Monday, January 29, 2018

Weekly update: a luncheon, a finish, and progress

Heidi Stevens and Waukegan Area Branch members
Chicago Tribune columnist Heidi Stevens was the speaker at the AAUW Networking Luncheon on Saturday.  Her talk was an extension of her column, "Balancing Act":  Identify your core values and apply those to making the world a better place. She cited three examples:
*  the Jackson Chance Foundation that provides parking passes for parents with NICU babies at Prentice Hospital in Chicago
*  the Cook County judge who provides books to juvenile offenders . (She asked one teen if he ever read books. He had *one* book at his house which he had read over and over. Now she provides shelves of books for the taking.)
*  Marly Dias who launched  #1000BlackGirlBooks when she was 11. Now she's 15.

I was fortunate to be seated at Heidi's table.  Over lunch she talked about changes in newspaper publication, reporting, and editorial/opinion/balance.

This was the 35th networking luncheon. It's a nice opportunity to see AAUW friends from the north and northwest suburbs.

Oh, and the quilt?  That's our branch spring raffle quilt. (I realized at 8 a.m. Saturday that the luncheon would be an ideal time to sell tickets. I rushed to print tickets and a small poster, attach a hanging sleeve to the quilt (which is documented in this post), and grab the display stand. $70 sold!)

# # # # #
From start to finish in a week: Hoytyville is quilted and bound.   I dipped into the 3.5" 9p box for the spacer row.  I sewed the top pieces together in a straight line. How did that curve occur?

Set 5 in front of sets 1-4

I finished the fifth set of 48 HeartStrings blocks in as many months. The new batch has a 2" center strip and 1.5" (rather than 2") side strips.  Narrower pieces take longer!  I'll send the blocks to one of the HS sew-ins for the group to assemble and quilt.

(This link will tell you more about HeartStrings.)

I got behind in the weekly Moda Blockheads . Last evening I made  #43, #44, #45. I'd like to get #46 and #47 finished before the final block -- #48 -- comes out this Wednesday.

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

Friday, January 26, 2018

Two ribbons and OMG report for January

The GFWC-IL* Tenth District art contest was Wednesday in conjunction with the monthly district luncheon.  Mind you, this is a very small-potatoes event.  "Initial Colors" was the lone entry in the wallhanging category. "Scraps for Edna" was one of two entries in the quilt & embroidery category. But it's fun to win ribbons and have your work admired. 

Marty is a fellow member of the Zion Woman's Club. She entered her photos and won best in show.

*General Federation of Women's Clubs

The art contest chair was the president of ZWC. She invited her two daughters and a friend to be the contest judges. I knew one of the daughters, met the other (who lives a couple of blocks from me).  The friend said that she'd been a teacher at Lake Forest H.S. I asked her what she taught (French and Spanish).  "Oh, you must know Eleanor McM," I said.  Indeed! (Eleanor is an AAUW and quilting friend whom I've known for nearly 20 years.)  Six degrees of separation? More like two or three.

On to the OMG January Finish Link Up . My two OMGs (how's that for a contradiction in terms) were finished mid-month.

I stated that I wanted to get Initial Colors assembled.  I also got it quilted, bound and labeled.

I repurposed a never-used briefcase by making a batik panel that covers the U.S. Census 2000 logo.  I also made a foam cushion for the strap.

Today I'm quilting the neutral bars -- gotta come up with a better name for it -- while I listen to an audiobook that LJ sent me to review.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A couple of changes and a winter wonderland

First edition  
See the difference?  Yesterday I wrote that I thought the design needed a visual resting place.  I also made two additional blocks to show the construction. I made an additional column that used those two blocks (and made more). I pieced two rows of 2.5" squares and inserted them. (They're well-camouflaged, but they're there.)  Fortunately I assembled the first edition horizontally. That made it easier to un-stitch, insert, and re-stitch.
Second edition 
Now I'm auditioning backing fabric. 

Meanwhile, outdoors:   a rare January thunderstorm brought rain that turned to snowfall overnight. I took these pictures at the Camp Logan unit of Illinois Beach State Park this noontime.

Wind from the northeast brought big waves and a lot of crashing on the breakwater (which I last showed covered in ice).

The dark blue-gray of the sky and the water would be beautiful in a quilt . . .

Linking up with other quiltmakers on Freemotion By the River

Monday, January 22, 2018

Weekly update: a finish, swaps,and something new

Look who had a birthday last week!  We saw the movie The Post (excellent!) and got pedicures.
The guild challenge quilt is quilted, bound, and labeled.   The quilting is wobblier than I wanted it to be but I will declare that that's my intent (artistic license). I'm glad to have this finished six weeks in advance.

I have a head start on swaps. I made 54 solid-and-low-volume 6.5" churn dashes for Barb's swap. (Here's  her blog.)

3.5" nine-patches are the Block Swappers' perennial favorite -- going back 10 years or so.  There will be three rounds in 2018, each for ten sets of six. Two rounds will be light-dark-light.
I went ahead and made blocks for the year. (There are extras because I cut the 1.5" strips from the width of fabric. I can easily find uses for these little blocks.)

Original Hoytyville 

Last year Lori posted a photo of a pattern called Hoytyville. (Here's the link.) I came across her post a few weeks ago and saved the photo.  I have lots of blacks and brights but I decided to tackle the box and shelf of brown/tan -- with a few grays and blacks thrown in.

The blocks are 6-1/2" x 10-1/2" unfinished. The flimsy is 54 x 72 and used 3-1/2 yards. I found browns and tans that I didn't realize I had.  How long have they been there? Where did I get them? Beats me.

The basic block is made from 6.5" x 2.5" strips.

A few of the framed blocks I made didn't have enough contrast to suit me. I trimmed the frames to 3/4" (1/2" fin.) and added another frame. I like the variation.

If I make something like this again I will try a couple of horizontal bands -- maybe rows of squares? -- to provide a visual resting place. This seems very much like sliding downhill.

On Saturday I marched in spirit with the 275,000+ women in downtown Chicago and the million+ others in cities all over the country. 

Instead, I walked on the beach. There was still ice on the breakwater   Now, as I write, it's raining. The January thaw is fleeting but welcome!

I got one sliver of green glass for my collection.

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

Monday, January 15, 2018

Weekly update: RSC, round robin, briefcase (again) and NYB

Chinese Puzzle is my 2018 Rainbow Scrap Challenge block.  This is 12.5" (unf). 

I'm participating in a round robin in our quilt guild.  This is month #3.  T. B. said, "Anything goes!" I added the blue flowers. (The flowers were extras from this project and this one.)

The New York Beauty quilt is at the flimsy stage.  This is my entry in the 2018 guild challenge. The theme is "quilt your initials" with one initial being the block name and two initials being the colors.  My initials are NEBH so I chose three of the four. A list of color names was provided. There weren't many choices for N or H (no nickel or hematite, which could've worked up well  (light gray and dark gray)). I could drive myself crazy with choices (nine-patch / hole in the barn door / Eddystone light / birds in the air; black/brown; emerald/ecru). I went with my very first impression: New York Beauty in Eggplant and Blue.

The blocks are 6" fin. With borders, it's 34 x 34.   The challenge reveal is in March so I have six weeks to get it quilted.

Last Monday I posted a picture of the quilt blocks I laboriously hand-sewed to the front panel of a repurposed briefcase. I commented then that I wasn't wild about them because they were more whimsical/cute than I wanted.

I took them off and contemplated a new applique made from something from the orphan blocks box.  Nothing on hand was suitable, but one block gave me an idea.  Here's the result.

It took about a half hour to make the batik block. It took about two-and-a-half hours to hand-sew it to the briefcase.  I also made a foam wrap-around "cushion" for the strap.

Both this briefcase and the NYB challenge were my OMG projects for January. Mid-month and they're done!

Monday linkups:
Scrap Happy Saturday
Monday Making
Oh Scrap!
Design Wall Monday   

P.S.  Here is Miss C. (18 mos. old) with the I Spy quilt I made for her. (More here.)

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Midweek: it's a flimsy!

 I assembled On Ringo Lake on Tuesday afternoon.  I calculated the fabric required in each unit and from that arrived at 10 yards for the entire flimsy (unquilted top). Hooray!

I got the leftover fabric reshelved.

Last evening we watched Into the Amazon, the new episode of The American Experience on PBS.  (Until the promotion of this feature I'd forgotten that in 1993 Auburn PL had hosted a program by Charles Haskell who led an expedition to retrace T.R.'s route.)    My TV-time sewing resulted in six NYB blocks for the guild challenge quilt. I decided that split backgrounds are more interesting than not-split.

Mike from Tracey's Tables called Monday to say that he'll deliver the new top for my sewing table this morning. The Janome has a much larger footprint than the Pfaff and the new top will allow the machine to be flush with the table. It will be nice to sew "on the flat" again.

See this Wednesday's linkup at Midweek Makers.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Weekly update: ORL halfway, and other accomplishments

The Thomas Fire is the largest-ever fire in California.  Grace posted the announcement of a block drive to make quilts for the victims.  The drive is for this specific block (split 9-patch). One yard of fabric for these seven blocks which I mailed off on Saturday.

In other flinging:  I offered the presser feet from my now-deceased Pfaff on two Yahoo sales groups and had a taker within fifteen minutes. (And messages for days afterward, even though I posted a follow up stating that they were spoken for.)   I replied to a sales group request for neutral scraps. I emptied the box on the left and much of the box on the right -- 16 yards sold for $48!

Here are my blocks for this month's Block Lotto. It's great to have BL back in 2018.

Here's the repurposed briefcase, one of my OMGs.  I'm not 110% wild about it. Technically the workmanship is fine but it's "cuter" than I intended. I want arty / sophisticated. Back to the drawing board -- rather, the cutting table.

I have assembled just over half of On Ringo Lake. I found that in order to orient the sashing correctly it was best to work on one row at a time -- blocks, sashing, blocks, sashing.

I hope to get it to the flimsy stage soon.  The holiday break is over and I have meetings and other projects that I need to attend to!

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

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

January OMG and first flimsy of the year

Tuesday sunset: clear and COLD
It's been bitterly cold here in northeasternmost Illinois and most of the country. Had our trip to the Georgia coast happened we'd have been cold there because we didn't plan to take heavy coats. This evening's quilt guild meeting has been cancelled due to the cold.

busting apart at the seams
My One Monthly Goal for January is actually two projects. 

I plan to repurpose a briefcase/tote to take to next month's ALA Midwinter Meeting . It will replace a repurposed briefcase that's worn out after a dozen or so conferences.

18 years old but never used

The second project is to finish the New York Beauty blocks for the guild challenge.  I will need 16.  The reveal is in March, so if I make the blocks in January I can quilt it in February.

Here is the Elm Street Quilts OMG linkup.

On Ringo Lake:  1 block completed, 49 to go.

Here's the first flimsy (unquilted top) of 2018.  Late last week I wanted to work on something that was different from the other works-in-progress (NYB, ORL, and the Block Heads). I clipped this pattern from a back issue of Quilt magazine months ago.  The designers are Tammy Silvers and Julia LaBauve.  The blocks are 12" fin., three sizes (2.5" center w/ 1.5 strips; 2.5" center with 2" strips; 3.5" center with 2.5" strips).  5-7/8 yards used, all from my stash (of course). 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year! The Annual Reckoning and projects in the works

A never-used postcard from my collection. On the back: Whitney Made / Worcester, Mass. / Made in USA.
Learn about George C. Whitney in this article and this one .

I began the Annual Reckoning in January, 1998. I was preparing to pack for the move from Fargo, ND, to Lindenhurst, IL. I realized that my commitment to quiltmaking resulted in an exponential increase in my fabric stash and that I'd better get a handle on it.  Recording is now automatic.  (Note that I record use when a project gets to the flimsy stage, not WIPs or UFOs.)

In 2017 I sold fabric on Facebook sales sites. I also began to keep track of trimmings by tossing the slivers and dog-ears into plastic bags. When a bag got full I weighed it (1 lb. = 4 yds.). Hey, that's fabric used!  I made 13 tote bags, 18 quilts, 3 mug rugs, 50  Care Bags, and 365 Ohio Star blocks for Quilts of Valor.
Block Heads + Irish Chain 

I'm starting 2018 with projects in the works.  There's the Moda Blockheads + Irish Chain that I showed last week. Clues 6, 7, and 8 of On Ringo Lake have been revealed.

I'd like to well and truly bust the 30's stash.  To that end, I've begun 3.5" bow ties. For a long time I've tossed strips and squares of white-on-white into a box. I'm using the 2" WOWs for the bow ties. The smaller box on the left holds all the 1.5" pieces. I have a design in mind!

I know that my 30's stash would make thousands of small bow ties. I don't want that many. I will come up with a larger block that uses more fabric.

I'm making progress on guild challenge.

Here's a portion of what' on the design wall. I thought I'd get the blocks assembled New Year's Eve but I was tired!  We turned out the lights at 10:30 p.m.

After a good night's sleep I was up in time to catch the sunrise. A cloud bank obscured the horizon. It was -8 (lower with the wind chill) at 7:15. I did not linger!

Linking up with other quiltmakers for Design Wall Monday
Monday Making
Oh, Scrap!