Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Round robin and stash report

I finished the flower basket applique for the guild round robin. (I still think the braid border is out of proportion, but that's not my responsibility.)  I will hand this over at the guild meeting March 7.  There are six participants. This is round five. One round to go before we get our own back.

Stash report, February:
Fabric out:  61 yards (includes 40 yds donated to the guild Raffle Mania)
Fabric in: 15-3/4 yards, $10 (Raffle Mania ticket purchases and winnings)

Year to date:
Fabric out: 138-7/8
Fabric in: 16-3/4,  $10.60
Net reduction: 122-1/8

(Gee, this is the third post in a row with the word "report" in the title.)

Monday, February 26, 2018

OMG February Finish report

My February OMG was to set the Moda Blockheads blocks.  I did that early in the month and posted this photo on February 4.  The flimsy is now in the hands of the longarmer.

I had a secondary goal of beginning my niece's wedding quilt. I had an idea of what I'd do, but I think I've changed my mind.  It's almost time to set the March OMG! 

Click here to see other bloggers' reports on their February goals. 

Weekly update: not much to report

I made 80 Double X blocks.. I thought I had  decided on a double-sash setting. That is, I will make sets of four and sash around each set. But I have another idea in the works!

Remember that I'm trying to use up -- exhaust -- clean out the 30's stash. All that's left of the yellow (inner sashing) are two 6" strips and a few 1.5" squares!

(Yes, I know I could give away / swap / sell the 30's stash. But that would be giving up.)

The guild round robin is in the fifth round so the tops are getting bigger. I was going to add a checkerboard outer border. I contemplated cutting down the previous contributor's elaborate braid border but thought better of it. (I don't want to insult her.)  I looked at it again and realized that the bluebirds in the center [contributed in the second round] need a place to roost.  I'll make a flower basket (the white blobs are flowers traced on fusible web).

DH had a very bad spell while I was in Denver. He was discharged from the hospital on Saturday to a local nursing home (10 minutes away) for physical therapy to get steady on his feet.  I've been juggling my schedule to be with him, especially at dinnertime. He's been sundowning (end-of-day anxiety).

Monday linkups:
Design Wall Monday
Monday Making

P.S.  A long-time member of our church passed away. Her executors let the church women take things before they had the house cleared out.  We had a silent auction after church yesterday. I got this quilt for $20. I was excited at first -- vintage!  But upon closer examination (coarse stitches, lumpy batting) I think it's a Chinese knockoff. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Weekly update: back in the studio

An announcement from the area United Methodist Women caught my eye. The Midwest Mission Distribution Center needs sewing machines!  I arranged to meet with one of the UMW reps on Friday.  I handed off four machines: the 1994 serger (hard to thread; used about once a year); the Viking MegaQuilter (bought third-hand, used a dozen times); The Ambassador (a Singer clone from Lillian's Legacy that had been on a shelf in the garage); and a 1970's Singer (someone donated it to the library).  The rep explained that volunteers clean and repair donated machines and harvest parts from those that can't be fixed. The machines are then given to people (mostly women) to help with self-sufficiency and economic development in the U.S. and abroad.

It's great to get the machines out of my house and to know that they'll be used! (According to the website, 923 sewing machines were sent out from MMDC in 2017.)

I won the January Block Lotto. These blocks arrived while I was in Denver. More are on the way.

These are my entries in the February Lotto. The instructions were to start with "baby orphans," meaning units smaller than 3". I used pinwheels that resulted from cut-away corners in a long-ago project. I always thought they'd come in handy. (The unfinished blocks are 9.5")

Here are the initial blocks for the 2018 Birthday Block swap hosted by the BlockSwappers. Each of the six participants has chosen a block. The disappearing four-patch is so easy that I made three.

On my design wall now: double-X blocks in 30's fabrics. They're 6.5" unfin.

Once I have the HSTs trimmed they go together quickly.

The 30's stash is shrinking....slowly.

Monday linkups:
Oh Scrap!
Monday Making
Design Wall Monday

Sunday, February 18, 2018

ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver

The biggest snowstorm of the season was forecast five days before it hit on Friday, February 9.  Hundreds of flights at both ORD and MDW were delayed or cancelled.   I escaped that, fortunately, because I flew to Denver on Thursday, Febuary 8.  It was sunny when we left Chicago and sunny when we landed in Denver.

It was a pleasantly busy conference. Pat and I have been conference roommates for five years (and friends for many more).  She lives in one of the northwest suburbs and we joke that we have to travel across the country to visit.  I serve on several committees. I'm no longer accountable to a library board or staff, nor do I have to keep receipts to get reimbursed.  I can go to sessions and hear speakers that pique my interest.

Database publisher Alexander Street held a breakfast with New York Times columnist Bob Herbert. He gave an introduction to his documentary film about the black middle class, Against All Odds.  He said he could not overstate the importance of voting, reminding us that it's state legislatures that draw the lines that create wildly gerrymandered districts.

ProQuest's breakfast topic was "Shore to Shore How Europe's New Data Privacy Laws Help U.S. Libraries." (The EU is way ahead of the U.S.)  

I went to four new-books events, starting with HarperCollins' Library Love Fest

PenguinRandomHouse had an author lunch. Their giveaways came with this nifty Jane Austen tote bag.

The Assn. of American Publishers hosted a breakfast. No tote bags, but more advance reader copies. Among the authors who spoke: Sandra Dallas, who lives outside Denver.  Her new book will be published in June.

My Colorado friends, both P.E.O. sisters, were my guests at the Gala Author Tea on Monday afternoon. I hadn't seen either Lorraine (friend since grade school) or Eva (friend since the 1991 White House Conference) in years.
(And the carrot cake parfait had daisy decor -- that's the P.E.O. flower.)

The Retired Members Round Table had an exclusive tour of the Western History Collection at the Denver Public Library. We saw John Muir's spectacles, a first edition Book of Mormon, a 17th century illuminated antiphony (hymnal of Gregorian chant commissioned by a Spanish religious order for their New World outpost), a rare map (no others have turned up), and more.

The Denver Art Museum is across the street from the Denver Public Library. A major exhibit of Degas opened the weekend of the conference and I got to see it right after the DPL tour.

 I had to snap a photo of this sign. The sales rep is posing with an OMG expression. None of the reps had seen the typo until I pointed it out.

Speaking of proofreading, these were at the University of Chicago Press booth. There's a new edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. (6.19 refers to the use of semicolons in series.)

And, yes, I shipped books back home. How many will I read before the Annual Conference in June?

Thursday, February 8, 2018


The guild's annual Rafflemania was last night.  It's a fun fundraiser and an opportunity to discard what we no longer love and take a chance on acquiring new stuff. 
I took books and fabric. Some of the books were bid on but others came back home with me.  The scrap bags (40 yards total) were snapped up.  I bought $10 in tickets (.50 each) and won all of this.

It works out to 16 yards. Not bad for $10!   Do you see the large ziploc at the upper right in the photo? When I took a closer look--after I won-- I realized that the fabric was what I'd donated to last year's Rafflemania.  There's a message in that . . .

Monday, February 5, 2018

Weekly update: Blockheads assembled and lots to do

I went full steam ahead on the Blockheads!  I finished the flimsy at the end of our TV watching Sunday evening. (We saw the final minutes of the Super Bowl in between PBS programs.)

I added 1.5" (1" fin.) sashing and cornerstones to give the blocks some breathing room.  (I ran out of Kona Snow for the sashing, but before I went out to buy more I looked again. There was a 5-yard piece that I bought in late December. I do not remember buying it but I'm glad I did, and I'm glad I checked.)

No sashing
By the time I'd done all that piecing I decided on a plain border made from a black-on-tan woven plaid.
It's 74 x 90 and I calculate 6-1/2 yards, all from my stash.

(The Moda Blockheads Facebook group has photos of many interpretations (color, genre) and clever settings. The 6" blocks were a real skill-builder with all their tiny pieces.  Here is the link to the entire sew-along.)

# # # # # #
Zion Woman's Club meets at noon tomorrow.
Quilt Guild meets Wednesday evening.
I leave for the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver on Thursday morning. I need to read committee documents, finalize my schedule, pack -- and choose a handwork project to take along.

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

Thursday, February 1, 2018

February OMG

Here are the final three blocks from the Moda Blockheads  .I have enjoyed making the 48 6.5" blocks using homespuns. It's been fun to see how each of the six designers made the blocks (chronicled in weekly blog posts). There's a FB group for participants to show their progress (such a variety of fabrics and colorways). 

My February OMG is to assemble all the blocks using chain blocks as alternates. (I posted this photo in December (block #42).)  I'll need to figure out a border, too.

My secondary OMG is to get started on my niece's wedding quilt. The wedding is in late May. She and her fiance are WWII reenactors which made that the obvious theme. I have Eleanor Burns' Victory Quilts and Sue Reich's World War II Quilts (a historical survey).  What I think I'm going to use are blocks from Rosemary Youngs' Quilts from the American Homefront. They're 6.5" (I've had lots of practice with the Blockheads) and some are very tricky.  My initial plan is to make 50 out of the 121 in the book and set them on point.  (Surely I can find 50 that aren't so complicated!)  I'll include the book with the quilt.

Thanks in advance to Patty at Elm Street Quilts for hosting OMG. Here's the link!  OMG February

An easier way and the stash report

Pinterest helpfully provides pins it thinks I'd like.  A design
called Boomerang caught my eye. I clicked through (here is the link) and saved the free pattern.  While waiting for the release of the 48th and final Blockheads block I decided to give Boomerang a go. I pulled fabrics. I looked at the instructions. (Photo on right.)  They looked pretty complicated to me.  Why make more work for myself?

I cut two 3.5 squares and 6.5 x 3.5 rectangle. The blocks are 6.5, slightly smaller than the pattern.  I set them diagonally.  That was somewhat more involved than the straight set of the pattern but my blocks were easier to make.

Here's my version. (I haven't trimmed the edge blocks yet.)

It's pretty close to the designer's quilt.
(c) Emma Jean Jansen

This unexpected flimsy added another 5 yards to the "fabric out" tally.  (I realize it's hard to read the red card but it's practically blank.)
YTD out:  77-7/8 yards
YTD in:  1 yard, $6.60