Monday, September 24, 2018

Weekly update: OMG report and a new flimsy

 Here are my September OMG finishes.  I'm linking up with other OMG participants here.

A.  Catch up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Here are the Nine Chinese Puzzle blocks. Each is made out of 32 different prints.

B. Make and send a small quilt to my assigned partner in the Teal Mini Swap hosted by
Beth Helfter (d/b/a Eva Paige Quilt Designs).  My partner is Pat in Pennsylvania. She and I have mutual quilting friends.  She said she likes Kaffe and bright.  I used both. The swap fabric is the ogee print used in the vase. The pattern is by Lori Smith. It's 16 x 20.

I couldn't post pictures before now because I wanted Pat to see it first!

WITB is a Stashbusters initialism meaning "What's In the Box?"  After opening the orphan blocks box and finding parts for last week's projects (the tote bag the Maple Rails runner) I pulled out a bag of 4.5" four-patches.  They are from a long-ago Block Swappers exchange. (We had two variations: four-patch with two fabrics and four-patch with four fabrics.  I chose the two-fabric blocks.)  Here's what they turned into!  The block frames used up all of two different tan prints (one dated 1996) and all but a six-inch square of the dark green (skinny sashes).   The floral sashing was used in this 2011 project . The cornerstones are the only new fabric. I purchased it (on sale, of course) in June. .  5-5/8 yards, all from my stash!

I will call it Boxed Four-Patch.  It's 69 x 81. 

It came together amazingly easily. I designed as I went.  I think I should have put four blocks with the same frames to make one larger block. By the time I figured that out I'd sewn too many to rip out.

And I have a stack of four-patches to return to the box to await future inspiration.

Monday link parties:
Oh, Scrap!
Monday Making
Design Wall Monday
Moving it Forward

Friday, September 21, 2018

On a roll

Another start-and-finish this week.  Believe me, this is highly unusual.  It's a combination of having free time and all the ingredients at hand -- along with great jolts of inspiration.

The reverse-applique batik block was part of a Magpies block exchange back in 2008.  (Thanks, Debs!) Ten years in the orphan blocks box is long enough.  Also, I acquired a yard of black-and-white batik earlier this year which was more than sufficient to make the tote bag.

The tote will be donated (like Wednesday's Maple Rails runner) to the silent auction at the Zion Woman's Club bunco night in October.

The silent auction items were going to be my October One Monthly Goal. Guess I'll need to come up with something else!

Linking up with Can I Get a Whoop Whoop  --  Happy Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

An unexpected project

Some years ago I sewed strips of two different batiks into 3.5" rail fence blocks. I assembled the blocks into a small panel. Other activities came up and the panel was consigned to the orphan blocks box.  I took it out last month and put it on the countertop.  A couple of batik maple leaf blocks came out of the orphan box, too.

Hmmm.   I made three more maple leaves and added two of them to the orphans.  (The third leaf is going back in that box.)

I still had some of the light batik in the rail fences, enough to make a narrow border.

While we watched two episodes of "A Place to Call Home" (Australian series on Acorn TV) last evening I assembled, quilted, and bound the table runner.  It's 14 x 41.

This will be donated to the silent auction at the Zion Woman's Club Bunco Night in October.

Linking up with Susan and friends at Midweek Makers 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A quick finish!

It was 88 degrees yesterday. That  was the warmest September 17 in 63 years, according to the Tribune's weather archivist. (He's Frank Wachkowski and he's been keeping the records for years. Here is a story about him.)  I ran a couple of errands and then gave myself permission to stay inside and sew.

I listen to audiobooks when I sew (unless my husband is with me, in which case we watch TV). I finished listening to Mercy Falls, #5 in the Cork Corcoran series by William Kent Krueger. This summer I've been listening to the series in order -- a slow but steady binge. I've read a few and listened to a few but by starting from the beginning I get the character development and story arc.

Here's the finish!

 I pieced the back because I didn't want to fuss with getting the blue checks to line up.

The selvedge was dated 1992. I haven't had the fabric that long. It was likely an estate-sale purchase. It was a thrift-shop purchase, I found when I went back to some old posts. 

Quilting detail.  Blue thread on blue-on-blue was a little hard to see, but I managed.

Total:  6 yards, all from my stash.

[This post shows the genesis of these blocks.]

See what other quiltmakers are doing
at Connie's Linky Tuesday

Monday, September 17, 2018

Blogger's Quilt Festival, part 2: Homespun Sampler

Here is my second entry in the Blogger's Quilt Festival .

I joined many other quiltmakers in the Moda Blockheads weekly quilt-along.  I collected patterns for a couple of months. Once I took the plunge I tuned in eagerly every Wednesday for the new block. I decided to use homespun plaids, a fabric genre well-represented in my stash.  That way I wouldn't have to buy any more. (Of course Moda's intent was to showcase its designers and their fabric lines.)

The Stashbusters Yahoo group had an  Irish Chain Challenge. That inspired the chain setting.

I had it professionally quilted.

Moda is currently running Blockheads II but I haven't joined.  Yet. :)

Blogger has stopped sending comments by email.  Without that feature it's hard to respond personally.   I think I've fixed it. (Leave a comment and we can test the fix.)

Blogger's Quilt Festival, part 1: Initial Colors

Thanks to Preeti for alerting me to the Blogger's Quilt Festival which is now live!

Here is Initial Colors.  It was my entry in the guild's 2018 challenge . The instructions were to make a two-color quilt out of one block.  The colors and the block name had to be the maker's initials.  My quilt is N.E.B. -- New York Beauty in Eggplant and Blue.

It's one of my favorite quilts.

Blogger has stopped sending comments by email.  Without that feature it's hard to respond personally.  I think I've fixed it. Leave a comment and we can test the fix.

Weekly update: beautiful days, special quilts, and two flimsies

The weather question in the Chicago Tribune on Thursday: "It seems that when the Atlantic coast prepares for a hurricane, Chicago has beautiful weather. Is there any truth to this?"
                 There is a ton of truth to your statement. When an Atlantic or Gulf hurricane approaches the U.S. mainland, it tends to set up a blocking or slowing effect on eastward-moving weather systems moving across the Midwest, holding rain-producing cold fronts at bay. Additionally, hurricanes have vast circulation fields. Air venting out of the top of a hurricane eventually subsides hundreds and even thousands of miles away from the storm. That subsiding air warms and dries, bringing a string of sunny and warm days, similar to the weather currently gracing Chicago. 

We have indeed had splendid weather with "100% available sunshine," i.e. cloudless skies.  We made time for a beach walk. Though we live just a mile from the lakefront we have to be intentional about going to the park.  (Photos: one piece of beach glass and an array of wildflowers.) 

# # # # # # # 
On Thursday evening I gave my quilt history program,"Every Quilt Tells a Story," for another  P.E.O. chapter (not mine). I have been so a couple of their meetings and knew many of the members.  I noticed that some of the in the quilts I show are getting a bit soiled at the edges. I need to examine them all carefully.  (I hadn't opened the storage boxes since I gave the program many months ago.)  [You can see a similar EQTAS presentation here.]

The P.E.O. Lake County Round Table met on Friday at the retirement community where a member of the hostess chapter lives.   I'd driven past the place many times but never had a reason to go in. Wow! There's a rainforest in the atrium, the second-largest in the midwest.  After the meeting Betty invited us for a walk around the rainforest to see her apartment and her quilts.   

Her specialty is combining counted cross stitch and quilting.  The Santa Claus is solid stitchery (more like needlepoint, but they are cross stitches).  The borders were added and quilted.  In the scenic hanging the evenweave backgrounds are quilted as well as the sashing.

 Betty makes "regular" quilts, too, like this stained-glass applique. 

The first AAUW general meeting of the year was Saturday morning.  Waukegan To College helps talented students who are the first in their families to aspire to higher education. W2C provides campus discovery, career exploration, and coaching for both students and parents.  The panel included the director, a student now completing her bachelor's degree (and applying for grad school), and a coach (who told her own college journey from a hog farm to a master's degree) -- and Marlenny and her mother Maria whom we met five years ago. Marlenny is now a h.s. junior and Maria was inspired to take English classes and get a childcare certificate (as well as serve as the chairman of the parent support group). A win for all! 

I donated a quilt to the silent auction at the Lake County Symphony Orchestra gala on Saturday. It didn't raise a lot but I was happy to donate.  The music was wonderful, the buffet was tasty, and we enjoyed conversation with the people at the table (whom we did not know).

Yesterday the Zion Historical Society presented The Founding Family's Story, a bus tour with costumed actors.  We learned some new things about Zion and Dr. Dowie, its founder. 

I usually enter Shiloh House, the historical society, by the back door. This time we went in the front and I snapped a photo of the tile floor in the entry. 

# # # # # # # #
Yes, I did get to spend time in my studio.  Here's how the wedge strips turned out.  The blue-gray background is a Cranston print dated 1992. I've begun quilting it (photo to come). 

My version

Early in the week I pulled a couple of Kaffe Fassett books off the shelf just to browse.  "I could make that, I thought," and look what happened. 

I admire Kaffe fabrics but I am not a collector. My quilt doesn't have any Kaffee prints -- just stash!

The pattern

 Monday link ups:  
Moving It Forward
Oh, Scrap!
Design Wall Monday

Blogger has stopped sending comments by email.  Without that feature it's hard to respond personally.    I think I've fixed it. (Leave a comment and we can test the fix.)

Monday, September 10, 2018

Weekly update: baskets, blossoms, and sprouts

My aching back is somewhat better. I have had two acupuncture sessions with a third scheduled for tomorrow.  I make a conscious effort to sleep on my side.  It takes an hour in the morning to unkink. By mid-day I'm fine.

I was sorry to miss the Wisconsin Quilt Expo. The quilt shop that coordinated the bus trip gave me a refund (thanks, Heather!).  On the bright side: look at how much fabric I didn't buy!

As I posted on Saturday, I finished the September OMG projects.  I'm now caught up on this month's Block Lotto.  I'm partial to basket blocks. This variation was fun to make.

I've received ten California poppy blocks, my winnings from the August Block Lotto. Here they are along with the nine that I made.  I will have 40 in all.

A small window has opened: I don't have any projects with imminent deadlines. I'm messing around with scraps as I ponder what to work on next.  This project is sprouting from blocks  made from the scraps of the Gypsy Wedding Wheels quilt that I made for my niece and her husband. How setting these with a reads-as-solid gray for a modern scrappy quilt?  Hmmmm.....

(And I just got an email saying that the meeting I had this evening has been cancelled. More time to sew!)

Monday link ups:
Oh, Scrap!
Monday Making
Moving It Forward
Design Wall Monday

Saturday, September 8, 2018

RSC Saturday: a detour and blue

I let the Rainbow Scrap Challenge get away from proceed without me for July (red/maroon) and August (brown/orange).  September is dark blue and black/dark neutral.  I declared catching up with RSC would be on my One Monthly Goal list.

I am caught up!  I changed things around: because I made a light/dark blue block earlier this year (when the month was "light blue") I did not make another blue block for September, nor do I want to make a black/dark neutral. I did make a red block, an orange block, and a brown block.  (Yes, I realize that the green block in the photo is turned around.)

Each Chinese Puzzle block has 20 different darks and 10 different lights.  I am going to choose something simpler for 2019.

Here is my most recent scrappy blue project. It's still a flimsy.  I assembled it in early July. The pattern is by Nancy Rink and was published in Quilt magazine. The box blocks are 8" unf.; with sashing 9.5" unf.

Linking up to other RSCers for
Scrap Happy Saturday

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Quilters' Meet and Greet: my quilting journey

Benita at  Victoriana Quilt Designs invited me to participate in Quilters' Meet and Greet which begins today, September 4.   This may be your first visit to my blog or you may have read previous posts. They are usually posted on Mondays and included in a number of link ups.  My blog is a chronicle of my quilts as well as other events I'd like to record -- traveling, book reviews, and some social commentary.

Click HERE  to link to the Meet & Greet page.
(At the end of this post find the link to the contest page.)

As my business card says, I am a librarian, quiltmaker, and volunteer. I retired in 2014 after 39 years as the administrator of public libraries in Texas, Kansas, Maine, North Dakota, and Illinois.   I retired from the job, not from the profession. I continue my participation in the American  Library Association and attend the Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference every year. (Since 1984 I've gone to all but two Annuals and all but two Midwinters.) 

My volunteer work keeps me connected locally, at the state level, and beyond:  AAUW, Rotary, P.E.O., GFWC-Zion Woman's Club, Coalition for Healthy Communities, church, and quilt guild. If I take notes I pay attention during meetings, so I volunteer to be secretary (six organizations right now).  I read Robert Putnam's Bowling Alone when it was a scholarly article (before the book became a best seller). I believe that each of us should do our part to invest in and build social capital.
Links to the organizations are on the blog side bar if you want to learn more about any of them.

My quilting journey began when I was a child. My mother enjoyed sewing and needlework. (She didn't knit or crochet, though, and neither do I.)
She used a kit to make an appliqued pansy quilt for my 11th birthday. I  have the quilt but right now I can't find a photo.

I made my first quilt in 1973-74 when I was in graduate school.. It's a Bucilla cross-stitch kit, double-bed sized. I did the cross stitch first semester and the hand quilting the second semester.   I used it as a bedspread until I got married (and moved to a king-sized bed).  Both the quilt and the degree have served me well.

This 1997 photo shows my parents with my second quilt. My mother and her brother learned to hand sew by making these sixteen-patch blocks.  Mother said that because Bob was a year older his stitches were better than hers. Someone used a blue sheet for the alternate blocks. I took the top back to school (summer, 1974) and hand quilted it. I also embellished it with feather stitching in pastel DMC floss -- totally out of character for those genuine 30's prints, but I didn't know any better. (Mother displayed the quilt in their guest room. After her death I sent the quilt to Bob.  One of my cousins has it.  I don't need it back.)

Through the 1970's and 80's I appreciated quilts but I didn't make them. In the small Texas city (my first library) a blue-ribbon-winning local quilt maker set up a class.  I chose a pattern from Family Circle magazine -- mariner's compass in red and green.  I did not get farther than purchasing the fabric and cutting cardboard templates.   I abandoned the class.  During those years I made most of my clothing.  That was the heyday of needlepoint and I did a lot of it, mostly pillows.   As cross stitch came into vogue I dabbled in that.

(Photo: my  blue ribbon winners  from the Washington County (TX) fair, 1977.  The top two are from "Needlepoint from America's Great Quilt Designs." The bottom right is by Maggie Lane. I think the bottom left is Elsa Williams.  They are copied from patterns in books, no made from kits.)

 About 1991 I checked out a quilt book from the library and learned that machine piecing was not only possible, but it was also acceptable. The rotary cutter had been invented. Template-free quiltmaking!  I was hooked.

This pink and green Card Trick is likely the first quilt I made with rotary cutter and machine piecing. It looks so bland!  VIP still makes this paisley print. I detest it. :)    My notes on the snapshot are that I tore, rather than cut, the sateen-weave fabric for the sashes and borders so there were lots of ravels. I machine quilted it.  I gave it away or sold it long, long ago.

Storm at Sea with a heart was the cover quilt of the first issue of American Patchwork and Quilting in 1994. I didn't have a quilt fabric stash to speak of so I bought all the fabric at a quilt shop in Windham, Maine. I didn't know this is supposed to be a hard block. I just plugged away!

My quiltmaking really took off in the mid-1990's.  The first email service my library used (I was at Fargo PL then) included Usenet Nnewsgroups, among them rec.crafts.textiles.quilting.   My dear Magpie friends are RCTQ alumnae.  There's an RCTQ FB group, too, and many of us go back to the Usenet days.

Since those early years I've made dozens of quilts and patchwork things (jackets, place mats, wall hangings, etc., etc.).  I've amassed a huge stash.  (I document acquisition and use in the Annual Reckoning every January 1.)

Here are a few of my recent favorite quilts.  Click on the link to read more about them.

Initial Colors
 Guild challenge, 2018:  the block and two colors are the maker's initials. (Mine: New York Beauty in Eggplant and Blue.) 

This is the same block as the Stars in Her Crown, below, but I split the backgrounds for more interest.

Stars in Her Crown

2016, in honor of Lulu Corkhill Williams, an
early member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood.  The P.E.O. badge is a gold star. In 1870 she was photographed wearing her badge on a hair ribbon -- hence "Stars in Her Crown."

Forecast: Scrappy With a Chance of Nine Patches
The second of three orphan blocks quilts. (Well, three to date . . .)

Railroad Ties

I used my father's railroad-themed neckties to make this quilt in his memory. The tin railroad logos were Post Sugar Crisp premiums in the 1950's.  (I have not had Sugar Crisp since those days.)

Thanks for visiting! I hope you'll add my blog to your blogroll.

HERE  is the link to enter the Grand Prize contest.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Stash report, a finish, and OMG for September

I had oral surgery on Tuesday to remove both left wisdom teeth. All went well in my mouth.  On Wednesday I developed severe lower back pain -- the muscles at the tailbone. My primary care physician (whom I saw Friday) said the cause is likely the sedated sleep (immobile) in the reclining dentist's chair. She prescribed a muscle relaxant and recommended continuing ibuprofen and using a heating pad.  The tightness eases during the day but comes back at night as I turn and turn to find a comfortable position to sleep.  Getting out of bed is hard.   (I can reach up and sideways. I can walk, including up and down stairs. But I can't bend down.) 

I've had to cancel some activities -- I skipped a quilter's estate sale on Saturday.  We may not make it to the concert in the park this evening (but we may go: my back is better in the evening). ( Update Monday a.m.: we didn't go to the concert and we are not going to the Mayors' Prayer Breakfast.)  I've bowed out of walking (3 miles) alongside the Zion Woman's Club's car in tomorrow's Jubilee Days Parade.  ZWC luncheon is Tuesday and quilt guild potluck is Wednesday.   I hope I'll be in better shape to take the bus to the Wisconsin Quilt Expo on Friday.

I can sew, thank goodness!

Here is Poinsettia Wreath, 34 x 34.  It is he fifth of five items I've made for the silent auction at our guild show at the end of this month.  The pattern is by Karen Bush, published in McCall's Quilting, December 2008.

I finished the wall hanging in August so it counts in the the stash report.
August Fabric IN:  7 yards, $44
August Fabric OUT: 35-5/8

YTD Fabric IN: 210-5/8, $750  ($3.55/yd)
YTD Fabric OUT: 401-1/4

It's time to declare goals for September's OMG.  Mine is two-part:
A.   Catch up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I haven't made blocks for July or August, let alone September.

B.  Make a small quilt for the Teal Mini Swap . My swap partner is Pat D. in Pennsylvania.  (She and I have mutual quilting friends. Small world.)  I'm auditioning fabric.   The swap fabric is the teal ogee (slanted to the left in the photo).
I'm mulling over patterns with an eye on applique.

I'm linking up for OMG at Elm Street Quilts
and to  Oh Scrap!
Monday Making
Moving It Forward
Design Wall Monday

P.S.  I won half the Block Lotto for August!  40 California Poppy blocks will be coming my way. What fun!