Monday, November 30, 2015

DWM: two finishes and fence-sitting

In and around the activity chronicled in the previous two posts, I finished two flimsies.  I had enough backing for both of these quilts that I didn't need to make a pieced insert but I'd done that with the other quilts I finished this month, so why not?

Purple-and-green HeartStrings.
I pieced the strip of green/purple specifically for this backing.

Framed Coins.  I made the flimsy last spring when I was displaced from my studio. I had just enough of the orange-with-circles print to cut 5" strips for the border.  The insert is made with 3.5" nine-patches from the Block Swappers.

I have decided to sit on the fence during this year's
Quiltville mystery.  I will save each weekly clue in the event that it turns out to be a design that I really like.  Meanwhile I will devote my quilting time to finishing flimsies and making swap blocks.

I'm linking up at
Patchwork Times
Oh Scrap!
Love Laugh Quilt

Thanksgiving Day and then it's Advent!

Thanksgiving dinner preparation began Tuesday with "that" cranberry relish.  Those who listen to Morning Edition on NPR know that it's Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish.  Susan Stamberg repeats the recipe every year.  Here is the  2015 version.

I discovered the recipe about 1991.  My colleague Pam came into the library saying she'd heard a great recipe and story on the car radio. She quickly copied the directions on a catalog card and made a photocopy for me.  I still have the photocopy in my recipe box. (Recipe box? That's a story for another post.)

Years later Stamberg said it turned out that her mother-in-law had gotten the recipe from her daughter who had clipped it from Craig Claiborne's column in the New York Times.  Stamberg had Claiborne as the annual recipe-reciter one year. He said he'd gotten far more mileage out of that recipe than any other.

I made side dishes using two recipes from the Chicago Tribune:  parsnips and beets with citrus aioli and butternut squash roasted with maple syrup and topped with feta.  Dessert came from a recipe in Parade magazine:  sweet potato cheesecake (spiced with cinnamon and chile).

We use a roasting bag for the turkey.  Purists may scoff, but it keeps the oven clean and the turkey turned out nicely.  I boiled down the bones and made turkey soup.

We didn't go shopping on Black Friday but we did go to the movies -- we saw Brooklyn.  It is a charming love story and we recommend it!

Stevens provided pulpit supply on Sunday at Memorial UMC in Zion.  (Gee, without his preaching robe, and with the flag behind him, he looks like a politician.)

I have accumulated a lot of Christmas cards -- the leftovers from boxes and this estate sale.  I was determined to use them up this year.  I nearly did!  We put up the wreath, the tree, and the Nutcrackers.  I am hosting the AAUW board meeting this week and wanted the holiday decor up, even if it seems too early.

Thanksgiving week

 It was a quiet week! I had only one meeting, on Tuesday morning. We also went to a community Thanksgiving service Wednesday evening.

November 2015
Warm weather mid-week meant most of the previous Saturday's snowfall melted. I took a long walk at Camp Logan, the middle unit of our lakefront state park.  The lake levels are 8" above average (according to this bulletin). That results in a lot less beach.

March 2013

November 2015

Can you see the culvert hidden in the tree branches?

It was installed just two years ago. Here's a photo from two years ago.
November 2013

Note to self:  if there's a piece of beach glass on the other side of a fallen tree, be sure to get all the way under the tree before straightening up.

Monday, November 23, 2015

DWM: fabric finds me, finishes, and pieced backs

The week began with sunshine and ended with the biggest November snowfall in 120 years. The storm was forecast well in advance and behaved exactly as predicted: heavy, wet snow from Friday night to mid-afternoon Saturday.  The United Methodist Women had a table at the library craft fair Saturday. I drove on slippery, partially-plowed streets for my 1:30-3:30 shift.  Usually the craft fair is a bustling event but we packed up our table at 2:30.  The baked goods were sold at coffee hour after the Sunday service. The craft items will be packed away for next year.  (Of my contributions: the five
table runners sold and seven out of twenty potholders sold.)

I hosted  P.E.O. on Monday -- a nice coincidence for me because I was initiated 30 years ago this week (November 19, 1985).  The program was a report by Pat W., our delegate to the international convention. Each delegate represents seven chapters (I was the delegate  in 2009).  Pat is a member of a chapter in the southwest corner of the county and she's also on a state committee with me.  I made this mug rug to thank her for her presentation.

I needed a tablecloth for the dining table to serve Monday's refreshments. I opened the bottom drawer of the butler's desk, which I don't open very often. I found the autumn-theme table runner that I wanted to use.  I also found this tablecloth.  I made it out of five yards of cotton print (cut in half and seamed lengthwise)  for a barbecue-themed dinner we hosted.  That was in 1981 when we lived in Pittsburg, Kansas -- many years and many miles ago!  I think we used the tablecloth just one other time.  This week I looked at it in a different light -- that's five yards of fabric, already seamed, just right for a quilt back!

I put my Block Lotto winnings on the design wall.  The straight setting looks okay, but the on-point setting looks better!
 I have an idea for sashing . . . stay tuned.

I appreciated last week's comments about the pieced backing I used on the t-shirt quilt.  I did the same for two flimsies this week -- yep, two finishes!  Add 6 yards to the "used" column for the backing and binding of these scrappy quilts.

This is the October HeartStrings (2.5" strips) here . The front is folded over the back. The backing fabric is a 36" wide vintage print.  I used 2.5" strips for the insert.

This is the 9x9 postage stamp ( here ).  Again, the front is folded over in this photo.  The backing is another vintage print, 44" wide, by VIP.  I made a stack of "Mary's Triangles" units years ago. I thought this would be a good way to use some of them.

I'm linking up with
 Patchwork Times
 Oh Scrap!
Love Laugh Quilt

P.S. The butler's desk closed, and opened. Stevens' grandmother bought it from a neighbor in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, sometime before 1920.

Sunday, November 15, 2015


I wrote earlier how I'd been procrastinating about the t-shirt quilt I needed to make. (Did I write that about this quilt? Actually, I think I have procrastinated about each of the four t-shirt quilts I've made.)

 I bought 6-1/2 yards for this project (sashing, border, backing).  All I have left are pieces from the border, totaling about 1 yard, and two 2-1/2" strips of sashing.

There wasn't enough backing fabric so I inserted an 8" extender.

I outlined the flowers to quilt the border.
The problem with t-shirt quilts is "blooping" with heavy plastic-y motifs.

I'm adding this to the lime green projects at So Scrappy !
I'm also linking up with
Patchwork Times
Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Love Laugh Quilt
Cooking Up Quilts

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Y2K charm quilt

Button charms: Pinterest
In the 19th century many girls swapped buttons to make "charm strings."  It was said that if a girl had 999 buttons on her string, the young man who gave her the 1,000th would be her true love.  This article describes button charm strings.   
Quiltmakers have their version of charm strings.  This article describes several waves of charm quilt fads. In late 1998 I joined in one of those waves with fellow quilters on the Rec.Crafts.Textiles.Quilting newsgroup. I sent and received dozens of packets of 25 assorted 3" squares of quilting fabric and a signature square. Our goal was to have 2,000 different fabrics by the year 2000.  Mickie, one of the RCTQers, designed "The New Millennium Quilt," a pattern that incorporated 24 fabrics in each 4"  block.  In the fall of 1999 I sewed, cut, trimmed, and assembled. The quilt was finished (quilted, bound, labeled) that November.  (The design produced lots of cutaway triangles that I later gave away.)   My design idea was to keep similar colors in each block. I didn't intend to make a watercolor quilt, but that's how it turned out.  

I include my Y2K quilt in my quilt history presentation. When I got it out for last week's program I took time to write down the names of all the contributors. One signature block was too faded to read. One person swapped twice.  At least one is deceased.  I'm in online contact with several others.  Here's the list (last names omitted to provide a little privacy):

Angela Tustin CA
Anja Almelo Netherlands
Ann Tuscumbia AL
Barb Grants Pass OR
Barb Willow Grove PA
Beata Svenberg Denmark
Beth Marietta GA
Betty Hillsboro NM
Bev ON
Beverly Bright, Victoria Australia
Carol   Dayton OH
Carolyn Natick MA
Cathy Oshkosh WI
Cheryl Omaha NE 
Cheryle Sault Ste Marie  ON
Christine Stow OH
Connie Anchorage AK
Cori Bremerton WA
Cynthia CT
Deane Cary IL
Debbie Savage MN
Debi Fox River Grove IL
Denise Strongsville OH
Diane Conyngham PA
Dianne Chicago IL
Donna Steilacoom WA
Donna Escondido CA
Dorothy Powell River BC
Elaine Suffolk VA
Elaine Montgomery AL
Flornce Tucson AZ
Genevieve Natchez MS
Gillian Beaverton OR
Gillie Oxfordshire England
Ginny Barre VT
Gwen Brooklyn NY
Irene Creston BC
Jane  Ashland OH
Janet Portland OR
Janet Garland TX
Janice Okanagon WA
Jennifer Greenwood SC
Jerrica Lewiston ID
Judith Fort Worth TX
Judy Tampa FL
Kapi Escondido CA
Kathy Grand Blanc MI
Katie Norfolk NE
Katie Ames IA
Katrina Seattle WA
Kimberly Chewelah WA
Krysia Tyne & Wear England
Laura Dale City VA
Laurel Belleair FL
Lisa Los Angeles CA
Lisa Bloomington IN
Lisa Olson AFB Korea
Lori Troy MI
Lori Troy MI
Lu Ellen Newport NC
Maarit Ottawa ON
Margie Canon City CO
Marilyn Tampa FL
Mary Birmingham AL
Mary Kay Port Huron MI
Maureen Ottawa ON
Maureen Medicine Hat AB
Mechele Seoul South Korea
Megan South Holland IL
Michelle Iowa City IA
Mickie Cranberry Twp PA
Miriam Cumberland ME
Monique Bilbao Spain
Nadine Warrensburg MO
Nancie Houston TX
Nina Marie Albion PA
Pamela Helsinki Finland
Pixie Tyler TX
Rhoda Moorhead MN
Ro Brea CA
Robin Baldwinsville NY
Robin Howell MI
Roseann Millersville MD
Rowena Nashville TN
Sandy Burlington MA
Sharon Lansing MI
Smeggy Little Falls WV
Sue Niles MI
Susan Phoenix AZ
Susan Indianapolis IN
Sylvia Clinton NC
Theresa Covington WA
Tutu Cape Town South Africa
Urchi Germany
Vickie Casper WY
Vickie Youngstown OH
Vivien Auckland NZ
Yvonne Carlsbad CA

Did you swap charm squares for the millennium?  Did you ever sew them into a quilt?

Monday, November 9, 2015

DWM: a finish and a start on the November list

I have two must-do projects for November. One is finished and the other is begun.  But first: here are the X Plus blocks for this month's Block Lotto .  Aren't these great?

"Winter Berries" is my contribution for our P.E.O. holiday ornament exchange. (Ornaments don't have to go on the tree.) The pattern is by Pat Sloan.  It was published in McCall's Quick Quilts and republished in McCall's Scrap Quilts. I had marked both magazines with post-its which I took as a sign to make it.  10" x 37", 1 yard, all from my stash.

I offered a t-shirt quilt for the Rotary Golf Outing auction last May. Mom and daughter brought the t-shirts in August. I said I'd have the quilt by Christmas . . . which is just around the corner. Mom said daughter likes dark green, but I went a tad brighter for the sashing and border fabric.  T-shirts are cut and stabilized.   This week will be somewhat less-meeting-filled (see previous post) and I hope to get the quilt assembled.

I'm linking up with other quiltmakers at
Patchwork Times
Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Love Laugh Quilt

A busy week!

The first week of the month is always busy, with P.E.O. on the first Monday evening and quilt guild on the first Wednesday evening, Zion Woman's Club at lunchtime the first Tuesday and Coalition for Healthy Communities at breakfast the first Friday. (Rotary is every Thursday.) To add to those recurring events, I gave a book review to the Alpha Gamma Delta alumnae club on Tuesday evening and my quilt history program for the Downers Grove AAUW branch on Thursday evening.  On Saturday morning the Zion-Benton Leadership Academy graduated its fourth class.

"Greatness Explained: the Great Lakes" was the ZWC program. Dr. Norman Moline is a retired professor of geography at Augustana College. He gave a thorough overview / review of the Great Lakes -- geology, biology, strategic political/social position.  My husband was among the guests. We agreed that it was an excellent presentation.  (The presentation was underwritten by the Illinois Humanities Council Road Scholars  speakers bureau (not the Road Scholar (singular) travel company).)

Patricia Sanabria Friedrich was the guild speaker. Her book is "Mosaic Tile Quilts." She is originally from Costa Rica and the tiles in churches, schools, and other buildings are the basis for her designs. (She now lives in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.)

Though I've been a member of this Alpha Gam alumnae club for many years, I don't attend many meetings. My book talk featured some of my favorites, some older, some newer.

 Cheri Neal and I received plaques with photos of the four ZBLA classes and a lovely poem. We're shown with the current ZBLA coordinators Colette Davis and Jiquanda Nelson (both of whom are ZBLA grads).

  (For more about ZBLA: here .)

"Every Quilt Tells a Story" is my work-in-progress quilt history program. I show vintage quilts from my collection and some of my own work. I invite group members (in advance, of course) to bring quilts they've been given, inherited, or made.   Several of the Downers Grove AAUW members brought lovely quilts but I didn't take any photos. Those shown here are by Kate from DG-AAUW. ]


Scrappy Forecast, 2015

AAUW 2014 notecard winner 

Monday, November 2, 2015

DWM: beach, blocks, runners, and HeartStrings

We had about 50 trick-or-treaters on Saturday afternoon. The morning rain had moved on though it was still overcast. By contrast, Sunday was Kodachrome-bright.  We went to Hosah Park for our afternoon walk.

We could see the Chicago skyline -- there's a tall building in the far distance behind the concrete pier on the right (in the water).

Shirtsleeves in November

Beach glass bonanza!

Vintage prints
Stash report, October:
Fabric acquired: 63-3/8  ($52)
Fabric used: 31-7/8
Fabric acquired: 162-5/8  ($376.60)
Fabric used: 283-5/8
Net decrease: 121

52-3/8 yards of this month's acquisition came from Lillian's legacy -- free! The other 10 yards were batik FQs purchased at a quilt show.

Vintage woven plaids and stripes
I sold four sets of blocks through the FB group Quilters Virtual Yard Sale. They'd been in my box o' blocks for years. Now someone else can put them to use.

Lime is the the color this month at the  Rainbow Scrap Challenge .
Here's my bubble block.

And, speaking of blocks, I won the Block Lotto! I will get 42 Twinkle Stars to add to the six that I made.

The United Methodist Women will have tables at two craft fairs this month.  I made five table runners using 6.5" crazy-pieced Christmas blocks left over from this project back in 2010.

Each runner has a different back.

I'm making Christmas potholders from blocks-on-hand, too.

 I've used different colorways, fabric genres, and strip sizes for this year's HeartStrings quilts.  A back issue of "Easy Quilts" had a pattern that inspired me to try a different design for the 11th HS quilt. I assembled it Saturday. I'm a month ahead!

I'm linking up with other quiltmakers at
Patchwork Times
Love Laugh Quilt
So Scrappy
Quilting Is More Fun than Housework