Monday, July 31, 2017

It's still Monday: weekly update (a new project!) and stash report

Usually I write my weekly update post just after breakfast on Monday morning. Not so today. I am taking the AARP Driver Safety Course which is eight hours over two days, 10-2 today and tomorrow. It's held at the library so I could return books and check out new ones. (And today there were quilt books on the sale rack that I snapped up--8 for $5.)

I finished 50 Care Bags and sent them to the Care Bags Foundation in Iowa. They used 25 yards of fabric. I hope to make 50 more by the end of the year.

With those out of the house and crossed off my list, I cast about for a new project.  "String Quilt Style" by Mary M. Hogan was one of the quilt books I got at the ALA conference.  I've begun the cover quilt.  The secret to the circle blocks?  Coffee filter foundations!  I used a stash of polka-dot strips and cut more from my plentiful polka-dot stash. The filters, and thus the circle blocks, are 8".  I made 42.

I decided I wanted to maintain the polka-dot theme by using a white-on-black polka dot print. My stash has black-on-white dots but not low-volume white-on-black. Buttons and Bolts had a Christmas in July sale this weekend. I found the perfect fabric -- and a lot more. Hey, it was all on sale!

I got four appliqued Sunday evening.

Estate Sale bargain

My stash also grew with an estate sale purchase -- 11-1/2 yards for $10.  The estate was for the now-deceased former owner of the premier bridal shop in Waukegan. There was a commercial Singer and three 201s.  I admired them but was not tempted to buy them.

The stash report:
Fabric in, January-June: 140-1/4, $249.69
Fabric in, July: 63-1/2, $278.30
Total fabric in, YTD:  203-3/4, $827.99 (avg. $4.06/yard)
Fabric out, January-June: 247-58/
Fabric out, July: 83-5/8
Total fabric out, YTD: 336-1/4
         (given away: 24; sold 20-1/8)
Net: -132.5 used

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

Monday, July 24, 2017

Weekly update

I'm still working on Care Bags. I haven't counted them yet.

Each bag uses just under 1/2 yard of fabric (700 square inches) so 100 bags, my goal, will use 48 yards.

 This is one box of "interesting" fabric -- upholstery, home dec, some tapestry -- that could be used for Care Bags (There's another box with specialty fabric, like Japanese obis, a mola vest, and Hmong pan dau, that wouldn't work for Care Bags.)

I have a LOT of vintage tablecloths waiting to be made into something.

Monday link ups:
Monday Making
Design Wall Monday

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Second Edition, Revised and Enlarged

My Honda CRV served me very well for 14-1/2 years and 210,765 miles, but after a $1400 repair bill in April (engine and brakes) I knew I was driving on borrowed (and increasingly expensive) miles.  I started car shopping in May and test-drove the current CRV and a Forester.  Vacillating was wearying. When the Subaru salesman called on Tuesday "just to follow up" I told him I'd like to buy a Forester.  Two-and-a-half hours later I drove my new car into the driveway.

The color is Jasmine Green Metallic. That led Facebook friends to suggest names like Jasmine (except that the jasmine flower is white with a yellow center), Jazz, Kermit, etc.  The color is very much like that of the Chevrolet Citation I had from 1982-1987. (Its name was Bibliographic Citation.) In tribute to that I am calling this car Second Edition, Revised and Enlarged -- Second Ed for short.

I hope that Second Ed will be as reliable as the Honda.

P.S. Why the Forester and not the CRV? The CRV felt more like a van.  Had I not liked either I'd have shopped further (Ford Escape or Toyota Rav), but the Forester got the nod.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Weekly update: garden tour and Care Bags

We had beautiful weather this weekend with sunshine and low humidity. Saturday was perfect for the annual Illinois Dunesland Garden Club garden walk.

The walk starts at the library where the maps to the five gardens are distributed. There's no admission fee. The club makes money on a bucket raffle with items on display in the library lobby.  I bought $30 worth of tickets and won two gift certificates, a gift basket, and a framed print. I got my money's worth!

This year's gardens were in Beach Park, Zion (two, across the alley from one another), Winthrop Harbor, and Carol Beach (just north of the state line).

Back in the studio:
I've supported the Care Bags Foundation for a long time.  They provide ditty bags filled with toiletries (plus a book and a small toy) that are distributed to kids in crisis. My goal is to make 100 bags a year.  I'm glad I checked the website before I began making this year's batch because the pattern has changed. The bags are larger to hold fleece blankets that other Care Bags volunteers make.

Of course larger bags mean I'll use up more stash!  I plumb the Deep Stash to find vintage fabrics, tablecloths, and fashion fabrics.

This poly/cotton woven plaid came from a thrift shop, mill outlet tag included. $5.99 was the original price (1960's, probably).  The 4-yard piece was enough for five bags.

I have two quilt donation opportunities, one for August and one later in the year. If nothing on hand will suit then, gee, I'll just have to start something new.  To that end I've begun perusing back issues of quilt magazines.

Monday linkups:
Monday Making
Main Crush Monday
Design Wall Monday

P.S.  I am throwing my hat in the ring -- rather, my coins in the jar -- and joining Val for the 2017 Piggybank Challenge . You can see my score for 2017 in this post and my method in this post .

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Scraps for Edna: July OMG finished!

To maintain the spirit of Edna's original painting (see Monday's post) I quilted diagonal lines through the patches and parallel horizontal lines in the borders.

The light fabric at the top left of the back is white with blue/yellow/peach tattersall stripes. 

I will link up with One Monthly Goal in a couple of weeks.
Here is the OMG link up. 

Fox Chapel Books distributes craft and cooking books for several publishers, including quilt books from Landauer and Design Originals  The books caught my eye at ALA, as did the "first time exhibitor" sign. I introduced myself to Ken, thanked him for being a vendor, and asked if he planned to sell the books at the end of the show.    (Some vendors sell books during the show, others sell discounted books in the closing hours, others donate to schools/libraries in the conference city, others pack 'em up and take 'em home.)  He let me choose a book right then and said to check with him on Sunday afternoon.  I did. He said I could have ALL the quilt books for the ALA Biblioquilters but I couldn't take them until mid-day Monday when the show closed.  

The ALA Post Office was an aisle over from his booth but it was only until 3 p.m. on Sunday.  

What to do?  Ah-ha!  TBS was kitty-corner from Ken.   (TBS sells print-management systems. My library is a long-time customer.)  TBS vp Nathan said sure, TBS could take the books back to their office in south suburban Chicago.  I offered to drive down to pick them up. Nah, TBS would ship them to me.

The books were delivered late yesterday afternoon -- so late that I didn't know they'd arrived until I went out to get the newspaper this morning. Torrential rains came through overnight. The boxes were sodden. Fortunately the contents were well-wrapped in plastic and every book was dry.  
49 books, average list price $20!

I'll send a book to each person who contributed to this year's auction quilts [see the display  here], donate some to the Zion-Benton Public Library and my quilt guild -- and probably keep a few for myself as a reward for my efforts.

Linking up with Midweek Makers since it's Wednesday! 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Weekly update: Scraps for Edna

Edna Andrade (1917-2008) was a Philadelphia-based artist known for creating op art.  I first saw her work in 2014  at the Philadelphia Museum of Art ( this trip ).  I thought immediately about  adapting her geometric designs to fabric.  Later that year I received a review copy of an exhibition catalog, called "Edna Andrade," edited by Diane Bricker Balken.  (Locks Art Publications, c2015.)

Andrade wrote, "In using geometric structures for organizing visual elements I make a connection with an ancient tradition in art. Artists have always used the pure and powerful archetypes: the circle, the triangle, the square, the pentagon and endowed them with symbolic content. I feel a kinship with the anonymous artists of the past who painted pots and tiles, wove baskets and carpets, stitched vestments and quilts. They send me precious messages without words."

Last week when I began to sew scrappy 2" squares together I recalled Andrade's work.  The alternating 2" squares are scrappy lights -- mostly cream but also other lights. I had enough of the cream-on-cream for sashing and a border (cut 2", finishing at 1-1/2"). Such a narrow border didn't work. I bought (gasp) a similar cream-on-cream and made wider borders.

Here is the inspiration. This is a photo of the page in the book. As I recall the sketch that I saw in the museum was about 20 x 24.  Her larger works are acrylic on board but this is likely colored pencil. 

My scraps are pieced randomly.  I had Edna's work in mind but I didn't look at her drawing until afterward.  Edna's color placement is precise.

Maybe, someday, I'll use her colorway . . . but for now I'm content with my scrappy version.

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

P.S.  You can do a Google images search to see more of Edna's work, but here are a few snapshots of plates in the book.  Great ideas for quilt designs!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Raffle mania and the Piggy Bank Challenge

Our guild's July program is Raffle Mania. It's an opportunity to offload no-longer-loved quilting stuff and a chance to take home someone else's in a bucket raffle. (Bucket raffles used to be called Chinese auctions -- here is an explanation.)   Each member gets tickets based on attendance and participation during the year and additional tickets are for sale (.50).  I got 18 free tickets which was enough to "spend."

I contributed a specialty ruler I won a few years ago and never used, 24 patterns that I never got around to making, a shoebox with 16 yards of Christmas fabric, and a ziploc bag crammed full of 8 yards of Christmas scraps.

Here are my winnings.

This kit came in a vintage plastic box (remember styrene?). The pattern is dated 1985.  I only wanted the fabric. Another guild member was delighted when I gave her the pattern.

 More patterns.

In all, 11-1/2 yards of fabric, four patterns, and a bag of M&Ms for the price of attending guild meetings this year.

And now, on to the Piggy Bank Challenge.  Last July Val (Val's Quilting Studio) announced the 4th annual PBC.  The idea: save your change. A year later report the total and what quilty purchase you'll use it for.  My rules for my version, the Change Game, are detailed in this post -- basically, I save spare change, $5 bills, and $1 bills with Federal Reserve B and H designations.

The result, after a year:  $119.21 in change and $589 in currency.  That's $708.21.  This morning I placed an online order for a 40-yd roll of Warm and Natural batting for $321.99.   I still have money in the bank!

See how other quiltmakers have done in Val's link up

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

OMG for July

Pike River at Hawthorn Hollow 
It was a beautiful Fourth of July.   I visited the Hawthorn Hollow nature preserve to do some fieldwork for my next newspaper column.   

Back home, instead of writing, I mowed the lawn.

 We spent the afternoon out on the patio reading.  (I am concentrating on the ARCs (advance reader copies) I shipped home from ALA Midwinter in January -- because I've got stacks of new ARCs from ALA Annual!)

Butterfly Weed and Coreopsis at Hawthorn Hollow

 In the studio:  I've finished the strips of 2" squares that I showed in yesterday's post.  Assembling the quilt top is my One Monthly Goal for July.   I'll add this post to the OMG linkup here . 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Wildflowers, June stash report, and some acquisitions -- and a new project

I took a short walk on the beach at Hosah Park this afternoon.  The rain was over the lake and the storm brought a stiff northeast breeze.

Early July wildflowers.
Top: black-eyed Susan, hoary puccoon, cow parsnip.
Center: Butterfly weed, milkweed, boneset.
Bottom:  fleabane, unknown.

# # # # # #

June quilting report:
Fabric in:  2-3/4, $28
Fabric out: 19-1/2
YTD fabric in: 140-1/4, $749.69
YTD fabric out: 247-5/8
Net fabric reduction: 107-3/8
Pieced back for Paths and Stiles

I quilted two flimsies -- Path Through the Forest ( here )
and Paths and Stiles.

# # # # # # #
Though I didn't acquire much fabric I did acquire some other treasures.
This vintage glassware came from an estate sale.  (Ivy and apples are Hazel-Atlas. Juice pitcher is Anchor Hocking.)

The Toby jug is Old Charley.  It was a bargain at an antiques mall. (Another vendor had the same one for twice the price.)

And, finally:  a new project using 2" squares.

Monday linkups:
Main Crush Monday
Monday Making
Design Wall Monday

Quilts at #alaac17

 Our quilts were hung in the main corridor at McCormick -- what great exposure!

The four that I contributed happened to be the illustration in the program book.

The easels were filled with matted drawings contributed by graphic novel artist.

OOPS!  Can you see what's wrong here?

Here's a closer look.   I took these photos on Thursday afternoon.

 Fortunately by Friday morning the quilt was rehung.

The quilts brought $3185 in all, the highest ever.  The Biblioquilters are already at work on projects for 2018.

(My quilts: Bars, $220; Dots, $275; Daisies $160; It All Adds Up $225.)


Chicago has hosted the American Library Association Annual Conference fifteen times. The first was the 17th conference in 1893 when 311 members attended.   This year the attendance was 22,702 librarians (and staff, trustees, etc.) and vendors, 25% more than the Orlando in 2016.  Chicago is easy to get to and it's in a library-rich region.   Although I live just 50 miles away I stay downtown so I can get to early-morning meetings and evening social events.

Our friend Valerie came to visit before the conference. She and Stevens met at the 1983 ACRL (Assn. of College & Research Libraries) conference in Seattle. We've been great friends ever since.  When ALAAC was in New York in 1996 we visited her and her husband at their home on Long Island -- high time to return the favor! I've seen Valerie over the years but Stevens had not.  (Wheelchairs made it much easier to get out to the parking lot at O'Hare.)

Valerie is a trustee of her local historical society. She enjoyed the tour of the Zion Historical Society.

Both Valerie and I took the commuter train downtown on Thursday. She got a cab to her hotel and I got a cab to the Hilton.  I plunged right into meetings with the Freedom to Read Foundation board at McCormick Place   FTRF hosted a reception after the board meeting and, back downtown at the Hyatt, ALA hosted a VIP reception for association leaders present and past.  The Executive Board Survivors' dinner followed.  JSH and I began the EB Survivors after our EB term ended in 2007.  The dinner is a great way to begin the conference.

On Friday morning I sat in on the United for Libraries Nuts & Bolts (for trustees, Friends, and Foundations).  My friend and former coworker Rosemary was there. She's now a trustee at our former place of work.  (Who's the nut and who's the bolt?)

The ALA Development Office hosted Legacy Society members (of which I'm one) at lunchtime.

Ready, set, exhibits!

The Intellectual Freedom Round Table met at 3 p.m. back at McCormick, which put me in the right place for the exhibits opening at 5:30.  The best giveaway:  a silk scarf from Grey House/Salem.

Members of the Retired Members Round Table met for dinner that evening. (I was the group coordinator -- everyone liked Havana, the restaurant I chose.)

"Think advocatively, act locally!" was the takeaway from  the ALA Washington Office update  (I was still in advocate-mode after the wonderful Lobby  Day at the AAUW National Convention.)

I went to several book-and-author events.
Harper Collins publishers is celebrating 200 years.

Just a few of the forthcoming books I shipped home. (These are ARCs -- advance reader copies. Publication dates range from July to December.)

I had my photo taken with Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress.  (She has one of my bookshelf quilts in her home office.)

Five minutes after that I posed with Baker and Taylor, the B&T  mascots

The Newbery-Caldecott banquet is always special.  Pat and I left after Caldecott, before Newbery to attend a farewell reception for AL Executive Director Keith Fiels who's served in that role for 15 years.

Meetings, books, meals, vendors . . . what could top the experience?  The closing session, that's what!

Pat and I checked out of the Hilton early Tuesday, left our suitcases with the bellman, and took a cab to McCormick. I was 97th in line at 6:50 a.m. (A man just in front of me counted.)

The doors opened at 8:00.  My seat was fourth row, center section!

The hall held 3200 people and it was at capacity.

Here is the YouTube video of the entire speech. She pushed all the library buttons.  (HRC's appearance was underwritten by publisher Simon & Schuster. A children's version of "It Takes a Village" is coming out this fall.)

I took an afternoon train home.  Books and other swag were waiting for me -- as was my husband, who was glad to have me back.

Next post:  ALA Biblioquilters!