Sunday, December 29, 2013

DWM: Solstice update and what became of those string blocks

 I've had a busy Christmas holiday! I am editing pictures and composing a post about our wonderful Road Scholar trip to Quebec (12/20-12/26).  I'll get it posted tomorrow, I hope.

Since we returned home late Thursday (actually early Friday: 1:05 a.m.) I've been catching up: laundry, mail, and Celtic Solstice.   (Plus a memorial service Saturday afternoon and a wedding Saturday evening.) Here are 82 units out of 100 for Step 4 and 51 units out of 100 for Step 5.

I left for Quebec with about 100 6.5" string blocks on the design wall. (See the previous post.)  I cut them diagonally and pieced the triangles into chevrons.  I've made a couple of quilts with this block design (such as this one  and this one).   I tried another arrangement, and this is the result. [I had to make more blocks -- there are 120 chevrons in all.] The flimsy is about 58 x 70 and used 5-3/8 yards.

I'm joining other quiltmakers for Judy's Design Wall Monday  and Bonnie's Mystery Monday Linkup . 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Design wall, Thursday evening

 I bought an app so I can upload photos from my iPad.  Next I have to figure out how to edit them.

Here, unedited: the string blocks that were leaders/Enders for Celtic Solstice last weekend. I have some more underway.

The stars are the beginning of the Steelers quilt. The pattern is from Fons&Porter, December, 1998.  They are pieced with freezer paper templates.

That's my design wall until the end of next week.  The limo will get us at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow to take us to the airport for Fete de Noel en Quebec!


2014 challenges!

Barbara at Cat Patches is hosting a NewFO challenge for 2014.  I thank Sophie and Theresa for the link to Barbara's site.  The purpose is to begin at least one project each month to capture the creative impulse before it evaporates.  Finishing is optional though encouraged.  Those of you who have followed my posts in 2013, or if you just click on the "flimsy completion" tab at the top of the blog, know that I've finished many pre-2013 projects and I have started and finished many more in 2013 alone. 

Each year I create a list of quilt obligations.  "Obligations" sounds harsh, but I think of them as opportunities rather than burdens.  I contribute quilts as community fundraisers every year.  Gift-giving events come up, too.  I have the design/pattern in mind for some of these. For others it's TBD. 

Here's my list, in the order that they're due:

1.  Commission quilt -- for a family who are avid Pittsburgh Steelers fans.  I don't know them, but a colleague's sister asked me if I would. (I've made quilts on commission for the colleague and the sister [ here and here].)   Steelers = black, gold, and white.  I've begun making these stars following a pattern in a back issue of Fons & Porter. 

2.  T-shirt quilt #1 -- I offered to make a t-shirt quilt as a raffle prize for the ZB Run Squad. At each of the runs this season people bought raffle tickets. The winner was drawn after the Full Moon Run earlier this month.  I've e-mailed him but haven't heard back. I will wait until after Christmas to follow up.

3. T-shirt quilt #2 -- for one of the mainstays of the ZB Run Squad committee.  It's a surprise for her.

4.  AAUW-IL convention -- I contribute a quilt that the Waukegan Area Branch raffles. Proceeds benefit AAUW projects like the Legal Advocacy Fund
**Note: this quilt is already finished! It's Orca Bay, the Quiltville mystery from early 2012.**

4. LCWFF -- that's short for Lulu Corkhill Williams Friendship Fund, a project of P.E.O.-Illinois.  LCWFF provides grants for emergency assistance to women and men in Illinois.  The recipients are recommended by P.E.O. chapters. I'm one of the three committee members who reviews the applications and determines the amount of the award (up to $2400).  I volunteered to make a quilt to raffle to both raise funds and awareness.
**You can read more about P.E.O.   here and learn about Lulu  here **

4. Zion Township Senior Fair -- I always make a lap-sized quilt as a door prize.  (The past two years the winners have come to find me at the library to thank me, which is so sweet.)

5.  Rotary Golf Outing -- mid-May -- our club's major fundraiser

6. Granddaughter's high school graduation --  Her mom (my stepdaughter) says she likes animal prints. That has given me an excuse to shop, though I know it will mean that I will acquire a lot more than I will use in this quilt.

7.  ALA Annual Conference -- the ALA Biblioquilters collaborate on quilts that are sold in a silent auction at the conference. Proceeds go to the Hoy Scholarship Fund.  In addition to making blocks for group quilts I will contribute a quilt of my own.

8.  Literacy Volunteers of Lake County -- a quilt as a raffle prize at their Literacy Walk in September

9. Corporate Community Spelling Bee -- in November.  This is a big fundraiser for the Coalition for Healthy Communities 

10. P.E.O. Christmas party -- my chapter has an ornament/gift exchange.  I made a banner  this year

11.  AAUW holiday party -- I contribute a raffle quilt for Christmas, too. 


12.  I'm joining Sophie's Tea Towel Challenge which has an end date of March. 

13, 14, 15.....To be determined. I know I'll come up with something that I just have to make!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

DWM: Celtic Solstice up-to-date and Kindness

This past week was nearly as busy as the week before.   Tuesday evening was the Fifth Grade Essay Contest Banquet, sponsored by our Rotary Club.   All the fifth graders in the three school districts (Winthrop Harbor 1, Beach Park 3, and Zion 6) wrote essays on "the kindest person I know." Each of the 23 classrooms had a winner. Those children and their parents (with some grandparents and siblings), as well as their teachers,  were treated to a banquet held at New Tech High School.  Each child was introduced and congratulated by the superintendent of her or his district.  One winner from each district received an iPad.  It was wonderful to the expressions on all of the children's faces as they were honored.  
Saturday evening we enjoyed Full Score Orchestra's Christmas Concert which included   Amahl and the Night Visitors . I remember watching it on TV when I was little. It's been such a delight to hear it again at Full Score's concert.    
"Christmas Presents" was the title of the Christmas pageant presented at church this morning. It was truly the best Christmas pageant ever -- the children were wonderful and the message was meaningful. (We sat too far back for my pictures to be very good.) At the potluck afterward we had a birthday cake for Jesus.   
This week's quilting time was devoted to Celtic Solstice.   I like to make HSTs by the round-up/cut-down method. I cut a lot of 3" orange and yellow squares, sliced them in half, made HSTs, trimmed, and pressed. I made 25 pinwheel units. Then I compared what I'd made to the units from Steps 1 and 2. Oops! The pinwheels were 4.5" because the HSTs were 2.5". Well, it's easy to make them smaller! Here are the re-sized Step 3 pinwheels and a few trimmed HSTs....more to come.  
Step 2 -- finished Friday

At this stage in a mystery it's tempting to see how the units will fit together. (And I see that one of those blue units is wrong way around. I am not going to take another picture this evening.)

The Spring, 1992, issue of Quilt was on the guild giveaway table. I brought it home with a stack of others. This block has some of the units in Celtic Solstice, and the block name has some similarity....hmmmm!



The strips in this box served as  leaders-and-enders while I chain-stitched the Solstice units. They're 7.5" x 1.5", sewn in 6's, and trimmed to 6.5" x 6.5."   I'm not sure how many I'll make or what they'll become.  

I got out the necktie hexagons:  my take-along handwork for our upcoming Road Scholar trip to Quebec. We leave on Friday!

I'm joining Quiltville fans for the Mystery Monday  linkup and with other quiltmakers this Design Wall Monday at Judy's Patchwork Times.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Charlie Madigan's Christmas column

Note:   I re-read Charlie's essay every year and have cited parts of it when someone bemoans the secularization of the season.  I tried unsuccessfully to find it on the Tribune website in order to post a link to it.  I've cut-and-pasted the entire text. 

# # # # # # #

Looking for Christ in all the wrong places

by Charles M. Madigan
Chicago Tribune
December 11, 2005

It's Christmastime again, and the Christians, well, at least some of the Christians, are on the warpath against retailers who opt to describe this seasonal cash bonanza in less than religious terms. This is a sign, we are told, of "anti-Christian and anti-Christmas" bias.  The argument seems to be that if you just call it a "holiday" season without going the full-tilt "Christmas" route then you somehow demean the legacy of St. Luke's Gospel, the only place the whole Christian Christmas has ever actually existed on the record.

They are wrong.

The critics want to make a prophet center out of what is actually a profit center.

Where St. Luke got the Christmas story is anyone's guess, because it doesn't appear in any kind of detail in the other Gospels. In some of them, Jesus just shows up and starts preaching and giving lessons. Only St. Luke puts him in a manger and opens the doorway to choirs of angels and mysterious heavenly developments. To be sure, Matthew's Gospel introduces the Wise Men and the star, but the birth itself is very matter of fact.

If you want the glories of Christmas, you go to St. Luke. Sourcing is not an issue with me on this story.  Maybe God told him. I can't know.  Despite that, the St. Luke's Christmas story is the one I prefer.

I have constructed my belief on it for more than half a century, and I care not one whit whether it is provable, likely, a fantasy, a warm and basically silly myth or any other criticism that is applied to what I think is just one of the best stories of all time. I don't know whether monks put it there, whether a committee of early church bishops cobbled it together from snippets, who St. Luke actually was, what language he might have written it in and how many angels could have fit on the head of whatever was used as a pin in ancient Palestine.

I do believe in it. Take it or leave it. It's a huge Christmas gift from God that requires no evidence, no explanation. I know I don't deserve it, did nothing to get it and, I am afraid, could lose it in an instant because of my cynicism, my occasional hardness of heart, the part of me that is callous, cruel, selfish and unfeeling.  But for now, it's healthy.

You should envy me, because most people abandon this kind of experience in late childhood. I view the Christmas story as something to take to the bank of  emotion, something to tap when you are confronted by the question: "What is the right thing to do?" which happens to me all the time.

Stories show us the path. We need and live on stories. Some of them are myth and some of them are real, but they are stories that point us properly down the pathway of life. The Christmas story is just boffo in my book, then, warms my heart and makes me want to try to live a better life.  I don't think for one instant it belongs at the center of the annual retail blitz.

The Christians, in other words, are so very wrong about this one. You want a place to put the Christmas story, to revere it, to nurture it and take sustenance from it? Then put it in your heart.
But don't put it in Target.

The conservative Christian argument seems to be that we should all rush out and boycott Target, Sears, Lowe's, even OfficeMax and places like that because they don't emphasize the "Christ" part of the holiday.

I would go in just the opposite direction. Thank you, Target and everyone else, for recognizing that this has become, for many people, nothing more than a big commercial celebration and reason to have office drinks, buy gifts and stick lights and holiday trappings all over everything.

The last thing in the world I want is something that implies that Christ will be happy if I use my credit card to buy some dandy power tools for my sons, a hat for my spouse, a new collar for my dog and something shiny and delightful for myself.    I don't want some marketing hawk to find a way to link the Christ child, in his blessed, doomed innocence, to an increase in short-term debt at my house.

If they want to pump their stores full of holiday music, fine, just stay clean away from the classics.  Put "Silent Night" on the disc player at Sam's Club, and what you have is blasphemy in my book. I don't want Christ anywhere near those places.

But I do want them full of holiday good cheer, champagne sales and lots of brand name items that didn't sell last year deeply discounted to fit my current holiday needs. I want them to report in January that they sold more inventory than anyone has ever sold, that they are fat and happy, and that everyone gets to keep working for another year. I don't expect to turn to them for Christ.

Most of what we experience at Christmas isn't very Christ-like, anyhow.  Take the tree. Go to Captain Jack's Christmas Tree Farm Web site, among others ( and take a look at where it comes from.  Not much Christianity there, for sure. Captain Jack, an Iowa guy whose job is to encourage the purchase of nice, real Christmas trees instead of plastic stuff from Asia, notes that our friends the Druids viewed holly in the house as a sign of eternal life.  The Romans, when they were honoring Saturn, put evergreen boughs and special lights in the house.  

Martin Luther is described as the first of the Christians to light up pine trees with candles. He wanted to evoke thoughts of stars twinkling in the Bethlehem skies at the time of Christ's birth. (He, too, was an obvious St. Luke fan. I am flattered.)

The Christmas tree habit didn't hit America until the Revolution, when it was brought to our shores by the Hessian mercenaries hired by the Brits to help put down our little insurgency, Captain Jack reports.

They were so infatuated by the glowing Christmas tree, the legend says, that they abandoned their Christmastime guard posts to celebrate the season, an opening George Washington used to sneak in and whomp them a good one.

I don't know who invented the bubbling candle-shaped Christmas-tree light, but the character was pure genius in my book. It is the best of decorations.  But I'm not for an instant going to think of Christ when I look at one.

For that, you go not to Target, not to Field's*, not even to Bethlehem or to the Bible.  You go inside, where there are no presents, no sales pitches, no hustle of any kind.  There, instead, await choirs of angels, if you are so blessed.

Copyright (c) 2005, Chicago Tribune
Field's became Macy's in 2006. 


Sunday, December 8, 2013

DWM: parties, raffle results, thrifting, and CS Step 2

This past week was a veritable social whirl with two holiday dinners, a holiday luncheon, and a concert/group dinner.  I introduced two new-to-us passing games for the P.E.O. ornament exchange (Crossy and Lefty) and the quilt guild white elephant exchange (Santa and Lefty Elf), both of which were greeted with laughter and a few good-natured groans as the gift passing progressed. 

The AAUW holiday luncheon on Saturday included a silent auction. That's a nice way to say that we bring things we no longer want and buy them from one another.  (There are usually some great baked goods, too, and one member brings freshly-cut bunches of holly from her garden.)    I brought two good-sized boxes filled with junk intriguing artifacts, spent $6 on three small items, and had only three items unsold.  The branch president emailed us last evening to report that the auction raised $904.50!  
A Joyful Noise
In addition, we sold $400 in raffle tickets for "A Joyful Noise," which I made in March and quilted some months later.  The winner is an AAUW member from another branch who was delighted get my message that she'd won.

Our fundraising efforts support AAUW educational grants and fellowships and the Legal Advocacy Fund . Our branch also has a scholarship to the College of Lake County for a young woman entering a science or technology field. 
Ugly? Modern?
Two thrift shops happened to be on the route home from the AAUW luncheon, so I stopped.  Look what came home with me.  I got the green (twin) sheet at one thrift shop and the pink (double/full) sheet at the other. Both are all-cotton, from Pottery Barn. (I don't think I've ever been in a Pottery Barn store.)   This blue/white/gray cotton print is either a candidate for "modern" or "ugly."  Which ever, it's a definite bargain -- 2 yards for $1.50.

With all of this activity, there wasn't a lot of time to sew this week.   I finished Step 1 of Celtic Solstice on Thursday evening.  Here is Step 2 in progress.  (The QuiltvilleChatters discussed how to sew accurate diagonal lines. Note the painter's masking tape on my sewing machine insert. That's what works best for me.)

You can see what other quiltmakers are working on at Judy's Design Wall Monday . I'm also joining the Mystery Monday   linkup on Quiltville.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

DWM: shop your stash, six of one, and solstice beginnings

Our four-day weekend was great.  Thankgiving dinner at the home of friends, with some leftovers to take home.  (Our contribution was Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish, which you can read more about here . It was new to our hosts, and they liked it.)  We drove home about 6 p.m. and passed Wal-Mart where the parking lot was full, even the spaces along the road and around the corner by the auto service center.

We didn't go shopping either Thursday or Friday.  We did, however, go to see the Friday matinee performance of the movie Nebraska .  It was excellent.

Saturday evening was a 50th wedding anniversary party for Winthrop Harbor friends.  It turned out that their actual wedding date was November 30:  perfect.  What a joyous occasion!

Sunday we worshipped at First Congregational Church, U.C.C. in Waukegan.  First day of advent and first Sunday of the month meant lessons and carols plus communion -- followed by a potluck.  We are not members of First Congo but we have friends who are, and it's the denomination in which my husband was ordained and served during his 20 years of parish ministry. It was a great way to begin the sacred season amidst the secular one.

In and around all of these events I sewed. (As my husband says, "Why am I not surprised?")

#1 Shop Your Stash.  I did just that and found the perfect border fabric for Framed Nine Patch.  The flimsy is 74 x 64 and used 5-3/8 yards.

#2 Six of one.  These six pillows are my gifts to the library department heads and office staff. I adapted a pattern from Fons and Porter's Quilting Celebrations 2013. The pillows are 26 x 18  and used a total of 6-1/4 yards (including the fabric I used for the pillow form insert).

#3 Solstice beginnings.   46 white-centered units and 34 orange-centered units so far.

See what other quiltmakers are doing at Judy's Patchwork Times  and check out the Celtic Solstice progress at Bonnie's Quiltville!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Blog hop winners!

202 people commented on my Blog Hop giveaway post. 

It was gratifying to hear from so many people -- and to read what they had to say about their public libraries. 

I used the Random Number Generator to pick three winners. They are

LORI in South Dakota, who wrote, "Parkston Public Library. My sister was head librarian for 29?? years. She's retired now. Our library is special because we are a small town with a progressive modern library and my sister always hit me up for fundraisers!"   Lori's blog is Dakota City Quilter  
and her library is here.

ODDBJORG in Norway, who wrote, "My library is Leirfjorden Folkebibliotek. It's a very little library, but the librarian (she's my neighbour) is very kind and helpful. If I ask for a book she doesn't have, she always orders it from another one, and a few days later I can be sure to have the book on the door. Thanks for the chance."  Oddbjorg's blog is My Creative Corner and her library is here .

SYLVIA in Utah, who wrote, "My library is the Ephraim City Library. Factoid: it was originally built using Carnegie funds, so it is a Carnegie library. Thanks for the chance to win."  Sheila has several blogs, writes about her quilts at Bunchberry Studio , and her library is here.

Congratulations to everyone!  And thanks to Michele at Quilting Gallery for hosting the blog hop.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

DWM: almost finished

Here's the Framed 9-Patch, all set except the borders. The coral setting triangles are a Jinny Beyer blender that I got at a sale this past summer. Unfortunately I didn't get enough for the border. I'm still auditioning border fabric. This one seems to have the best combination of light-but-not-too-light with some tan and some coral.  (Now that I look at it, I'm thinking about a skinny border of the print and a wider dark brown border.....)
[Can you spot my piecing errors?  I found them Monday evening when I started to trim the setting triangles. Look at the top row, three blocks on the right, and at the bottom left corner.]

See what other quiltmakers are up to at  Judy's Patchwork Times .
P.S. The Blog Hop Party continues until Tuesday, November 26. See this post to enter to win my giveaway.
P.S. 2  This chair was at an estate sale I went to Saturday. The story is that the husband always put his clothes on this chair, so the wife used his ties, a suit jacket, and a shirt to reupholster it.     

A trip west, with libraries and fabric (and some fraternity history)

The RAILS (Reaching Across Illinois Library System -- board met at the Galesburg Public Library  on Friday afternoon.  Galesburg is 243 miles west-southwest of where I live. RAILS offered to pay for a hotel stay as well as mileage, so I left Thursday morning. I took my time and visited two quilt shops en route:  Quilter's Garden in Princeton and Quilt Box in Kewanee. 

I was on Route 34, getting close to Galesburg, when I saw the familiar blue and white library symbol . I pulled off the highway. 

"Library Hall" is above the doorway. The lights were on and the "open" flag was out, so I went in.  It's the Altona Public Library, housed in the 1886 building for which Mr. Ransom donated $6000. Only the lower floor is used because upstairs is not accessible.  It reminded me very much of New England libraries.

These two quilts hung in the center hall.

Librarians of a certain age know exactly what this is: a Gaylord Model C charger.  It uses inked metal plates for the date due and for the borrowers' cards. This is how Mrs. N, APL's librarian (and sole employee) checks out materials. (Her daughter has an MLS and is the head of circulation at Galesburg PL. I met her on Friday afternoon.)  

After that pleasant interlude, I got to Galesburg without incident.  Six of us on the RAILS board and staff enjoyed dinner and conversation.  The meeting began at 1 p.m. Friday, and I had two errands Friday morning. First stop:  Quilting Bee, Galesburg's quilt shop. (No photos, but:  they use old baby cribs for their fabric displays! Very clever.  And wonderful, wonderful batiks.)   First detour:  an old brick church had a "half price downstairs" sign out. A thrift shop! I stopped and went in.  The basement was full of stuff. I got some (see below). I asked the ladies at the checkout what denomination -- United Church of Christ.  I explained that my husband is a retired UCC pastor and asked if I could see the sanctuary. Certainly! And I had a tour. The woman explained that the congregation is now very small. The thrift shop pays for the church's utilities.  Bless them for their faithfulness.

Next: to Monmouth, the next city west of Galesburg. I stopped there in 2011 (see this post).  This time I called ahead to be sure that Stewart House would be open, and it was.  This is where   Kappa Kappa Gamma women's fraternity was founded in 1870.  (I realize that if you're not interested in the history of women's organizations this will not be a big deal to you, but I was thrilled. And it's not even my fraternity!)   The picture on the right shows the founders and one of the original badges.   The resident manager, Jane, is a P.E.O. (and a member of Pi Beta Phi, which was also founded at Monmouth College).

I was back at GPL for the meeting, which went smoothly and adjourned at 4 p.m. I headed home (confession: I stopped at thrift shop in downtown Galesburg and bought stuff) and pulled into the driveway just before 8 p.m.

Here's what I got: 

Not-new fabric, from the thrift shops. On the left are, yes, three shirts: size XL and XXL, .75 each, destined for a scrappy quilt.  (All of this cost about $10.)  

New fabric. Each of the three shops packages fat quarters differently.  (All of this cost much more than $10!!)

In summary:  a productive trip on many levels.  Lovely late-autumn scenery.  "Just outside of Chicago there's a place called Illinois," and I need to make time to explore more of it.   

Thursday, November 21, 2013

11/22/13: where were you when you heard the news?

(My column for the Zion-Benton News, 11/21/13)

This weekend we observe the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination. Magazines and newspapers, and TV specials are recounting the story. The Zapruder film – footage taken by a man in the crowd – will be replayed. Was it a conspiracy? Did Oswald act alone? What about Ruby? Wasn’t Mrs. Kennedy brave! That photo of John-John saluting! How would the Civil Rights Act, the War in Vietnam, the Great Society have been different had JFK been able to finish his term and perhaps win reelection?

In addition to what-if speculation, the assassination has provided an ice-breaker for five decades. “Where were you when you heard that Kennedy was killed?” If you were alive then, of course you know.
I was in sixth grade at Crestwood School in Northbrook. We had just come back inside from noon recess. Someone in our class had gone home for lunch and had heard the news. A message from the principal’s office soon confirmed the report. Mrs. Diemer, our teacher, began to cry. Some of the other kids did, too. My parents had an out-of-town trip that weekend and my sister and I stayed with our neighbors, the Bakers. I remember that the assassination was the only thing on any of the four television stations (channels 2, 5, 7, and 9). By contrast, that day my husband was in class at the University of Michigan where he was a graduate student.

In January, 2012, I attended a library conference in downtown Dallas. My hotel was just across the railroad tracks from the famed grassy knoll and the Texas School Book Depository. The city street still goes under the tracks at Dealey Plaza, just as it did in 1963. I took advantage of a meeting-free afternoon and went to the Sixth Floor Museum in the Depository Building. I was relieved to discover that it was not a tourist trap. The exhibits tell Kennedy’s life and career in in detail – his boyhood in Boston, his WWII service (and the PT 109). He was elected to the Senate in 1952 at the young age of 35. He won the 1960 presidential election by the closest margin since 1916. The museum exhibits also show the global social and political context for the issues Kennedy dealt with: the Cold War and Communism abroad, the segregated South at home.

I observed the other museum visitors that day. People around my age, those who knew exactly where they’d been when they heard the news, were reflective and a little teary-eyed. But for teenagers there on field trips it was another museum. Important stuff, sure, but it was ancient history!

And indeed, it is history. The United States and the world were profoundly affected by the events that day. But we have moved on – some steps forward, some steps back, and some steps to the side.

Now we have another ice breaker for the ages: “Where were you on September 11, 2001, and heard the news about the Twin Towers?” But that is a story for another day.
Sixth Floor Musuem in the Depository Building.

Blog hop: a book and a bundle

Thanks for stopping during the Thanksgiving blog hop party!

I'm giving away three "book and bundle" packages.  Each has quilt-themed fiction (a novel, an anthology, and a mystery) and  four fat quarters of Christmas/winter fabric (cut from my pre-washed stash).

You can enter to win one of the packages by leaving a comment.  I'd like to know the name of your public library and what makes it special.  Is there a staff member who provides exceptional service?  Are there programs that you enjoy? Can they easily get the books you'd like to read or the movies you'd like to watch? Are you a trustee or a member of the Friends? Is it in an historic building or set in a well-landscaped garden?

Note: for your comment to qualify for the drawing you'll need to give your library's name and say something about it.

Entries will be accepted until midnight, Tuesday, November 26.  I will draw three names from among the commenters and email you to let you know you've won. (Be sure that your comment links back to your email address or that you include your email address in the body of your note.  If I can't reach you I will draw another name.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Update: framed nine-patch

Two evenings without meetings provided me with time to sew!

I appreciate the comments about my sashing and setting choices for the framed nine-patch blocks. I decided to go scrappy, as you can see.
 Rather than piecing long rows of sashing, I've added sashes to two sides of each block. Here is an expanded view.

I have a particular print in mind for the setting triangles and another one for the borders.

Monday, November 18, 2013

DWM: nifty accessory, flock completed, on the wall, new project

 The library craft fair was Saturday. I didn't sell any quilts, but  I bought several Christmas gifts.  Can you tell what these are?  (See the end of the post for the answer.) Update! I sold two quilts, for $100 and $125, which is more than I spent with other crafters ($145 total).

 Here is the flock of 65 red bird ornaments. These will be given to library staff, volunteers, and trustees.  (I used DMC floss for the hangers.)

The framed 9-patch blocks stayed on the design wall all week. I made some more blocks.  I experimented with ways to set them.

Scrappy sashes?

I am partial to on-point settings.

 I'm leaning toward sashes made out of one neutral-ish print with scrappy cornerstones.

But I may change my mind....stay tuned!

This is the project I need to get started. It's a commission for a family of Pittsburgh Steelers fans -- thus, black/gold/white. I have a pattern in mind.  Here is an initial assortment of fabric.

The accessory:  a compact smartphone or tablet stylus.
It attaches to the earphone socket.  Pull it out to use it.
Two of these are made out of turned acrylic and three are turned box elder.  From the same vendor I bought a seam ripper with a beautiful box elder handle (for myself) and a zebra-wood pen (for a gift.) 

See what other quiltmakers are working on at  Judy's Patchwork Times.                                                                                    

It is hard to hold the camera in one hand while taking a picture of the other hand.