Sunday, May 29, 2016

Weekly update: procedures, presentations, posters, and some fabric bargains

Sunrise on Friday 
This was quite a week!  I had two medical procedures which took time and preparation but fortunately had clear results. Friday was my final board meeting for the regional library system. I was elected when I was still working, and I appreciate that I could stay on to finish the term after retirement.

On Tuesday I gave "Every Quilt Tells a Story" for P.E.O. Chapter LA (based in Deerfield, though the meeting hostess lives in Lake Forest).  I asked if someone could take pictures. Indeed -- and here is the link to the photo collage:

 Chalk Talk is a community event to foster conversation about the character traits we value.
100 posters (out of 225+/- photos taken) were put up in a storefront gallery and in windows in Zion, Beach Park, and Winthrop Harbor.

I helped set up on Thursday, stopped in at the open house on Friday, and then tried to find all of the posters on Saturday.

 Here are the photos of some friends with their favorite words. .

Cal (blue shirt) is the Community of Character committee chairman.

His favorite word the day of the photo shoot was "hat." (He's 3.)

 And me?  I ended up on the door to the post office, which is better than being on the wall inside it!

Meanwhile, downstairs in the studio:  I wanted to make a yellow jacket to wear at the upcoming P.E.O. convention. I was sure I had a piece of yellow linen.  I looked in this box, and that box, and those two other boxes.  Whew! I finally found it. I modified a pattern I'd used some years before, but I had to re-read the instructions to be sure I did the collar and front facings correctly. I don't make many garments these days.

The batik stars are coming along. I will continue until I make 42 of them.

Joann's sent a coupon for 60% off premium cottons, which included batiks. There was also a 20% off the entire purchase. These four batiks (7-1/2 yds total) cost $2.49/yd!  The turquoise will be used as a tablecloth at the P.E.O. convention prior to becoming part of a quilt (perhaps sashing for these batik stars?).   [Also in the photo: a twin cotton flat sheet, $2.32 at a thrift shop where I also bought five summer blouses for $15.]

I'm linking up with:
Oh, Scrap!
 Monday Making
 Design Wall Monday
 Main Crush Monday

Monday, May 23, 2016

Weekly update: batik blocks

On Tuesday evening I went to Grayslake North H.S. to present a scholarship to a graduating senior. AAUW (Waukegan Area Branch) awards two $500 scholarships to girls who plan to major in a STEM field.  GNHS is 15 miles and two school districts away from where I live, but I knew two of the other scholarship presenters (one from P.E.O./Lake County Women's Coalition, the other from GFWC) and one of the faculty members (who lives in Zion).

The weather was great for Friday's Rotary Golf Outing.  I helped with set-up on Thursday evening and Friday afternoon. The dinner and silent auction were lively.  I contributed Nine-by-Nine Patch, which brought $175, and a certificate for a t-shirt quilt, which brought only $125 (someone will get a good deal).  This was our club's 17th golf outing.  The proceeds, nearly $30,000, support local and international projects, including $12,000 in scholarships for Zion-Benton Township High School.  (In addition to my husband's and my major sponsor status, plus the quilts, I bought raffle tickets. This year I won a gift basket from my beauty salon with a certificate for a mani/pedi and shampoo, conditioner, and other toiletries.)

(Red noses for a good cause: this was a heads/tails elimination game. The last person standing (not me) got $250.)

We left the golf course at sunset.  I had to take a picture to complement sunrise photos that I've shown.

Meanwhile, in the studio:  my chief accomplishment for the week was finishing Baby Bird's I Spy which you can see in the previous post.

I made more batik stars.  I'm contemplating what color to use for sashing. (Without it the four nine-patches at each intersection will be blobs.)

Busy week coming up with two medical procedures (it's that time again), an Every Quilt Tells a Story program for a P.E.O. chapter, my last library system board meeting, and the AAUW fundraiser purse-and-accessory sale.

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

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Midweek report: a finish!

5:26 a.m. Thursday at North Point Marina (a mile from our house) -- a beautiful start to the day!

My OMG project for May is finished.  I'll add this post to the link up when it goes live.
Here is Baby Bird's I Spy: quilted, bound, labeled.  All from my stash, including the rick rack.  40 x 53.
(And Baby Bird isn't due until the end of July.)

The pieced back is a combination of a current print (the birds) and a vintage print (the red -- 36" wide). 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Weekly update: fabric bargains, OMG halfway . . . and a new project

I took a different route for some errands Wednesday and saw a sign for a church thrift shop that said, "Big sale!"  Everything was 50% off.  How could I resist a Ralph Lauren all-cotton queen-sized flat sheet for $1.50? That's 4 yards of fabric!  (I also got a shirt and a top (we used to call them "shells") for .25 each.)   At another church sale I got a sack of shirts for $2.00.  Here they are, de-boned (as Bonnie Hunter says).

I got the blue and the Christmas pieces (6 yds) at an estate sale for $5.00. The blue paisley in the center is 3 yards, 36"wide.  The print on the right looks retro, but it's actually original. It, too, is 36" wide. 2 yards, .50 at another church sale.

I finished the applique for the Baby Bird quilt.  I had a hard time trying to "drape" the pennants so I decided to hang them straight.  I had enough black medium-width rick rack in my stash for all five rows. I'm auditioning fabric for the border. Both the red (with small turquoise flowers) and the green (feathers) are 36" wide vintage pieces. After I took this picture I found a new (last year) print with retro birds that I might use, too.

My leaders-and-enders are 1.5" batik postage stamps. I made a stack of 9-patches and here's how some of them have been set.  I am not sure where I'm going with these but they're fun to make.

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

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Books reviewed and acquired

 On Thursday  afternoon I gave a book review for P.E.O. Chapter IW. My mother was a member of IW for nearly 45 years. It was so nice to see so many of her friends and to know that they remember her so fondly. 

Norma brought this jar and explained that Mother gave it to her one Christmas (filled with the dry ingredients to make the recipe* on the label). Norma made the bars and kept the jar thinking she would buy more jars and do the same thing. She never did, so 20+ years later she gave the jar to me. 

These are the books I talked about.

I spent Friday at McCormick Place for Book Expo America. BEA is the booksellers' trade show -- a cousin to the ALA exhibits, but with booths for literary agents and all kinds of book production.  I was grateful that my ZBPL colleague Tara drove (Sara from ZBPL came, too) in rush hour traffic both ways. It was so convenient to load a tote bag, put it in the car, and go back for more.  I had a free pass courtesy of the library system (I'm on the board) and we had free lunch in the librarians' lounge on the show floor, too.

Here is cartoonist Berkeley Breathed,signing a poster for an upcoming compilation of Bloom County cartoons.

C&T was part of a multi-publisher booth. Their guest author was Angela Walters!

Here's the swag back home -- a stack for my husband, a stack for me, and a stack that I took to the library on Saturday.

* The recipe: Sand Art Brownies. The mix is layered in the jar like sand art.
2/3 t salt
1/2 c + 2 T flour
1/3 c cocoa
1 c chocolate chips
2/3 c brown sugar
2/3 c white sugar
1/2 c chocolate chips or chopped nuts
Combine the contents of the jar with 1 t vanilla, 2/3 c vegetable oil, 3 eggs. Mix well. Pour into a greased and floured 9 x 9 pan and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Weekly update: May is green! and a great workshop

Green is the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for May.  Here's my block, and here are the five blocks I've made so far.

Block Lotto is using the RSC colors for each monthly block. Here are three sets of green leaves (upside down).

To continue the green theme:
I made mug rugs to go in gift baskets for three AAUW branch officers whose terms are ending. The new officers will be elected and installed on Tuesday.

Robbi Eklow was the speaker at our guild meeting Wednesday evening. She gave a workshop on free-motion quilting on Saturday.
I met Robbi through a librarian-quilter colleague in 1998.  Robbi had posted to an online quilting bulletin board that she'd gone to the Lake Villa library in the town next to hers. She chatted with the library's staff artist as he worked on a poster for an event.  My colleague sent me a copy of the message, since I was LVDL director at the time, and Robbi and I eventually met in person.  She was one of the local artists commissioned to create artwork for the new library. Her quilt is still displayed at LVDL.

Robbi is talented, generous ("take pictures and touch the quilts"), and has a great sense of humor.  Here are pictures from the trunk show.   (She makes wall quilts -- some are pretty big, but they're still wall quilts. She said she has no quilts on the beds in her house. But now that she is a grandmother she foresees kid-friendly, wash-often quilts in the near future.)

front of quilt 
back of quilt 

The fourteen of us who took Robbi's workshop learned a lot.  Here she is explaining her technique.

Here are my class samples, sewn with rayon thread on felt squares (layered in 2's) for practice, as well as a muslin quilt sandwich (muslin-batting-muslin).

Now I just need time and a project on which to put my new-found skills to use!

I'm linking up with
 Rainbow Scrap Challenge
 Monday Making
 Design Wall Monday
 Oh, Scrap!
 Main Crush Monday

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The last of the vanilla

The Katschkowsky family lived across the street from our family. Judy and Dick were a few years younger than my parents and their two daughters were a few years younger than my sister and me.  My mother had their house key and kept an eye on their house when Judy and Dick spent the winter months in south Texas.

Judy gave Mother a bottle of Mexican vanilla as a thank you gift one year.
Mother kept it, unopened, under the kitchen sink. (I'm sure she had a little bottle of vanilla extract with the spices.)  After her death I claimed the Mexican vanilla when my sister and I cleaned out the kitchen cupboards. That was in 2002.

I've kept the bottle in the refrigerator. It's taken fourteen years to use it up!
(I did that this morning when I made bacon-peanut butter blondies.)

On today's shopping list:  a stop at one of the now-ubiquitous Hispanic grocery stores to get another bottle of Danncy vanilla! I went to three Hispanic supermarkets. Each one had Centrella (store-brand) vanilla extract. I'll need to order Danncy from Amazon. (Penzey's also has good vanilla.)   

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Weekly update: raffle results, stash report, and OMG for May

The 92nd annual convention of AAUW-Illinois was held in Schaumburg on Friday evening and all day Saturday. Of the 92, I've been to 17. (I moved back to Illinois in 1998 (that year I went to the AAUW-North Dakota convention). I missed in 2002 because of my mother's funeral.)

Eleanor Roosevelt was the guest at dinner on Friday.  The dramatic monologue was set at Valkill, her home in Hyde Park, a few months after the president's death. (Actor Leslie Goddard said she has developed a dozen portrayals. I've seen her several times. In June she will give a presentation about Civil War quilts for our guild.)

Scrappy Pinwheels, this year's raffle quilt, raised $590!*  I estimate that the state convention raffle quilts that I've donated since 2003 have raised over $5000 for AAUW projects: a named scholarship, the Legal Advocacy Fund, or the AAUW Fund .  (*I will keep $140, the cost of professional quilting.) 

Our branch delegation (Lourdes, Helen, Jo-An, Erika, and me).
It's always fun to see how we incorporate AAUW colors in what we wear to events.

I bought these AAUW-color napkins at Ikea, conveniently located next to the convention site.

# # # # # # #
Stash report for April:
Fabric in:  43-5/8 yds, $265.
Fabric out: 32-3/8 yds.
YTD fabric in: 134-3/4, $609
YTD fabric out: 82-1/8

On the bright side, this week I quilted and bound Red Rails #4 (posted here) and made another tote bag in addition to the OMG totes and the batik wallhanging shown in the previous post.

My OMG project for May is an I Spy variation for a baby due in July. The mother-to-be is a ZBPL colleague. They call the baby "Baby Bird," hence the red bird on the line.  The photo shows a very rough draft. I will use something other than grosgrain ribbon to "hang" the pennants on.

I'm linking up here:
OMG Red Letter Quilts
Oh, Scrap!
Monday Making
 Design Wall Monday
Main Crush Monday