Monday, April 24, 2017

Weekly update: trails, sales, stars, and another tote

The water receded (compare to last week) but it was still too wet to take the trail.  I walked along the beach instead and got more glass for my collection.

I'll need to get another container.

I put some fabric up for sale on the FB group Quilter's Virtual Yard Sale and on the Yahoo Group Quilter's Flea Market.  Total sold: 23-5/8 yards.

I'm up to 258 Ohio Stars for the Quilts of Valor project.  Here's the stack and the box of pieces for the next batch.

2017 is turning out to be my year of tote bags.
A friend recently retired.  I'm making this tote bag for her. I'll fill it with books and send it to her once she moves into her new home.

The photo shows the pattern published in an Am P&Q special publication that featured bags and pillows.

I didn't try to imitate Vera Bradley with my fabric choices but it kind of looks that way. I bought more  car headliner at Joann's but I

Monday linkups:  Oh Scrap!
Design Wall Monday
Monday Making

P.S.   Back yard flowers.
Dogtooth violet -- aka Trout Lily. A wildflower volunteer.

Dicentra -- Bleeding Heart. A prolific perennail. 

Mertensia virginica -- Virginia bluebells

Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday update: spring flowers

Easter weekend was sunny and very warm.  The church service was inspiring.  We had lamb, asparagus, and new potatoes for supper -- I am a holiday-meal traditionalist! (I did try a new dessert recipe: Honey-Walnut Cake . Very good.)

Lots of rain last week flooded the trail at Camp Logan, the part of Illinois Beach State Park where I like to walk. The path is the white patch in the center of the photo, taken Sunday afternoon.

Bloodroot is a wildflower volunteer in the back garden. (There's another along the fence, about 40 feet from this one.)

("Volunteer" was my mother's term for unexpected flowers.  She was an avid gardener who appreciated wildflowers as well as the cultivated variety.  She passed away fifteen years ago yesterday (April 16). I inherited the appreciation part but not the talent.)

The daffodils are a delight.

The peonies have really sprung up. I got them staked.

There are posies blooming in my studio, too. These mug rugs will go in gift baskets for outgoing AAUW
officers at the May 9 meeting. The pattern is by Chris Malone, published in Springtime Quilting by Quilter's World.

(Someone on one of online groups said she has a "three-project" rule. A book or magazine has to have three projects that appeal to her in order for her to buy it.   "Springtime Quilting" met that criterion for me.)

Monday linkups:
Monday Making
Oh, Scrap!
Design Wall Monday

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Third time is the charm!

I've written about making a good-bye gift for a P.E.O. sister who is moving out of state in a couple of months.  P.E.O.'s flower is the marguerite, or daisy. As a result I am always attuned to daisy-print fabric and daisy quilt patterns.

 I made this wall hanging.  It turned out nicely but it's 29" x 39" and thus requires a large space.

I made this quilt but it's more than the occasion requires. (Surely you've had gift-giving occasions like that.)

[Both of these have been quilted since the photos were taken.]

A recent email update from All People Quilt, the website for American Patchwork and Quilting magazine, had a link to wall hanging patterns.  I took a look and found the perfect pattern!  It's "Colorful Fun Daisies" by Linda Sullivan.  [I tried to find the URL for the pattern and cannot. I wish that the APQ site had a "search pattern" feature. Good thing I've downloaded it to my computer.]

It's 16" x 32" and can be a table runner or a not-too-big wall hanging.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Weekly update: bargains, flowerpots, and QST for QOV

The annual AAUW Fellows Luncheon was Saturday, hosted by the Waukegan and Deerfield branches.  Katrina Malone is a Selected Professions Fellow studying for an MBA at the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern. Her research emphasis is about rebuilding neighborhoods for economic and environmental stability. She is working with the New Life Covenant Church in Chicago's Grand Crossing neighborhood.

The luncheon is held at Lamb's Farm  that provides residential and vocational services for developmentally disabled adults. The restaurant is one of the work opportunities. There's also a great thrift shop.  Here's my $6 purchase -- 2-3/8 yards of the Christmas print and 3 yards of the vintage (36" wide) brown hibiscus print. (Brown hibiscus? That's probably why it never got made into anything.)

 Cactus Pot is the April Block Lotto block. Here are my nine entries. (8" fin.)

I'm plugging away at the Ohio Star blocks for Quilts of Valor. Here's the next batch of quarter-square triangles.

Monday linkups:
Monday Making
Oh Scrap!
Design Wall Monday

Quilt show!

On Friday Irene and I went to the Really Big Quilt Show at the Rosemont Convention Center -- technically, International Quilt Festival/Chicago.  Quilts Inc., the show manager, has changed the schedule -- now open 10-6 Thursday and Friday and 10-5 Saturday. The format has changed as well. Instead of workshops and classes on Thursday and Friday (necessitating advance registration, classrooms and sewing machine setup) there are on-the-floor demonstrations. (I remember the first RBQS back in 2003. It was at Rosemont but in a smaller hall. It was mobbed. I heard later that the convention center planners did not believe the attendance estimates that the QI staff provided. Yes, more than 20,000 people will turn out to a major quilt show!  Now the show is in the huge hall on the ground floor.)

We had lunch with my Magpie friend Anna. We saw fellow guild members. A couple of people greeted me -- they recognized my selvedge tote bag or had seen my blog.

There were more quilts on display than previous years.  There was only one no-photos exhibit (antique red-and-green quilts).  There weren't as many vendors, but that didn't stop me from shopping and acquiring fabric. Just 29 yards that included batiks, nice-quality homespuns, and two half-yard pieces of South African indigo shweshwe. Oh, yes, and some black-and-white FQs and a couple of lime greens.

Here are photos of some of the quilts that caught my eye.  I did not get attributions for all of them.

Northwoods Awakening by Ann and Steve Loveless of Michigan. (Website)  It's 25 feet long, going from a photograph to a quilt.

On the Same Page by Linda Anderson 

Dance of the Magpies by Barb Forrister

Cotton Sophisticate by Chawne Kmber 

Polyp by Betty Busby 

King Bird of Paradise by Ginny Eckley 

Slices of Opulence by Randa Mulford 

Playing Well Together by Jackie Nixon-Fulton 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A good finish

4/25/17:  posting to OMG Finish on the Elm Street Quilts blog. 

Howzabout that? My April OMG project is finished!

I didn't intend to sew yesterday.  I had an eye doctor appointment in the morning, the first in four years. (No problems with retinas or corneas, no prescription changes. Hooray!)  I went to the lunch meeting of the Mundelein-Vernon Hills Rotary Club  to promote our club's upcoming golf outing. (This is the fourth of seven such visits to area clubs.)

By the end of the afternoon it was raining hard.  I set out at 6:30 for  P.E.O.   The meeting hostess lives on the north side of Buffalo Grove, 30 miles away.  I got as far as Gurnee and decided to turn around and go home -- wet highways, heavy traffic, and fatigue are not a good combination.

I spent the rest of the evening in my studio and finished the tote bag.  I'm developing a go-to tote bag model.  My design notes:  *I used car head liner to shape the bag. It's easy to quilt through. 
*  I made many of the "equity" blocks (equal signs for the Gender Equity Fund) and I wanted to use them.  That meant that the bag is fairly tall (13-1/2). 
* The handles are made from a 4" batik strip folded around a 1" piece of head liner.  Next time I'll cut 4-1/2" fabric and 1-1/4" head liner to make them a little wider but not too wide.
Our yard signs 

* I use corrugated plastic campaign signs for the bag-bottom insert.   The plastic is lightweight, sturdy, and easy to cut.   I cover the insert with fabric that complements the bag lining.  One sign is enough for eight ot ten totes -- just wait until AFTER the election to appropriate it.   

Today is the consolidated local election (township, municipal, school, library, park, etc.)                          

I'm joining other quiltmakers for Linky Tuesday at Free Motion by the River.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Weekly update: a good start

I have a good start on the tote bag that's my OMG for April.  It will be donated to a silent auction at the AAUW-IL convention as a fundraiser for the Gender Equity Fund.  The blue-green colorway is for the AAUW colors and the 3.5" blocks are equal signs.

The photo shows both panels of the bag. One of them is folded in half.   The "sun" doesn't symbolize anything; it just adds a pop of contrasting color to the subtle blocks. I haven't fused it on yet in case I change my mind about using it.

These outtakes will go in the orphan blocks box for the time being.

Monday link up lineup:
Design Wall Monday
Monday Making
Main Crush Monday
Oh Scrap!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Welcome to April: Rabbits and fish, stash report, dilemma resolved, and OMG

"Rabbit, rabbit!"  I first read about this good-luck invocation in a Trixie Belden book.  Now I remember (pretty much!) to say it on the first of each month. Here is the explanation.

On April 1 in France children slap paper fishes onto adults' backs and holler, "Poisson d'avril!" ("April fish!")  It's done in other countries , too.

I always think of the joke, "Why are soldiers tired on April 1?"
("Because they've just had a March of 31 days.")

On to the quilt report.

Fabric acquired in March:  19-5/8, $124, average $6.30/yd
Fabric used in March: 52-1/4
YTD acquired:  40-1/4, $143, average $3.55/yd
YTD used: 132-3/8
Net: 92-1/8 used!

I've made 158 Ohio Stars for Quilts of Valor.
The goal is 365.  An online friend sent 3 yards  of white-on-white (duly accounted for in the stash report) to help me out.

The daisy dilemma:

Butterflies are too small
Sashing detracts
I finished the twelve daisy blocks.  How to set them? How to border them?  Using a Kaffe Fassett millefiori print seemed the best way to highlight the bright, scrappy design.  That entailed a trip to Quilt Play .  I made sure to buy enough "just in case." I also stopped at Hobby Lobby and found a wonderful print of bright butterflies on white to use for the back.  I auditioned the fabric.  Sashing / no sashing?  Periwinkle outer / pink inner? What about a butterfly border?  I slept on it.  Friday evening I decided:  pink outer / periwinkle inner.  I sewed the borders on.
Borders too dominant

I didn't like it and figured out that it was because neither Kaffe print has any white.  Then I spied a little bundle on the shelf of bright prints -- the remains of a thrift-shop bedsheet that I'd used to back a quilt.  I measured and cut carefully.  There was *just* enough!  And here's the result.

The daisies began as my Rainbow Scrap Challenge design for the year. Either I've finished RSC or I'll need to select another block!

Just right!

I now have 6" strips of that pink millefiori and yardage of that periwinkle to use in another project.

Last but not least:  the One Monthly Goal for April.  Another tote bag!  This is for the  Gender Equity Fund , a project of AAUW-Illinois.  I'm on the GEF steering committee. The tote will be filled with advance reader copies of books (which I have in abundance from the ALA Midwinter Meeting in January) and raffled at the AAUW-IL convention in early May.

I'm perusing tote bag patterns. I've pulled some fabric, too.
I'm linking up with
Elm Street Quilts OMG
Rainbow Scrap Challenge