Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May stash report: pennants finished + acquisitions

I finished the pennants.  The satin stitch edging isn't perfect but it will suffice. 

On Monday I wrote that my batik stash does not seem to diminish. Here's a reason why.  I realized that I wanted more variety in neutral/light batiks for the Jewel Box blocks.  I had a $10 frequent-buyer coupon from Quilt Play that was burning a hole in my wallet. I drove out to spend it on batiks. I used the coupon and spent some more.  Here are 8 FQs of neutrals and remnants that add up to 1-7/8 yds.  

En route to Quilt Play I stopped at Joann's but did not purchase anything.  I stopped at Hobby Lobby. This fabric on the clearance rack caught my eye.  It reproduces the back imprints on 19th century cabinet card  photographs. 

This specific panel is the reason I bought it.  We lived in Auburn, across the river from Lewiston. The  Lewiston Public Library expanded from its original Carnegie building into the Pilsbury Block where this photographer had his shop.  
(I am going to share a chunk of the fabric with my Magpie friend Ellie who lives just outside of Lewiston.) 

I struck up a conversation with another shopper who said she didn't know any quilters in the area. I said that there are many and invited her to the guild meeting next week.  It turns out she lives in West Virginia but she's been spending a lot of time with her daughter and family here.  I gave her information about the guild and mentioned Quilt Play and a couple of other area shops. (When I was back in my car I realized I gave her incorrect directions to Quilt Play. Oops. She has my email but I only have her name. If she comes to the guild meeting I will beg her forgiveness.) 

So, on to the Stash Report for May.
Fabric used:  28-3/8 yards
Fabric used, YTD: 247-5/8 yards
Fabric acquired: 62-1/8 yards, $236.20  (average $3.80)
Fabric acquired, YTD: 137-1/4 yards, $721.69 (average $5.25) 
Net: 110-3//8 used
      I indulged in some fully-priced pieces this month but I also got some vintage bargains. 
      I finished the Quilts of Valor blocks, one tote bag, and three flimsies, as well as those pennants.
      I sold 65 quilt books at $2 each = $130. (The books were from a quilter's estate, given to me.)
      It was a good quilty month!

I saw this doormat at Aldi for $9.99.  I figured I could justify buying it to replace the front doormat that was here when we moved in to this house fourteen years ago (May 29).  

I won't be sewing the next few days. I leave for the P.E.O. state convention in Springfield tomorrow. Home on Sunday!

Wednesday link up at Let's Bee Social

Monday, May 29, 2017

Weekly update: doing pennants

Finally:  two sunny days in a row!  Here's the sunrise over Lake Michigan at 5:15 this morning.

I am "doing pennants" (though not penance) for the upcoming AAUW National Convention. I serve on the national Branch Program Resource Committee.  On one of our monthly conference calls we discussed a way to have us recognized. I always think of something with fabric and the idea of a pennant popped into my head. Here is the prototype.  I need to make seven. All the flowers are pieced and appliqued.  I need to print the words on printer-fabric and applique them. I'll use fusible Peltex, of which I have a lot , and try to finish the edges with a neat satin stitch.

 I have been very taken by the batik triangles that Wanda has been working with. (Photo here.)
(Heck, I'm taken by all of her quilts!)

I made a stack -- these are 3.5" unf -- and put them on the design wall.  I added four-patches. Here's the work in progress.  It's hard to see the sashing against the off-white batting that I use as a design wall.

My batik stash doesn't seem to diminish.

 The poppies have popped in the back garden.
The short dark-purple iris have blossomed and faded. This long-stemmed variety is doing splendidly this year.

Memorial Day linkups:
Monday Making
Main Crush Monday
Oh, Scrap!
and the new Design Wall Monday thanks to Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Weekly update: two finishes and vintage bargains

It was cold and rainy on Friday for the 17th annual Jack McElmurry Memorial Golf Outing   That's our Rotary Club's big fundraiser.  Sixteen of the twenty foursomes played the entire course. Everyone was glad to be inside for the dinner and auction!

I donated Bali Stars to the live auction and again offered a t-shirt quilt for the silent auction. Eva (Jack's widow) was the high bidder for the t-shirt quilt as she was last year (here). She said she hasn't decided which granddaughter will provide the shirts and get the quilt.

I posted a photo of Scrappy Cedars last week. See the difference? It's finished!  The back has two strips of HSTs. (I have a box full of them and I keep replenishing the supply.) The blue fabric is an inspired-by-Clarice-Cliff print that I've had for many, many years. Its background is an odd shade (kind of greened pewter) that never seemed to go with anything I was making. (Here is more about Clarice Cliff.)

8-1/2 yards used for top, back, binding.

I wasn't ready to begin a new project so I turned to the box of flimsies.  The scrappy pinwheel top I made last year was on the top.  (The blocks use the same HSTs as the Little Cedar Tree blocks.)  I did easy straight-line quilting in the center, a curvy line in the inner border, and a free-form vine in the border.  The pieced inset in the back is made from 4.5" four-patch blocks from a swap.  2-5/8 for the backing and binding.

The vintage bargains came in two batches. (You know they're vintage if they're either 36" wide or 44/45" wide.)  The first was at a church rummage sale on Friday. Two yards, three different polka-dot prints, 36".   I paid $1.

I drove to Kenosha on errands on Saturday. I spied a sign for an estate sale and went to take a look. The ca. 1920 house had a semi-finished walk-up attic. At one end was a table loaded with fabric. The sign said $3 per piece.  I got eight pieces.  Back home I measured -- 26-3/8 yds, for $24!

Aren't these prints wonderful?   The pink flowers-on-gray is almost contemporary. The green/pink/yellow is just groovy!  I washed all of it. No colors ran and all of the pieces ironed smoothly.  Old cottons have a lovely hand, and I like the faintly dusty smell (which washes out).

As I've said, if I can't keep from buying fabric then I might as well get bargains,

I'm linking up with other quiltmakers here:
Oh, Scrap!
Monday Making
Main Crush Monday

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Raise a toast to Toby Philpot!

 (My column for the May 24 issue of the Zion-Benton News)               

The smiling visage of Sir Francis Drake, captured in clay and colorfully-glazed, was a fixture in our house when I was growing up.  My mother explained that the ceramic figurine was a Toby jug.  I learned early that Drake was a famous English sea captain.  It was years later that I became aware of popularity of Toby jugs.

                This spring I bought a Toby at a local estate sale.  I looked online to find out more about it.  I discovered that Evanston is home to the American Toby Jug Museum.  My husband and I paid a visit earlier this month. 
  Toby Philpot in many sizes

                Stephen Mullins, a Chicago real estate developer, opened the museum in 2006 to house his 8,200-item collection.  His fascination with the art form began in the late 1940’s when he spend the last of his summer-camp candy money to buy six jugs.   He has written two books on the subject. 

                British potters began producing Toby jugs in the 1760’s.  A traditional Toby jug is a figurine of a seated man, usually stout and smiling, holding a mug of ale in one hand and a pipe in the other.  His 18th-century attire is a long coat and a three-cornered hat. The hat is shaped so that it is the spout on the jug.  There is a handle on the back.  The name Toby may come from Shakespeare’s Toby Belch (Twelfth Night) or from Toby Philphot, a fictional pub-patron. 
Sir Winston Churchill 
The figurines grew in popularity and variety in the 19th century.  Potteries in Europe and the U.S. produced versions.  Character jugs became popular in early 20th century. They are the heads of famous people or fictional characters.  Their head or hats are spouts and they have handles thus qualifying them as jugs.   Royal Doulton and Beswick are the best-known of the potteries that produced character jugs.

The museum has examples from the earliest days to the present time.  There are kings and queens, prime ministers and presidents, writers and musicians.  Some are smaller than thimbles.  There is a 3-foot-high Toby Philpot that was custom-made for Mullins and his museum. 
Groucho Marx and Buddy Holly
Barack Obama 

Perhaps you have a Toby jug (or two, or ten).  Perhaps you collect memorabilia about Elvis or the Beatles, U.S. Presidents or Shakespearean characters.  The American Toby Mug Museum is a fascinating window into popular culture and history.  It’s close to home and worth the visit!

# # # #

American Toby Mug Museum
910 Chicago Avenue
Evanston  60202
10-5 Wednesday-Friday; 10-5 first and third Saturdays
Free admission.

Back home: my collection
Mrs. Loan 
Mrs. Loan, the librarian, is my favorite!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Weekly update: something new

 5:30 Sunday: sunrise over Lake Michigan.

It is interesting to conjecture how this dresser ended up on the beach.

In the studio:  as I plugged away at the QOV Ohio Stars I sewed HSTs into twosies as leaders-and-enders. From twosies to foursies to sixteen-patches, and here's the result.

The inspiration is a quilt named "Zig Zag Cedars" by Lynn Roddy Brown.  It's published in "Patchwork-Play Quilts" which I bought when Martingale had its warehouse sale earlier this year.  Lynn's HSTs are 3.5" making 12" (fin) blocks. My HSTs are 2.5" making 8" (fin) blocks.  I know I could have chosen different colors for the zig-zag sashing and the borders, but once I'd seen Lynn's colorway that's what stuck.
(c) Lynn Roddy Brown
I'm pleased to add that I pieced the backing and basted it. The quilting is underway.

Monday link ups:

Notice!  Judy posted on Patchwork Times today that she is discontinuing Design Wall Monday. Because of DWM and its weekly discipline I've blogged more consistently. It's given me the opportunity to get to know many other quilters. Thank you, Judy! 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

OMG: QOV blocks finished!

This is what 365 9.5" (unfinished) quilt blocks look like.  I laid them out on the floor in the library meeting room because no place in my house was big enough.  I'll send half to Karen in Wisconsin and half to Alycia in Colorado.

30-1/2 yards!

Click here to see what other OMG'ers have accomplished this month! 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Weekly update: the most beautiful fabric in the world

(You'll need to read through to the end to find out about the most beautiful fabric in the world.)

It was a busy week that didn't include much sewing.

  On Monday our friend Pat stopped by. She was en route home to Fargo after visiting her daughter in Dayton.  She makes the trip a couple of times a year. She usually comes for dinner and spends the night but this time she arrived in time for lunch. We went out to eat and then took her to see  Shiloh House, operated by the Zion Historical Society

That evening my P.E.O. chapter met. For various reasons I hadn't been able to attend the March and April meetings.  It was good to see everyone again -- we live spread across the county so our paths don't cross. Our circle grew when we initiated two women at the meeting. 

On Tuesday the Zion Woman's Club held its year-end luncheon at an unusual restaurant, The Chocolate Sanctuary . There's a little cocoa in everything, from the soup to the salad dressing to the seasoning on the meat. (Cocoa-smoked bacon!) One of the chefs gave a demonstration on how to make lollipop chicken wings. (The lollipop refers to pulling the meat back to expose the bone. The sauce included cocoa, herbs and spices, and a splash of Jack Daniels.)   

I stopped at the Gurnee Salvation Army on the way home and bought a length of nice-quality homespun plaid for $3.99.  It turned out to be 5 yards! 

Wednesday brought another lunch out with another Pat, this one a P.E.O. I gave my quilt history program for her chapter the week before and left a couple of quilts behind.  This was the opportunity to get them back as well as to have a nice visit. 

image (c) L. Wasilowski 
"Art Quilts: the Musical" was Wednesday evening's program for the Northern Lake County Quilters Guild .  Laura Wasilowski shared her quilting journey in song!  (From her websiteJoin Laura in celebrating the life of a quilt artist. Listen to her adventures in quilt making and hear traditional art quilt folk songs like “Everybody Gets Rejected Sometime” and the “Minnesota Quilter’s Polka.")  

I took a dozen quilt books and magazines for the freebie table. I had firm intentions of not taking anything in exchange, but I couldn't resist. I got 3-1/2 yards of fabric (free!) and some magazines -- including the one issue of Quilt Sampler that I did not have (2001). 

Laura noted that there are  many monuments to the "unknown sewer." 

Thursday evening I gave a book review for the Women's Club of Our Lady of Humility Church. They ask me to come every spring.  I talked about eight new-this-season books. 

Friday morning I left the house shortly before 8 a.m. Destination: Champaign and the 93rd Convention of AAUW-Illinois.  The sun came out (we've had lots and lots of rain) and the traffic was light. I made it in plenty of time. Another group lunch, followed by a committee meeting that ended just before 4 p.m. The convention convened at dinnertime. The evening entertainment featured actor Jennifer Goran portraying Civil War spy Elizabeth Van Lew.  She was great!  The business sessions on Saturday went expeditiously. The keynote speaker, Amanda Simpson, talked about "authentic leadership." She is the first openly transgender person to have served in the U.S. Department of Defense. Her story was inspiring.  One afternoon workshop featured a panel of women elected officials (Champaign city commissioner, Illinois state representative, mayor of Urbana, and a U. of I. student senator). The other was "Equity and Diversity: Leading for a Culture of Inclusiveness." It wasn't as daunting as the title!   

The convention wrap-up at 4 p.m. included the drawing for the spring raffle quilt that I contribute each year.  (You've all seen En Provence.)   The winner is a member of my own branch. I emailed her to tell her and she's thrilled. The raffle raised $425 for the AAUW Fund. 

The drive home was uneventful. I left Champaign at 5 and pulled into the driveway at 8. 

Sew Sassy purchases
And now, for the most beautiful fabric in the world.  I mentioned that my Friday afternoon committee meeting ended two hours before the first dinner.  I looked up quilt shops and found Sew Sassy in downtown Urbana. It's a great shop with bright contemporary and modern prints and many batiks. There on the sale shelf was a bolt from the Painted Summer line by Lida Enche.  I discovered her fabric when I was in Seattle for the 2013 ALA Midwinter Conference. I wish I'd bought more. I just love her "painterly" designs -- the most beautiful fabric in the world!  

This week's find was serendipity. Not only was there the sale-shelf bolt (1-1/2 yards) but there were also two bolts on the floor. I bought a yard from each of those.
All of my Lida Enche stash 

I am saving these for a very special project that I haven't yet identified.  (Surely you have fabric in your stash like that.)

P.S. Linda Enche's blog ends in 2013 with no notice of newer fabric designs. Google helpfully provided links to Etsy sellers with Enche fabric and, yes, I've bought some. 

Monday linkups:

OMG for May

My One Monthly Goal for May is to finish the 365 Ohio Star blocks for Quilts of Valor. When I got to 300 I separated the red points from the blue points, I counted out the pieces for the remainder so they'll come out even (well, 182 red and 183 blue).

The link to the OMG linkup is here .

Monday, May 1, 2017

Weekly update: April stash report

Stash report, April:
Fabric in:  37-7/8, $207.24.  (Most of that was at the April 7 International Quilt Festival.)
YTD in:  75-1/8, $450.44.  (Average $6/yd.)
Fabric out: 84-7/8 (65 yards sold
YTD out: 218-1/4
Net reduction: 143-1/8 !

In April I made 130 Ohio Star blocks for Quilts of Valor. I'm up to 316 out of 365. The end is in sight!  Selecting the fabric keeps me from getting completely weary of making them.  Diving deep into the stash uncovers fabric I've forgotten about. I've used up many bibs and bobs of reds, blues, and white/cream/WOW/COC.

shown unquilted

I can boast of a finish!  I quilted the chevron flimsy that I made some months ago.  For the backing I used an interesting vintage piece. See the carefully flat-felled seams? My guess is that it was used as a summer coverlet.

Our church sponsors a textile drive a couple of times a year. These bags of trimmings went into the box I contributed.  I am not interested in making pet beds. I do want to raise money for our church youth programs.

(Each gallon bag holds 1 lb. of trimmings. That's 4 yards of fabric!)

On Thursday morning I presented Every Quilt Tells a Story for a P.E.O. chapter in Barrington at the southwestern corner of the county, diagonally opposite from home.  Many members brought quilts of their own (some they'd made, others inherited, others gifts) to talk about.  This week I'm giving a book review for a church women's group. That's the last presentation of the club year.

 2.5" (unf) HSTs are my default leaders-and-enders.  They've been neglected during my Ohio Star marathon but I'll get back to them soon. The photo shows quarter, half, and full blocks. I have a setting idea in mind.

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