Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What to do, instead

"Every quilt tells a story" was going to be the topic of my program for last evening's Arlington Heights AAUW branch.   I had three boxes of quilts in my car and my presentation ready to go.  The weather report was dire: strong winds, hail, 1-2" of rain, due to hit Chicagoland at 7 p.m.   Arlington Heights is 45 miles from here and I did not want to be on the road in the rain (especially returning home after dark).  So at 3 p.m. -- the sun shining brightly -- I called to cancel.  I'm glad I did because just as predicted the clouds rolled in and the heavens opened. 

What to do with a free evening?  Need you ask? 

Here is the completed Rail Fence Batik flimsy (the "half a flimsy" that I showed yesterday).   I decided against perimeter sashing. The border strips are cut cross-wise, but I was able to match the colors so that the design looks continuous. (I had 1-1/2 yards of that multicolor batik. Usually I buy yards or half-yards -- glad that I made an exception this time, even if I don't remember why. )  The flimsy is 80 x 80 and used approximately 6 yards from stash.   

I will reschedule the Arlington Heights program for fall! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

I won!

Look what UPS delivered today.   I entered Quiltmaker's giveaway for the release of the 9th issue in their "100 blocks" series. In addition to the magazine there's a jelly roll from the Garden Joy line by Clothworks.

Thank you, Quiltmaker!

DWM: a flimsy and a half

The Block Swappers have a quarterly swap of 3.5" nine-patches.  When I sent a batch of 60 off for the May exchange I realized that I have a box full of these cute little blocks. I put some up on the design wall and here's a new flimsy! 

i made a similar quilt a couple of years ago (here) The new flimsy uses the same blue-gray checked fabric --in fact, I didn't have enough of it which is why the setting triangles are red. The border fabric has little red cherries.   [68 x 74]

Here is the half-a-flimsy.

I had a box of 1.5 x 7 batik strips left from the piano key border on Lulu's Baskets .  I sewed them into 6's and trimmed them to 6.5" blocks.  A photo in a quilt magazine gave me the idea for the sashing. I may add sashing/cornerstones around the perimeter, or I may just add a border. I like the low-contrast effect.

More fabric!  These are gifts from library staff and trustees (from the party Saturday).  4-1/2 yards.  I think I've replenished the purple stash.

We leave for Australia tomorrow! Even the plastic portfolio that I use to carry itinerary is green  [The hand-sewing hexies are in little AAUW tote.]

See what's other quiltmakers' design walls at  Judy's Patchwork Times.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy trails! and a quilt for me

The public reception was last week -- and the staff party was yesterday!  We'd had Mexican and Italian and Asian menus at other library parties. I chose barbeque. The library staff includes a lot of ace party planners and they had great fun with a nouveau western theme -- keeping my favorite colors of purple and lime. 

Purple and green bandannas were folded around the boot cutout with silverware tucked inside.

Here is the link to more pictures: https://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.10152385878547349.1073741885.29373207348&type=1

And here's my quilt! The staff and the trustees signed quilt blocks. Barb set and quilted them. Look at the border fabric!  
On Friday afternoon I finished writing 43 thank you notes. I have some more writing to do this afternoon! (These gift bags have fat quarters, real quarters, a scrapbook for our travel photos, picnicware, and more wonderful, thoughtful gifts.)

Maximum capacity

"I have about ten boxes of fabric to give away. Can your guild use it?" wrote Dolly P. in an email message addressed to the  Northern Lake County Quilters Guild .  I get the "info @" messages because I am guild president. I wrote back saying yes.  I drove to Dolly's house on Tuesday.  (I thought that I could put it on the giveaway table at Wednesday's guild meeting.)

Dolly's garage was lined with neatly-packed boxes of fabric and a couple of dozen bolts. She explained that her grandchildren are coming to live with her and her husband so she will no longer have a sewing room. She had considered selling it, but she didn't have the time.  

 We *filled* my CRV. I estimate that the load was 1500 yards!

(The picture was taken after I took the boxes out of the front seat.)

As I drove home -- carefully, because the boxes in the back of the car obscured rear vision and the boxes in the passenger seat obscured the right side mirror -- I realized that I couldn't take it to the guild meeting.  We had a speaker scheduled, and knew from experience that the fabric would distract the audience from the presentation. (That happened last fall.  We had a big giveaway and the speakers were not pleased.) I wondered where I could all this fabric until the guild schedule was more favorable.  Eureka! My buddy Irene has a large studio (see it here).  She lives en route to my house, and thank heavens she was home at 5 p.m. when I pulled into her driveway.  She took one look at the cargo and said she'd give it a good home. 

(We are going to take Dolly's fabric to the July guild meeting, which is our annual ice cream social. The program is "schoolhouse," where members give short lessons on techniques. We will sell the fabric, at $2/yd. The proceeds will go to Karen Musgrave -- who gave the program at the NLCGQ meeting this week -- for her cultural exchange project.)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The notecards are here!

The envelopes have the notecard image
In all the rush of activity last week I didn't get to post this news.  The AAUW notecards have arrived!

Like many organizations, AAUW sends packages of notecards to members and would-be supporters.  Though postal regulations state that the recipient is under no obligation to pay for or return unsolicited merchandise, evidently such solicitations make enough money so that organizations keep doing it. 

Disappearing Four-Patch
Rather than reproducing famous paintings or publishing landscape photos, AAUW invites members to enter pictures of their original artwork. Any medium is welcome.  The pictures are posted on the AAUW website. Members can vote for up to six, once a week, from February 1-28.  The six top vote-getters become the notecards for the year. 

It's partly a matter of good art, and it's partly a matter of getting members to vote for your entry.  I entered two quilts:  Disappearing Four-Patch, a 30 x 20 wallhanging I made in 2012, and Dot's Enough, a lap quilt I made in 2010.   I put the pictures on my Facebook page, on the Waukegan Area Branch Facebook page, and on the AAUW-IL Facebook page. I emailed Illinois branch presidents and asked them to tell their members.   Disappearing Four-Patch won! 

The back of the notecard
Cards are distributed only through the fundraising program. They are not available individually, though I was told I'll get a package of two dozen of my card. (As of this writing I haven't gotten them yet.)   If you are on the mailing list and get a packet of cards, I hope you'll send a check to AAUW Funds.  You'll help break through barriers for all women and girls!
P.S. Here's my other entry. 

Dot's Enough! (2010)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Today's bargains

I needed to get a couple of greeting cards at the Hallmark store. I had a $2.00 rewards card coupon. It would have come in handy had it been with me rather than left on my desk at home. I bought the cards anyway. 

Then I went next door to the Salvation Army.  As I browsed among the women's clothing (you never know; there might be something nearly new and just the right size) a woman holding three sweaters said, "Can I ask you a question?"  It goes to show that even retired librarians have "ask me" invisibly tattooed on their foreheads. She wasn't asking a reference question, though; rather, she wanted to know which of the sweaters was the best color for her. I said, "You're a winter, so this is the best," pointing to the grey-taupe one (rather than the others which had yellower tints to beige). She understood just what I mean by "winter."  Do you remember when Color Me Beautiful was all the rage?  Skin tones and hair/eye colors were sorted by "season." Palettes for clothing, makeup, and jewelry were recommended for each season.  (For years I didn't wear anything black because I'm a "summer" and summers don't wear black.  Even now I won't wear anything black near my face. (Well, my wonderful winter hat is an exception.))  The woman explained that she buys sweaters, unravels them, and re-crochets them. She said, "I got a book from the library that show how to do it."

Our paths crossed a couple more times while we were shopping. I was able to show her what I picked off the textiles rack.  "See the batik?" I said. She admired it.

Here's what I got for $5.75.  The batik is on the left; then a yard, a FQ, and a 14" piece, and a never-used cashmere/silk shawl. In the back is a tablecloth made out of Provencal cotton.

 At home I unfolded the batik and looked at it closely. The sticker and the stamp mean it's genuine, all right.  See the narrow hem (just above the Batik Tjap stamp)? I suspected what it was and when I measured it -- 41 x 84 -- I knew.  it's a sarong. This one was never worn. I guess it was a souvenir.
Here's a good article that explains more about Indonesian sarongs: click here .

I don't know if I will see the re-crochet woman again. I hope she'll create something interesting just as I hope I'll be able to use today's bargains.

Party! and an un-convention-al beginning to retirement

What a party! On Thursday the library hosted a public reception for my retirement. I wasn't allowed to go near the meeting room all day as the staff committee worked on decorations. I didn't take any pictures because I was busy talking to the many people who came: friends from AAUW, church, library colleagues, Rotary, Woman's Club, chamber of commerce among them.  The color scheme was purple and lime.
The two beautiful bouquets are from librarian friends.  

Here is a link to the Facebook photos on the library page. I hope you can open it.

The gift suggestion was "fat quarters or real quarters for Nann's sewing machine fund."  I haven't gotten so many presents at one time since we got married! 
Here they are at home. The star balloons say "Princess" -- those were chosen by Ivy, who is 5 years old. (Her grandma is on the library board.)

Look at all the fabric I got!  I counted it -- 193 FQs which is 48-1/8 yards.  Wow.  (I also got rolls of real quarters, and some checks, and some gift cards.)

It's a good thing I have a stash of note cards (see this post) because I have a lot of thank-you notes to write.

Friday morning I was back at the library to host the monthly Coalition for Healthy Communities meeting.  I got home and packed the car and set out for St. Charles for the AAUW-Illinois state convention. I had several responsibilities: I'm finance director, so I am on the board which met from 3-5 p.m. Friday.  I also gave a book review on Friday evening. The books I talked about are listed here .
Book review and raffle quilt

I am standing in front of my version of Orca Bay. I contributed it as this year's raffle quilt.  This is the 12th year or so of raffle quilts at the AAUW convention. Four of those have been Quiltville designs.  This year the raffle raised the most yet!  $750 will go to  Lois List American Fellowship administered by AAUW. (American Fellowships support women scholars who are completing dissertations, planning research leave from accredited institutions, or preparing research for publication.)

I got home at 6 p.m. Saturday and was asleep at 8 p.m. I spent 2-1/2 hours at the library Sunday afternoon and have my office about half cleaned out.  I accumulated a lot of stuff in 11 years, added to everything I brought when I began.  I'm leaving a lot behind, but there are now four boxes in the garage that I have to sort.  But, hey, I'm retired. I don't need to rush! 

Busy week this week: I need to pay AAUW convention bills, I have three lunch meetings, a conference call, P.E.O. Tuesday, quilt guild Wednesday. I have to prepare the quilt program I'm presenting to the Arlington Heights AAUW branch next Monday.  And, oh yes, I have to write those thank you notes.

I'm linking up with other quiltmakers, retired or not, at Judy's Patchwork Times .