Sunday, July 22, 2012

DWM: a cloak, and wedding quilts

For Christmas last year my niece, Amelia, asked if I would make her a cloak.  I asked about the style and ascertained she preferred a Lord of the Rings type cloak rather than a Folkwear's Kinsale cloak -- a McCall's pattern (.99 on sale (cover price $16.95!)) was just right.   We finally coordinated our schedules and met at Vogue Fabrics in Evanston on Friday.  She loved the wool suitings at $19.95/yard.  So did I, but not for the cloak.  I found a linen-texture polyester for $8.95/yard. The pattern required 5-3/8.  Amelia chose a bottle-green poly for the hood lining. 

Vogue is known for its fashion fabrics.  Home dec is a strong secondary line.  Quilting fabric is a small part of the business.  Nonetheless, I did find some quilty bargains in the remnant room, as well as a piece of navy wool for a skirt.  (The navy skirt I made in 1995 no longer fits and cannot be altered.) 
Sunday report:  the cloak is finished!  It wasn't hard, just awkward with huge pattern pieces.  (No photo because all you'd see is a lot of black fabric.)
Wedding 9-Patch
As for wedding quilts:  I have two of them to make, one for August and one for September.  I was intrigued when I found this Bento Box tutorial  and created this flimsy. I decided that it's too girly-bright for a wedding gift, though I'm glad I tried the pattern and look forward to making it again.  (Idea:  scale down the block, or use a combination of block sizes.)  Instead I'm quilting a flimsy I made earlier this year, a Bonnie Hunter block called  "Grandpa's Star."  (I will rename it before I give it to the bride and groom!)  The second quilt was inspired by a project in the current issue of Quilt magazine.  The bride said they like woodsy colors and I had just the right batiks in my stash.   This turned out bigger than I anticipated -- 80 x 86!   [Thanks to the sharp-eyed reader who noted the incorrect hourglass placement.]
Grandfather's Star

See what other quiltmakers are up to this week at Judy's Patchwork Times. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Superior vacation!

I'm trying something new with a slideshow of photos from our trip.  Our summer Road Scholar/Elderhostel trip to the Keweenaw Peninsula and Isle Royale was wonderful.   We went to Green Bay on Saturday and enjoyed walking around Heritage Hill  with relocated and restored 19th century buildiings. On Sunday morning we picked up Dan at the Green Bay airport. (He was on our 2009 Utah trip.) We headed north via Peshtigo, which burned to the ground the same October day in 1871 as Chicago. (We knew that Dan, from Connecticut, was unlikely to ever go to Peshtigo again. We also had lunch at Culver's in Escanaba so he could experience that aspect of Midwestern life.)  We arrived in Houghton in time for dinner with our fellow Road Scholars -- held at the public library  of all places. 

I've wanted to visit the Keweenaw Peninsula ever since I read Mystery at Laughing Water by Dorothy Maywood Bird fifty years ago. (I still have the book and I plan to re-read it now.)  Monday provided that visit with a coach bus tour from Houghton to Copper Harbor and back.

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Tuesday we parked our cars at the dock and boarded the Ranger III for Isle Royale National Park .  The island is 45 x 9 miles (with hundreds of smaller islands).  Native Americans began mining copper there 4000 years ago.  Benjamin Franklin successfully negotiated its annexation to the U.S. in the Treaty of Paris for the copper.  (He probably had little idea of where I.R. actually was.)  Europeans mined, too, and everyone fished the rich waters around the island.  In the late 19th/early 20th century Isle Royale became a tourist destination.   We met Michael Gale, Bowdoin '13, and his parents, who are among the "life lessees" who still have a cabin on one of the small islands.  When I.R. became a national park in 1940 any family could keep title to their property until the last person who was living at that time passes away. (We met one woman whose father and cousin are 95, her aunt 90.) 

Accommodations at Rock Harbor Lodge, the National Park Service hotel, were great.  Our room opened onto a deck right on shore -- just two yards from the water!  Meals at the lodge restaurant were delicious.

Leaders Ann and John Mahan were excellent:  deft, caring, interested, and interesting. (See their photography at Sweetwater Visions)  Ann led hikes at 6:00 each morning. John's superb photos were the basis of lectures about wildflowers and Lake Superior.  We hiked the 'easy' trails -- the entire park has 165 miles of trail and we were on just a few of them.

The largest mammals on the island (besides humans) are moose and wolf.  The moose swam over from Canada in the early 1900's.  The wolves crossed the frozen lake one winter in the late '40's.  The wolves manage the moose by culling the small, young, old, or weak.  We visited Rolf and Candy Peterson's cabin where he (with her assistance) has been studying the Isle Royale moose for more than 40 years. Click here for one of many stories about their work. 

We settled into vacation mode....and then it was time to go home.  As a friend says, "It was a sufficiency, more of which would be a superfluity."  Yesterday was travel day: the six-hour ferry ride back to Houghton, then to Green Bay to drop Dan at the airport, and then home to Winthrop Harbor. We pulled into the driveway at 9:02 p.m.

Monday, July 2, 2012

DWM: halfway through the year

I finished the D4P wallhanging last evening. The quilting is straight lines with occasional bubbles (circles) -- very easy!  This measures 30 x 20 and used 1-1/4 yards of fabric.  
I also quilted Squares in Stars thus knocking another flimsy off the UFO list.
Here is how I keep track of fabric used and fabric bought.  I have a stack of these card-stock "pages" dating back to 1998, though the  annual tally  is kept on a spreadsheet.

June, 2012, was a month of acquisition rather than use!  I want to reverse that before I slide down the slippery slope again.

See what other quiltmakers have on their design walls today at Judy's Patchwork Times.