Thursday, April 28, 2016

OMG finish for April

upside down
It's time to post One Monthly Goal finishes in the OMG linkup at Red Letter Quilts.

The two daisy totes were my OMG for April.  I used car headliner as interlining. (See the previous post about the disastrous results with Peltex.)  I attached the lining and turned the bag right side out.  Oops!  Upside down.  The seam ripper has been my friend for this project.

Right side up .

The second tote went much more smoothly. Here are the finished products.

Speaking of finishes, I completed the batik wall hanging. The border was very easy (2.5" squares of the background and 2.5 x 4.5" rectangles).

Now I need to think about what I'll choose for my May OMG . . .

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Weekly update*: something new!

 * I post on several weekly linkups, not just Design Wall Monday, so I'm going to use the term "Weekly Update" to cover all of them.  I appreciate all the linkup hostesses -- Angela, Beth S., Cynthia, the other Beth S., and especially Judy.

This week I ripped out the offending Peltex from the daisy totebags. I went to Joann's in search of a substitute.  No Flex-foam, but they had car headliner. I bought a yard and used the 50% off coupon.  The red tag fabrics were 50% off and, yes, I indulged in three of the premium-quality prints, just $3.50 per yard.
Rather than go back to the totebags I made a Frankenbatt (= pieced-together batting remnants) and quilted a HeartStrings top contributed by a guild member.  (HeartStrings blocks were the guild's January charity sewing project. I said I would quilt 5 tops made of blocks from that event. This is #4.)

At the Zion Woman's Club board meeting on Tuesday we talked about plans for the May 3 luncheon when the 2016-18 officers will be installed. . I asked a long-time club member if we give a gift to the outgoing president in addition to the past president's pin. No.  No?! Marilyn, the 2014-16 president, has done a great job. I said (sotto voce) that I would try to come up with something quilted.

First I had to come up with a pattern!  I looked at a stack of ideas torn out of magazines. I found a few to throw away, but nothing for the wall hanging I had in mind. I googled "spring wall hanging" and found an Edyta Sitar design, a free download from Accuquilt.  Of course it presumes access to an Accuquilt cutter and use of specific Accuquilt dies.  I have neither.  Instead, I cut a piece of pattern tracing stuff the size of the block background and drew the shapes freehand. I then traced the shapes on fusible web, selected fabrics, fused, and cut.  As of this writing (early Sunday evening) I have finished the applique.  I'll work on the border during our TV time.

The RAILS (library system) board met in East Peoria on Friday. I drove down Thursday afternoon (RAILS paid for hotel and dinner).  I gave myself time to stop at two excellent quilt shops, Peddlers Way in Washington and Quilt Corner in Morton. My self-imposed limit was the amount of my mileage reimbursement (416 miles plus tolls = $232). I spent a LOT less than that.  I also stopped at three thrift shops -- 3-3/8 yds for $2.80 at the first; six quilt books for $1.49 at the second;  and a nice summer sweater and a knit top for $8.00 at the third.

Saturday evening was Rotary's spring social. Five couples had dinner at a local restaurant and we went to the Zion-Benton Township High School spring play, a comedy called "If This is the First Day of the Rest of My Life, I'm in Big Trouble." We hadn't been to a high school play in many years. It was great fun.

This week I will finish the wall hanging (the luncheon is May 3) and the daisy totes (they're my One Monthly Goal for April)....also clean house (AAUW board meets here Thursday), and get ready for the AAUW-IL convention Friday and Saturday.  The garden and lawn are begging for attention, too!

I'm linking up at
Oh Scrap!
 Monday Making
 Design Wall Monday
 Main Crush Monday

Monday, April 18, 2016

DWM: frustration and a flimsy

My One Monthly Goal for April is to make two daisy-themed totebags. I have finished the applique and quilting -- just top and batting, no backing since the totes will be lined.   They were floppier than I wanted so I sewed the front/back units to Peltex. Then I sewed the lining right-sides together and turned the sandwich right side out.  Big mistake. The Peltex is too stiff. The lining rolls to the outside (reminding me of garment-sewing lessons about understitching).  I can take it all apart or I can start over.  Taking apart seems to be the better choice.

Red Rails #3, April, 2015
Red Rails #4 is this week's flimsy. The rails are 1.5 x 3.5, cut over several months from scraps, from "straightening up," from FQs.  The other three Red Rails are set straight. This time I sewed the rail units into 4's (6.5" blocks) and set them diagonally.  I knew I would not add a border, but I was sure I'd use cheddar for the setting triangles.  It turned out I didn't have enough cheddar. I used blue-and-white ticking print that came from Lillian's legacy. Lillian bought five four-yard pieces of the print from Montgomery Ward's for $1.75 per yard.

(I pieced the rails randomly. When I got the units up on the wall I found out that far too many were dark-red-dark. The effect was blobs of dark that suppressed the red. Rather than sew more units, I ripped out many of the dark rails and replaced them with lighter rails.)

I'm linking up at
Monday Making
Oh Scrap!
Design Wall Monday
Main Crush Monday

P.S. Saturday afternoon: staffing an information table at the annual Tech Savvy STEM conference at Oakton Community College.  Funded by a grant from AAUW (national), more than 100 middle-school girls chose four out of twelve tech sessions (robotics, creating apps, solar cells, infrared astronomy, etc.) and a skill session (public speaking, stress, leadership, teamwork, etc.)

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Quilt program and gifts!

On Wednesday afternoon I presented "Every Quilt Tells a Story" to the Antioch Woman's Club.  It's a big club, with over 100 members on the rolls. About 70 people attended.  I've given the program a half-dozen times now so I'm comfortable with the sequence of the quilts I show and the timing. I include vintage quilts from my collection, among them my own baby quilt (made by my mother's church circle) and my first quilt (a Bucilla cross stitch kit, made when I was in library school (1973-74)).  I also bring some of my recent work.  I invite club members to bring quilts of their own to share the stories.  This time there were four quilts, two Double Wedding Rings and a Dresden Plate from the 1930's and a yo-yo quilt from the late 80's.

 Afterwards one of the club officers (herself a quilter) said, "Everyone enjoyed it! There were some people who don't care about quilts, but you made it so interesting and they really listened."

One woman gave me a half dozen quilt magazines. "I hope you can use these," she said.  "I'm legally blind."  I thanked her and then added, "It must be hell not to be able to see."  She smiled and said, "It certainly is! I'll be 91 this year." Good for her!

Another woman said, "I don't have any use for these. Would you like them?"

You bet!  These are uncut linen towels/runners from Sweden (Dalsjofors, Hellinne).

These are potholders snapped on to the holder thingy. They belonged to the woman's mother. (Cute but useless crafts will always be with us.)

The woman said she believes someone gave this to her mother.  The squares are 2" finished.  I don't know if I'll keep this, but at least I made it "disappear" for the donor.

My next EQTAS presentation will be in May. It's such fun to talk about quilts!

P.S. I charge a modest honorarium + mileage.

RSC: Orange you glad it's Saturday?

I've made something using the monthly Rainbow Scrap Challenge colors simply by making blocks for Block Lotto.  That has counted for RSC but it hasn't produced a project for me.  When I read Katy's post on Monday I knew I had it!

This week I made these colorful 12.5" (unf) blocks in each of the RSC 2016 colors (January-blue, February-brown, March-purple, April-orange).  I have eight HSTs (the other halves of the HSTs in the blocks) to use, eventually, in the border.

And here is one butterfly block for this month's Block Lotto.

See what other quiltmakers are doing with orange on Scrap Happy Saturday

Sunday, April 10, 2016

DWM: table runner + three (!) finishes

This 16 x 48 table runner will be a door prize at the GFWC-IL convention next month.  The pattern is by Nancy Mirman, published in "A Place at the Table." I got the book about ten years ago because of this particular pattern--  high time to make it! (The book is available here.)

Speaking of GFWC, my vintage tablecloths were a hit at the Zion Woman's Club meeting on Tuesday.

Our guild meeting on Wednesday was a murder mystery dinner. "Mystery at Pieceful Lake" featured a cast of quilters on retreat. Betty Biche' was murdered in her bed! Who did it? Getta Dunn, Ima Procrastinator, Bitsey Pieces, Fulla Spectrum or one of the others?  The cast did a great job and we had fun solving the case.

The annual AAUW Fellows Luncheon was Saturday, a joint meeting of the Waukegan Area and Deerfield branches. Three of these women have AAUW doctoral grants ($20K) at University of Illinois-Chicago (biology), University of Chicago (ethnomusicology), religious studies (Northwestern). One has a Selected Professions Grant at the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern. They talked about their research and their career plans. It is wonderful to meet and hear from the recipients of our fundraising efforts.

The women are standing in front of Scrappy Pinwheels, the spring raffle quilt.  Ticket sales were $200.  We'll sell tickets and have the drawing at the AAUW-IL convention at the end of April

As for the finishes -- I quilted and bound the batik stars flimsy that I assembled in December.  The overall design is so busy that I just did overall curlicues.

Barb J. did a beautiful job quilting Twinkle Stars, which was another flimsy from December, and Midnight Stars, which I assembled in January. I bound and labeled both.

Midnight Stars back 
I used about 9-1/2 yards for the backing and binding of the three.

Twinkle and Midnight are my contributions to the ALA Biblioquilters silent auction at the ALA Annual Conference.

I'm linking up with
Oh Scrap!
Monday Making
 Design Wall Monday

Midnight Stars detail 

Friday, April 8, 2016

RBQS* report

 *RBQS = Really Big Quilt Show. In this case, the International Quilt Festival - Chicago, held at the convention center in Rosemont.  Quilts Inc. began the Chicago show in 2003.  They discontinued it for a couple of years (it is quite close to the rival show in Paducah).  I don't make it every year but this time the I had a free day -- and what's more, our guild received 10 free one-day passes. We had a drawing for them and I won one.   My quilt show companion was not able to go this time. I went by myself which was just fine.

Here are photos of some of the quilts that caught my eye. I didn't get names of the quiltmakers.

The Magna Carta project consists of panels documenting events that precipitated the 1215 signing, juxtaposed with present-day human rights victories.  (Website is here .)

"Reading in Afghanistan" (Best in Show)

Runner up to Best in Show

 I have a new partiality toward New York Beauty blocks and quilts.

"Grandmother's Beer Garden" -- beer bottle caps in the hexagon centers

A zillion triangles

See the scale?

Burgoyne Surrounded with mini blocks 

The quiltmaker's son as a Cub Scout learning knot-tying

The scene depicts the quiltmaker's parents' books

Blocks are made from selvedges

These quilts are a series made using a scrap-busting concept/pattern by Gyleen Fitzgerald.  I'd like to try it.

And, yes, I did some shopping.  I went up and down *all* the aisles before I bought anything. Good thing I waited because Quilting Connection's booth was in the last aisle and they had the best prices. ($7 for yards. Select group of half yards $2 and FQs $1.)  I also went to Cotton in the Cabin  and bought two half-yards and four FQs of DaGama indigos (also called shweshwe).  The Klipit will be useful for holding down bindings.   (Total: 12 yards, $112. Plus the Klips.  But I had free admission to the show ($10 value) and I didn't buy lunch!)