Sunday, November 26, 2017

Weekly update: lots of nine-patches and ORL, part 1

Stalled (1/4 of the center quilted)
On Monday I began to quilt the baby quilt I posted last week.  My trusty Pfaff quit working -- the belt kept slipping.  I took it to the shop. The repairman was on vacation so it will be a while until it's fixed.  I pulled out Sweetness, the Singer 301.  After a couple of drops of oil it purred smoothly. I'm not confident about FMQing with it but I can certainly use it for piecing.

And piece I did!

Here's Clue #1 of On Ringo Lake, the new Quiltville mystery.

These nine-patches were quick to make. I'm quite sure that subsequent units will be more involved.

The Block Swappers exchange 3.5" nine-patches three or four times a year.  Each swap yields 60 nine-patches.  I'm always on the alert for interesting ways to set these cute blocks.

Here are the nine-patch variation blocks I wrote about a couple of weeks ago.  After I began sewing the sashing to the blocks I realized I won't have enough to sash all of them. I will either make a smaller quilt or improvise.

I found another block that incorporates the mini-nines.  It's by Sherri Bain Driver and was published in McCall's Quilter's Workshop, a 2011 special edition.  I took photos of a block in progress so you can see how it's put together.

Four 2-5/8" squares, two dark and one light 3-3/8" squares, and a 3.5" nine-patch.

Pieces laid out.

Sections sewn together.

If you try this, let me know!

Meanwhile, I'm adding Quiltville to the Monday link up line-up that includes
Oh, Scrap!
Monday Making
Design Wall Monday
Main Crush Monday

Weekly update: other than sewing

Thanksgiving was just the two of us, which suited us just fine this year.  The small turkey and the side dishes (roasted root vegetables, cornbread with whole-kernel corn and cheddar, the last of the fresh tomatoes, and the NPR-famous cranberry relish) provided us with enough leftovers.  Pumpkin pie for dessert, of course.

(The 2017 recital of the cranberry relish recipe is here .)

The weather was sunny and mild all weekend.  I took a walk along the beach.  (I also have a walking route in the neighborhood when I'm not inclined to get in the car and drive to the state park. We're a mile west of the lake as the crow flies but about 2 miles from the part of the park where I like to walk.)

On Saturday about 45 Girl Scouts and their leaders from area troops had a community service event with our church as the "headquarters."   Two Scouts, a mom/leader, and a little sister came to our house. Since the yard service had raked all the leaves earlier in the week, I put them to work inside polishing silver.  The girls had never done that before.  They (and mom) had fun reading the wording on the 19th-century souvenir spoons.  And the silver got pretty well polished.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

OMG finish for November

My One Monthly Goal for November was to make all the blocks (so far) in the Moda Blockheads weekly quilt-along and to keep current as each block is published. I began the month with #1-#12 on the design wall.  #38 came out November 22.  I met my goal: here are all 38.

The blocks are 6.5" unfinished.  I am using homespuns from my stash and cream solid.

There will be 48 blocks in all.  There's a FB group for the Blockheads. What a variety of interpretations -- colorway, fabric genre, setting ideas!

I'm linking up to the OMG November page  here

....There's lots more going on in my studio. Stay tuned for updates!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Monday update: a finish and a start

I brought the Halloween pumpkins in from the front steps, cut them up, and cooked them down.  There's five pies' worth of puree.  (I know that the little pie pumpkins are sweeter and denser than jack o'lantern pumpkins. My pies taste just fine and I feel very thrifty.)

We know many people who regularly attend the Lake County Concerts but we had never gone.  Friends gave us their tickets for Saturday's concert to hear pianist Steven Vanhauwaert play Liszt.  It was wonderful . . . and we will become members/ticket-holders, too.

Here is Bright Bars, q & b (quilted and bound).  I made the flimsy in August and (gasp) bought backing fabric for it then. I knew I'd do simple straight-line quilting. So why did it take me three months to actually get it done?

I used four orphan blocks and made five more for the pieced back.

This is the beginning of baby quilt #3. Brooks Ruth is due at the end of January. (Now "Our Miss Brooks" has popped into my head. The baby's parents are far too young to know the reference!)  It's fun to work with pink after making two baby-boy I Spy quilts this fall.

Monday link ups:
Design Wall Monday
Oh, Scrap!
Monday Making
Main Crush Monday

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Midweek #2: two quilting upates

Here's the border I made for Linda's round robin block. I love the intense colors!  Her block is 15" and the border is 3".

And here is Blockheads #37.

I'm joining the link up at
Needle & Thread Thursday

P.S. The quilting and sewing worlds remember Nancy Zieman, who passed away on Tuesday. She was a pioneer in instructional TV and an entrepreneur.

Midweek 1: #AAUW136

On November 28, 1881, Marion Talbot and Ellen Richards invited thirteen other women to a meeting to talk about the needs of college-educated women -- to provide more opportunities for higher education and to consider what public service they could collectively undertake.  The Association of Collegiate Alumnae was the result -- known today as American Association of University Women .

Members and guests at Tuesday evening's meeting of the Waukegan Area Branch posed for a birthday-greeting photo.   #AAUW136!
(Yes, that's my husband on the left. I'm in the middle behind Dorothy, who's holding the AAUW banner.) 

The program was given by Jamie Larue, director of the  Office for Intellectual Freedom at the American Library Association, presented "Social Justice and Intellectual Freedom."  The five librarians in the branch are certainly aware of IF issues -- it was a great opportunity to present IF to so many non-librarians. Everyone enjoyed the presentation.

Jamie and I met at a library conference in 1994 when he he was director of the Douglas County Library District in Colorado and I was director of the Fargo Public Library.  We learned much more recently (thanks, Facebook) that he and my sister were friends when both worked at the University of Illinois libraries in the late 1970's.  Jamie grew up in Waukegan.  One of the AAUW members worked with his mother, prompting Jamie to say that in the dozens of presentations he's given across the U.S. and abroad, this was the first time an audience member remembered his mother. :)

Monday, November 13, 2017

Weekly update: swapped out, and two new projects

We had sticking snow on Friday. I had a morning meeting some distance away. Afterwards I stopped at a church thrift shop. I'm glad I did because there were two bad accidents on I-94, one southbound and one northbound, on an icier-than-anticipated overpass. If I'd been 15 minutes earlier I might have been in the accident.

Leaf fall is really late this year. This story from the Chicago Tribune tells why.

This is the second year I've been the Baseball Swap's BUP chucker.  
BUP = Big Ungainly Package.  As you can see in the photo, they ungainly indeed.

The BBS began in 1999 or so as an offshoot of the Rec.Crafts.Textiles.Quilting newsgroup.   We swap 6.5" squares of quilt fabric according to the results of Major League Baseball games. Each participant can back a National or American League team, or one from each. For each game your team wins, the backer of the losing team owes you a square.  Fortunately one swapper has a spreadsheet to keep track of who owes whom and sends the tallies at the end of the regular season.  Once upon a time there were nearly 40 swappers. This year there were 18. 

I back the Cubs and the Red Sox. This year I owed 197 squares. I received more than that, mostly due to the Cubs' strong season.  

My BBS stash is in the box. The new squares are on the left. The hostess gifts (a benefit of being the chucker) are on the right.

 The swap squares come in handy when I need a little of a particular color or genre

I turned to the BBS box for one of the new projects.  I'm in a round robin with six guild members. We got the starter blocks at the November 1 meeting.  Here's Linda's magnificent paper-pieced block.  I'm working on the first border -- photo to come.

I went through back issues of Quilt a while back and clipped all the patterns that appealed to me.  This nine-patch variation by Susan McDermott is one of them.

The center blocks are 3.5" (unf) 9-patches from the Block Swappers' quarterly swap. (I have about 400 in the box!) The other patches are cut 3.5" x 2.5" and 2.5" x 2.5".  The striped sashes are just possibilities. I have no idea how many blocks I'll make. It's fun to pull 2.5" strips from the bin and put colors/patterns together.

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

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Midweek: caught up

Would that I could say "all caught up" in other aspects of my life . . . but I can brag that I have finished blocks #31-#36 of Moda Blockheads

A new block is announced each Wednesday.  My One Monthly Goal was to get current. Now it's  to stay current.  I'll have three more to make in the coming weeks.

The guild BOM this year features blocks from Missouri Star.  I'm using homespuns and cream-on-cream.  Here are the September, October, and November iterations.  They begin with 10" squares and are approx. 11" unfinished. That seems so big compared to the 6-1/2" Blockheads!

I am giving thought to two upcoming projects -- I find that cogitation is conducive to productive quiltmaking, and some projects require a lot of cogitation. Neither one will involve homespun plaids, however.

Linking up with Midweek Makers .

Monday, November 6, 2017

Weekly update: Blockheads progress

Here are the Moda Blockheads blocks 15 to 30.  My OMG is to catch up and stay caught up.
Block 36 will be published this week, with 37, 38, and 39 by the end of November. 

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

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Estate sale treasures

A couple of weeks ago I went to an estate sale in Zion. This week there was a sale at the house next door. It turned out that the earlier sale was the daughter and the later sale was the mother.  One house was post-war, the other pre-war. I imagine that the parents sold the corner lot to the daughter and son-in-law. 

I didn't get there until 2:30 p.m. (sale closed at 4). I got bargains!  I paid $13 for all of this (including a tablecloth I didn't get a picture of).                     

 This advertising map is dated 1990.  The souvenir plate shows  Shiloh House.
I'll give both to the library for the local history collection.
 These fold-up hangers might be from a suitcase or wardrobe trunk.
 A linen towel with designer signature. (I looked it up: made by  Kay Dee

A Marshall Field's tin. Of course I had to get it.

I'm glad I went down into the cellar because I found this.

Look what it goes with!

The blue vase was a souvenir from my childhood. My sister had the red vase (not THIS red vase, but one just like it).  I found the pitcher at a thrift shop a couple of years ago.

I haven't been able to find any information about these. The bottoms are stamped USA and that's it. (Googling "turquoise vase thunderbird souvenir" doesn't come up with anything like these.)   I think these were from a Fred Harvey restaurant but I'd like to get a definitive identification.

Spelling bee!

Beauty and the Beast: Lumiere, Beast, and Belle 
The winning word was SEROTINAL. *
I had never heard it but when it was defined I realized it had the same root as "serotonin" so I spelled it "s-e-r" rather than "s-i-r" or some variation.  My guess was right!  With that, the ZBPL team won the 12th annual Corporate Community Spelling Bee on Thursday evening.

This was ZBPL's fourth win. Steffi and I have been 2/3 of the team since the beginning.  (I have a newspaper clipping of the first win --before I began blogging -- but it's in a folder somewhere that I can't find.)

Stevens and Rosemary (with Daryn looking on) were in the library cheering section.

The spelling bee is a fundraiser for the Coalition for Healthy Communities
Teams are sponsored by businesses and organizations -- individuals, too (our state representative, the county clerk, the county coroner (whose team came in second), the state's attorney). 

There's a bucket raffle and a 50/50 drawing.  I donated a tote bag with books and a quilt.  I won a gift basket with ground coffee, cookie mix, and mugs.

* I don't remember what word the runners-up misspelled.  There were 9 rounds. I remember spelling "malapropos" and "monotheism."

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

November: stash report and a homespun sampler

Halloween was sunny but very chilly. We had few trick-or-treaters so there's lots of candy left over.

I remembered to say "Rabbit, rabbit!" when I woke up.  (Here is the reason.)

The stash report for October:
January-September in:  376-1/2
October in: 40-3/4
Total in: 417-1/4   ($1407.26, avg. $3.37/yd)

January-September out: 417
October out: 45-3/4
Total out: 462-2/4

Well, that's more used than acquired. Though the total expenditure is high, the average per yard is about 28% of retail.

From rabbits to squirrels:  I volunteered to be  Pearl Sister to one of the new members of the Alpha Gamma Delta provisional chapter at East Carolina University. (Provisional chapters used to be called colonies. There are no initiated members to be sister-mothers (big sisters) so alumnae are invited to do that.)  The chapter will be installed November 11. I made this mug rug for my Pearl Sis.

(Alpha Gam colors are red, buff, and green. The mascot is Skiouros the squirrel.)

On Monday I posted a photo of homespun fabric pulled for a new project, my One Monthly Goal for November.   In March Moda began a block-of-the-week called Block Heads. Six designers are taking turns with a block they've designed. Each one is making all the blocks in different fabric colorways/genres.   Here is the Moda blog with links to all the blocks.

Blocks are 6-1/2" unf.
My OMG is to catch up on Block Heads.  That meant starting with the first block!  I'm using homespun plaids and plain muslin.  As of last evening I finished #1 - #14.  (This morning block #35 was published.)

I store the homespuns on the bottom shelves of the big bookcases behind the cutting table.   I've pulled them out and dumped them into these big tubs for the time being. Maybe I'd turn to them more if they were easier to reach.

(The de-boned shirts are in another box.)

Linking up with
One Monthly Goal
Midweek Makers