs. Pickles   Congratulations, ladies!  I will need your mailing addresses in order to mail the FQ bundles to you.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Quilting Gallery blog hop!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

DWM: Orca Bay 4

Orca Bay, step 4:  128 string-pieced triangles.  I have no idea how these will fit with the hourglasses, HSTs, and little blue string blocks.  (The fabric is RED!  In the photograph it looks orange, but I assure one and all that it is RED!)
At the Waukegan Area Branch AAUW holiday luncheon yesterday we drew the winning ticket for Christmas Cards, the 2011 holiday raffle quilt.  The winner (Virginia C.) was delighted.  The $295 proceeds will be divided among AAUW projects.  (I need to get going on the AAUW spring 2012 quilt!)

Be sure to see what's on other design walls and check up on Orca Bay progress!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Blog Hop!

You can win a fat quarter bundle!  Leave a comment.  On Wednesday, December 14, I will draw two names at random from those who've commented, and award those people a set of four fat quarters. 

Thanks in advance!

THE DRAWING WAS DECEMBER 14. WINNERS HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED AND NOTIFIED. If you're visiting after December 14, you are welcome to leave a comment but you're not going to win anything.   :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

DWM: Gift Bags, Prairie Queen, and Orca Bay

These gift bags are made from fabric stiffened with Pellon Craft Fuse.  (Inside each is an amaryllis, ready to force into bloom.)  The basket blocks are 5" square.

Orca Bay, Step 3:
350 2" (unfinished) HSTs. 
 I decided on scrappy neutrals to sash the Prairie Queen blocks. I was about to cut plain borders when I got the idea to try flying geese. These geese are 3 x 5.5 unfinished and I'll need about 121 of them.
Another postage stamp quilt is in the works! 

.....and take a moment to see how other Orca Bay mysteries are coming along, as well as what's on many design walls walls as this week gets underway.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

DWM: Ornaments, Orca Bay, and Prairie Queen

I was thankful for time off this holiday weekend.  We took a couple of long walks the days that the weather was clement, had a delicious turkey dinner (with lots of 'planned-over' turkey), and avoided shopping as much as possible.  I got a lot of sewing done. 
 61 ornaments (for library staff and trustees).  The holly leaves and berries are fused and free-motion-quilted.

Orca Bay Step 2.  These 3.5" foundation-pieced string blocks were easy to make.  

The Block Swappers had a quarterly swap for sets of units made up of 4-patches and HSTs in autumn colors.  The unfinished size was 4.5". I cut ALL the units down to 3.5", added a center square, and made 74 9.5" Prairie Queen blocks. The design wall shows 49 of them. I've auditioned many different fabrics to use as sashing, but no decision yet. (There is so much going on in each block that they need to be separated by sashing.)

Take a look at other design walls and Orca Bay blocks today!

First and second quilts

Bonnie invited photos of first quilt projects.  Here are scans of mine, with the commentary from my quilt journal. (Said journal has been sadly neglected abandoned since I began recording my work with digital camera and, eventually, my blog. 

I cross-stitched the first quilt the year I was in graduate school.  It is still the largest item I have hand-quilted. (I used the quilt for many years and of course I still use the degree.)

I don't know if any of my cousins still has the second quilt. Their mother passed away a couple of years ago so the household contents have been dispersed.  This is a design mish-mash:  30's prints (genuine!) and blue solid, with a solid blue bedsheet backing. I used pastel DMC floss to feather-stitch around all the blocks. This was hand-quilted, too.  I used a pencil to mark a cross-hatched grid and hearts in the solid blocks.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Design Wall Monday: Orca Bay and more!

Weekend recap:  I sold three quilts at the library craft fair on Saturday!  In turn I purchased a few Christmas gifts and indulged in a batch of delicious peanut brittle.

Back in the studio: here's Sophie Anne's quilt, all finished except the label.   I had planned to put the words in the border but it was too much yellow.  The starry 'stained glass' print reins in the brights without dulling them. The words work just fine on the back along with a little owl. (The nursery has an owl theme.)....and Sophie Anne isn't due until the end of this week!

"Jolly Jester" will be swapped at the P.E.O. Christmas ornament exchange. (I maintain that ornaments don't have to go on the tree.)  This wallhanging is 18 x 24.  The pattern is by Pat Sloan. It was featured in the December, 2006, issue of McCall's Quilting.

And, finally:  my progress on Step 1 of Orca Bay, the 2011 Quiltville mystery.  I'm using Bonnie's colors (black, neutral plus red and blue).  

Check out other design walls at Patchwork Times and other Orca Bay progress at Quiltville's Mystery Monday.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Four Patch X flimsy

Finished!  It's 72x80 and used 5-7/8 yards from my stash.  The border is a Cranston print that  I got from the estate purchase in 2007. It worked just fine for this very scrappy design.

Since November 1, 2010, I've bought 33 yards of fabric.  I've used a lot more than that! Watch for the 2011 annual reckoning on December 31 or January 1.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Design Wall Monday: Four Patch X

I put the baby quilt (see last week's post) aside for a bit. I ought to get going on Christmas items.  I know what I'm going to make and I just have to get started.  But, instead, I took handfuls of 1.5" squares, sewed them into twos and then fours and here is where I ended up. 
This is "Four Patch X" from Bonnie Hunter's "Addicted to Scraps" feature in Quiltmaker magaine.  Her pattern uses 2" squares but I am sure she would be the first to say it's okay to use any size!   My blocks are 6.25" unfinished, and thus 5.75" finished.   I think the light blue sashing will provide a visual relief from the bright yellow. It will also bring out the shoofly design made by the block corners and the cornerstones.  

Be sure to check out what other quiltmakers have on their design walls today!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Design Wall Monday: preview 2 and L&E

Progress from the previous post:  the I Spy bear paw blocks and the letters are assembled, with a correction to the spelling of the name.  (Glad to have that before proceeding!)

["Sophie/Sophia" means wisdom and "Anne/Ann" means grace.]

 I've gone back to 1.5" "postage stamps"  for leaders and enders.  This is one of Bonnie Hunter's "Addicted to Scraps" blocks in Quiltmaker.  She wrote that she planned assemble the blocks with cornerstones and sashing to create a Shoofly secondary design, so that's what I'm aiming for.

Be sure to check out other design walls today!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sneak preview

Quilt in progress! I woke up from a nap to realize that I had this quilt all laid out in my imagination.  Would that all designing came upon me so clearly.  The Bear Paw blocks have I Spy novelty 'paws.' This is my first try at  Tonya's letters and those shown may be a rough draft. There's more to come.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Blustery day in northeasternmost Illinois

Footage taken at North Point Marina.  Quite a contrast from ten days ago!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Finished feels good

 Yesterday I started and finished quilting "Christmas Cards."  I put the last stitch on the binding at precisely 10:00 p.m. 

The Card Trick blocks came from an exchange. One of them was larger than the others (12" rather than 9").  Another came after I had set the sixteen.  I didn't want to disassemble what I'd done, nor did I want to make three more blocks (to total 20).  I pieced the large block into the back and I used the last block as the label.  The quilt is 66 x 66.  (More about this quilt design is in this post and preceding it.)

I used red thread. I outline-quilted the "cards" and meander-quilted the "logs."

This quilt will be raffled at our AAUW holiday luncheon. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Design Wall Monday: Rusty Bows flimsy

I did get some sewing time in this weekend.  When I left for Missouri I had the center and the bow-tie border blocks assembled.  The sashed border design is one I saw in a quilt magazine years ago.  I auditioned several solid colors before choosing turquoise. 

It is 58 x 66 and used 5 yards of stash.  Thanks goes to Bonnie Hunter for creating the bow-tie challenge!

If I make another bow-tie quilt (which is likely because the blocks are such fun) I'll try deliberate color placement -- figure 8's or S's, perhaps; or x's and o's.

Check out what's on other design walls today at Patchwork Times !

Beach, October

The weather has been absolutely perfect this past week:  sunny and warm every day.  If we could only bottle it to bring out in January!

Not only did I go to the beach this afternoon, but I also went into the water.  Here's the proof.

More sisterhood, and Mizzou revisited

Sisters together! Alex, me, Mari-Anne

 Johnston Hall, my dorm (fall semester, 1970).  I knocked on the door of Room 111 and surprised the current occupant by saying, "I lived here 41 years ago. Could I take a picture?"  What could she do but agree?!  (It looks smaller than I remember.)
Stewart Hall (where the Library School shared space with Geography and Herpetology)
Leandra and I had lunch and a lovely visit

Leandra's garage is her studio

With one of her surface-design baskets

908 Curtis--the former AGD house

1313 University--summer apt. upstairs, 1973

The obligatory picture of Jesse Hall and the Columns
Jesse Hall's tile floor...there's a quilt design here!