Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Last day in Seattle: Chihuly and a quilt shop

The ALA Midwinter Meeting went very well.  There were 5519 advance registrants, 1175 on-site, and 4,037 exhibitors for a total of 10,731. (By comparison, the total for MW12 in Dallas was 9929 and for MW11 in San Diego, 11,124.  Location makes a difference!)  Midwinter attendance is less than half than the Annual Conference in June.

My ALA responsibilities include service on Council, the 186-member governing body of the 60,000-member association. In addition I'm on  the Council Orientation Committee whose program for new Councilors was appreciatively-received.  I am the co-chair of the Association of American University Press Books for High School and Public Libraries Committee.  I'm also on the program committee for United for Libraries (advocates, Friends, trustees, foundations).  I'm convenor of the ALA BiblioQuilters and stopped in at the Exhibitors Round Table meeting, too.

"Libraries transform communities" is the ALA theme this year. Peter Block was the speaker at the President's Program. His ideas about building communities by enriching human capital are very much what many of us are trying to achieve in the Zion-Benton community, so I was very glad I heard Peter speak.

The trade show is a big component of ALA conferences. Publishers and other vendors to the library market show their products.  There are lots of new books-- both galleys ("advance reader copies") and the real thing.  I went to several book events, including two author panels. I always say I won't take too many books and I always do.  Here's a photo of my loot!

Tuesday afternoon after the final Council session my long-time friend (and fellow Councilor) Valerie and I went to Chihuly Garden and Glass :
Accordions on the ceiling 
Chihuly Garden and Glass provides a look at the inspiration and influences that inform the career of artist Dale Chihuly. Located at Seattle Center, Chihuly Garden and Glass includes an Exhibition Hall, the centerpiece Glasshouse and a lush Garden. The Exhibition Hall contains eight galleries and three Drawing Walls, offering visitors a comprehensive look at Chihuly’s significant series of work; the Glasshouse presents a suspended 1,400-piece, 100-foot-long sculpture; and the Garden is a backdrop for four monumental sculptures and other installations.

Lead soldiers 

Bakelite radios

Kathy, Nann, Valerie
Valerie and I met Kathy, another Councilor. We had lunch in the cafe, Collections. Chihuly has many collections -- accordions, bottle openers, radios, TVs, and Pendleton blankets.  Each table at the restaurant had items from collections in a well in the center. 

Interior of a bowl-shaped piece

After lunch we saw the glass.  Wow.  Such beauty -- indoors and out. (And of course the shapes and colors reminded me of fabric designs.  Imagine Chihuly and Kafe Fassett collaborating.)

Valerie and I returned to our hotels by way of Undercover Quilts.  After Chihuly it was almost anticlimactic! I bought some more Lida Enche fabric (see last Thursday's post).  I can't wait to make something out of these beautiful prints!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

DWM: hexcitement in Seattle!

My design wall is empty because I'm writing from Seattle where the ALA Midwinter Meeting continues with good sessions, good friends, good food, and lots of good new books.

I have made more than 100 large (7-1/2" +/-) hexagon "flowers" out of neckties.  I decided that it's time to start assembling them. I considered sorting them by color but decided to go with an eclectic arrangement.  I quickly realized that I should stick with four flowers at a time because more than that becomes unwieldy, especially when I have to juggle the stitchery with taking notes. (I *do* pay attention to the speaker!)

I don't know how many flowers I'll put together, nor what I'll eventually make, nor how I'll quilt it.

I discovered a big oops, however. Do you see the six flowers on the right? They are oriented a different direction than the others and they will not nest.  I need to settle on one direction and remember what it is. Otherwise I'll have to insert rows of hexes to compensate.

And here is a photo of the bathroom floor.

You can see what other quiltmakers are working at Design Wall Monday on Judy's Patchwork Times.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Seattle, day 1

Traveling to the ALA Midwinter Meeting can be an adventure (bad weather at the point of departure, or en route, or at the conference site).   I've missed one MW since I became active in the Association in 1984 -- that was MW 1997 (San Antonio) when Fargo was socked by a blizzard and the next available flight out was the day before I was due to return, after all my meetings.  Cell phones were not ubiquitous and social media nonexistent so I just gave up and went to the Fargo AAUW luncheon that Saturday.

This year the travel from ORD to SEA was a breeze.  Literally -- strong headwinds extended the travel time by all of 10 minutes.  There were many friends and colleagues on the flight.  Six of us took the light rail from the airport downtown which provided views of neighborhoods--much more interesting that the airport shuttle, and at $2.75, a lot cheaper.

Shop staff with Carol and me
I deliberately chose an early flight to provide free time in the afternoon.  Carol, one of the ALA Biblioquilters,  and I took a cab ($; we should have taken the bus) to the Quilt Loft in the Ballard neighborhood.  What a nice shop -- light and bright, with lots of modern fabrics, lots of batiks and Asian prints. 

Lida Enche fabric -- my new favorite!!
 I discovered The Most Beautiful Fabric Ever.  I fell in love with it!  It's by Lida Enche whose paintings are "translated" into fabric. (It's made by In the Beginning.) I found two pieces in the remnant bin and I bought half-yard cuts of four others. I'll have to mail-order more!  

 I couldn't resist: two other remnants, and a quarter-yard of an alphabet-print. (I've got a plan for a quilt that requires alphabet prints so I need to add to my collection.)
The conference began later in the day with a reception for ALA Champions and Legacy Society members (of which I am one) and the Executive Board Survivors Dinner.  EB members going back to the early 1990's were among the 25 in our group.  What a lot of ALA history we represented!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

DWM: Valentines

The announcement for the UMW* meeting on February 14 said that secret pals will be revealed and to bring Valentines for everyone.  I'm not able to attend UMW meetings consistently since they're during the day, but I have been a secret pal (both giver and recipient) so I'll make time for this one. 

Sure, I could buy a box of inexpensive Valentines. But why, when I have fabric at my fingertips?  Fifteen years ago or so I got a flyer (advertising a quitl book, I'm sure) from Debbie Mumm with a pieced heart pattern.  I didn't buy the book, but I saved the pattern for a long time, and made the heart as a Valentine for my parents, circa 1999 (just one heart, fused to cardstock).  I came across that card a few weeks ago.** Now that I could use it, where is it?  Darned if I know. I have looked in all the possible places.  Without that pattern, I adapted this block (which I have made into two quilts: here and here).  

The original pattern makes a 6" block. That seemed rather large. I tried  3". That seemed rather small.  The 4" size is just right. I used batting in the large and small samples and heavyweight fusible Peltex*** in the medium sample: just right.  (I'll need to make 15. I'll add a hanging loop to each one.)

*That's United Methodist Women.
**My parents are deceased; the card was among the boxes (bales) of papers that they left, hence the reason that a card I gave away came to be in my possession.
** I bought an entire bolt of the stuff in the heyday of fabric bowls. I made 6 bowls one Christmas and that was it. (Raise your hand if you've responded to a fad in a similar way.)  I have lots of Peltex.

You can see what other quiltmakers are working this Design Wall Monday at Judy's Patchwork Times.

Next week's post will come to you from Seattle at the ALA Midwinter Meeting!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Progressive swap, and new sewing room (not mine)

Quilt seeds
 I had so much fun with the Bag Lady swap in 2012 that I proposed it to the Block Swappers .  Renamed the Progressive Swap, it's underway with five participants (including me).  I'm sending "quilt seeds" -- the red/white and green/white hourglass  units that have been my leaders-and-enders these past six weeks or so.  The others in the group can make these into blocks however they choose. 

Favors for the other four swappers

For settings, or sashes, or.....

For years and years my friend Irene has used a 9 x 10 bedroom as her sewing room.  This year she and her husband Paul have added a 16 x 32 foot room onto the back of their house just for her quilting studio.  (Paul is a printer and has an entire building for his collection of antique presses, Linotype machines, etc.)  She called me Saturday and asked if I'd like to help move and shelve fabric.  Of course! 

I knew she had a lot of fabric, but not until I saw it all did I realize the extent of her stash.   (And there is more in the upstairs bedroom, she told me, but I didn't go up there.)  
We folded and sorted fabric until we filled the shelves of 12 units (30x72x10). Paul has 8 units yet to assemble.

the old sewing room
Irene in her new space, with "Seafoam" walls

The back corner of the new room. A Handi-Quilter will go here.

In transit, in the living room

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Clear as can be?!

I received this comment by email:
"OK, I just give up.  You must be military, they love acronyms.  DMW? ALA?  Don't bother to answer, it's just less frustrating to remove your blog from my list.  Sorry, you do have some interesting quilts, just not worth the frustration."

For others of you who read my blog:  is it that difficult to figure out what the initialisms that I use stand for?  For example, there is a prominent button on the sidebar that says "ALA" and "American Library Association."
I'm Attending the 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting

At the end of the weekly DWM posts there is a label that says, "Design Wall Monday." And in each DWM post I provide a link to  Judy's Patchwork Times

I did reply to this woman, pointing out that I did not force her to put my blog "on her list."  And NOTHING that I've ever blogged about has implied that I am "military."

Sunday, January 13, 2013

DWM: a finish and a start, plus Easy Street (still)

Here's the border for Easy Street. I had two yards of the gray dot which brings out the grays in the design. 100 x 100 -- this is a big one!  I used four different fabrics for the back, including a cotton bedsheet.  I made the leftover units into one long strip.  I took ES to the long-armer today (Sunday).
First finish of the year!  I made this blue-centered Heart Strings flimsy last year. I pieced the back from four blue/gold prints.  I used gold thread for meandering FMQing.  (Backing + binding used 3-1/8 yards.)  

Selecting motifs to embellish the bookshelves
 Here's the new work in progress:  a bookshelf wallhanging. This will be given to the woman who's been my ALA roommate since 2002. She retired at the end of 2012 and the upcoming Midwinter Meeting will be her last ALA.  (If you click on the "bookshelf quilt" label you'll see other recent bookshelves. I've made more than 30!)

Novely fabric stash

And coming up:  these are the Star-Crossed blocks that I won from Block Lotto. I'm waiting for six more to arrive. I know I want to set them on point, but I haven't begun to audition setting fabrics.
See what other quiltmakers are working on at Judy's  Patchwork Times.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

DWM: swap results and Easy Street!

"I need to make a graduation quilt in brown and blue," read the message on the Quilters' Flea Market list.  "Does anyone have orphan blocks or a quilt top you're willing to sell?" I did!  I offered to swap  this  flimsy  for fabric.  Here's what she sent.  She's delighted with the flimsy and I'm delighted with the fabric. 
TA-DAA!  Here is Easy Street, assembled.  It's about 86 x 86.  I admit that when I put the blocks up I thought I didn't like it.  But now that it's put together -- WOW.

I have to figure out what the borders will be. Bonnie used a narrow inner border of violet and a wider outer border of turquoise. I don't think I have enough of any one turquoise....I'll need to rootle around in my stash for a creative solution.

Thank you, Bonnie, for another wonderful mystery. I don't know how you do it, but I'm glad you do!

Tune in here here for Bonnie's Mystery Monday link up, and tune in here for Judy's Design Wall Monday. 

(Now that ES is assembled I'm looking forward to working on another project.)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Raffle Mania!

The Northern Lake County Quilters Guild has Raffle Mania at the January meeting. Members donate quilt-related items for a bucket raffle.  The items are displayed on tables with a paper bag for each one.  Members get free tickets based on their attendance and participation in the past year and they can buy tickets for .50 each. They can then drop their tickets in the bags for the items they most want to win.

I took a box full with two dozen patterns (the kind that come in plastic bags), assorted quilty gifts, and two bags of selvages.  I had a string of free tickets and I spent $15 for 30 more tickets.  I won more than I brought!   Here's what I got:
Panel prints, pieced.
2001 Joann's BOM. Four blocks made, the rest in the packages, including all the fabric to set the quilt. (IMO it's not a very interesting design, but the fabric is usable.
 Fabric!  I won five lots of fabric -- totalling approximately 21 yards. (Yes, I measured it when I got it home.)  There's white-on-white, cream-on-cream, FQs, strips, and some larger pieces.
102 3" 9-patches. A hand-piecing project, with squares cut for more 9-p's and muslin setting squares.
35 vintage Lemoyne Star blocks, hand-pieced. The woman who brought them said they're from Kansas.

What will I do with all of this?  My standard answer:  Own it!  (For now, at any rate.)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's piecing, and The Annual Reckoning

HeartStrings had a New Year's weekend challenge. I made 52 blocks with purple centers. I assembled 48 of them on New Year's Eve.

Easy Street, Step's coming together!

This all-cotton, twin-sized bedsheet (Salvation Army, $2) will make a good backing for Easy Street.

And now, on to business:  

This is the fifteenth year that I have kept track of the fabric I've acquired and used.  Counting acquisition is easy. Counting use is trickier. I count the square inches in each block (e.g. a 9-patch made from 3" squares is ((3"x3)x3) = 27) and a border strip 2" x 54" is 108). A calculator makes it easy and I've been doing it this way for so long that it's second nature.

2011 was my successful no-buy year.  All during 2012 I knew that I was letting up on my resolve, but until the tally I didn't know just how much I'd let up.  (It's rather like dieting before a big event, then gaining all that weight back.
The bargains of the year were 142 yards at $2 yard from a quilt shop closeout and 55 yards for $31 at an estate sale.

Though I bought more than I ought to have, I did accomplish quite a lot.   I am uncomfortable having many works-in-progress, so I push ahead to the flimsy (unquilted top) stage. I can live with flimsies for a very long time.  This year I determined to reduce the inventory of flimsies. 

In 2012 I finished 39 flimsies myself, had flimsies professionally quilted, and gave away 3 flimsies. 
I created 29 flimsies, of which 21 are finished (they are counted in the 39) and 1 was given away.
In addition I made 1 cloak, 65 Care Bags, 1 pillowcase, 65 Christmas ornaments, and 5 potholders. I emptied 89 spools of thread.  

As 2013 begins, there are 18 flimsies in the box.  My quilt-related goals for the year:
*  End the year with 10 or fewer flimsies (that means I need to keep up with any new projects)
*  Buy less and use more
*  Improve proficiency at a minimum of two techniques (e.g. y-seams or a specialty ruler)
[Objective:  by January 15 determine what those two techniques are.]

May the coming year be piece-filled and peace-filled for you all!