Friday, December 29, 2017

Best of 2017

Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs hosts an annual "best of" linkup for bloggers' five favorite posts.

Here are mine. 
You can see the others here.

"How much is that quilt worth?"   October 8: the results of an appraisal day hosted by our guild.

"Spare Parts Flimsy"  January 29: one of my favorite quilts of the year. (I finally quilted it in August

"Raise a Toast to Toby Philpot!"  May 20: our visit to the Toby Mug museum in Evanston.

 "Attic Treasures: Archives and Memories" August 28: a moderately-successful attempt at cleaning out stuff.

"Fiesta, linens, and sewing lessons"  October 27: one of several posts chronicling estate sale finds. This one features a 7th grader's home ec project from long ago.

OMG 2017

It's time for the OMG linkup.  My December goal was easily achieved: I hosted a giveaway for the 10th anniversary of my blog.
I sent fabric bundles to two lucky winners.

Here is the OMG December finish linkup.

Since that report makes a short post I looked back at my other OMG accomplishments this year.  (I didn't do OMG in June because I went to three conventions and had little sewing time.)

January: En Provence. February: two tote bags (upper right). March: two tote bags (middle right). April: one tote bag (lower left). May: 365 Ohio Stars for Quilts of Valor.

July: Scraps for Edna (lower right). August: I Spy #1 (middle right). September: Tree Farm (upper right). October: purple/lime totes (lower left). November: Block Heads (upper left).

I look forward to OMG 2018!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Change in Christmas plans: time to sew!

The plan was to fly to Jacksonville this past Wednesday.  We were going to rent a car and drive to  Tybee Island. On Friday we'd go to Savannah to begin a Road Scholar course. On December 27 we'd head south to Jekyll Island for another RS course over New Year's. Home again January 3.
Alpha Gam squirrel and Bowdoin polar bear 

It didn't turn out that way.  My husband came down with the flu. He was miserable on Tuesday and he'd be in no shape to fly on Wednesday.  I thought about going by myself. I thought about waiting until Thursday and if he was better we'd drive. I thought about waiting until the weekend and driving just for the Jekyll Island trip.  No, none of those would work.  So I called all the places we'd made reservations to cancel them. We had to forfeit 50% of the Road Scholar fee and the deposit for the Tybee hotel.  We can rebook the airline tickets.

I channeled the energy of my disappointment just as you'd expect:  a little shopping, a lot of sewing.

Most of my nutcracker collection has been acquired at TJ Maxx or Marshalls.  I went to several stores this year and didn't find any. I was delighted to find this guy at an antiques mall this week.  Tag price was $110 but the dealer had a 50% off sale and I bargained it down some more. The label says "made in German Democratic Republic" so it's pre-1990.

I have finished all the units for all the clues of On Ringo Lake. I predict that the next step is block assembly.

Find the weekly ORL linkup at Quiltville
here !

The Stashbusters are having an Irish Chain Challenge.  The challenges for me were to select one chain design and the fabrics.  I see chain ideas all over the place!  As the Moda Blockheads nears the end (12/20 was block #42 out of 48) I've been considering ways to set my homespun-and-neutral blocks.  Why not combine them with chains?  Here's the rough draft. 

The guild challenge quilts are due in March. This year it's "quilt your initials" -- the block name is one initial and the colors are two initials. Mine are NEBH so I am making New York Beauty in Eggplant and Blue.   

These NYB blocks will be 6".  I'm going to make a bunch of arc units and then choose fabric for the other pieces. (That's a lesson I learned with Stars in Her Crown, the NYB I made two years ago.)

Friends have invited us for brunch today.  I'll cook the Roast Beast for supper.  Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Update: more holiday happenings, ORL Clue 4 and tying up ends

Yesterday's Christmas play at church was such fun! This year there were four skits: "It Wasn't the Hilton, You Know," "If We Do It, It Will Work" (featuring God and the initially-dubious Archangels Gabriel and Michael), "Christmas Eve at Angel School," and "Census Takers in Bethlehem" ("they told me to count the sheep and I fell asleep").   The fellowship hall was filled at the potluck that followed.

In the evening we went to the Lake County Symphony Orchestra concert. There was a concerto for strings, a pops medley for brass, and "Amahl and the Night Visitors."  One family (music theater professionals) has been in Amahl for many years, she playing the mother and he playing a king (this year Balthazar). Their young est son played Amahl this year.  The older two both had that role in the past. This year one was the servant and one in the chorus.

You may remember Amahl from TV.  I did, and from a children's book, but I'd forgotten the story until LCSO revived it.  (Here is the backstory: Amahl )

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I had half the center of Brooks' I Spy quilted when the Pfaff broke down (mid-November). I quickly got the hang of FMQing with the new Janome (I like it!) and now the quilt is finished and labeled. The baby is due in mid-January.

I practiced applique and some more FMQing on this snowflake mug rug.

Here's the next installment of the guild round robin. I added the red and blue flying geese units.

 Moda Block Heads #39, #40, #41.  There are seven more blocks in the series.
The bird-on-a-branch pattern is called Cardinal. I made a red bird for an earlier block so I changed this to Blue Jay.

Mystery quilt progress:

I made 96 of the 218 units for On Ringo Lake #4.

Each week's units gets its own Snapware box.

I'm still not content with my array of "light neutrals" so I bought some more. The salmons  caught my eye.  Eight quarter-yards.

We leave for our Christmas/New Year Road Scholar trips on Wednesday.  Next blog post will be in 2018!

Monday link ups:
Mystery Monday
Design Wall Monday

Friday, December 15, 2017

Giveaway winners

There were 47 comments on my 10th anniversary giveaway post.  My husband picked two numbers:

#34 -- Ellie
#17 -- Julie, who blogs at QuiltDivaJulie

Both will receive a bundle of 10 long quarters from my stash.

Thank you to everyone who stopped to leave a comment. I appreciated your book recommendations and your quilt project want-to-dos.

Monday, December 11, 2017

The social whirl, ORL, and a new machine

Have you entered my 10th Blogging Anniversary giveaway? See the previous post for details.  To enter, follow the instructions in that post.  The drawing is this coming Friday. 

This past week was party time!  The P.E.O. holiday potluck was Monday.  Cindy was my guest.  We exchanged holiday socks -- what a variety!

The Zion Woman's Club met on Tuesday.  (12:30 p.m., dessert.)
We had a white elephant exchange.

The Northern Lake County Quilter's Guild holiday dinner was Wednesday. I didn't take any pictures!  We have a fat quarter exchange (sets of four) and an ornament exchange.  There was a collection of mug rugs and small runners (tray-sized) for an assisted living facility that's one of our charities.

I went improv with my contribution.

Tree Farm (pattern by Moda)
Silent auction score! 

The AAUW holiday luncheon was Saturday.  Someone else took the pictures.  The raffle quilt -- shown here (picture taken in October) raised $465 for the AAUW Fund.   Everyone brings white elephant items for a silent auction.  I was able to dispossess myself of three boxes of stuff (and someone used one of the boxes for her purchases). I got this stack of vintage hankies  I mostly wanted the three pictorial ones. They're not signed. (The black-and-red is travel-themed with "Bon Voyage," "Au Revoir," "Happy Landing," and "Safe Travels" in the corners. I looked up canasta and found out it originated in Argentina, hence the map of South America.)    Silent auction proceeds: $741.50 (half to AAUW Fund and half to our local scholarship) and 50/50 cash drawing: $135 to our community fund and $125 to the lucky winner (who was not me).

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In my studio:  here is   clue #3 of On Ringo Lake.  the photo shows the units I've finished and units waiting to be sewing.  This is a tedious step.

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 Just before Thanksgiving Pfrieda Pfaff quit working. I took it into the shop and got the call: the motor burned out. I got the Pfaff in 1994 and it sewed hundreds of hours and miles of thread.  I really like Sew 'n Save and I wanted to buy the replacement machine there.

Here it is!  Meet Jolly Janome. It's an MQ 8200.  I'm having fun figuring out the features. I've fiddled with some of the fancy stitches and found the convenient one-push 1/4" seam allowance. This week I will try free-motion quilting on a project that needs to get finished.   I'll schedule formal instruction after the holidays. (Note that the machine base is bigger than the cut-out in the sewing table. I need to call Tracy's Tables to get a replacement top.  The acrylic surround helps but it's not the same as the nice, flat surface of the table.)

Here's the Monday lineup of link ups:
ORL Mystery Monday
Monday Making
Oh, Scrap!
Main Crush Monday
Design Wall Monday

Thursday, December 7, 2017

OMG: 10th anniversary giveaway

 My first blog post was December 2, 2007.   Ten years later:  827 posts documenting dozens of quilts, confessing to fabric acquisition (and disposition),  travelogs, book reviews, and a few opinions.

To celebrate, I'm offering a giveaway.  Two lucky winners will receive 10 long quarters (9 x width of fabric) from my stash.   To qualify for the drawing you must follow the (simple) instructions:
(a)  Leave a comment that includes two things:  what block or quilt pattern you want to make in 2018 AND what your favorite new-to-you book was in 2017 (fiction, nonfiction, kids, graphic novel, whatever)
(b) Provide a way that I can email you if you are a winner. (I cannot respond to "no-reply" comments.)
(c) Have a U.S. address (I cannot ship out of the country).
(d) Reply by midnight Thursday, December 14. I will draw the winners Friday morning, December 15.

The 10th anniversary giveaway is my One Monthly Goal for December. (Whew. I wrote this post and linked to OMG just in time.)

Monday, December 4, 2017

On Ringo Lake, part #2


On Saturday evening we enjoyed the Carthage College Christmas concert featuring the college choirs and orchestra.  Tickets are free and they go quickly. When I checked in early November all three performances were sold out. I mentioned that to a friend who gave me two tickets she couldn't use.  The concert was wonderful and we are grateful to our friend.

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I'm working on Clue #2 of On Ringo Lake.  I have trouble with "light neutrals" -- white-on-white and cream-on-cream I can handle, but subtle little prints and not-white and not-cream lights are harder. On the other hand, my stash includes lots of salmon pink/orange.

I'm using Deb Tucker's Wing Clipper ruler to make the geese four-at-a-time.  There's more trimming involved but the results are accurate.

Today's link ups:  On Ringo Lake
Design Wall Monday

Friday, December 1, 2017

Month-end: flimsy finished and stash report

It's December!  I woke up, peered at the clock (in the dark): 4:15 a.m. I said, softly but still aloud, "Rabbit, rabbit!" and then caught forty more winks. (Here is the backstory.)

I sashed the 9-patch variation blocks until I ran out of striped sashing.  As a result I put a stack of 9pv blocks in the orphan box for a future project.

The inner border used up nearly all of that particular green print.  The flimsy is approx. 62 x 80 and used 4-1/2 yards.

It didn't seem as though I got a lot sewn this month. My OMG project, the Block Heads, resulted in blocks but no flimsy.  My Pfaff is still in the shop so I couldn't finish quilting the next baby quilt. 

Stash report:
Fabric in, November:  9-3/4 yds., $10.10
Fabric in, YTD:  427-1/2 yds., $1417.36 (avg. $3.37/yd)

Fabric out, November: 25-1/4
Fabric out, YTD: 487-1/2

Net reduction: 60 yards!

Linking up with the Friday Whoopers at Confessions of a Fabric Addict