Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March stash report and the Chicago quilt show

On Sunday I went back to the estate sale where I bought the lace runner. There wasn't much left in the last hour of the four-day sale. I spent $5.00 and got 7-3/4 yards of quilting cottons. (Five pieces in all.)

Here's my stash summary:
March fabric in:  9-3/4  ($23)
March fabric used: 30-1/2
2015 to date in: 16-3/4  ($64)
2015 to date used: 90-1/8

I finished quilting the Daisy Patch quilt yesterday. I will take it to show & tell at the guild meeting, then deliver it to Linda W. who will bind it.
I made a purple bubble block for April's Rainbow Scrap Challenge . While I was at it I made blocks from the January and February colors, blue and pink, to add to the March yellow block. The blocks are 15 x 15 so a 12-month sampler will make a nice-sized quilt.

Irene and I went to the Really Big Quilt Show at Rosemont on Saturday. (Its official name is The 2015 International Quilt Festival/Chicago.)  That was the third and last day of the show. The crowds seemed thin. When I mentioned that to a couple of the vendors they said that they were busy on Friday.

What caught our attention as we entered the hall were the red and white quilts for the 40th (ruby) anniversary of the Quilt Festival.
by Yvonne Porcella

there were Dear Janes in other sections of the show, too
I didn't take many other pictures. Two of the exhibits did not allow photos: selections from 500 Traditional Quilts and the Cherrywood Fabrics "Wicked" challenge. Both exhibits had accompanying books that I didn't buy. "Midwest Marvels" was a nice local-ish exhibit with prize winners from local quilt shows. One of our guild's blue ribbon winners was featured.

The vendors had wonderful wares. I was tempted! But I restrained myself and bought four fat quarters and one one-yard cut, all for specific projects.  I also bought a Sticky Roller -- a silicon lint roller. You can see it  in this YouTube video . I've used it and, so far, it really works.

Monday, March 30, 2015

DWM: Heartstrings and a rainbow start

I plan to make 48 HeartStrings blocks every month in 2015. That's the number needed for a basic HS quilt. (Click on the label on the sidebar to see the others that I've made.) In March I turned to my homespun stash.  All the blocks have the same blue plaid for both the center strips and the corners.

I don't know why I flaked out for this month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge . The color is yellow, and I love yellow.  Beth at Eva Paige Quilt Designs created an off-center log cabin "bubble" that I used for my lone yellow block. My version turned out to be 16". I think I will make blocks for each RSC color this year. (January: blue; February: pink; April: purple, so far.)

 I'm linking up with  Patchwork Times and Love Laugh Quilt .  

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Estate sale

The estate sale ad read, "Winthrop Harbor home with high end Asian art." The house is in the nicest subdivision in town. I didn't care about the Asian art, but I did want to see inside the house.  A crafter lived there. I didn't know her, but I certainly liked her stuff.

There was some fabric, but nothing that I felt compelled to buy.  There were three sewing machines. (Not photographed: an older Memory Craft, $300.00.)

I scooped this up for $10. It is a 48 x 15 machine-made lace runner of the 1933 Chicago World's Fair.  It was made at the  Zion Lace Factory .

 I got three never-stitched kits. I am unlikely to ever stitch them, either, but I will enjoy owning them. The tablecloth on the left is Belgian linen, 70 x 90. That's a lot of linen for $3.75.
 These Paragon kits (the two were in one package for $3.75) are "stamped on superb 100% cotton homespun."

I entertain the thought of using these fabrics--linen, homespun--in something collage-y.

The thread isn't anything special, but it was a bargain.

The Weave-It box says "made by Donar Products, Medford, Mass." See the metal washer-like thing in the box? It says it is a "pompon ring, pat. applied for." It is hinged, so I guess you wind yarn around the ring, then open the hinge.

In all I spent $25.00. Prices are reduced each day through Sunday. I'll be at the Really Big Quilt Show at Rosemont today, but maybe I'll got back to the sale tomorrow and get some rock-bottom bargains.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Scrappy results

I spent most of yesterday sewing.

I got all the daisies appliqued, I pieced the backing.  I have that quilt half-basted.

The scrappy units I showed you a couple of weeks ago were in a stack on the counter. They hollered for attention. I put them back up on the design wall and here's how they turned out. (Units are 6"x6" and the flimsy is 60"x66". I calculate 5-1/2 yards.)

Monday, March 23, 2015

DWM: snow fooling!

 Last Tuesday I took pictures of the diminished ice along the lakefront.

This is the view from our front door this morning.

Three daisies to go

There is a garden on my design wall.  This quilt will be given to a P.E.O. sister who's been a mainstay of our chapter. She and her husband are retiring and moving out of state at the end of the school year. Linda W., another P.E.O., pieced the background.  After I finish the appliques I will quilt it and return it to Linda to bind. The pattern is by The Gingham Girls and was published in an issue of McCall's Scrap Quilts. (They used sunflowers. The P.E.O. flower is the marguerite, or daisy, and there were seven founders.)

See what other quiltmakers are working on at Judy's Patchwork Times   and Beth's Love Laugh Quilt

Monday, March 16, 2015

DWM: a bookshelf and (more) scraps

In addition to polishing silver (see previous post) it was a busy week: AAUW, Woman's Club, two conference calls (one for an ALA committee and one for a P.E.O. committee), the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast.  Stevens and I went to see "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" which was delightful.

The Zion-Benton Public Library hosted forums for candidates on the ballot in this April's election. (In Illinois we elect municipal officials and library district/school district/park district/etc. trustees on the first Tuesday of April of odd-numbered years.)  The forums are held only for the races where there are contested seats. I was the moderator, which I've done in previous years.  On Friday evening we heard the candidates for the library board and for the high school board. I did not pose the final question, but I relished asking it: "Do you have a library card and do you use it?" (The four library board candidates did.  One of the high school board candidates did. The other two said, "No, I use the Internet," to which I replied, "We can remedy that.")  On Sunday afternoon we heard the *six* candidates for Zion mayor and five of the six candidates for two seats on the Zion city commission. The meeting room was filled and people stood out in the lobby. The current mayor is retiring after 16 years. Economic development, public safety, and tax relief are the key issues.
The video is here .  (Yikes. I need to stop wiggling when I speak in front of groups.)

This week's quilting project is assembled and ready to quilt. It's for a library coworker whose retirement luncheon is this coming Friday. This is the 32nd (or so) bookshelf quilt that I've made.  It's hard for me to work/create with a tight deadline.
Novelties stash

On the other hand, projects with no deadline come together more easily. I have acquired a pile of 4.5" HSTs from the BlockSwappers' quarterly exchanges. I trimmed many of them to 3.5" and made pinwheels. I had a stack of 16-patches made as leaders-and-enders.  The blocks are 6.5" unfin/6" fin.   How would they look together?  The scrappy blocks are intense and busy, no place for the eye to rest.  How about adding some HST 9-patches? (Source: the 2.5" HST box.) How about making some stars? (Sources: the 2" HST box, the 2" squares box, and the 3.5" squares box.)  I'm not sure where this will end up!

I'm linking up on Judy's Patchwork Times and Beth's Monday Making.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Polishing the silver

I tackled some long-postponed housecleaning this week that included polishing my spoon collection. Here is the collection before.

Here is the collection after. I put the glass  "spooners," the technical name for a spoon holder, in the dishwasher. (Hand-polishing all those spoons took enough elbow grease. I wasn't going to hand-wash the spooners.)

I inherited most of the 100+-piece collection from my Aunt Carolyn Blaine Jones, who got them from her mother, Edith Walter Packer Blaine (my paternal grandmother). Edith got the spoons from her Aunt Bella Trager and Great-Aunt Henrietta Walter. I've added a couple over the years.

Edith's mother Caroline (1861-1929) was Bella's (b. 1851) younger sister.  Caroline and Bella's mother was Josephine (b. circa 1831).  Josephine was Henrietta's (b. 1845) sister.  In the middle was brother George (b. circa 1840).   As of the late 1880's (city directory) Josephine (a widow), Bella, Henrietta, and George -- lived at 52 Betts St. in the College Hill neighborhood of Cincinnati. Caroline married John Packer in 1882; they lived in Cincinnati but I don't have the address.  [I need to do more research to fill in the dates and addresses correctly.]


Henrietta was a teacher at Woodward High School. Bella was a teacher at the 10th District School. In the 1891 annual report Henrietta's salary is $1200 and Bella's is $700.  They traveled during their summer vacations and the spoons were among their souvenirs.  In the winter they gave travelogs to earn money for the next year's trip.

The collection includes a number of European spoons. There are many American and Canadian spoons, too. Most are sterling but some are silverplate -- but the good, heavy silverplate of the late 19th century (much better quality than today).                                        
Note the two bowls made out of shells. They're 100+ years old and are still intact! The center spoon has an ornate Indian on the handle and commemorates Columbus/1492 on the bowl. Next is an ornate floral handle with Cleveland on the bowl. On the right is a pretty pierced handle that spells San Francisco. Above is a beaver with Toronto University on the bowl.

These are all enamel-decorated spoons from Europe.

These spoons are not part of the inheritance. On the left is a sterling P.E.O. baby spoon that I got on eBay. Next is my dad's baby spoon. The other three pieces are my husband's baby spoon, a food pusher, and fork. Above is my husband's sterling silver rattle.

Now that the spoons are all shiny I *promise* that I will polish them more frequently!
P.S. Uncle George was in the Union Navy during the Civil War.  He kept a diary that my dad transcribed. Dad had to return the diary to a cousin (which one, I don't know). I believe that the transcription--which was typed on ditto masters and duplicated--is still among the Blaine family files in my front hall closet. Going through all of those is a future rainy-day project!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

DWM: take two sets of blocks....

Four more blocks came later

Thread is not fabric, so this is a Lent-legal purchase. It was also a great buy at 40% off. This was the first order I've placed with Craftsy. The service was fast. I am now well-supplied.

Last summer I won the guild's block-of-the-month: twelve Clay's Choice blocks in Civil War repros. At the same time the Block Swappers exchanged 6.5" 9-patches in Civil War repros.

At the time I thought about combining them but other projects took precedence.

This past week I put both sets of blocks on the design wall.  Rather dark and dull.

Alternating four nine-patches with Clay's Choice would work size-wise, but four nine-patch blocks together would have a dark blue blob  at the center.  I decided to try two different kinds of sashing. In the process I found out that the Clay's Choice blocks were not all 12.5". That can happen when different people make blocks with numerous seams. I cut the sashing strips 2", sewed them on, and then trimmed the block to 14.5".  I had to make 10 additional 9-patches to have enough for the design I had in mind -- and I had to make 12 more 9-patches because that many were 6-1/4" rather than 6.5".  

What to do about the border? The olive green is not a CW print but it picks up the olive in the blocks. The blue is a Fons & Porter print that is almost old enough to be vintage.  
I'm pleased with the result! The flimsy is 84 x 84 and used 2-1/8 yards from my stash (not counting the yardage in the swap or BOM blocks).  [A future quilt historian will be able explain why so many quilt borders are 5.5" -- the quiltmaker used her 6 x 24 ruler to cut the border strips.]

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

Sunday, March 1, 2015

DWM: February summary and something new

On Saturday we went to the Orchid Show at Chicago Botanic Garden. I received a membership as a retirement gift and I'm sorry to report that we haven't made very good use of it. The orchids are especially beautiful in contrast to the snowy landscape outside the greenhouses.

I was one of the winners of the January Block Lotto   I chose to keep the nine blocks that I made and I received the others from other block-makers.  The double nine-patch block had already inspired a flimsy (photo here) and I didn't feel like making alternate blocks again. When I put the black/white blocks on the design wall I thought of a woven coverlet.   I think the white-on-black print has just the right density for the border. The flimsy is 69 x 78. The setting used 1-3/4 yards.

I'm linking up to Judy's Patchwork Times for the monthly stash update.
* Fabric used, February: 21-3/4 yards
* Total fabric used since January 1:  58-3/8 yards
* Fabric acquired, Febrary: 6-1/4 bought; 3/4 swapped = 7 yards total
* Fabric acquired since November 1:  7 yards total
The HeartStrings blocks I pieced this month have been assembled. The flimsy is basted and is the next thing to go under the needle.

And on Monday I will link up to Judy's Design Wall Monday  and to Beth's Monday Making .