Sunday, November 30, 2014

DWM: November wrap-up, plaid diversion, and GIMQ

Saturday sunset 
Pheasant is pleasant

We enjoyed two Thanksgiving dinners. The first was on Thursday with our friends Erika and Nick (and their daughter, sister, and brother-in-law).  My contribution to the feast was Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish . It is as   an auditory as well as a culinary tradition as I listen to the recipe presented on NPR's Morning Edition the Friday before Thanksgiving. The second was on Saturday with my sister Valerie, brother-in-law Rod, and niece Amelia.  They served roast pheasant (which V&R hunted).  I brought curried parsnips, an easy and delicious recipe from the Joy of Cooking. (Parsnips, onion, curry, milk, sour cream.)

 I used motifs from a vintage tablecloth and hopsack yardage from the Deep Stash to make this tote bag for our Thursday hostess.  The turquoise and green are akin to AAUW colors, which is how she and I met.


Victoria at Park Hill Farm wrote that she was making plaid blocks for Beth at Love Laugh Quilt . Plaids? I have some of those!  The dozen blocks I made for Beth used just over a yard.  Now I want to make a whole bunch for myself.  I do love those homespuns.

Last week I was undecided about joining the crowd for Grand Illusion.  I made up my mind -- I'm in!  I decided to start with half the number of blocks. (Bonnie said that's okay.) Here is the result.

I did get this cleaned up

And the November wrap-up:
Fabric acquired in November:  NONE!
Fabric used in November: 58-3/4 yards!

I'm linking up with other quiltmakers at Judy's Patchwork Times  and Quiltville's Mystery Monday .

P.S. I reached an automotive milestone on Saturday and managed to photograph it.  The CRV is still running well after 11 years and 11 months.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Deep Stash

Enter if you dare! 

We have a room in the basement that was designed to be a spare bedroom. "Spare," because it's between the family room (my studio) and the laundry room so an occupant wouldn't have much privacy. "Designed to be," but not advertised as such because there is no escape window (a deep window well with a push-out window) that code now requires.  We couldn't put a bed it in anyway because it is the home of my Deep Stash.

Embroidery kits
The Deep Stash is mostly fiber and textiles.  I have bins of fashion fabric though I make very few garments any more. I have a bin of Paternayan Persian needlepoint yard and a couple of sacks of tapestry needlepoint yarn. I have two copier-paper boxes of DMC floss. (One box was a rummage sale bargain. The skeins were in individual numbered envelopes. How could I pass that up?)  I have a large accumulation of vintage household textiles -- tablecloths and napkins, dish towels, aprons, and embroidered pieces. I have a box for never-stitched embroidery kits.  There are some rolls of upholstery fabric that I got dirt-cheap. (Possible tote bags?)  Actually, most of the Deep Stash was acquired cheaply, if not dirt-cheaply. 

Fashion fabric (one box of 8)
I have divested myself of some of the Deep Stash.  Last year I took a copier-paper box of even-weave embroidery cloth and a box of findings (such as needlework frames) to the local stitchery shop.  I dug into the fabric bins when I made the Care Bags (see previous post). Earlier this month I pulled out an entire bin of miscellaneous solid fabric. Some went to Care Bags and a lot (poly-cotton lining-weight) got cut into 10" squares for HeartStrings blocks.  

These four boxes have disassembled/washed/ironed silk neckties. 

Vintage linens

These are all-cotton, never-used tablecloths that will be quilt backs some day.

Five rolls of belt webbing, $1.00 each at a sale. 

 Mint-in-package cotton bedsheets.
 Some day I want to make a quilt out of bandanas.  I just need to get a good variety.  

This little bundle was $2.00 at a Wisconsin rummage sale. With a note like that, how could I resist?

Why are there more lids than there are lid-less boxes??

So there you have it. The Deep Stash. I've had fun acquiring it and I've enjoyed owning it. Now I want to thin it out. (But not too much.)

DWM: Care Bags and ornaments

I finished 100 tote bags for the Care Bags For Kids Foundation.  The 13"x14" ditty bags are filled with with hygiene supplies for children in crisis. This year's bags used up some home dec fabric, some denim and corduroy remnants, and other miscellaneous fabric from my Deep Stash.

For the 11 years I was at ZBPL I made Christmas ornaments for the staff, trustees, and volunteers. I don't have to do that any longer, but I still have the habit.  Instead of 60 ornaments for library colleagues, I am making 25 ornaments for my friends in the United Methodist Women.  I have eight more to make and I need to attach hanging loops (embroidery floss). The luncheon is December 11 so I will be finished in plenty of time. The pattern is by Katrina Rosser. You can find it here.

I pieced the backing for this quilt and hope to finish it this week. (Only one daytime meeting this week and only one evening obligation (the ecumenical Thanksgiving service Wednesday) = quilting time!)

Am I the only quiltmaker who is as yet undecided about participating in the Quiltville mystery that begins on Friday?

See what other folks are up to at Judy's Patchwork Times .

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

WIP no more! Can you name this flimsy?

WIP no more!  I know that you liked the lime green sashing, but I was stuck on the red. I auditioned possible border fabric.  Too light. Too dark. Too busy. I looked in the backings stash -- success! The border print is black with light blue and red leaves.  (There is red in the border, even if you can't see it in the picture.)

The flimsy is 57 x 68 and used 7 yards.  

Any suggestions for a name?  

Monday, November 17, 2014

DWM: a star is born and WIP

Gayle Bong (website) was the speaker at the NLCQG monthly meeting. She presented a day-long workshop on "Infinite Stars" this past Saturday.  The design concept is to use 60-degree diamonds to make a six-pointed star. She begins with a regular block, then redrafts it so that squares become diamonds.

Here are her class samples.
Gayle is a good teacher!
the book and the pattern

 I cut out all the pieces and managed to make one diamond in class. I made the other five diamonds at home.  The conclusion is that I need to practice a whole lot more!  (It may look as though these will fit together but they won't.)

Back to my comfort zone:  here is my postage stamp WIP.  I've decided to make 20 blocks.   Three possible sash fabrics are shown, but the final choice will depend on the border fabric and I haven't begun to audition that.
the blocks are fun to make

# # # # # # # # # # # # # # #
I presented "Every Quilt Tells a  Story" for Arlington Hts. AAUW last Monday. There were nine members and two guests. Everyone was attentive and two people took copious notes.  Just one person brought a quilt, a lovely Grandmother's Flower Garden. I talked about the importance of labeling--hers had a safety-pinned slip of paper with the provenance.

Now that I've given EQTAS twice I'm more confident and I will seek more gigs.  I also want to add to the vintage quilts that I show, which provides a good excuse to go antiquing!

I'm linking up with other quiltmakers for Design Wall Monday at Judy's Patchwork Times .

Friday, November 14, 2014

FIF: holiday projects finished

I was delighted to get a complimentary copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, volume 10, as a follow up to my participation in Quiltmaker's Back-to-School Party in September.

Block #914 filled the bill for two projects on my to-do list.   At the NLCQG holiday dinner we have a block exchange.  I made one block of #914.  At my P.E.O. chapter holiday potluck we have a gift exchange.  I made the block and then made it into a pillow.  (The sample in the magazine had a white background. I used a light blue snowflake print. I had the blocks made before I even pulled out fabric to finish the pillow. Eureka! I had just the right green/red/blue print in my stash, and enough of it for the border and back of the pillow.)

The block(photo not shown) is 12.5" and the pillow is 17".   Of course I did machine applique.

Block #914 was designed by Joanne Rowicki of Gingham Girls

I'm linking up with dozens of other quiltmakers for Finish It Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts .

Monday, November 10, 2014

DWM: a busy week ended, a busy week coming up

.....but there is always time to sew!

I was out every evening last week, Monday through Friday.  Everything went well.

I presented "Every Quilt Tells a Story" to the Alpha Gam alumnae club. I belong to the club but I'm not able to attend meetings (schedule conflict (P.E.O. meetings) and distance (most members live 35-40 miles away)).  I took two bins of quilts -- a representative selection of mine and vintage quilts from my collection. I had pictures of quilts that illustrated different styles, but they wanted to see the actual quilts that I brought.  I invited them to bring quilts of their own. Several did -- from a beautiful contemporary stack'n'whack to a four-in-nine patch from the early 1950's to an all-wool, random-sized-patch (dark and heavy, utility quilted with red thread).  It was delightful to see Alpha Gams I've known for a while and to meet ones.

Gayle Bong was the speaker at our guild meeting on Wednesday.  Her specialty is scrap quilts and I got many ideas from her trunk show. She's giving a workshop for us this coming Saturday and I'll be there!

Alas, the library team did NOT win the community spelling bee on Thursday.  We heard "caricature" for "caricatured" -- lesson:  be SURE to ask for the word to be used in a sentence.  It was extra hard to sit through the rest of the spelling bee because my teammate Steffi and I knew all the rest of the words (and we got 'em right). The winners were the team from Congdon's Funeral Home. They've won three and ZBPL has won three.  Wait 'til next year!  [My consolation:  my tickets were the winners for two door prizes.]

The  AAUW-IL fall conference was in Springfield on Saturday. I picked up Carol H. on Friday. We spent an enjoyable two hours at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum .  The conference on Saturday was held at the Lincoln Library (the Springfield public library).  I spoke about branch financial reports (I am state finance director). I got home at 7 p.m. Saturday. I slept well!

The Heartstrings November challenge is "black, white, and bright." Here's my flimsy. When I used all of one orange print for center strips I pulled out a different print fro the rest of them.

These are postage stamps-in-a-square.  The little blocks are 3.5" unfinished, so nine together are 9.5" unfin/9" fin.  I'm not sure where I'm going with these. Stay tuned!

I'm linking up with other quiltmakers at Judy's Patchwork Times.

Monday, November 3, 2014

DWM: scrappy delight

October stash report:  acquired 28-7/8.  Used 37-3/4.  Yay!

Postage stamps have been my leaders-and-enders of late.   This flimsy has 168 "waffle stamps" blocks made from 1.5" postage stamps and 1.5" x 6.5" strips. The trimmed blocks are 5.5" (5" finished).(See a previous version here . ) When all the blocks were completed. I did NOT put them up on the design wall. I sewed 2's and then 4's together, then three long strips of seven 4's. The only concerns were keeping the horizontal/vertical orientation of the bars, that no two bar fabrics adjoined, and that there was some light/dark color balance. I don't think I will put a border on it.  The flimsy is 60 x 70 and used 5-3/4 yards.

Alycia, who I consider the Queen of Quilts of Valor, announced a QOV block drive for November. (Details are here .)  I made 20 blocks and have another 20 underway.  I found a cache of 2.5" tan strips left over from a quilt I made more than a decade ago. Every time I came across them I thought, "These will be useful some day." That "some day" finally arrived.

I have a very busy schedule this week with evening meetings:
Monday -- report on philanthropic projects for P.E.O.

Tuesday -- "Every Quilt Tells a Story" program for the Chicago NW Suburban Alumnae of Alpha Gamma Delta .  Preparation for this has taken a lot of thought-time and actual time. I am not doing a power point because (a) I am not good at power point and (b) the program will be in the hostess's living room and I don't know if there is wall space on which to project.  (And, (c) I don't own a projector.)   How do you condense centuries of quilt history into a 30-minute program for non-quilters?   I have a selection of vintage quilts and quilts that I've made.  I have pictures of historic quilts to pass around.  And -- audience interaction -- I've invited people to bring quilts that are special to them.  I know enough quilt history to be able to identify styles and general time-frame.  I am going to repeat the program for the Arlington Heights AAUW branch on November 10.  I hope that I can develop EQTAS into a program that I can present to women's groups in the Chicago area. And I will eventually develop a power point.

Spelling bee donation
Wednesday -- Northern Lake County Quilters Guild monthly meeting -- program by Gayle Bong 

Thursday -- 9th annual Spelling Bee -- I am on the library team once again (see last year's results in this post)   I'm donating this quilt to the silent auction. (I made it a year ago with blocks on hand.)

Friday -- to Springfield for some sightseeing the day prior to the AAUW-Illiinois fall conference (Saturday 9-noon).

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

P.S. Tomorrow is election day!