Friday, December 30, 2016

OMG: December's Coastal Lily

 My December OMG was to complete the embroidery for the 36 blocks in Coastal Lily.   I thought it would be a good project as I recovered from surgery.  If you look back on my posts this month it turned out that I did a lot more machine sewing than hand sewing.

Yesterday I embroidered the last five units.  I used Karen Kay Buckley's Perfect Circles template for the 180 anthers.  They're fused and machine-appliqued.

One lily in bloom, 35 to go.

See what other OMG'ers have accomplished in the December finish link up 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Best of 2016

Thanks to Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs for hosting this link up. 
 Here is the main page with other quiltmakers' posts. 

 I made many quilts this year.  I'll count them up when I post the Annual Reckoning on January 1.
Meanwhile, these are my favorites. 

Stars in Her Crown 

Honoring Lulu Corkhill Williams.
Read the story in this post

Professionally quilted. 

Midnight Stars

Professionally quilted and donated to the ALA Silent Auction.

Read the story here

It All Adds Up

My entry in the Charming Plus quiltalong.
Quilted by me.

Read the story here

Chasing Rainbows

Quilted by me and donated to the Full Score Orchestra Gala in October. 
Blocks were the 2015 Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Read the story here

Baby Bird's I Spy

My own design, quilted by me. Made for Calla, who was born in July.

Read more here 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Midweek: two shoes! and solstice sampler

Goody! Two shoes!

Podiatrist visit this morning:  pin removed (he said I could keep it if I wanted to, but I declined).  I can wear a shoe again.  My sneaker was a bit tight so I am borrowing one of my husband's for the time being.

I'm going to try Pat Sloan's Solstice Challenge .  Here's block 1.

Here is block 2.  I am going for turquoise and plum. Or plummy brown. (Not quite purple, not quite brown.)

These 12" blocks  seem huge compared to most of the blocks that I make.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Weekly update: mystery and a scrappy week

I am quite proficient sewing with my left foot as my right foot recovers from bunion surgery.

Part 5 of En Provence, the Quiltville mystery, was a snap.  64 3.5" HSTs.    My guess is that the yellow and green fabric will be the sashing/border for the purple, magenta, and neutral units we've made so far.

[Didja see? Bonnie included a screenshot of my FB post of these units  on her blog !]

I assembled the pieced string blocks I showed last week.
 Last week I had begun these rail fence blocks.  They started with 2" x 9" strips, trimmed to 8.5".  I sliced them diagonally.

I reassembled them.

Did I empty the 2" strip bin? Hah!  (But I used up almost all of this red-on-red print. Hooray!)

But wait, there's more!

I've seen this block design in several sources. The immediate inspiration came from the fall/winter issue of Quilts and More. That designer used 1-1/4" strips to make 6" blocks. I chose to use 1-1/2" strips which resulted in 8" blocks.  Each block requires a width-of-fabric cut from 40" from two fabrics.  Of course you could use wider strips.

When the blocks are assembled the flimsy will be 56 x 64.

Here is a pre-constructed block so you can see how it fits together.

I'm joining the Monday link up parade with these bloggers:
Main Crush Monday
Monday Making
Design Wall Monday
Oh Scrap!
Quiltville's Mystery Monday

Weekly update: Merry Christmas!

The week leading up to Christmas was quiet and uneventful at our house.  The stitches were removed from my foot and the podiatrist warned me again to "take it easy."  I kept errands to a minimum -- the library, the bank, and Wal-Mart. (I prefer to get groceries at Aldi and Jewel but I needed some non-grocery items so Wal-Mart was more efficient. We went early Thursday morning and avoided huge crowds.)

This is the third year we've used this 4' prelit tree.  It's fun to hang the ornaments each year and remember where and when we got them.

This porcelain polar bear is from our 2007 Newfoundland trip. There's a little hole in the back for one of the tree lights.  The polar bear is the Bowdoin College mascot. (My husband's alma mater.)
 I have lots of squirrels, year-round as well as Christmas. "Skiouros" is the Alpha Gamma Delta mascot. (Coincidentally this ornament is in the Alpha Gam colors of red, buff, and green.)

Christmas Eve service was at 3:00 Saturday afternoon.  That seems early but it is convenient for those who'd rather not be on the road in the evening and for others who do need to travel.   We were home in time for supper which was pasta with clam sauce, for which I used the can of clams I bought in Providence back in January. (We know from experience that souvenir food should be consumed, not saved for years.)

When Christmas Day is Sunday there's a morning church service.  This year the organist/music director told us the history of classic Christmas carols and we sang each one. The coffee hour was a "birthday party for Jesus" with party hats and cupcakes.

Gifts were minimal this year, not because of straitened circumstances but because that's just how it turned out. The New Hampshire family sent us a gift basket of comestibles that we'll enjoy.

We had "roast beast" (as the Grinch called it) for Christmas dinner.  It was accompanied by roasted root vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, beets, carrots, and onions) and broccoli slaw. Dessert was cranberry-pecan pumpkin upside-down cake.  You're welcome to come for leftovers!

My Christmas quilt -- made in 2013.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Weekly update: En Provence, string setting, and another scrappy start

I got caught up on all the parts for En Provence, the Quiltville mystery.  The V-block ruler is a great tool to make the isosceles triangles.

   I have two more Snapware boxes in this size to hold the next units.

 I alternated the  En Provence units with the Block Lotto pieced strings blocks.  Which were the leaders and which were the enders?   When I had about 36 string blocks on the wall I auditioned a skinny black sashing strip. Nope. I surveyed my stash and a bright Australian print (bought at the Madison show in September) popped to the top. Ah-ha!  Here's the work in progress.

The string blocks are 6.5" unf/6" fin. As shown, 54" x 66". Maybe I'll add a narrow outer border of the Aussie print. Maybe I won't.

I cut a bunch of 2" strips to 9", pieced them in fives, and trimmed the resulting blocks to 8".  Stay tuned!

This week's link ups:
Quiltville Mystery Monday
Monday Making
Main Crush Monday
Design Wall Monday

Monday, December 12, 2016

Weekly update: the social whirl, string piecing, and that mystery

We went to the podiatrist on Tuesday. He pronounced the second procedure successful and scheduled the next appointment for December 20.  I'm *trying* to favor my foot.

The first week of December is when many of the organizations I'm in have their holiday parties. I had to skip two of them (Monday evening and Tuesday noon) but I went to three others.

FQ exchange and scrap bags 
 The quilt guild dinner was Wednesday evening.  We have a fat quarter exchange -- package four FQs any way you'd like. Draw a number and take your pick of someone else's FQs. I brought four sets so I got to choose four sets.   There were scrap bags left over from our quilt show last month. We were invited (begged!) to take them home, so I helped myself to three.  [15 yds., no cost]

The United Methodist Women luncheon was Thursday at a local restaurant.  Liz picked me up.   I had to hunt for a suitable white elephant for the gift exchange. I sold a lot of that sort of stuff at my garage sale in August. (Technically I could have boxed up fabric scraps or empty spools. I wanted to give something nicer.  I found an English china cup-and-saucer and a package of fancy tea. Perfect! And the recipient was pleased.) (In return I got a pair of glass candleholders that are already in the box for the next garage sale.)

The AAUW  holiday luncheon was Saturday. Since I am branch president I had to be there -- and besides that, it's always a lovely and lively event. My friend Rosemary was my guest and my chauffeur.  We have several fundraisers -- a silent auction ($631.50), a 50/50 ($110 to the winner, $110 to the branch), and the raffle quilt that I make ($400). [Proceeds will be allocated among AAUW Funds (national) and  our branch scholarship, convention, and community funds.]

Dorothy won this year's quilt, "Winter Stars." She won "Holly
Basket" in 2006 and took pictures of the two on her sofa.

The guild scrap bags were  "irregular strips" ranging from 1.5" to 2.5" with a couple of chunks thrown in. I dumped them all into a box and started using them.   The Block Lotto December block is pieced strings.  Each 6.5" block has one strip with a least three pieces.  There's a limit of 9 lotto entries but I can't quit making them. (I added three more after I took this photo.)

In 2015 I knocked myself out to make twelve   Heartstrings quilts, each with a different colorway/theme.  Earlier this year I quilted several of them (and I sold three, unquilted).  The  influx of strips motivated me to make a couple of blue-centered blocks. But why stop? And here is the latest HS flimsy. (4-7/8 yds used)

And, finally. The project I was NOT going to start.  Magenta is the constant color for En Provence, the 2016 Quiltville mystery. I found the perfect magenta on the shelf and I slid right down that slippery slope.

I bought Deb Tucker's V-block ruler at the guild quilt show. I'm using it rather than Tri-Recs. I had to read and re-read the instructions to be able to use the markings correctly. I think I have the hang of it.

Monday linkups:
Quiltville Mystery Monday
Design Wall Monday
Main Crush Monday
Oh Scrap
Monday Making

Monday, December 5, 2016

Weekly update: stash report and plaid flimsy

Sunday brought the first snowfall of the season. This is the view out the front door, late afternoon.

Stash report for November:
Fabric in:  33 yds, $15 (scrap bags at the quilt show)
Fabric out:  21-7/8
YTD fabric in: 378-1/4, $1353 ($3.57/yd)
YTD fabric out: 280

In order to come out even for the year I'll need to use (or sell or otherwise de-accession) 98 yards this month.  I don't think I'll manage to do that, but I may get close.

On Thursday evening, before the second surgery, I attached all the borders for Paths and Stiles. (5-1/8 yards, part of the December stash count.)

I kept my foot elevated most of the weekend.  I sewed some (see the previous post about my OMG handwork) and read a lot.  The post op appointment is Tuesday afternoon.

The weekly linkups:
Main Crush Monday
Design Wall Monday
Monday Making
Oh Scrap!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

OMG for December

All this year I have been an enthusiastic participant in One Monthly Goal.  I am pleased that I have finished the stated goal each month. December is problematic because I don't know when I will be able to return to my studio with the full range of activities (selecting fabric, cutting, sewing, pressing, basting, quilting).

Thus my OMG is handwork: specifically, completing the embroidery for the 36 lily units in Coastal Lily. The pattern is by Minick and Simpson. The colorway I am making is by Thelma Childers. It was published in American Quilter, July 2015.  Each lily has three stamens. The anthers will be appliqued. The rest of the quilt is pieced. 

As I write this post I have 22 units finished. 14 to go. I am doing outline stitch with DMC 414.
I am listening to semi finalists for the annual Audie awards.  Here is  my setup.

I am linking up to OMG at its new home on the Elm Creek Quilts blog:  here

Newbery reviews: Onion John

Original cover
Onion John (1960 Newbery Medal winner)

A library-bound copy of Joseph Krumgold's second Newbery-Medal-winning book was on the library booksale shelf. I'm sure the collection retained one copy with newer cover art and that one copy is sufficient. I doubt this gets checked out very often. 

I read Onion John when I was ten or eleven. All I could recall was that I didn't like it. Upon re-reading it I have changed my mind. 

This story of twelve-year-old Andy and Onion John, the eccentric Eastern European immigrant who becomes his friend, is poignant and charming. The townspeople, led by members of the Rotary Club, decide that Onion John needs a modern house, not the cottage he has cobbled together out of leftovers and junk.  

Andy's dad owns the hardware store. He projects his own unrealized dreams on his only son.  He urges     Andy to take a job at a nearby manufacturing plant to better prepare to go to M.I.T. and have a career in engineering.  Andy really likes helping out at the hardware store.  [Whoa, Dad! Andy is only 12!] 

The book can be viewed as a period piece -- late 1950's, small town (everyone is white).  It's a time when the eccentric guy is just that (nowadays we'd be afraid of a criminal or pervert).  Fifty-five years later the object lesson is still relevant: no matter how well-intended we are, we need to consider the wants/needs/preferences of the person, or people, for whom we want to do good things.  

P.S. I am a Rotarian so I appreciated the service effort! 
New cover